Fool-Proof Your Marriage | What are Your Rules?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, vonderauvisuals

I listen to The Bert Show most days on the way to work and last week Bert profiled Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s rules for “fool-proofing’ their marriage.

Lambert and Shelton have three rules:

1.) See each other every two weeks (because they are both on the road).

2.) Miranda can check Shelton’s texts (oh texting).

3.) She chaperones her husband on The Voice (sounds like a parent/child rule, but anyways…).

Bert asked other couples to call in and share the ways they ‘fool-proof’ their relationships. I jotted down a few to give you an idea:

  • No hard conversations after 10pm
  • No passwords on computers, iPads
  • Passwords for social media are shared with spouse.
  • No cursing or nasty language in a fight.
  • Always talk to your spouse FIRST before going to a friend or family member.

All great rules, wouldn’t you say? One woman called in and said, “He can look at other women, he can watch as much porn as he wants, but he is not allowed to have conversations with or message other women.” Yikes. I thought it was interesting she considered a Twitter message more serious than watching porn.

I love Bert’s radio show because it gives me a great glimpse into real people’s lives and into culture. Did you know 70% of divorce cases call social media into question (because so many affairs start with innocent messages). Crazy, right?

Michael and I have a few rules of our own in marriage to keep our marriage protected.

  • No 1:1 meetings or meals with someone of the opposite sex.
  • No emotional discussions with someone of the opposite sex (including giving or taking advice and especially talking about our spouse).
  • If someone of the opposite sex emails us, messages us, etc. about something personal-we let each other know.
  • If someone of the opposite sex pays extra attention to us, we let the other know.

It might sound too rigid, but we listened to this great series when we were dating called Guardrails and were absolutely convinced that we would never regret setting strict boundaries to keep our marriage safe. Occasionally, we run into situations where there is an exception or something we can’t avoid, but isn’t it better for a surprise one on one coffee or an emotional email to set off warning signals rather than waiting until it’s too late?

Michael and I don’t believe you can ever be too careful with a marriage. Grey, nonspecific boundaries often lead to specific regrets.

What about you? What rules  do you have in your relationship? What is off-limits for you?

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9 Responses to “Fool-Proof Your Marriage | What are Your Rules?”
  1. Melanie says:

    I’m so thankful that through Christ, we can be free from our chains. These marriages with rules that allow some things but not others are lacking trust, and most importantly, the love of Christ. I like your perspective, which protects your hearts by setting realistic boundaries and portrays what true freedom in a marriage looks like. Thank you for speaking truth, Ruthie.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Agree about the ‘lacking trust’ part. It’s hard to know what is wisdom and what shows a lack of trust, isn’t it? Neither Michael nor I are jealous people, so I think this helps the entire situation.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Lynne says:

    Thank you for this. I recently got out of a relationship that had my boyfriend “emailing” other women. Honestly, I felt kind of stupid not knowing. The emails were always him emailing first, telling girls he was thinking about them”…”Sending pictures of them together”, “telling them he was dreaming about them.” God in His goodness, allowed me to find out about it.

    To be honest, before this happened to me I had no idea of the boundaries I needed to put up. I assumed trust. Still trying to learn how that really should look, but thankful for what I have learned and looking forward to some day being able say that in my relationship “we have guardrails.”

    Grateful for Christ who portrays perfect love and trust! Keeping Him first has never been so real to me!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Lynne,

      I am so sorry this happened to you! There is such a fine line between wisdom & trust-and unfortunately it’s hard to come to grips with. I think I need to write a blog post about this! :)

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Jessica says:

    I am loving your blog, both yours and Michaels posts. I started reading your blog about a year ago when I was struggling with singleness, being happy where I was and praying for a real man! I have always been encouraged. I met a wonderful man and just as you finished up your blogs about info for the upcoming book ( I can’t wait to share it with friends) I got engaged and I am loving that over the last few weeks you have been talking about marriage!! I have even emailed several blog posts to my fiancé! Thank you for your honest words and your willingness to share your personal life with others!!

  4. Danelle says:

    so so true. You and Michael are wise to set these rules in place now. Love it, Ruthie. Thanks for the advice/encouragement!

    “It all starts at the coffee pot…” my mom would warn.

  5. Joanna says:

    Our whole church is doing the Guardrails series by Andy Stanley right now!!! It’s awesome!

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