20 Married Women Share Their Unspoken Rules For A Successful Marriage

Published 1 year ago

Weddings seem like the ultimate end to the fairytale, but as many folks who’ve been married tell us, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, marriage is the ‘ultimate game of your lifetime’ and if you want it to succeed you need to know how to play the game by putting in the work and commitment

Someone got curious about what that meant so they asked, “Married women, what are the unspoken rules for a successful marriage?” on an Ask Women subreddit. Netizens delivered their thoughts and useful pieces of advice from which we’ve shared a few of the more genuine suggestions below.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: foureveralways, Priscilla Du Preez

Something I just learned after 25 years,

“Tell me what you think I said”

So many fights, accusations, and cheating was because he “heard” something other than what I said.

Hearing is NOT the same as listening


Image source: Nuchie129, Priscilla Du Preez

Understand that some things are just going to be the price of admission and accept the person you married. Leaves a trail of c**p when they come home for the day or forget the wet towel on the bed… easier to pick it up rather than get angry and just accept it’s part of getting this person in your life.

Sometimes the price of admission is too damn high (insert random destructive behavior). For me, the wet towel is annoying but it’s worth the price of admission.


Image source: Amarminalie, Cody Black

They’re not a mind reader – Whatever you expect, whatever is on your mind, spell it out clearly.

Edit: inclusivity


Image source: Mapamela_, Külli Kittus

Take accountability and apologize. It’s us vs the problem.


Image source: littleAggieG, Karolina Grabowska

1. Have sex with your spouse. If it feels like it’s been a while since you’ve had sex, communicate a plan to have sex.

2. “I told you so” doesn’t make any situation better. Always consider if you’d rather be happy or be right.

3. Acknowledge the little things your spouse does. When they’ve made you happy, let them know.


Image source: anon, Mayur Gala

Love your partner the way they are receptive of love; not the way YOU are receptive of love. In that, also communicate clearly in which ways you are receptive of love as well.


I’ve been happily married for 10 years and this feels like the best time in our marriage.

Learning about each other’s attachment styles is so important. No one ever told me about this, but this truly saved our marriage early on. After learning how our attachment styles affect the way we treat each other, the way we argue, and how much time we like to spend around each other it changed how we saw each other’s behavior.

For example he loves to spend time with me even if it’s just sitting in the same room and being near me, whereas I love to be around him, but I need my alone time to recharge. This caused issues with him feeling rejected and like I didn’t love being around him and caused insecurities in him. Also, he likes to solve arguments right away and never wanted us to go to sleep mad, but I need to walk away and cool off before I say something I don’t mean in the heat of the moment. I’d rather get my thoughts together and come back level headed to talk to him. After going to therapy and learning that we both need a different approach, we are able to understand each other’s point of view better and know how to communicate what we need.

But really the biggest thing is communication. Everything is so much better when we’re both on the same page and are making decisions together. Learn each other’s strengths and work together, not against each other. He’s my best friend, and it’s us against the world. ?

Image source: anistica


Image source: corkybelle1890, Sora Khan

Allowing each other to decompress after work. I go upstairs and f**k around for about an hour while he plays video games. I put on a mask, organize my clothes, shower, do my nails, read, and watch my TV shows. Take turns with responsibilities, i.e., bathing little ones, making dinner, and doing laundry. If he has the time in his schedule, he’ll do it. If I have the time in my schedule, I’ll do it. At this point, he has more free time, so he does more chores, but I bring in more money right now. It’s balanced.

Tag team EVERYTHING. Teamwork really makes the dream work. If things seem unfair to you sometimes, they likely are, and that’s normal. But I guarantee things are equally unfair for him/her/them at times.

Neither partner should ever have to compromise what they want and need for the other person. You both should work hard to make sure everyone gets as big a piece of the pie as they want, even if you both have to make two pies.

Edit: I also want to add, don’t get mad at your partner for something you don’t want them to get mad at you about. If they forget to give the dog their medicine when it is their job that day, let it go. Speak up when it’s an ongoing thing, but we all get tired and let things slip once in a while. Let it go. Let the dishes sit in the sink once in a while, let the dog poop sit in the yard for a few days, get fast food when you’re both too tired to cook. If you can say, “overall,” you’re making it. Let some things slide.


It takes 5 positive interactions to cancel out 1 negative experience in conflicts. This means that even within conflicts it’s important to laugh, be playful, tell each other you love one another, support each others emotions, show affection, hold hands, be interested in what the other has to say, empathize, show acceptance, find opportunities to agree.

Of course, it’s easiest to give eachother these positive interactions in conflict when you practice them when you’re not in conflict. Make positive interactions the standard in your relationship. A gentle touch as you walk by, a quick thank you for something they’ve done (even if it’s their job), or an i love you before you both head off to work doesn’t take a lot of work but it can make a huge impact.

