Whatever religion (or non-religion) you adhere to (or don’t adhere to), the Bible has some sound advice you can use to improve your relationship. (Of course, it has some bad advice, too: Let’s just ignore that whole “women submit to your husbands” thing.) But it’s hard to argue with “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” And these, too:
You shall have no other gods before me
Relationship translation: You don’t have to love your partner every minute of every day (shit happens), but you do have to love them more than anyone else. And if you’re turning to someone else all the time, then it’s time to reassess the relationship.
You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
Here, “other gods” = anything that will kill a good thing within your relationship. Spending too much time at the office, looking at too much porn, doing too many drugs. We can become slaves to a lot of bad behaviors that will kill a good thing with the person we love.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
I don’t think this means we shouldn’t swear when we drop something heavy on our goddam foot, just that it’s evil to lie and use GOD’S name to cover your ass. Like, “I swear to God I didn’t sleep with that waitress.” “I swear to GOD I didn’t touch that stripper’s butt.” (Because you shouldn’t be lying to your partner, period.)
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Nobody expects you turn Amish on Sundays (unless you’re Amish), but could we have one day that we chill a little, put down the laptop, and take a walk outside, and take note of our amazing world? Good for the spirit, and good for every relationship.
Honor your father and your mother.
Nobody’s likes a mamma’s boy, but just don’t be an asshole to your parents. You know what they say: A man will treat you the way he treats his mother.
You shall not murder.
DEFINITELY don’t kill your S.O., obviously. But we don’t have to be so literal. Don’t kill their dreams. Don’t suck the life out of them.
You shall not commit adultery.
This one’s easy. You know what adultery is — sexting your coworker, meeting someone for drinks and not telling your boyfriend, having emotional intimacy outside the relationship, etc. Even if it’s not actual sex, if it’s dishonest, it’s bad.
You shall not steal.
If you are in a relationship, there is a lot of sharing involved — even sometimes with things like toothbrushes. But also don’t take things that don’t belong to you at all. Don’t take credit for her ideas. Don’t take away his identity. Don’t steal her trust and her dignity. Basically, don’t be a dick.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
I guess this means don’t gossip, but actually gossiping a little with your partner can be funny and bond-forming as long as you keep it to yourselves. If you think the neighbor is a total mess and you saw her passed out face down on the sidewalk last night or something, laugh about it over the breakfast table but don’t tell all of your friends. (I hope you got her help.)
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Coveting stuff is fun sometimes, covet all you want. Just don’t spend your time lusting after the stuff that other people have. Don’t be jealous because other people seem to be happy in their relationships (be happy for them! Or don’t — they might not actually be happy). Don’t flirt with your best friend’s boyfriend. Try to be happy for what other people have and find something that is real and yours.