Handbook for Catholic Moms Question: What Marriage "Rule" Do You Follow?

In The Handbook for Catholic Moms, Lisa Hendey shares stories and ideas about keeping, from always praying for your spouse to trying to make “date night” possible for parents in different situations.

All the great advice reminded me of a discussion I had once with a group of other married women about “marriage rules.”  I’m thinking of things like advice from a parent or older married couple, “Never go to bed angry,” or “Always give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.”  Sometimes they can seem almost trite  although they are actually quite helpful when put into practice.  Kind of like a “mom-ism”.

I would have to say the number one unofficial “marriage rule” at our house is “keep a sense of humor.”  Gently laughing at ourselves and the chaos that can be family life can be very connecting!

What marriage rule do you follow, or have you been given, for which you have been grateful?

10 thoughts on “Handbook for Catholic Moms Question: What Marriage "Rule" Do You Follow?”

  1. I love a rule my mom and dad taught me, which is always applicable to so many things but especially my marriage. “Never leave one good party in search of another.” It was a rule they taught me when I was in college and would frequently feel like I was “missing out” if I didn’t hit every dorm party on campus on a Saturday night – when related to other aspects of life like jobs, social relationships and marriages, it is equally as true…

  2. I am trying to re-impose a routine date night. I think that is the most important. My sisters and friends are great examples of that (e.g., even having a date night at home with a special dinner after the young kids go to bed).

  3. Lisa Hendey left this comment on this post, but for some reason it is not showing up on the post. I am putting it in here to add to the discussion.

    I love a rule my mom and dad taught me, which is always applicable to so many things but especially my marriage. “Never leave one good party in search of another.” It was a rule they taught me when I was in college and would frequently feel like I was “missing out” if I didn’t hit every dorm party on campus on a Saturday night – when related to other aspects of life like jobs, social relationships and marriages, it is equally as true…

  4. Okay, now I see that Lisa’s comment is showing up! Blogs can be glitchy, but we still love them.

    Anonymous, I so agree about the date night. It can be difficult to carve out the time for them, which is why making them “routine” is so helpful. The trouble is really getting into the habit and then not falling out of that habit. That “falling out of the habit” happens a lot to us because of change in schedules, babysitters, etc.

  5. I think the greatest advice that we have ever been given is to keep our marriage first. As someone who had my children at a very young age, the first at just 21, I know that we will have many years of “marital bliss” left when they leave the home! And we need to still like each other! We have date nights on Wednesday nights, just so we can remember each other and talk away from home! I think this more than anything has kept our marriage alive. We have put a priority on our marriage, and I know that we will see the fruits of this!

  6. We definitely try to abide by the “don’t let the sun set on your anger” rule! Otherwise the sun rises by it too and that makes for an unhappy day!

  7. Britta, I know you IRL (in real life), and you know how much I admire you and your wonderful husband, so I hope you won’t mind me disagreeing. And I can see it clearly works for you guys.

    However, I must confess sometimes I feel like one of the only people in the world who doesn’t like/abide by that rule of “don’t let the sun set on your anger.” I don’t know if it is just because I need my sleep (LOL, but seriously), or I’m 100 percent a morning person, but disagreements at night are not productive for me. This is true of all relationships, not just with my husband.

    I find if I’m frustrated about something a good night’s sleep will often either provide some possible solutions and/or provide the needed perspective. Scheduling time to talk about an issue can also be good, when all parties are “fresh.”

  8. What a great question! I think that ours is simply “put Christ first” — as converts, my husband and I are still learning what it means to have a true sacramental marriage, and that simple rule really helps us keep our eyes on what’s important.

    Here is a great post I once read on that topic that talks about a town in Herzegovina where people couples place their hands on a crucifix during the marriage ceremony as a sign that they will put Christ — and the Cross — first in their marriage. Not surprisingly, divorce is unheard of in that town.

    BTW, thank you for your comment on my blog! I’m glad to have discovered your site as well. Nice to “meet” you!

  9. we said our marriage vows clasping a crucifix, which now hangs in our bedroom!
    We have to let the sun set on our anger- oftentimes what seems like a huge issue at 10:30pm, is laughable at 7am!
    The most important marriage rule we try to follow is to pray for each other, and to let eachother know that we are praying for the other, and for our marriage.
    We might not do such a great habitual job of praying together regularly (something we keep working at!) but we do pray individually!

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