Ask any conservative relative and they’ll tell you that the source of all happiness on Earth is marriage. But these signs of a healthy marriage only apply to those who tie the knot with the right person. A wrong choice, or incompatibility, or an unforeseen crisis can cause grave problems in the union. But when you feel like you lucked out and there’s room for only healthy conflicts in your relationship, then it’s evident you are in a strong marriage. Touch wood!
Some marriages do become stagnant or change for the worse as time goes by. But there’s immense happiness that this sacred union brings when you are committing your life to the right person. According to studies, being in a happy marriage is related to better psychological and physical health too. To find out how to cultivate a happy marriage, we reached out to psychologist Aakhansha Varghese (M.Sc. Psychology), who specializes in different forms of relationship counseling – from dating to breakups, and premarital to abusive relationships.
The Top 11 Signs Of A Healthy Marriage
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Aakhansha says, “A healthy marital relationship would include a lot of factors like trust, respect, faith, loyalty, commitment, and understanding. As important as these factors are, we need to dive deeper and see how these factors are playing a role in bringing positive energy into your married life.” Let’s take a look at some of the examples of healthy marriage. You can use these signs and examples to judge the quality of your relationship as well.
1. Both spouses are willing to learn about each other
Aakhansha says, “As a couple’s therapist, quite often, I come across this issue of spouses losing interest in each other as years pass by. Both the partners become so engrossed in living out the responsibilities and duties pertaining to their married life that they forget to appreciate their person or make each other happy.
“Whether it’s raising children, earning for the family, or taking care of aging parents, partners sometimes forget to express mutual love. This may cause either or both of them to feel like there is a lack of emotional connection and that makes them think they are stuck in a bad marriage. If you have to have a successful marriage, then never stop learning about one another.”
One of the important signs of a loving spouse is that they don’t stop being curious about you. To have a strong marriage and keep the negative emotions at bay, here are some things you can start doing to keep learning about your partner:
- Talk to them every day with interest and compassion
- Observe their actions and routine
- Don’t just listen but also make them feel heard
- Share one meal together and talk about your day
- Keep reminding them that you are here for them no matter what
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
2. You grow individually and together
Just because you want to grow individually, doesn’t mean it’s bad news for your marriage. It just means you are bettering yourself in all areas of your life. People in healthy marriages believe in the balance of growing together as well as individually.
What does it mean to grow together? When asked on Reddit, a user replied, “It means making decisions together, collaboratively. Designing a future together and making it happen. Both being shaped by the same experiences, the same events. Getting through hard times together and having it strengthen your bond rather than drive you apart. Over time, you become more of a unit, more instinctively working together than you were before.”
3. You show each other kindness
The secret to a healthy marriage is kindness. It’s the glue that holds two people together. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Research shows that being compassionate toward your partner has many benefits. It shows that when you do something nice for your loved one, such as making their morning coffee or showing them more affection, it can boost your emotional well-being, regardless of whether or not your partner notices.
You’ll know you are on the right track when your marriage is full of other positive emotions and traits like:
4. You both believe in forgiving and forgetting
Forgiveness is basically a simple act of letting go of the hurt and wrong done to you by someone. Forgiveness in relationships is very important and it should be one of the core values in everyone’s married life. One of the signs you have a great spouse is when they don’t hold any grudges or resentment against you. When you and your partner are on the same page regarding apologies and amends, you accept that they are just another human being fully capable of making mistakes.
Studies have revealed that forgiveness is what makes a healthy marriage even stronger. It provides greater marital satisfaction and stability. To cultivate a happy marriage and a happy relationship, choose to consciously forgive your partner when they unconsciously hurt you with their words or behavior.
5. All kinds of intimacy are practiced
Despite going through work stress and raising kids or pets or plants, if you and your partner still practice all kinds of intimacy, then it’s evident you are in a happy marriage. Every serious relationship must have the following five types of intimacy:
- Physical intimacy
- Emotional intimacy
- Intellectual intimacy
- Spiritual intimacy
- Social intimacy
Intimacy forms the basis of healthy relationships because it ensures meaningful communication, which leads to a better emotional connection.
