The 5 most important rules to a happy relationship (yes, beyond lots of sex!)

Are there steadfast rules that couples--married or living together--should stick to in order to make their relationship work? I say yes! I don't want to claim I'm a relationship expert or anything close to that, especially since I've been married a little more than a year now, but I do want to share the five pillars that my husband and I talked about and agreed to before we got married. We thought about them and came up with the list that so far has really worked in keeping our bond strong--stronger than ever even through the birth of our son and the stresses that come with raising a little one together.

So read on and find out our five must-follow dictates--and hope you find one of them that you can apply to your own relationship!


1. Never go to bed angry. This is one of the first rules we established, and have so far managed to keep to it. The Bible has a passage about never letting the sun set on your anger--and whether or not you're religious, you have to agree. Even if something happened that was so egregious you feel like you can't forgive, try, for your relationship's sake, to talk about it that day and not let days go by without addressing it and dealing with the conflict.

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2. Rekindle the fire! Yes, I know firsthand how hard it is to get in the mood after you have a kid, but it's a really important part of your marriage. We try to do whatever it takes to keep that spark alive--date nights, asking for help of our siblings or in-laws so we can hang out with each other, and creatively carving alone time. Never, ever forget the day you two met, and always try to go back to why you fell in love to begin with.

3. Listen to each other speak--no interruptions! I'm opinionated, my husband is doubly so, but when we're arguing or simply talking, we give each other the courtesy of undivided attention. It's great to feel listened to and appreciated (even if he MAY on occasion be tuning you out!).

4. Collaborate in everything as a team. My husband and I are a united front--in everything! This applies when it comes to big decisions or simply when talking to family or friends. Now that we have our little guy, middle-of-the-night wake up calls are a team effort, no matter how tired we are (he'll get the bottle while I tend to Little Man when he's crying). During the weekends, we'll try to let each other sleep in a little on alternate days by taking on the baby. Remember, it takes two!

5. Time alone is important. I admit that my husband and I are inseparable, but I know he appreciates when he can hang out with the guys and I certainly need some girl-time once in a while. It's important to let each other breathe a little sometimes. And just think, after a night away from you, it's great to know how much he misses you when he comes home!

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Topics: relationships  relationship  marriage  consejos