Traditional wedding vows are no joke. To have and to hold, from this day forward, 'til death do us part — that's some real deal promising right there. But as we know, not all who take those vows (or any version) are parted by death. An unfortunate reality of marriage is that some of them end, and by some, I mean a lot. With so much divorce these days, you have to wonder what is making those long marriages work so well. Wouldn't it be great to tap into the habits of couples who stay married and make matrimony look so easy?
You know those couples, right? The ones who have made it work and look so damn cute and happy together. They have cracked the code to making life together run like a well oiled machine. I don't know about you, but for me, that is the ultimate marriage goal. The good news is, there is some science out there that can offer encouragement that marriages can, in fact, be long-lasting. You may be surprised to learn that something as simple as saying, "I love you," on a daily basis can give longevity to your marriage.
Want to know how those adorable couples are pulling off great marriages? Check out these 11 habits of couples who stay married and see just how possible it can be to be happy together, forever.
1. They Embrace Conflict
Conflict — sounds like something to avoid, right? Turns out that pushing down small grievances can take a toll on a marriage. According to Psych Central, avoiding small conflicts can lead to big relationship strains. The adivce? Do sweat the small stuff. Work out the little everyday issues before they grow into giant points of contention between you and your partner.
2. They Follow The "5 to 1" Rule
Marriage and relationship researcher and guru Dr. John Gottman discovered the magic of the five to one ratio. The rule is simple: every negative interaction, must have five positive interactions to balance out the good vibes between partners. Which means, if you make three gripes, you better have 15 compliments waiting in the wings.
3. They Have Sex
As if you needed another reason to get it on, having happy sex will benefit your marriage. Being intimate on a regular basis helps keep partners connected, according to Women's Day. The more sexy moments shared over the years, the closer couples feel.
4. They Show Gratitude
Nothing can kill the romance like being taken for granted. And as Forbes pointed out that along with other great benefits, showing gratitude helps strengthen relationships. Showing your partner gratitude should be a daily part of your marriage, and will bring you both lots of warm fuzzies.
5. They Communicate
Marriage can be complicated, and with that complication comes lots of discussion points. But communication is a two way street — you need to be able to clearly express your thoughts as well as be a good listener. If a couple is able to master the art of good communication, their marriage will see the benefits.
6. They Don't Sweat Small Crushes
Just because you're married doesn't mean you won't be attracted to other people. The key is being prepared not to act on these crushes. As Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D of psychology told Women's Health, having small crushes throughout a marriage is normal. They come and go, and usually don't last long.
7. They Accept Flaws
Unless you are Beyoncé, you are not flawless — and neither is your SO. As pyschologist Joan Borysenko reported for Prevention, embracing the flaws of your partner will keep your marriage strong. Borysenko encourages couples to look at flaws in new ways and celebrate the things that make you different.
8. They Celebrate Together
When something good happens for one of you, it really benefits both of you. Be your partner's biggest cheerleader and jump up and down side by side when either of you experience success. It adds an element of teamwork to your marriage and makes you feel like a dynamic duo.
9. They Resolve Conflict
Fighting happens, but no matter how heated things get, it's important to find a way to make peace in the end. According to Psychology Today, couples who resolve conflict have more marital longevity and are less likely to divorce than those who cannot seem to make amends.
10. They Remember Their Independence
Couples spend a lot of time together, and taking a break can be good for both people. Make sure there is healthy space in your marriage. Make a date to hang with some girlfriends or visit your favorite vintage record store all by yourself. Taking time for yourself will refresh you, and help you be a better partner.
11. They Say, "I Love You"
As Psychology Today reported, saying "I love you," is a habit that happy couples use daily. Those three little words can make a huge difference in your marriage — and hearing them said back to you is pretty awesome too!