When we were first getting married, we got some advice to write out our ‘unwritten rules’ I had no idea what this meant, but man oh man do I ever.
Unwritten Rules are rules that you have ingrained in you. They are ‘unspoken’ and ‘uncommunicated’ things that you bring into a relationship. Almost expectations that you assume other’s already know so you don’t communicate them until they drive you so crazy you erupt.
They come from your past, your environment, your upbringing, past relationships etc etc. I would say sometimes you don’t know these are rules you expect others to follow. You learn some of them if you live with roommates before you are married but marriage truly brings out these unwritten rules and unspoken rules.
There are a lot of ‘big ones’ like:
- Don’t Cheat (if you must have that conversation that may be a red flag)
- Don’t threaten Divorce
Those aren’t the ones I am talking about today, although are important. Today what I am talking about it ones like:
- Don’t leave your shoes there
- Don’t eat my softened butter
- Don’t put the milk in that spot in the fridge.
- Where you put your dishes
Those silly ones, that somehow in a marriage, can turn into an argument!!! I actually can’t tell you how many little ‘spats’ we have had over the years because of assuming the other person knows what we expect! When we first got married, good friends of our’s to write out our ‘unwritten expectations or rules’ out for each other, what a great exercise that was….I learned a lot about how weird I thought my new husband was, but also what would bother him. In our first months of living together, we got in the BIGGEST fight about where I left my boots when I walked in the door. The thing was I had NO idea it was bothering him until boots were flying everywhere one day between screaming. I thought he had lost his mind (well…….) but really it was just the fact that I didn’t know it was bothering him, he never told me until one day it just exploded.
The point of this entire post is that these little things, especially when you are living together for the first time, CAN be avoided with communication. There will be lots of disagreements, arguments, fights, and screaming matches in your future; these little arguments that can be avoided, should be!
So if you are newly living together, newly married or have been married a long time but have never done this, I encourage you to write down what your ‘unwritten rules’ are and then get your partner too as well. Read each other’s lists, there will be things on your partners that you would never be bothered by, but if it does to them I encourage you to take that seriously! Living with someone else is hard stuff, but over time you learn things that can make it easy and you find your flow. Always remember in marriage and living with someone that #thestruggleisreal