Couples Signing Relationship Contracts

Wednesday, February 5th 2014, 11:07 pm
By: News 9

Steve and Lindsay Hix love spending time together. They're adjusting to married life, one year after tying the knot.

"We were both so set in our ways," Lindsay said. "It's just taken some time to get to know those little habits."

Instead of going with the flow, some couples are laying out the ground rules before walking down the aisle with a relationship contract, a written agreement drawn up by an attorney. It lists anything from how often they have sex, how much weight they're allowed to gain, even what color clothes they can't wear.

Counselor Sarah McFadden sees the positive and negative sides.

"It may open a line of communications for couples as they're first starting to date or when we first get married," McFadden said.

But she said putting conditions on your relationship can backfire.

McFadden said, "Things like that make you feel like it's not safe to connect in a healthy way with their spouse or their partner."

After 40 years of marriage, Stan and Jayme McLaughlin, don't agree on everything.

"Our biggest point of contention is probably HGTV vs. ESPN," Stan said.

But the McLaughlins say pet peeves shouldn't define a marriage.

"In the grand scheme of things, when you really get into the thick of what marriage is, that doesn't matter," Jayme said. "Our goals and our values and our characters, do they all measure up? They've got to. You can't get that in a contract."

Steve and Lindsay agree.

"You have to be flexible and you have to give and take," Steve said.

"When we went into our marriage, we knew it was for better, for worse," Lindsay added. "Whether I left my towels on the floor or whether he leaves dishes in the sink. We were going into it with that commitment."

We checked with several counselors and attorney and they did not have any clients who have drawn up relationship contracts.

Most Bizarre Relationship Contracts:

* No piano playing while the husband is home

* Wife can't wear anything green

* Husband gets $100,000 if wife weighs over 170 pounds

* Wife is not allowed to cut her hair

* If husband cheats, he must pay the wife a "bonus" of up to $5,000,000

The McLaughlins and Hix' share the best and worst marital advice they received:

Best Advice:

* Don't go to bed mad

* Pick your battles. Is it worth the relationship?

* Look at each other's point of view

* Date for all 4 seasons

* Don't start a habit or chore now that you're not willing to do for the rest of the marriage

* Don't worry so much about the wedding. Focus more on the marriage

* Understand neither is perfect

Worst Advice:

* Let her know who's boss

* Don't let marriage change you

* Have a Plan B