Education, Health, and Safety

My husband and I have strict rules for our marriage – people say we’re toxic

EVERY marriage is different, and every couple has different boundaries for navigating the world.

One woman faced severe trolling when she shared her “marriage rules” online, insisting the boundaries work for herself and her husband.

Mom Bailey McPherson knew that her marriage rules would likely be unpopular, titling her TikTok video, “Rules my Husband and I have for our marriage that make people ANGRY.”

The young mom listed her marriage rules in two separate videos, and provided a follow-up explaining her mindset behind the controversial ideas, too.

The very first item on the list was one of the most controversial: “no friends of the opposite sex.”

“No work girlfriends/boyfriends or being alone with the opposite sex,” McPherson added.

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“No texting the opposite sex without the other knowing” was also on the list.

McPherson and her husband have rules about content consumption, too.

Along with “no watching pornography,” the couple also forbids “lusting after others,” which McPherson explained to mean following “scandalous” pages on social media.

McPherson turned comments off on TikTok, but her video made it to Reddit and Twitter, where users labeled the rules “cringe” and “toxic.”

In one Reddit thread, trolls slammed McPherson and her husband for their strict policies.

“If you have rules in you're relationship like ‘don't meet/text/speak with X' or something like that you're in a toxic relationship,” one commenter argued.

“I love you and I say I trust you, but could you just like…not talk to half the population?” said a user imagining a hypothetical conversation between the husband and wife.

Some commenters said they understand the rules the McPhersons have put in place, even if they seem strange at first.

“We have mutual friends of both sexes, he texts the guys, I text the girls,” one woman explained. “He obviously talks to his female family members, and I obviously talk to my male family members. But this works for us.”

The Reddit user added that while her own marriage follows similar guidelines, it was strange for McPherson to be “bragging” online, and taking to TikTok for a “weird power trip.”

McPherson posted a follow-up video to address the backlash – and what she said were misconceptions about her “insecurities.”

“It's not a lack of trust thing, so much as it's a boundary of respect,” McPherson told her viewers. “As a married woman, I have no need for a companionship with another man that I can't get from my husband.”

“There have been a lot of comments that are like, ‘these are red flags,'” she added.

“To me, or my husband, it would be a red flag if my partner couldn't respect those boundaries.”

And the pair didn't completely cut off all their friends upon taking their wedding vows.

“We both have people from our pasts who we catch up with now and then,” McPherson explained.

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“If it's in person, we bring our spouse along,” she said, and if it's over the phone, they talk about the conversation after.

Transparency is the most important aspect. “It's never in secrecy,” McPherson emphasized.

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