The Ultimate List of Marriage Rules for a Happily Ever After

Updated: Nov 18, 2019


Rules for a happy marriage


A summary of the distinguished psychologist, Harriet Lerner's manual for the married and coupled up. These rules will rescue you from the quicksands of couplehood with practical advice. To put the following rules into practice you will need to have a genuine desire to create a better relationship.


  1. Respect Your Differences

  2. Don't Press Under Stress

  3. Breath Before Speaking

  4. Aim for 5 Positive Interactions for Every Negative

  5. Trust You Already Know What You Need to do

  6. Get Over Unimportant Arguments

  7. Focus on the Positive

  8. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

  9. Be the one to Change First

  10. Become Fluent in "I" Language

  11. Criticize Above the Belt

  12. Aim for Accuracy

  13. Talk Less and Listen More

  14. Strike When the Iron is Cold

  15. Stay Focused

  16. Surprise Them With Praise

  17. Cut Back on Advice

  18. Stay Alert for Mixed Messages

  19. Don't Assume You Know How Your Partner Feels

  20. Forget About Being Right

  21. Invite What You Dread

  22. Draw The Line at Insults

  23. Lower Your Defensiveness

  24. Define Your Differences

  25. Help Your Partner Help You Listen

  26. Set Limits on Listening

  27. Tell Your Partner How You Need Them to Listen

  28. Identify Your Role in the Dance

  29. Don't try to Make a cat Into a dog

  30. Do not Judge the Distancer

  31. Make a Date not a Diagnosis

  32. Lower Your Intensity

  33. Try out a NEW you

  34. Turn off Your Phone

  35. Pursue Your Goals not Your Partner

  36. Heed the Danger Signals

  37. Make Your Own Rules

  38. Accept the Olive Branch

  39. Respect Your Partner's Space When Asked to be Left Alone

  40. Honour Your Partners Vulnerability

  41. Say Your Sorry and Mean it

  42. Do not Demand an Apology

  43. Don't Threaten Divorce

  44. Beware of the Horsemen - Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling

  45. Be Experimental

  46. Don't Judge Your sex Drive

  47. Don't Wait Until Your in the Mood

  48. Share Household Chores

  49. Set Limits

  50. Know When to Close Your Gate


Select the most meaningful rules from our ultimate list of marriage rules to follow and you will give your relationship an excellent chance at success. Keep in mind that even a small change today can put your marriage in a dramatically different place 6 months from now.


Consider these rules as a basic "go-to guide" for a solid relationship. May your relationship truly flourish.




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