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Married Women Are Revealing Their "Unspoken Rule" For Having A Successful Marriage, And A Lot Of These Should Be Put In A Relationship Manual ASAP

"For me, it's annoying, but it's still worth the price of admission."

Whether you're in a relationship or not, it's incredibly normal to be curious about how others interact within their own relationships.

a happy couple cuddling

So when Reddit user u/Chris_3213 asked the r/AskWomen community: "Married women, what are the unspoken rules for a successful marriage?" I thought it would be interesting to share some of their responses. Because even though no two relationships are ever the same, maybe you may like to use one of the below "tips" for your current or future relationship.

Here's what they had to say:

1. "Don’t let yourself be a doormat, but pick your battles. Communicate, compliment good intentions, learn your partner’s needs, and be there for them in hard times. Lean on them in your hard times and try to create fun times as much as possible."

a couple holding each other

2. "Marriage is a partnership, not a codependency-ship. You each need to have some independence, your own personality, interests, etc., and your relationship. Neither party should lose themselves in the other’s problems. Try before you buy: Live together, travel together, and get physically and emotionally intimate. Make difficult decisions and see how they act when they don’t get their way. Make sure your partner’s good intent is matched by their actions, and make sure you follow through as well. Have and expect integrity. At no time should you feel like your partner is an antagonist. They are your collaborator and equal."


"The only thing I would add is: 'You should never feel like an empty bucket, just as your partner shouldn’t. You should both contribute to doing things for each other.'”


3. "Understand that some things are just going to be the price of admission and accept the person you married. They leave a trail of crap when they come home for the day or forget the wet towel on the bed? Easier to pick it up rather than get angry and just accept it's part of getting this person in your life. Sometimes the price of admission is too damn high (insert random destructive behavior). For me, the wet towel is annoying, but it's worth the price of admission."

a towel on the floor

4. "Set boundaries of what's expected for both of you in your relationship. Marriage is hard; it's something you have to work on every day. I adore my husband, he makes me laugh every single day, I fancy the pants off him even after all these years, and I hope that never goes away. We both sit each other down at times and talk about how something has made us feel."


5. "You need to be discerning when you date. It all starts with the quality of the man that you pick in the first place. Believe men when they show you who they are. Don't make excuses for men. Avoid falling for the sunk cost fallacy trap."

a couple laughing outside

6. "If you are parents, make sure you are husband and wife first before and then mom and dad second. Not to say you neglect your kids, but make each other a priority. Do not let each other go to the bottom of a never-ending to-do list. Go on dates and have sex as often as you want/can. Spoil each other. Compliment each other. Take time out of your day to check in with each other and send sweet and even spicy messages. The kids will also benefit from seeing two happy, content parents who care and have respect for each other."


7. "People hate 'planning' sex because they feel like it should be spontaneous and carefree and like you just shouldn’t be able to keep your hands off each other because that’s what they see in movies, but in reality, we are busy! If we don’t communicate about it, it’s likely to be put off. Not because we don’t want to have sex — life just gets in the way. You go to bed, and it’s like, 'Should we do it tonight? No, I'm too tired. Maybe tomorrow.' And if you’re not careful, it can keep going like that. Communication lets you both know what to expect and allows everyone to get in the right headspace. Sex is more frequent and in my opinion better when you talk about it."

a couple with their feet together in bed

8. "Something I just learned after 25 years: 'Tell me what you think I said.' So many fights, accusations, and cheating happened because he 'heard' something other than what I said. Hearing is NOT the same as listening."


9. "Allow each other to decompress after work. I go upstairs and do stuff for about an hour while he plays video games. I put on a mask, organize my clothes, shower, do my nails, read, and watch my TV shows."

a woman sitting on the couch and drinking coffee

10. "My husband knew a couple who disagreed on where the tomato sauce (ketchup) belonged. One said pantry and the other said fridge. Every screaming argument they had spiraled back to the bottle of sauce. My husband suggested getting a bottle each to avoid the fight altogether. This resulted in another screaming match because it was never about the bottle — it was about who was right. My husband and I live by the analogy that we can have 'two bottles of sauce' to avoid the fight."


11. "Something else I see a lot that you should not do is be his mother. You're his friend, lover, and partner for life. As soon as you start telling him what he can and cannot do or eat or spend his money on, you become his mother."


12. "It takes five positive interactions to cancel out one negative experience in conflicts. This means that even within conflicts, it’s important to laugh, be playful, tell each other you love one another, support each other's emotions, show affection, hold hands, be interested in what the other has to say, empathize, show acceptance, find opportunities to agree."

couple hugging each other at home

13. "They're not a mind reader: Whatever you expect, whatever is on your mind, spell it out clearly."


14. "Make sure that you have time to yourselves. Whether it’s doing a small hobby or something like masturbation, just having that alone time can help you have a calm mood."

a woman watching tv inside her home

15. "It's us against the world, baby. But seriously, we're a team. I'm his biggest fan and he's mine. We support each other; we believe if one of us succeeds, we both succeed, and if one of us falls behind, the other helps them catch up or takes the lead for a bit. Also, it helps if you like to do different chores."


16. "Have something you laugh about together often or every day. My partner makes me laugh every day. It’s a cornerstone for us."

a couple laughing inside their home

17. "Take accountability and apologize."


18. "Understand that love is an ebb and flow. Some days you won’t feel so in love with your partner, and that’s OK. This is normal in long-term relationships, and it passes with the right person."

a couple fighting while on the couch

19. "It's not my husband's responsibility to make me happy. There have been times when my mental health hasn't been great, and there was nothing he could have done to change that if he tried. We are incredibly supportive of each other but, ultimately, take responsibility for our own mental health and happiness. We have been together for 17 years and are very happy."


20. "My advice is that you both need to give each other space to grow and challenge yourselves as individuals, but trust each other to still choose each other. I had a job offer to work remotely for three months. My husband didn’t want me to leave, but he was OK with me doing it because it was good for me; he gave me the room to grow."

a couple working on plants together

21. "Don't rush into a marriage. Be together for years so you know everything about each other, and make sure you're on the same page with deal breakers. No one's going to change their mind for the other person with a deal breaker after marriage, nor should they be expected to."


22. "Learning about each other's attachment styles is so important. No one ever told me about this, but this truly saved our marriage early on. After learning how our attachment styles affect the way we treat each other, the way we argue, and how much time we like to spend around each other, it changed how we saw each other's behavior."

two women holding each other outdoors

23. "Be true friends first. It's easier to be married to a best friend, who never goes away."


Do you have a "rule" that you believe contributes to having a successful marriage or relationship? If so, tell us what it is and why in the comments below.

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.