Most people don't get married anticipating a divorce. But, with almost half of all marriages ending, it's no wonder that so many books and advice columns are dedicated to helping you determine whether you or your spouse are showing signs of a potential breakup. Why don't we, as married people, focus more on the positive attributes of our marriages? Instead of spending so much time trying figure out all of the ways your relationship stinks, try to see the good in your marriage by identifying the signs that your spouse isn't going to divorce you.
Every marriage has had good times and bad times. The ultimate goal is for the positive to outweigh the negative. You can do that by appreciating everything that is right about your relationship rather than turning small mistakes into deal-breakers. Of course, if all you do is look for signs of cheating and tally off your partner's shortcomings according to one of the many online lists, eventually one of you will give up and start looking for a divorce attorney.
If you both, instead, look for some of the signs that your marriage is working, you can change your entire mindset and have a long and happy marriage.
1. You Are A Team
"The most powerful thing you can do to keep a marriage strong is form a partnership in which both parties feel respected, cared about, and needed," psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina told Prevention. Working together, making joint decisions and having equal say will keep you both invested in your marriage and away from the divorce lawyers.
2. You Have Fun Together
Couples that have a lot of fun together aren't thinking about getting a divorce. "Successful couples make plans to try new things together, go out, have fun, laugh, and play," Marni Feuerman, a marriage expert in Boca Raton, Florida told Prevention.
3. You Don't Hide Things From Each Other
You don't have hidden bank or social media accounts, and passwords are not kept secret from one another. You don't hide your shopping bags or credit cards bills. As pastor and author Dave Willis wrote in Six Seeds, "the healthiest couples have a 'secret-free guarantee' in their marriage." One small secret can lead to another, which can lead to mistrust and eventually shatter your marriage.
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4. You Still Have Sex Regularly
Willis also wants couples not to wait until you are both "in the mood" to have sex. It might seem boring, but relationship expert Barbie Adler tells Redbook that scheduling regular sex gives you something to look forward to rather than waiting for the mood to strike. Keeping the spark alive in the bedroom will also help keep you both away from divorce court.
5. You Prioritize Your Relationship
This can be difficult when you have children or are caring for a sick loved one, but making your marriage a priority will help give you the strength to be a better parent and caregiver. In fact, Willis also warns that one of the most destructive things you can do is to put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your children.
6. You Forgive And Forget
Sometimes marriages go through sad and difficult times.. You are both only human and it is inevitable that you will make some mistakes. But the key to long term happiness is being able to let it go. Prevention warns that "resentment will destroy a marriage." Anger will fester when you don't forgive and forget, and may very well open the door to thoughts of divorce.
7. You Plan For The Future
You know that your marriage is on solid ground when you talk about the years ahead. Planning for retirement, investing in a vacation home, or even planning the things you want to do together once the kids are out of the house is a sign that neither of you is planning on getting a divorce.
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