Image source: blewberyBOOM


Image source: redpinkbluepurple, Kenny Eliason

I’ve been with my husband for 15 years. Give compliments often and avoid being overly critical. Nobody likes being criticized or made to feel like a failure. When I wanted him to do something, I learned to phrase it differently, I used to say, “Do this, or can you do that?” Nobody likes being told what to do, and I don’t enjoy telling my husband what to do because it makes me feel like I’m mothering him. Instead, I say, “Can you help me with cleaning the kitchen?” And we do the activity together. We make it fun and it gets done in half the time. Also, (i know I’m generalizing here), but I’ve noticed men like to problem solve and be our heroes. So, I have also presented chores as a problem for him to solve and asked for his help and input. For example, (true story), “honey, the kitchen has been getting messy after dinner, and I noticed a roach the other day! How do we get rid of them? How can we solve this?” And I let him come up with the plan. That night, we ended up cleaning the whole kitchen together, and he took the initiative to mop by himself without me asking or telling him. He also went to Home Depot that weekend and got a bucket of insect killer to spray around the parameter outside the house. Instead of telling my husband what to do, I let him come up with the solution. I’ve noticed they’re more motivated that way.


I’m a lesbian, but ai guess this marriage thing is pretty universal.

I’ve been with my wife for 12 years now

1) Your spouse should be your best friend. It makes day-to-day life so light and fun… If your partner is your favorite person, everything comes easier.

2) Give more than you expect. Of course this doesn’t apply if you feel you are being used or abused, but in a loving relationship it turns into a healthy, pleasurable competition of who Gives more, who helps out more.

3) Communication. It seems obvious, but do you really talk to your partner about stuff that bother you? Can you talk to your spouse about anything without being judged? This is very important to build trust and partnership.

4) Freedom to live your separate life! It’s very important and healthy in a long relationship for you to be able to go out with your friends and just do your own thing once in a while.

Image source: thebesttoaster


Image source: cliopedant, Austin Kehmeier

Marriage is a partnership, not a codependency-ship. You each need to have some independence and your own personalities, interests, etc, as well as your relationship. Neither party should lose themselves in the other’s problems.

Try before you buy. Live together, travel together, get physically and emotionally intimate. Make difficult decisions and see how they act when they don’t get their way.

Make sure your partner’s good intent is matched by their actions, and make sure you follow through as well. Have and expect integrity.

At no time should you feel like your partner is an antagonist. They are your collaborator and equal.


Like each other. If your whole relationship is based on looks, sex, and romantic attraction it’s not going to last. You’re both going to get old and ugly someday (if you’re lucky), and sometimes sooner than later.

If you don’t find each other interesting as people, or have a genuine fondness for the other person…. your relationship is probably not going to last through the first serious illness or personal struggle.

Image source: strikes-twice


What you see and get during the dating years is as good as it will ever get. If you want more or feel he isn’t trying hard then move on.

Getting along with each other’s family does make a difference. There might be a person here or there but overall enjoying each other’s family will help significantly.

It’s not “happy wife happy life” it’s “happy spouse happy house”.

Image source: PotatoGuilty319


Oh. COMMIT. Don’t have one foot out the door. Don’t threaten divorce. Don’t threaten to leave. If you say that, just leave. Or be prepared to work extra hard to demonstrate that you won’t leave.

Commit. Don’t be a pansy. Take your commitments seriously.

Image source: Emcemcemcemc


Image source: Quick-Cattle-7720, Eric Ward

It’s not my husband’s responsibility to make me happy. There have been times when my mental health hasn’t been great and there was nothing he could have done to change that if he tried.
We are incredibly supportive with each other but ultimately take responsibility for our own MH and happiness.
We have been together 17 years and very happy.


Image source: TigerMumNZ, BBiDDac

My husband knew a couple who disagreed on where the tomato sauce (ketchup) belonged. One said pantry, the other said fridge. Every screaming argument they had spiralled back to the bottle of sauce. My husband suggested getting a bottle each to avoid the fight all together. This resulted in another screaming match, because it was never about the bottle it was about who was right.

My husband and I live by the analogy that we can have “two bottles of sauce” to avoid the fight.


Image source: MLAheading, Priscilla Du Preez

Have something you laugh about together often or every day. My hubs makes me laugh every day. It’s a cornerstone for us.

Share a big hug when you get home each day. Try hugging for at least 30 seconds.

Recall the early days sometimes. The falling in love. The journey.


Image source: girlwithsilvereyes, Everton Vila

It’s us against the world, baby.

But seriously, we’re a team. I’m his biggest fan and he’s mine. We support each other, we believe if one of us succeeds we both succeed and if one is us falls behind, the other helps them catch up or takes the lead for a bit.

Also, it helps if you like to do different chores.


Image source: staysmokin91, Taylor Smith

Be true friends first. Its easier to be married to a best friend, that never goes away. Lust goes away pretty fast.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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askwomen, marriage, marriage tips, relationships, successful marriage tips, women, women's issues
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