10 Rules for My Marriage
July 6, 2017
My impending wedding has had me thinking a lot about marriage and asking questions, like why do so many marriages suffer? How do people stay happily married?
Greg Finck Photography

I've "interviewed" so many married couples (from my family members to my Uber drivers and everyone in between) to hear their advice. If we all entered our marriages with intention and forced ourselves to check in on this intention, would marriages have a better chance at surviving?

Just like I have an annual review at work, I want to have an annual review for my marriage. So, my groom and I will be saying our vows in front of our friends and family in a week and a half, and signing our marriage contract in private a couple of days after.
Jose Villa Photography


Here 10 of my own marriage rules:

Have a date at least once a week. It just has to be some form of quality time together, ALONE!

Speak highly of one another with other people and each other—build each other up!

Actively listen and lend an empathetic ear when the other spouse is sharing an emotional experience. Make eye contact during these moments and give your undivided attention.

Don't take your stresses out on your partner. Treat your partner as your number one teammate and ally. He/she is on your side!

Be your partner's number one teammate and ally. Stand by what they feel, who they are and support them. Have the other person's back!

Trust the other person completely; to be loyal, to do a good job with the kids when alone, to take care of you.

Celebrate milestones and the small victories. Relish in the good times and happiness with proper acknowledgment. Don't just let life's craziness get in the way of taking a moment to appreciate all that is GOOD.

Show your partner that you care about what he/she says. If your spouse is unhappy with an aspect of your relationship and expressed it nicely, work towards changing it. By making the change, you will communicate to your partner that you truly care and value what he/she feels.

Do simple gestures to fill your spouse's love tank--make lunch, let the other one sleep in once kids are in the picture, bring home a favorite treat, buy a present for no reason, offer to give the other person a massage, send a flirty text—it's the little things!

Hold up your portion of the household responsibilities without being asked to do so by your partner.
Greg Finck Photography

How to write your own marriage rules

You and your partner can write down promises to each other in your own, personalized contract. Try to make them realistic for the changes that your future may entail so that you don't set yourself up for failure. Then, select a specific date to have your "review" each year. Don't pick your wedding anniversary because that should be only filled with fun! You might want to select the anniversary of when you started dating or some other date with significance. Then, each year on that date you can sit down and discuss how you think you are doing as a couple at achieving these goals.

The contract will keep you accountable and if nothing else, it will force you into having those "big picture" talks that are so easy to side step when life feels so busy.

What are your marriage rules? I'd love to know in the comments below!
Jenna Kutcher

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Carly Ellentuck is a freelance writer and blogger bride. She is the gal behind The Cozy Curator, a blog that features all things life+style. She lives in Hoboken, NJ with her fiancé. Carly is currently enjoying planning her modern boho-beach wedding that will take place on Long Beach Island this summer!