For BRIDES, by Erin Celletti.
Relationships certainly don’t come with a handbook...
While we love to love love, it’s important to note that being in a committed relationship can be difficult, sometimes. One thing is for certain; romantic partnerships don’t come with a handbook. (Although we wish they did!) Don’t worry — that’s where we come in with our top relationship rules everyone should follow.
Discuss Major Purchases How you divide your income, savings and expenses in your relationship is entirely up to you and your partner — and only you and your partner. You both know what’s best, and what works. However, this still comes with a bit of stipulation. Any major purchase (think anything above or beyond what would be considered standard or expected purchases) should be discussed. Don’t think of this as asking for permission; use it as a communication opportunity to discuss budgeting and the impact of the purchase. If you’re confused, just ask yourself, “If they bought this without telling me, would I mind?” If there’s any hesitation — talk about it. Also always keep in mind that your spouse’s perspective may be different than your own.
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Keep Private Matters, Private While your bestie and your mom may know most of what goes on in your life, they don’t need to know everything (and they shouldn’t). Whatever relationship aspects or struggles you or your love consider private need to remain private. Anything that is told to you in confidence needs to remain just that. A general rule of thumb here would be that if you have to think twice before you share something your partner might not want you to, err on the side of caution.
Be Honest Honesty is the best policy — always. While some are able to argue that small white lies are helpful or harmful to relationships, lying to your partner is never okay. While it may be difficult to break bad news to your partner or tell them something they might not want to hear, remember that love is stronger than any other bond, and regardless of what is going on, getting through it together will always be far more beneficial than being dishonest about it. Lying can break trust — and if you don’t have trust, your marriage could be headed for trouble.
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Compromise It’s been said that compromise is a cornerstone of marriage, and we have to agree. It’s just not possible for two individuals to be consistently on the same page, at every point of the day, every day. To be honest, it would be weird if you were. Here in lies the art of compromise. You can’t always have your way — and neither can your partner.
Don’t Assume We all know the old saying, “assuming makes an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.” To avoid being an “ass” and be in a strong and healthy marriage, avoid assumptions at all costs. A big component of marriage is communication, and when you assume, you’re not communicating. Instead of drawing (or jumping to) conclusions on your own, talk to your partner, clarify any perspectives and feelings, and move forward with knowledge, not assumptions.
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