There are a lot of articles out there that focus on the negative sides of relationships. And while those articles are helpful and definitely necessary, what about the awesome moments in relationship? What about the signs that your spouse is happy in your marriage? I think it's time for more articles like that.
I've been married for almost three years, and in that admittedly short but awesome time, my husband and I have had lots of ups and downs. There have been weeks when we feel distant, and nothing seems to click. And there are other weeks when we're happy and, dare I say, blissful. I've come to recognize the signs that my husband is truly happy in our relationship, even in the midst of stress. And any one who has ever raised a toddler knows the amount of stress that parenting can put on your marriage. For us though, even on the bad parenting days, these little habits are game changers in our happiness.
Whether your relationship stress comes from work, kids, or a big argument you can never seem to settle, use these signs to see if you and your spouse are both as happy as you could be. And if not, work through it together. Because, in the long run, your happiness depends more on the little things.
1. They Tell You About Their Day
A spouse who feels connected to you will naturally want to tell you about the details of their day— the good and the bad. Even if you're married to someone who likes to keep to themselves a bit, telling your spouse about the ins and outs of your day should be second nature in a healthy marriage.
2. Trust Isn't An Issue
Trust is obviously one of the essential ingredients in a healthy marriage. Without it — even if the distrust is one-sided — doubts creep in and, according to Huffington Post, it can turn in to a downward spiral from there. A spouse who is truly happy doesn't feel the need to go through your phone, or ask incessantly about where you've been, because they trust you.
3. They Ask For Your Opinion
Not because they need your approval, but because they truly care what you think.
4. They Like To Get Physical
More than just sex, a happy partner will show it in smaller ways too. Holding hands, lingering kisses, a hand on the small of your back. It may sound cheesy, but according to Prevention, simple touching proves that your partner feels safe and connected.
5. They Say Thank You
The Chicago Tribune calls saying a simple "thank you" a safeguard against the "withering effects of lousy times." If your spouse tells you that they appreciate you, whether times are good or not-so-good, it points to a spouse that is satisfied in the relationship.
6. They Smile Often
Facial expressions can tell you a lot about someone's emotions. Does your spouse greet you with a smile? Do they return your happiness with a happy look? If so, they're probably happy with you.
7. They Feel Noticed
Similar to feeling appreciated, when a partner feels like you actually see them — not just acknowledge them or ask them surface level questions but engaging with them in deep conversations about their life — they'll feel important and noticed.
8. They Don't Belittle Or Humiliate You
In an article for Essence, psychologist and author Sherry Blake explains that being in a relationship with an emotionally or verbally abusive person is the opposite of having a happy partner. A spouse who is happy in a relationship will truly value your feelings and self-worth will let you know it.
9. They Don't Bring Up Past Mistakes
A happy spouse (and yes, happy spouses still argue) realizes that the past should stay in the past. Instead of bringing up past mistakes in a fight, they'll fight fairly and deal with the present conflict.
10. They Turn Down Other Invitations To Spend Time With You Instead
Obviously it's healthy for you both to have outside friendships, but if your spouse would rather be with your than their friends, you know you have a good thing going.
11. They Treat Your Family With Love
You can't choose your family. If your partner accepts that, especially if you have a difficult family to handle, and still treats them with kindness and respect, it's a sure sign that their love is deeper than just surface level.
12. They Do Little Things For You
Remember way back when you were dating and you wrote sweet notes to each other or sometimes woke up to a fresh bouquet of flowers? Marriage shouldn't be any different. Bonus points if your bouquets of flowers actually look like doing the dishes for you or vacuuming the floor.
13. They Don't Ask You To Change
Acceptance is an important part of a healthy relationship. From your core values to the quirks that make you unique, a happy partner will respect and even love them.
14. They Make Decisions With You
And you actually put thought into it. In an interview with The New York Times, relationship researcher Galena K. Rhoades said that, "making decisions and talking things through with partners is important," as it shows you are on the same page and your partner respects your views.
15. They Give You Space
Not in the break up-y "I need more space" sense, but in the sense that your partner realizes the importance of being apart and having your own hobbies. This shows that they're not clingy or controlling and are probably happier in the relationship.