5 Signs Your Marriage Is Divorce-Proof, According to Therapists
Will you make it to your 50th wedding anniversary?
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." While of course, you never know what life might throw at you, but if you see the following signs in your marriage, experts say your relationship is likely built to last.
You're both equally dedicated to the relationship.
If both 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.
So, what does being equally invested actually mean? "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 are good friends.
Does your spouse know how to make you laugh? Do you love spending time together? Can you confide in your partner? This 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."
According to Psych Central, research has shown that couples who have a well-rounded friendship "have a higher percentage overall of marital satisfaction."
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You don't avoid conflict with one another.
While arguing is never fun, being able to face uncomfortable moments with your partner is actually quite 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."
In a study done by the International Association for Relationship Research, researchers analyzed couples during the pandemic and studied how they managed conflict with one another. The results found that couples who were more conflict avoidant had decreased levels of fulfillment in their relationship. The study says, "complaint avoidance is generally considered destructive in romantic relationships that adversely affects people's relational and personal well-being."
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 and your partner manage money well.
If you and your partner are willing to talk about your long term financial goals and are on the same page in terms of 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 of the relationship.
Another sign your marriage is working well is when you feel supported enough to explore your own 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 outside of your marriage.
"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.