Related Reading: Why Is Marriage Important? Expert Lists 13 Reasons
6. Your sex life is great
Intimacy and sex are not the same thing. But intimacy certainly leads to better sex. Sex, on the other hand, may not lead to more intimacy. And you know what they say? When sex is good, it’s 5% of a relationship. But when it’s bad, it’s 95% of a relationship.
If your mutual sexual well-being is taken care of, then it’s one of the signs of a happy marriage. Studies have proven that a safe and pleasurable sexual relationship is one of the most important factors in keeping a marriage healthy. On the other hand, if you don’t know how to satisfy your partner, here are some tips:
- Focus more on foreplay, don’t rush it
- Use dirty talk to spice things up in the bedroom
- Touch each other often throughout the day, in non-sexual ways
- Experiment with new things
- Engage in pillow talk for a few minutes after sex
7. For you, conflicts are normalized
Aakhansha says, “A strong marriage doesn’t mean that the partners don’t quarrel. Happy couples fight in a respectful manner and don’t try to put down one another just to win the argument. If the two of you normalize conflicts and fight in a healthy way where you make sure your partner’s feelings don’t get hurt, you’ve hit the jackpot. You have a partner who has the ability to show kindness even when they are disagreeing with you and in a state of anger.”
But when you fight repeatedly over the same things, it’s one of the signs that one partner in the marriage is not happy. Your overall marital health can soon decline drastically if this is not taken care of immediately.
8. You have healthy boundaries
Healthy boundaries are very important if you want a marriage to last. It’s how two partners decide to meet in the middle ground by letting each other know that they won’t put up with certain things. There are some limitations and boundaries the other shouldn’t cross.
Some of the examples of healthy boundaries include:
- One partner is not responsible for the other partner’s happiness. Yes, they can indulge in little acts of love to make the other happy but one person should never be held accountable for another person’s happiness and unhappiness
- No physical or emotional abuse like gaslighting, stonewalling, controlling nature, manipulation, guilt-tripping, and name-calling
- Keeping important, private, or difficult things between themselves and not letting a third party enter the marriage
- Talking realistically about expectations
9. You two are always a team
Aakhansha says, “The best of the marriages are built on teamwork. One of the signs you have a great spouse is when the two of you work together to run things smoothly. Whether it’s raising kids, bringing money into the family, doing household chores, or finding a way to course through hardships.”
When there is teamwork in everything, you will automatically enjoy spending time together which will further nurture your marital bond. Become a team – two against the world – and see how your marriage flourishes in no time.
10. You don’t compare your relationship to others
This is as important as the rest of the signs because when you compare your marriage with others, you feel like something is lacking between you and your spouse. You can be truly happy with what you are blessed with if you don’t pit yourself against those with vastly different journeys than yours.
Don’t complicate your marital life by falling into the comparison trap. It will steal all your joys and you will stop being grateful to the things you already have.
11. You are each other’s best friends
It’s an art to be friends with your partner. It’s beautiful, gratifying, and keeps you happy. Finding a best friend in your spouse has to be one of the greatest relationships you will ever experience. You enjoy spending time together. You laugh a lot and know how to have fun. You talk to each other without the fear of being judged. You can be vulnerable with one another. You know each other’s shortcomings but you accept them just the way they are.
- Good relationships make life worth living
- One of the signs of a healthy marriage is when both the partners respect healthy boundaries
- Some other signs include practicing all kinds of intimacy and showing each other kindness
Relationship expert, Aakhansha says, “Marriages mean healthy homes where two people can abide in peace. It takes a lot of work to make it work. You can’t achieve a strong relationship without putting in the effort it requires.” We hope your relationship is your happy place, a home where you can unwind after a stressful day.