Being married isn’t always easy and plain sailing, and according to one expert, it may be because we’re not implementing rules.
A relationship expert and dating coach has revealed rules and boundaries can be ‘good’ for marriage.
Alex Mellor-Brook, Co-founder (MD), Internationally Certified Matchmaker & Dating Expert at Select Personal Introductions, revealed why couples should set their marriage rules together.
He said: “Rules, boundaries or whatever title you want to give them are good for marriage.
“The rules present a clear gauge as to when an action or comment may upset the person you care about the most.
“But there could be a difference in opinion as to where these boundaries should start, so the rules need to be amicable and decided upon together, not forced on the partnership by just one person.”
However not everyone believes rules are good for marriages – some might say they are controlling and not needed.
Relationship expert Alex revealed how each person in the relationship perceives the rule is important, as one partner may have an issue of trust if a boundary is crossed, yet the other partner may find the same rule too restricting for them personally.
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The relationship coach explained that either party could feel the rules are controlling and it may bring into question how much the other person trusts them.
Rules, like anything else in a relationship, are about compromise. Alex added that it can’t just be about them or you, it needs to be about the ‘US’.
The expert, from Select Personal Introductions, revealed the top nine rules every marriage should have and why each one could save a marriage from divorce.
COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER
Being able to communicate with each other is extremely important as misunderstandings lead to frustration and arguments so having communication as a marriage ‘rule’ is a good start.
Alex said: “It isn’t just about talking to each other but also listening and making sure your partner has understood.
“Getting the timing right to communicate is also important because distractions have an impact on being heard and understood.
“Set aside time so that both partners can talk about feelings or situations, whether that be financial, children or career, and for events that are happening in their lives.”
The relationship coach also explained how ‘affirmations’ can also be a good rule in marriage that could save couples from divorce as they remind people to express their feelings.
Alex explained that affirmations are important as they express how you feel about your partner, how important they are to you and also helps your partner to feel good about themselves, which in turn, keeps the relationship healthy.
He added how it can also highlight that you are paying attention to them and their needs.
Alex advised: “Maybe express gratitude for something they have gone out of their way to do for you, compliment on a new hairstyle, new clothing or jewellery.
“Affirmations are something you naturally give each other at the beginning of your relationship, they don’t need to stop simply because you got married.”
Express gratitude for something they have gone out of their way to do for you, compliment on a new hairstyle, new clothing or jewellery.
HAVE RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER
Alex explained that respect has to be earned, but it should be a top rule in marriages, and one that could save couples from divorce.
He said: “We are all individuals and have different opinions, goals and values, so if we don’t respect these differences it may lead to hostility and resentment.
“Whether that is your partner’s space, time, thoughts, possessions or anything else, you are expressing the fact you have respect for the person you married and acknowledging that all these points are important not only to them, but also to you.”
Physical contact and intimacy is essential for a healthy relationship, and having this simple rule could save couples from divorce.
The relationship expert explained that simple actions such as holding hands or the act of making love, solidifies the bond between couples.
He added that physical contact encourages the body to release chemicals like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, which help create the feel-good factors.
Without physical contact the couple could lose the close connection they have and drift apart, explained Alex.
GIVE EACH OTHER PERSONAL SPACE
We’re all individuals and need to hold onto our individuality, explained Alex.
He said: “It is who your partner fell in love with when you first met and the best way to keep that is to get some time for yourself. A moment to think, process your thoughts and ideas.
“Enjoy some alone time and independent interests from meditation to adventurous sports, hobbies, or social groups.
“Having personal time also brings fresh conversation and experiences back into the relationship.”
MAKE AN EFFORT
Making an effort is so important and having this as a simple marriage rule could save some couples from divorce.
To make a relationship successful, you have to work at it, explained Alex. But not just working on the points highlighted in this list, but also thinking about what you may have done when dating early on in your relationship.
Little things like breakfast in bed, buying your partner's favourite flowers, booking time for just the two of you at a nice restaurant or a weekend away is important.
Alex said: “Pick something that is relevant to you as individuals but also as a couple. Making an effort in your appearance also shows you are investing in yourself and the marriage.
“Feeling good about how you look builds confidence, attraction and a desire to want to spend time with each other.
“If you don’t make an effort in your relationship it feels as though you aren’t interested in the other person which can lead to a disconnection between couples.”
Feeling good about how you look builds confidence, attraction and a desire to want to spend time with each other.
SPEND TIME TOGETHER
A relationship is built on trust and trust is built when you do things as a couple, so spending time together is a good rule for all marriages.
Spending time together creates memories which hopefully have good emotions attached with them.
Visiting new places and having shared new experiences help build the bond between the two of you, advised Alex.
Honesty is a simple rule that all marriages should have but being honest can sometimes be hard, explained relationship expert Alex.
He said: “If communicated in the correct way, honesty can highlight and help resolve differences of opinion or annoyances.
“How you present the honesty is important as being too direct, blunt, insensitive or sarcastic can be perceived as aggressive which is counterproductive.
“How you receive these truths is also important, so always validate, never dismiss and don’t use this honesty against your partner during any heated argument you may have in the future, as you will lose their respect and trust.”
A good rule for all marriages is to avoid comparing, said Alex as comparing yourself to other couples or relationships is an impossible situation.
Like images and videos on social media, being a perfect snapshot of a perfect life creates an unrealistic perception because you never get to see what actually happens off camera.
The relationship coach said: “A marriage without a little discord could even indicate that someone in the relationship isn’t expressing their true thoughts or feelings and actually letting their underlying emotions fester.
“Having a disagreement in a marriage can be quite healthy, as we all have different thoughts and opinions, so long as any misunderstanding doesn’t dominate or lead to emotional or physical abuse.”
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