Making sure our relationships are healthy is vital to our mental wellbeing. IMO, there's no point being with someone if it isn't adding to your overall happiness and quality of life. Here, 14 women who have set rules for their partner that ensure their relationship is healthy and great and not toxic share how this works.
1."No threats to leave. Ever. If one of us is actually at that point we'll treat that seriously. It really helps solidify our trust and feeling like a team."
2."We have a code word, 'pineapple', for when the other person is getting frustrated or angry and we can sense it’s going to lead to a fight. The word just means we take a five minute breather away from each other and come back to see if we can talk it out more calmly."
3."No matter how busy we are, we always eat dinner together. Doesn't matter if its a bowl of cereal, we take the time to sit and eat and talk to each other."
4."During an argument, we always have to say to one another, 'I love you but I'm upset with you,' or something along those lines to keep us grounded and keep the dispute separate from our foundation. It usually goes something like, 'You know I love your big handsome face but I am not at all pleased with your opinion on this at all right now!' Sounds a little cheesy but it really helps to deescalate and keep perspective."
"No unvoiced expectations"
5."A safe word for everyday life. For example when my partner is teasing me and I really don't find it funny anymore, I just say the safe word and we take a time out. Maybe afterwards we discuss why it got that far, but usually the one who got safe worded can see what went wrong."
6."Our motto is always 'same team'. Communication is always key, it’s better to hurt the person's feelings with the truth than to hold on the resentment for years. A small burn will heal, scoured earth won’t."
7."If the dog is in one person's lap and they need something (more coffee, another beer) the other person gets it for them. And no calling the dog over to sit in your lap so you don't have to get up."
8."We thank each other for the chores we do instead of being resentful for the ones we 'always' do and the other 'never' does. Sometimes when I’m sweeping and vacuuming or cleaning the toilet I get all grumbly like, 'He never does this' and then I remember he always does the laundry and grocery shopping and that helps my grumbles."
"We ask before we randomly touch each other"
9. No unvoiced expectations. If you want or need something from the other person you have to let them know. That way they then have the option to act, ignore or be aware. But from that point on your emotional reaction is warranted. How can I be upset at you not unloading the dishwasher if I never told you I expected you to do that? I CAN be rightfully upset if I told him I expected him to support me through this hard time, and I found him fucking off playing video games. It doesn’t solve all the problems but it does allow you to know where the hurt feelings, that inevitably show up, go and if they are warranted."
10."We ask before we randomly touch each other (at least half the time). Had to set up this rule because he loves excess cuddling/touching, but as much as I love him I really need my space. So now in respect to me, he asks before suffocating me in hugs. It might seem like a weird rule, especially since we’ve been together five years. But only recently did I realise I shouldn’t just endure cuddles for his sake. He wants me to enjoy them, not to make me uncomfortable."
11."If either of us farts near the other, we have to say, 'I farted'. We always squeeze each others' butts before going to sleep."
12. "When either of us come home while the other person is home, we stop whatever we're doing and give a 'welcome home hug'. Like a solid 30 second to few minutes hug."
13."Never yelling. We both have had very destructive people in our lives and know once we let emotions dictate we are no longer being logical or respectful to the other. If ever we do get angry at the other we take a moment to calm down and share our perspective."
14."The pause button. We both have the right to stop a conversation if it is becoming unproductive."