Who Is Your Relationship/Marriage Role Model?
I strongly believe that one of the reasons that UK divorce and relationship breakup rates are so high is the fact that we have few role models left to emulate. There are now so many single parents and broken homes, and the married couples that are still together tend to be aging parents and grandparents. When we look to our peers, all we see from afar is that a lifelong, confident commitment to marriage is decreasingly popular and single parenthood is more prevalent than ever. When we glance at our parents and/or grandparents, we see marriages that stood the test of time BUT in a very different world than we now live in.
Well, as much as they truly are a source for inspiration, our parents and grandparents grew up in a completely different world. Their relationship was formed and maintained in a world without the internet and social media’s lure towards infidelity, a time and place where divorce was frowned upon and much less feasible, a time when married role models were aplenty.
Creating Relationship Rules That Work For You
So here we are, bombarded with so many conflicting views on whether marriage is outdated, whether it’s an old fashioned concept that doesn’t even work anymore. The result is people who are confused, lost, desperate for marriage or lifelong partnership but insecure about their ability to have it.
The simple solution (which is what my style of coaching is all about) is that we need to address which relationship rules we’re living by and here are some pointers for those who want the wonderful experience that marriage brings, or at the very least, want a lifelong monogamous relationship.
10 Tips For Defining Your Relationship Rules
- Take responsibility for designing your own relationship rules. Don’t leave it up to chance and don’t copy the rules that you see your friends, family and colleagues living by.
- Have a social life that is separate to your partner’s social life and decide how much time a week/month you’re going to spend apart socialising with your own separate social circle.
- Decide on how much quality time per week you’re going to spend together with your partner.
- Define how much alone time, “me-time”, you’re both going to have so that you get to enjoy some solitude, relax, reflect, dream, and do whatever you enjoy doing on your own.
- Define shared goals that you both want to achieve and work towards together. This helps maintain your bond and helps keep you moving in the same direction as one another. As I say in my book, work at growing together so you don’t grow apart.
- Is your partner allowed to have friends of the opposite sex? It’s got to be the same rule for both of you.
- Regardless of the feminist movement and praise for the independent woman, you both decide if one of you should be mainly or solely responsible for maintaining the house. This avoids unnecessary arguments and relationship dissatisfaction and should just form part of an exchange, e.g. he works longer hours and so she does the majority of the housework.
- Create rules that prevent discontent about anything that really bothers one another, e.g. when the in-laws are over, you spend at least half an hour with them before you leave your spouse to enjoy time with the family.
- Is a joint bank account good for you both or does it cause arguments and stress? If it’s the latter, for example, just split the bills how you see fit and do all your main day-to-day banking from your own separate accounts.
- What else do you need to create a rule for? What causes relationship problems and yet could be solved with a new relationship rule that you’re both happy with?