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10 Signs Your Marriage Is Divorce-Proof, According to Therapists

These indicate a happy relationship for many years to come.

While we all want to believe in the fairytale of forever, saying "I do" doesn't guarantee you and your partner will be in love for eternity. Marriage takes constant work and as Adam Levine once put it, "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along." Of course, you never know what life might throw at you, but if you see the following signs in your marriage, therapists say your relationship is likely built to last. Keep reading for the top signs that your marriage is divorce-proof.

RELATED: 7 Things Divorced People Wish They Had Done Differently in Their Marriage.

You're both equally dedicated to the relationship.

Smiling couple hugging one another looking out the window.
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If you and your partner are equally invested in the relationship, it's a great sign that things are going to stay on track in your marriage.

This means having "open dialogue, communicating openly and honestly, and making compromises when needed," Sarah Watson, PsyD, certified coach and the chief operating officer at BPTLAB tells Best Life.

"Investing in your marriage is important because it allows you to develop a deeper understanding of each other, while also building trust and communication. When spouses invest time in the relationship, they develop a sense of security, and their bond is strengthened," she says.

Even the best of marriages require work, but if both parties are on board with doing whatever it takes for your marriage to survive, you've already won half the battle.

You're good friends.

man and woman dancing in the kitchen
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Does your spouse know how to make you laugh? Do you love spending time together? Can you confide in your partner? These are all qualities of a great friendship, which can be just as important as sexual chemistry. While those butterflies may fade over the years, friendship can stand the test of time.

"When you and your spouse consider one another good friends and are able to convey that sense of friendship throughout your lives, this is a divorce-proof sign," says Suzanne Degges-White, LCPC, at Choosing Therapy. "Friendship requires mutual trust, honesty, and support—these must all be in place for a romantic relationship, as well, to thrive."

RELATED: 5 Signs Your Relationship Is Headed for a "Gray Divorce," Therapists Say.

You don't avoid conflict with one another.

Couple holding hands at a table having a serious conversation.
fizkes / Shutterstock

While arguing is never fun, being able to face uncomfortable moments with your partner is a good sign.

"It's important for you and your spouse to both acknowledge that some amount of conflict or disagreement is inevitable, however, you don't shy away from working together to find a way to get past the obstacle," says Degges-White. "Debates, discussions, and even arguments are tools to help you reach a shared understanding and you both work hard to fight fair."

When you or your partner avoid conflict, it's a disservice to your relationship. Finding a way to be open and honest when you disagree rather than silent and resentful is key.

You recognize destructive behaviors.

man and woman holdings hands at the table having a serious conversation
fizkes / Shutterstock

Genesis D. Ettienne, licensed mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist at Pritikin Longevity Center, shares that four destructive behaviors can break up a marriage: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. Recognizing these traits and putting in the work to move past them, however, is a sign your relationship is divorce-proof.

"Instead of resorting to criticism, strive to communicate your needs and concerns with empathy and respect. Practice active listening and validate your partner's perspective, even if you disagree," says Ettienne.

It's also natural to want to defend yourself, but Ettienne says that rather than becoming defensive, "take ownership of your part in the conflict and approach discussions with openness and humility."

RELATED:  8 "Small But Toxic" Things to Stop Saying to Your Partner, According to Therapists.

You and your partner manage money well.

A senior couple planning their finance and paying bills while using a laptop at home.

If you and your partner are willing to talk about your long-term financial goals and are on the same page about spending habits, it's a fantastic sign for your future.

"If you are aware of each other's income, accounts, and spending, this is a sign your marriage will last," says Robert Hinojosa, LCSW at Choosing Therapy. "This means there are no hidden purchases, and you have expectations around how you communicate about big purchases or other financial decisions."

While this can be a challenging topic to navigate, being upfront about your finances will only help you in the long run.

"It's important to be clear with and agree on who is responsible for certain parts of the finances, and to feel trust and security in this aspect of the relationship," adds Hinojosa.

You have your own identities outside the relationship.

Woman in a blue shirt dancing to music.
Prostock-studio / shutterstock

Another sign your marriage is working well is when you feel supported enough to explore your interests outside of the relationship. You should be able to be independent, have a sense of your own identity, and enjoy time by yourself or with your friends.

"You don't have to spend every waking moment together," says Degges-White. "And though you may try out some of your spouse's hobbies, you should want one another to have space to engage in solo activities and not be overwhelmed by jealousy or suspicion of what your spouse is doing when they aren't with you."

Of course, spending quality time with your partner is a key ingredient to making a marriage work, but it's equally as important to be able to express yourself as an individual and not as just as someone's partner or other half.

RELATED: 5 Arguments That Might Mean It's Time for Couples Therapy, Relationship Experts Say.

You communicate openly.

A couple talking on the sofa at home.

Whether you're feeling happy or sad, exhausted or elated, or something else entirely, you should always clue your partner in.

"It doesn't matter if the other party agrees or disagrees, what is important is that you can communicate how you feel," says Amy Colton, a certified divorce financial analyst, family law mediator, and founder of Your Divorce Made Simple. She also points out that once communication stops, resentment starts to build.

William C. Gentry, divorce lawyer and author of I Want Out, adds that a lot of marital problems come from failing to communicate. "Too many couples talk past each other without engaging with the other person or worse—avoiding talking about the important things altogether," he says.

You and your partner are adaptable.

A couple moving a modern armchair in their living room
Shutterstock / fizkes

Successful marriages often involve couples who can roll with the punches life throws at them. "This includes flexibility in handling unforeseen challenges and the ability to grow and evolve as individuals and as a couple," says Deborah Gilman, PhD, owner and chief licensed psychologist at Fox Chapel Psychological Services.

Gilman advises couples to think about what big changes like losing a job or moving to a new place would look like for the marriage. "Their ability to adapt involves supporting each other emotionally, reassessing goals, and collaboratively planning for the future," she explains.

RELATED: How a "Sleep Divorce" Can Save Your Relationship, New Research Shows.

You want to spend time with each other.

A mature mand and woman looking at a map and pointing while traveling

Whether you've been married for 10 or 50 years, regularly wanting to spend quality time together is key. According to Gilman, this should include both emotional and physical closeness.

There's also a difference between keeping up appearances and genuinely wanting to be in each other's company. "A couple that prioritizes date nights or weekend getaways to reconnect and nurture their emotional and physical intimacy," is in a good place, says Gilman.

You give each other grace.

couple sitting on the floor in their living room looking at each other and talking
SeventyFour / Shutterstock

No one expects marriage, or life in general, to be easy. But treating your partner well and offering kindness even in the most difficult times will help the relationship thrive.

Gentry points out that one's spouse doesn't always get the best version of their partner. "Sometimes, the best course of action is to show your partner a little grace and not react to them from a place of emotion and frustration," he advises.

Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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