My partner and I love each other, divide our chores evenly, fiercely support one other's careers, and feel safe sharing our feelings to each another. That being said, we also fight about money and spend plenty of time away from each other. It's made me wonder, "are we heading for a split?". Considering that we recently got engaged and both admit to have never been happier, I don't think so. What I've found out is that there are many things that you think are signs of a doomed marriage, but are just normal relationship issues.
Everyone knows that one couple who bickers to the point that friends and family wonder why they are still together. But just because a relationship looks rocky from the outside doesn't mean that there is actually anything wrong. In fact, each relationship is wildly different and what works for you may not work for another couple. You might worry that fighting all the time is a bad sign or that your regular Netflix nights mean you aren't connecting, but that couldn't be further from the truth, according to HuffPost.
Here are nine things that you might think mean that your coupledom is heading for divorce, but are actually totally natural relationships problems.
1. You're Not Best Friends
According to the aforementioned HuffPost article, one obvious sign of a good marriage is that you are each other's best friend. But what if you are not? The truth is that being your spouse's BFF is not always the case and that's OK too, according to Psychology Today. As long as you still enjoy doing things together and enjoy being in each other's company, it's fine if you have a bestie to hang out with outside of your marriage.
2. You Spend A Lot Of Time With Netflix
According to Redbook, a sign of an unhappy marriage is that you spend a lot of time together but not actually being together — such as one of you being on the computer while the other one is watching TV in the same room. This kind of behavior, where you're not actively engaging with your partner, can be damaging to your relationship. Simply spending way too much time watching Netflix together, however, isn't a sign of a doomed marriage. Rather's it's a sign that you have a similar interest in entertainment.
3. You Make Compromises
You might be trying too hard to make a bad marriage work if you are compromising who you are, according to YourTango. Marriage isn't all sunshine and kittens every day, but it's normal to make compromises when you and your partner go head-to-toe in an argument. What isn't normal is if you are the only one making compromises or, even worse, compromising on essential parts of yourself. Taking turns compromising on things like who does the chores this week or where to eat dinner tonight, however, is fine.
4. You Fight A Lot
If you fantasize about leaving your spouse, then you might be in a toxic marriage, according to the previously mentioned HuffPost article. If your "fight or flight" reaction is constantly being activated, then that's a problem. But all couples fight. Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer as to how much arguing is normal within your relationship, according to licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., who spoke with Glamour. In fact, it's actually good to fight a little because it means that you care about the relationship. It's when the fighting stops that a marriage can be doomed.
5. You Worry About Money
Couples fight about their finances a lot and it could be a sign that your marriage is doomed, according to Good Housekeeping. You don't really have time for good, old-fashioned romance if you are constantly worrying about your next paycheck or finding a better job. That being said, simply having money troubles doesn't mean that your marriage is headed downhill, since there are ways for couples to tackle financial issues as a team, according to Bankrate. Instead of letting money come between you, work on understanding each other's ideas about finances, respect your partner's history and habits, and develop a strategy together.
6. You Find Others Attractive
According to the aforementioned HuffPost article, finding your partner attractive is a sign of a good marriage If there is still a spark between you and you still make time for sexual intimacy, then your marriage is fine. According to Men's Health, however, new research from Indiana University reveals that 70 percent of women in relationships have had crushes on people who are not their partner. It's actually natural for you to occasionally check out others and even have a crush, so don't fear for what this may be saying about your relationship.
7. You Put Them First
According to the aforementioned Redbook article, being preoccupied with other people and their needs might be a sign that you are unhappy in your marriage. The reality is that women often naturally take on the role of caretakers and end up losing parts of their own identity in the process. But if you are still well aware of your own sense of needs and not getting distracted by putting other people's needs ahead of your own constantly, then your relationship may be fine. It is not a bad thing if you put your partner ahead of yourself — sometimes. Remember, it is all about healthy compromises throughout your relationship as you both allow each other room to grow and evolve.
8. You Enjoy Spending Time Alone
Has spending time together become a complete a chore to the point that you actually prefer to be alone? If that's the case, then your marriage might indeed be in trouble, according to the previously mentioned YourTango article. But simply enjoying the time you get alone isn't a sign that you are headed for a divorce. Many great couples take the time to pursue their individual hobbies and interests, and it doesn't mean that they are heading for a rough patch. For instance, if one of you is an introvert, he or she may want to spend a quiet afternoon reading a book or playing video games while you go out to brunch with friends or take yourself to a movie that your partner won't enjoy. Enjoying the time you spend apart helps you come together and enjoy time together, too.
9. You're In Couples Therapy
It might seem like your relationship failing if you step foot inside of a therapist's office, but the opposite is actually true, according to the aforementioned Good Housekeeping article.
"Therapy is not failure," relationship specialist Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, said to Good Housekeeping. "Think of a therapist as a health care professional who is going to help you come up with ideas on how to make your marriage better — in a way you never thought of."
Therefore, seeking help in your marriage is actually a good thing and can help you and your partner come back together, instead of splitting up.