By Eric on April 28, 2011 27

The Williamses’ House Rules

Sometimes it’s fun to reflect on the rules that we have created for ourselves over the past five years. When we got married, we essentially started with a clean slate. As we discovered things that weren’t working, or that were, we would create a mutually agreed-upon rule and move forward.

House Rules

Disclaimer: We’re certainly not perfect, and rules are sometimes broken, so take these with a grain of salt.

1. When you drop something or make a large noise, and the other half is in another room, and you are OK, you must yell, “I’m OK!” This rule was established in January 2007. I was in the shower and Kels was still sleeping. For some reason, I got light-headed and felt like I was going to pass out. My vision went dark and I lost my hearing for a second, kind of like the moment when the doctor is putting you under. I started feeling myself fall and, out of instinct, tried grabbing on to anything I could (which is not much in a shower). Down I went, I guess. I woke up some time later in the fetal position on the shower floor. I was OK, but felt dizzy. I crawled out of the shower and yelled for Kels. She felt so bad. She had heard the loud noise, but she is such a heavy sleeper, she just went back to sleep. Now, every time one of us drops something or makes a crashing noise, we yell, “I’m OK!”

2. No crying, no whining, no grumpers. We stole this rule from the Smith clan. When M&M start to get fussy, Momma Smith will say, “No crying, no whining, no grumpers.” The twins will actually say this to each other as well. One time I asked Myah what was wrong with Maysen and her response was, “I ‘unno, crying grumpers.” We’ve adopted this rule for when one of us is being a diva about something silly. Sometimes it just takes someone being honest with you (in love) to tell you that you’re acting like a child.

3. No scaring Kelsey. I used to hide around the house and scare Kels. She is afraid of the dark, so it’s entirely too easy. This was uber fun for me, but it led to some heated discussions afterward. Early in our marriage I had a hard time distinguishing between something that was funny to me, but not funny to Kels. When I scared her, what I was really doing was losing her trust. I was losing the trust that she had in me being able to protect her. (The kid in me has to hold back on this a lot…)

Those are some of the oddball rules that we try to follow in la Casa de Williams.

How about you, any not-so-normal rules out there?


Husband to Kelsey. Father to Rooney. Follower of Jesus. Born and raised in Iowa. I like blogging. Bulleted lists excite me. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. My husband Drew (that’s his nickname, since you were talking about nicknames the other day. Makes it easy since both he and my dad are called Andrew. And I have a tattoo in his name and my dad likes to tell everyone that his daughter loves him so much she got his name tattooed… ANYWAY) and I don’t have too many rules since we are fairly newly married and still working things out. One rule is that Drew is not allowed to buy books. He is on a total ban as he bought so many they don’t fit onto 4 bookshelves. Then he started a theological degree and told me that “books about God shouldn’t count.” Husbands!
    Hannah xo

  2. Ha! The “I’m OK!” rule cracks me up – not because of your shower story – scary, I have had that happen to me on more than one occasion, I seem to faint easily {usually have to eat a little bit before I get in the shower, something about waking up with low blood sugar and hot temperatures don’t mix well}. But, I just kind of picture you guys randomly screaming “I’m OK!” and it makes me laugh.

  3. We have a rule that we if you are the first to leave in the morning, you have to say goodbye to the other person. Mark usually leaves first (we live 5 minutes from my office) and sometimes he’s hear the music on in my room, or the my door would be closed while I was getting ready, so he’d just leave. I explained that doing that hurt my feelings- he thought he was being considerate and not bothering me. So now we always say “Bye, have a good day!” when we leave. It’s the little things :)

    • Oh, this is a good rule! I completely agree. Eric used to leave the house before I even woke up, but he still had to come kiss me–even if I was out! :)

  4. I don’t know if this is a rule or more of a habit, but it’s strange nonetheless so I thought I’d share.

    Sometime late into our relationship, I started noticing whenever we were in the car together and we reached our destination, we’d give eachother a quick kiss before we got out of the car. Finally, one day I asked, ‘Why do we do this? We’re at Menards. Big deal.’ My husband shrugged and said, ‘I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we made it safely.’

    So, now before getting out of the car, or on the rare occasion, plane, it’s a rule to kiss and congratulate eachother on another successful safe journey to… where ever.

    • I like this one! That’s a solid rule. Giving thanks is always a great idea. I imagine a solid business hand shake after the kiss and a “congratulations.” A hand shake where you use your left hand to grasp the wrist. It means you’re all business.

    • My husband and I do a quick kiss at the start of a road trip. I started it because my parents always did the same thing. After 35 years of marriage and safe travels, I’d say it’s working.

