Guideline #1: Keep the Peace
The first guideline focuses on keeping the peace in your relationship. There are roles, within a marriage, that each partner will play at one time or another, and one of the most significant is that of peacemaker. This role involves the partner who can always bring things back to a place of calm and normalcy. Being the peacemaker will require you to manage your own emotions while assisting your spouse in also navigating through any frustration they might be feeling. It will require you to first process your thoughts and monitor your reactions so that you don’t overreact or bring any unhealthy communication habits into your marriage. You will have to think about your triggers, understand why they exist, and use techniques that will guide you back to calm before you can approach your partner. Keeping the peace is a great first step for having a drama free marriage.
Guideline #2: Maintain Open Lines of Communication
I have said it before and I will say it again, communication is absolutely everything in a marriage. Couples should be able to communicate how they are feeling, what they need, and how they feel when their needs aren’t being met. What causes most relationship drama and conflict is that someone didn’t get what they wanted. When that happens, there has to be some dialogue around it. Maintain open lines of communication by having a safe and judgement free space to discuss the challenges in the relationship. Even when it feels uncomfortable, couples should be able to express themselves freely and also listen to their partner do the same. Not sharing with one another on this level will lead to unresolved issues. If you aren’t opening up, things will continue to build and they will eventually come out in some form or fashion, usually with a lot of anger and negative energy. This is where the drama begins. Again, it can be avoided by simply discussing the issues in your relationships and working together to create solutions for what doesn’t seem to be working.
Guideline #3: Use Your Words Carefully
A drama free marriage will not just happen on its own; it will require some mindfulness and a lot of awareness. One thing I have taught over the years in my coaching practice, is how to use your words carefully. You don’t ever want to use what you know to hurt your spouse, that’s just messy if we’re being honest. Believe me, I get it. When your spouse has angered you, hurting them right back might feel like a natural response. But it won’t feel as good as you think it will. It’s going to hurt you the same way it will hurt them. And who wants to be responsible for purposefully hurting someone they love? So, be thoughtful around talking about your spouse’s past. Consider their feelings when you want to bring up something they have shared in their moments of vulnerability. Be kind with your words, especially when you’re angry. If you find this is difficult to do, I get it you’re human, take some time away from the conversation until you actually can be kind with your words. It’s okay to ask your spouse for a minute to gather your thoughts. You don’t want the regret of saying something you don’t mean and that your partner can’t forgive. Words are so powerful and they should always be handled with care.
Guideline #4: Don’t Jump to Conclusions
This guideline is one of my favorites because jumping to conclusions is what causes the most drama and mess in any relationship. To avoid this bad relationship habit just ask questions. You don’t have to wonder, worry, or guess when you can ask your partner for clarity. Your spouse is the expert for understanding their own thoughts and behaviors. They should be able to tell you why they said what they said and even what caused them to do what they did. All you have to do is ask. Even if they aren’t quite sure of their why in the moment, give them some time and believe me they will figure it out and have a response for you. Having the facts, straight from the source, will save you the headache of assuming they meant something they didn’t.
Guideline #5: Practice Love
Love is an action that must be practiced. If you are consistently practicing love there will be little time left for drama. You can demonstrate your love in several ways. Show your partner love in how you treat them. Do you show concern when something is bothering them? Are you checking in with them making sure their needs are being met? Can they feel your support and do they always feel encouraged by you? If not, seek ways to practice love. It will be a choice that you have to make every day and some days won’t be as easy as others. If you turn it into a daily mantra, by either writing it down and placing it somewhere visible, or saying it to yourself everyday, it will surely become a habit. A couple of phrases you can use are “Today, I will practice love with my spouse” or “I choose to practice love today and everyday”. Either of these phrases are a great place to start.
A drama free marriage is available to any couple who wants it. Of course relationships can be challenging and sometimes make avoiding drama difficult. But also, couples have choices. You and your spouse can make a decision to keep your marriage drama and messy free. Once that choice is made and you begin to follow the guidelines listed here, you will start to see the change you are seeking.