When you say "I do," those vows are supposed to be forever. Still, you know, stuff happens. I don't mean to be trite about marriage. But, at the same time, if you want to know how to tell in the first year of marriage if it'll work, you're so not weird.
After the honeymoon, when you're spending those first 365 days as a married couple, there are some pretty major indicators of whether or not your marriage will work. Why? Well, marriage ups the ante of your relationship because it's, like, legal and everything. Plus, you're spending time with each other's families and tackling things like taxes and the idea of having kids together. And after a year of being a couple in the eyes of the law and or your religion, not to mention the aforementioned blended family, there are signs that can tell you that your relationship is working or not, even after a year. According to Prevention, there are relationship red flags that therapists look out for when trying to figure out if a marriage has staying power.
A calendar year is filled with holidays, as well as daily celebrations or annoyances that indicate how you're faring as a couple. So, forget the seven-year itch, and start thinking about the 365-day assessment. How can you tell if you guys will grow old together? The following serves a guide to tell if you'll make it as a married couple after just one year.
1. You Criticize The Behavior, Not The Person
According to the aforementioned Prevention article, criticizing the way your spouse does or does not do certain things is part of marriage. But when you attack your spouse's character and not the behavior, it's like chipping away at the marriage, one dig at a time.
2. You Can't Keep Your Hands Off Each Other
Psychology Today noted that these days, people crave touch more than ever. Nonsexual touch has a powerfully positive effect on the way people feel about themselves and their partners. So, if you can't keep your hands off your spouse, even in a nonsexual way, it's a sign that you're building a solid connection that will endure.
3. Your Life Is Pretty Much Drama-Free
The Washington Post outlined ways to fight fair in a marriage that will keep you celebrating anniversaries for years. Not only are you setting a good example for your relationship if you lose the drama, but you're also giving the marriage a break. You know how draining drama can be. If you can move on and let things go without throwing a tantrum, you're setting a positive precedent. Drama is contagious, so the less frequently it pops up in your marriage, the better for the longevity of your relationship.
4. You Had Fun Over The Holidays
Even if your spouse's family gets on your last nerve, if you manage to have fun over the holidays with your partner, then it's a good sign for the longevity of the marriage. According to Mic, a marriage that endures hard times together comes out stronger.
5. You Don't Have Large-Scale Fights Over Money
According to Women's Health, money is a tough issue for newlyweds to sort through. But if you and your spouse made it through the first year of marriage with a crafted plan for how to spend your joint income, then you've overcome a major hurdle.
6. You Don't Dwell On Exes Or Outside Relationships
This might seem pretty obvious, but if you're going back to an ex or bestie to confide your fears or ambitions, after just a year, that's not such a good sign for the longevity of your marriage. But according to Real Simple, if your spouse is your go-to person, even trumping Facebook, then odds are your marriage will last long into the future.
7. You Have Your Own Life
According to Cosmopolitan, one key to surviving the early years of a marriage is to establish a paradigm of independence. You do you, your spouse does them, and you guys do things as a couple. It sounds easy, but when you eat, sleep, clean, cook, and cuddle with a person everyday, it's tempting to lose yourself. Don't. If you get this down in the start of the marriage, it will become routine as you get old and grey (separately, and together).
8. You Can Admit When You're Wrong
Saying you're sorry is the first step to activate healing, noted Psychology Today. If you and your spouse get in the habit of apologizing in a genuine way, you're setting the foundation for a well-built (to last) marriage. Because, let's face it, you're going to mess up a lot; such is life.
9. You Resist The "I Told You So" Temptation
Saying "I told you so" to your partner is not just rude, it's a sign that you need major validation. But philosophy professor at the University of Haifa in Israel, Aaron Ben-Zeev told Business Insider that a successful marriage is full of profound understanding of your spouse's foibles. So, if you don't act like a jackass when you're proven right and your spouse is in the wrong, but instead can appreciate your partner's misstep, that's a sign you'll make it well into the future.
10. You Don't Give Ultimatums
Psychologist Jill Weber told Women's Health that ultimatums can hurt a relationship. Although that might seem like common sense, ultimatums are especially deleterious in longterm relationships because they cause a person to build resentment over time. So, in your first year of marriage, if you use other communication tactics to get your point across and steer clear from ultimatums, your relationship is looking pretty solid.
11. You Are Motivated To Work On The Marriage
No marriage is perfect, and having been in one for a solid year, you know that by now. However, if you realize that marriage is a choice, and one that needs constant nurturing and work, then you've most likely found your soul mate, noted Babble. Cheers to you both.