  5. We have a similar rule to number 1 in our house after this one incident about two years ago when I was laughing at something so hard that I inhaled part of a tortilla chip right down my throat and it blocked my wind pipe, and I started choking. I popped up, ran to the kitchen sink, trying desperately to dislodge the chip and trying to squeak out “I’m choking” which is hard to do when you can’t breathe. Amy just kept right on eating chips on the couch and laughing because I guess she thought I thought it would be funny to pretend like I was choking to death. Given some of the stuff I’ve pulled, it’s not that hard to see where she was coming from. Right about the time I came to terms with the fact that I was going to die on the kitchen floor while amy finished her margarita 6 feet away from me, I managed to pound my chest hard enough with my fist to dislodge the chip myself.

    That night we made two new rules.
    1. Amy will never sit idly by while I slowly pass away in front of her. And
    2. I will never try to trick Amy into thinking I’m dying, so there’s no confusion when it’s real.

  6. First time back in a while, Kelsey, and I’m glad I showed up for this one. Your rules are great!

    On the scaring you thing (I feel the same way about scaring people! Remember that case in Iowa a few years back… the fiance who accidentally shot his bride to be because she and a friend were hiding in the closet to scare him…? Yikes.), I went to a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago, and they wrote their own wedding vows. I had heard before that my friend, Annie, whose wedding this was, and her fiance were into scaring each other, but to hear them each promise to love, take care of, and jump out and scare the other person for the rest of their lives in their wedding vows was too funny.

    Keep up the awesome stories, Kels! You’re a blessing! :)

    • I’m so glad those two, who like to be scared, found each other! :) There is one really funny story of Eric scaring me that I think I’ll be sharing soon…it’s kind of weird, but too good not to share.

  7. haha! these rules are funny. I would never think to establish “house rules” as a grown adult, but they totally make sense!! If we were to do some house rules, the first one would be “No tickling Kimmie” Just because I laugh doesn’t mean it’s funny. I hate it.

    • Oh my gosh, I totally agree. Being tickled is the worst! I am bad, though, and do annoying things like that to Eric just to get a reaction…

  8. Okay, after reading those comments, another house rule came to mind, it’s actually a house rule I had to follow when I was living at home with my parents, my mom forced us to, and now it’s just habit. When I get home from work, husband needs to greet me, and vice versa. Since our garage is right under the house, it’s impossible to not hear unless you’re sleeping. The preferred method is opening the door to welcome me in, but more often then not, it’s just a yell from upstairs, “HI SWEETIE!!!” I hate being unacknowledged when I get home after a long day at work.

    • I do this too! My family always said “Hello!” when entering the house. P. thought it was strange at first. Now I notice that he waits for me to come home and greets me. When he comes home, I think he loves to here me calling “Hello? hello? hello?” before he has a chance to say it.

  9. Great rules!! Ian and I have a similar rule (long distance version) where we ALWAYS call when we get home, no matter how late. To know we’re safe. I love these little anecdotes about married life!

  10. When my husband and I were dating, we agreed that if one of us said “Kiss me,” the other would ALWAYS oblige. It’s cutesy and mushy, yes, but it has also turned into a great diffusing tool. If either of us is overly stressed out or worked up, the other commands kisses until the crazy is gone.

  11. Oh my gosh, i’m cracking up about the first rule! So hilarious! I’m ok!

  12. Those are great rules. I can totally relate to the scaring one because I HATE getting scared!! I will have to adopt that (and probably the others as well) eventually :)

  13. I am enjoying reading the comments just as much as your post and felt like I have to chime in.

    I’m not married yet, and living on my own, but my boyfriend on I are getting married in 2 years and have established some rules already; like:

    If we are fighting and don’t feel like speaking to each other (or know that we can only say hurtful things) we have to quietly sit with each other until we work out our negative feelings, then talk about it rationally after.

    This rule was established after we so often walked away from each other with the hopes of saving the other from hurtful words, when all we were doing was making the other feel worse for being left alone after an open-ended argument.

    More often than not, I make funny faces at Nash while we are “being quiet” and it always breaks the ice and turns both our moods around! :)

  14. These are great rules. We have rule #1 too, although I always yell “Nothing! Don’t come in here!” Because I think it is funnier.

  15. Hubby was having too much fun with me when I was pregnant one night (I’m really nauseous when pregnant but I was better than the first half of the pregnancy had been…) I was chasing him around the apartment and he hid…IN THE DARK! It was so scary I yelled at him! So much so I went to the bathroom to throw up (we had smoothies earlier). It was AWFUL! I told him…NEVER again! I’m afraid of the dark too and the unknown/unseen! eek!

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