What kind of marriage do you have?
Other posts have described the four kinds of marriages:
You might have noticed that none of them are labeled “happy”, and there’s a good reason for that.
Both “functional” and “thriving” marriages can be happy, but a functional marriage is very different from a thriving marriage.
Most people wind up settling for a disappointing or functional marriage because they don’t even believe that it’s possible to have a thriving marriage.
Now, I specialize in helping people get to thriving, even if they’re currently stuck in a broken marriage. The first step is really all about knowing that level exists and having the courage to reach for it.
So what are the six signs of a happy marriage that I promised?
You like being with your partner. Perhaps it’s the way they make you laugh or maybe it’s their ability to take charge or any number of other possibilities.
The key is that you enjoy being with them (and, of course, they enjoy being with you!)
Happily married parterns share some of the same interests, whether it’s TV shows, gardening, or ballroom dancing. They key is that they spend some time enjoying these interests together.
That doesn’t mean you’re attached at the hip; in fact the happiest couples who are together the longest also have distinct interests and time apart, but they still have time doing things they enjoy together.
Unbelievably conflict of money and chores are behind 90% of all divorces!
Marriage is, at heart, a partnership about collaborating on life, and because marriage tangles you up legally and financially it’s crucial that you work well together.
As a partnership you’ve got to believe that your partner “has your back”. That is, should you get sick or injured or be in any kind of danger that they’d both take care of you and get done whatever you couldn’t.
You also need to have the trust that you can speak your mind, share your feelings and opinions. If you’re on eggshells or just feel like you can’t talk about how you disagree with how your spouse handled something small (like disciplining or not disciplining a child) then you won’t be able to talk about the more challenging issues that will come up if you’re together long enough.
This is the next step from trust; we’re talking about real emotional and physical vulnerability. Feeling free and safe to share your deepest fears and (setting the stage of sign #6) your deepest desires.
This is different from the vulnerability you might share with a close friend because of the sexual part of marriage (and if your marriage is lacking a sexual part which makes it special then you’ve got to address that because otherwise you’re just roomates!)
The final sign of a happy marriage is attraction. You and your partner look at each other and feel desire, passion, even lust!
The vulnerability you share has led you to understanding each other’s desires and needs, and you take care of yourselves to stay attractive to each other.
Attraction, after all, is the juice that feeds a happy marriage.
If you recognize yourself in those descriptions then wonderful!
However, if you don’t recognize yourself in all of those six signs then take action now to turn your marriage around before it’s too late! Whether it’s from me or someone else, just please get help from someone before the most important relationship in your life falls apart.