13 "Relationship Rules" That Have Proven To Prevent People Getting Into Huge Arguments With Their Partner

Since each couple has their own set of rules on how to make their relationship work, we asked married couples from the BuzzFeed Community: "What's an 'unspoken rule' for a successful marriage," and they provided very thoughtful and helpful answers. Here's what they had to say below:

1."Separate blankets, and we each do our own laundry. The separate laundry has made a huge difference as he's one to wait to wash clothes until he has nothing clean, whereas I wash when my basket gets full. We have had fewer arguments because of this."

Two people smiling at each other while lying on a bed with striped bedding
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2."'Do you want comfort or to look for solutions?' Both things are helpful, but there's a time and place for each. I sometimes wanted to yell at my husband, 'Bruh, stop trying to solve this and just let me bitch for a second.' Just validate my feelings (or not and tell me why) and then be there for me UNLESS I'm asking you to help fix it. Also, be with someone who will tell you the truth. I adore my husband. If he told me that I was being a jerk, I wouldn't accuse him of name-calling; I'd look at my actions and decide whether I was, in fact, being a jerk. Why? Because I trust him not to gaslight me, I trust him to want me to be my best self; I know that he is a kind and not malicious person, so there's something there if he felt he needed to say it."

"Be with someone who is going to have the hard conversations with you, about you, and with you, not just with your partner but with your beloved friends. If I hold you close, I am going to hold you accountable and call you out."


3."My husband and I have been married for 14 years, together for 17. I've seen so many friends and family member's marriages fall apart. My advice:"

Two people embracing by a window, sunlit from behind. They express affection and comfort

4."'Roll a D20' has solved so many little things over the years. My spouse and I are both not good at making decisions because we don't want to inconvenience the other person, so we came up with the 'D20 rule.' Who is going to take the kids to the dentist appointment tomorrow? Who is cooking dinner tonight? Who is taking our daughter to dance class? Who is making that phone call, we've both been putting off? Roll a D20. I'm odds, and he's evens. Problem solved!"


5."Separate bedrooms, assuming you have the space. It's not only for snoring. My husband and I simply cannot compromise on temperature: I like it warm; he'd sleep in the path of migrating penguins if he could. Sound: I need silence; he needs TV on. And animals: I refuse to allow pets in the bed; he likes kitty snuggles."

Woman sleeping in bed with white bedding and nearby nightstand, in a cozy bedroom setting
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6."We have a rule about fighting: you gotta be naked! It absolutely defuses the tension and anger most of the time since we only fight about dumb stuff. Been married almost 24 years, and when either of us gets spun up about something, the other will start to pretend to get naked. Makes us both crack up!"


7."Boomer here. Just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last December. When my spouse and I were starting out, we went to a married couple's dinner party—just us four. While we were sitting in the living room, our friends were upstairs having a very cruel argument. Oh, the words they screamed at each other were the kind you can't forgive or forget, and they broke our hearts. Then and there, we promised never to speak that way to each other, and we stuck to our promise. Kindness wins; patience, tolerance, and understanding have been our foundation. Respect is a biggie. And being too stubborn to quit and walk away during the rough spots works wonders. I am so thankful we found and still have each other."

Two people having a conversation, one appears distressed with their head in hands, the other gestures as if explaining
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8."Present a united front to the world and your family by talking about things beforehand because people WILL randomly bring it up. And you will be left with a sour taste in your mouth if you lie that you're fine with whatever it is. Resentment doesn't just go away; it builds. So, talk it out, go to bed angry, sleep on it, and promise to talk in the morning when everyone is rested and less emotional. Things always seem much worse when you're tired. Go to bed, even if you're angry."


9."We're thirteen years happily married. Pick your battles, never get lazy or careless about your marriage, do NOT complain about your spouse to other people, say 'I love you' a lot, don't keep score, always give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, and be silly together!"

Two women embracing and touching foreheads affectionately
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10."Not married yet, but in six months, I will be. We've been together for almost six years. I'm very weird about anything gross, and I hate soggy food, so if there’s a few dishes in the sink that might have something on it or if the plates were washed but the sink hasn’t yet, my fiancé will take care of it. I take care of the bathrooms, wash the towels and blankets, and I put clean dishes away. This has been working for us because I deal with stuff he doesn’t want to do and vice versa. He actually makes fun of how much I have physical reactions to it."


11."I make a point to sit and hold hands when we are upset or angry. It’s a kinesthetic grounding connection to the fact that we love each other, and it makes it harder to speak out of anger."

Close-up of an elderly person's hand resting on their lap showcasing a watch
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12."Learn how to use 'I' statements to decrease defensiveness. It makes people actually listen to you instead of getting up in arms to defend themselves."


13."Respect and courtesy are soooo huge. My husband will not turn on a light in the morning and use the microwave light to try and not disturb me so I can sleep one hour longer than him. Little things go such a long way, and doing it for each other will only keep that going."

A modern kitchen with stainless steel stove, tiled backsplash, and wooden cabinets
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Are you in a long-term relationship and want to give advice on what makes your relationship successful? Share with us in the comments below: