Five Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking

Ditching some of the most well-known duo doctrines will actually strengthen your relationship. Here are some rules you should be rethinking.
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Five Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking

Ditching some of the most well-known duo doctrines will actually strengthen your relationship. Here are some rules you should be rethinking.

-Leslie Pepper, YouBeauty.com

happy couple

Ditching some of the most well-known duo doctrines will actually strengthen your relationship. Here are some rules you should be rethinking:

Rule Break #1: Never go to bed angry

The best time to fight is when you’re tired and cranky, right? Um, no. “The pure adrenaline rush of a fight can drive you to seek more and more of the same,” says Joy Davidson, Ph.D., a couples therapist in New York City. And the brain can actually reach a point where it’s unable to process logically and instead, raw emotion takes over. “That’s when you’re just riding the rush and start screaming ‘I want a divorce!’” she says.

Instead: Davidson suggests having a chat with your significant other to establish a time limit for any future arguments. That way if you find yourself in the middle of a heated discussion (okay, knock-down-drag-out-fight), you’ll keep that limit in mind. “It’s a lot like being in a couples therapy session where you know you have to be out the door in an hour,” says Davidson. When one of you notices that you’ve been going at it for, say, 45 minutes, start wrapping it up by taking turns making summary statements. You can even set a timer for 15 minutes, and when it dings, lights out!

Read Five Things You Never Thought to Negotiate

Rule Break #2: Designate a special, weekly date-night

Every relationship article encourages weekly date nights—and you may think that doing something utterly out of this world is a required component. Not so much. Coming up with a prodigious plan is stressful, not to mention expensive. Who has the money to pay for a night on the town plus a sitter these days?

Instead: Take advantage of pockets of time for mini-dates, suggests Marci Fox, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. Order in Chinese after the kids are in bed and cuddle on the couch watching a movie on DVR or sneak out and meet for lunch in the middle of the afternoon. “Whether it’s just the two of you taking a walk around the block or sitting on the back porch watching the sunset, the important thing is to show each other that you care,” says Fox.

Up next: Sleeping in the same bed, how to handle the big decisions, and more!


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