1) COMMUNICATION IS FLUID.
A relationship where both people know how to communicate with one another, through tough, busy, and even exciting times, is a sign the relationship is set up for success. “The signs that we see that a couple should be married include first and foremost the ability to communicate with each other,” sats Lisa Helfend Meyer, founding partner at Meyer, Olson, Lowy, and Meyers. “You can see that communication in many different ways including how they handle a prenup agreement or how they resolve issues involving finances and family. Those are signs of a healthy marriage. Communication far and above is the most important thing.”
2) THE PASSION IS ALIVE.
While PDA isn’t in every couple’s DNA, showing affection may be something that helps you two bond through good times and bad. “Couples that are affectionate and not necessarily sexually,” says Helfend Meyer. “If they hold hands, kiss each other – those are signs of a healthy relationship.”
3) COMPROMISE HAPPENS.
The ability to find a middle ground with when you disagree is a good sign. Decisions shouldn’t be your way or the highway, says Helfend Meyer. “If a woman wants to see the movie Wonder Woman and he wants to see Captain Underpants and they figure out how to make each other feel good about the movie they see, that’s a solid indicator.”
4) THERE ARE CLEAR BENEFITS TO YOUR MARRIAGE.
The fear of missing the perks of marriage can be enough to dissuade some from filing for divorce. “There are many benefits that disappear once you are no longer married,” says Neena Tankha, a family law attorney and partner at Warshaw Burstein LLP in New York. “For example, you no longer reap the financial benefits of filing a joint tax return. You also no longer qualify to be covered as a spouse on your ex’s health insurance.”
5) YOU KEEP TRYING NEW THINGS TOGETHER.
A marriage that is exciting, fresh, and filled with new twists and turns may mean that you’re less likely to leave. “Part of planning and experiencing new things is that there’s the anticipation of trying something new, the creation of new memories, and the fun of each discovery,” says Kathryn Dickerson, a principal and family law attorney at SmolenPlevy in metro Washington, D.C. “It recalls, in part, the excitement of when you started dating and discovering things about each other.”
6) YOUR LAUGH THROUGH LIFE.
Having things in common, like a sense of humor, helps a relationship stay strong. “Note that this is not at the other person’s failings, but that you both find humor in the same thing – that you are both present and sharing a moment,” says Dickerson. “There is something very cathartic but not necessarily sexual about laughing. It relieves stress and anxiety, and it causes endorphins to flow and creates positive associations with the other person.”
7) YOU EACH HAVE YOUR OWN INTERESTS.
While having things in common is always helpful to a marriage, having your own interests and hobbies can also give your relationship the space it occasionally needs. “Having your own interests allows you to remain a whole person, not someone subsumed into the other person,” says Dickerson. “It is also important that the other person supports your interests and participates.”
8) YOU TRUST EACH OTHER IMPLICITLY.
“If the parties still trust each other with each other’s hearts, money, and children, a divorce isn’t in your future,” says Carolyn Grimes, a family law attorney at Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Meinken, and Leischner PLLC, in Alexandria, VA. “Without trust, there is no relationship and you might need to seek a divorce.”