Most couples have wondered at one point or another if their marriage is doomed. It’s no secret that half of all marriages end in divorce. If you argue a lot or feel as if you’re not connected, you may be wondering if you’re destined for divorce.
But believe it or not, your marriage might be better than you think. There are certain behaviors that seem like red flags at first, but are actually signs of a healthy marriage.
1. You argue
The No. 1 reason couples fear for their relationship’s future is frequent arguing. But believe it or not, fighting with your spouse can strengthen your marriage. When done in a healthy way, fighting is a great way to show that you respect each other’s views enough to hear each other out. It means that you’re truly comfortable with each other. Most of all, if you’re passionately arguing on a regular basis, it’s a sign you’re not ready to give up.
2. You ignore taboos and talk about the tough stuff
The rule of not discussing topics like politics or religion in polite company goes right out the window when it’s your spouse you’re speaking with. Being able to talk about tough matters, like divisive politics, death, and infidelity, is a great sign.
3. You spend time alone
Sure, spending some time solo feels refreshing … but it can’t be a good sign if you want time away from your spouse, can it? Au contraire, says experts Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz. You need space to grow as an individual, and so does your partner. Many couples actually claim that the key to a successful marriage is time apart.
4. You travel separately
This one isn’t for everyone — some people aren’t comfortable taking a solo getaway or going somewhere without their spouse. But separate vacations are not a threat to your stable, happy marriage if you also make time for shared vacations. Perhaps you’d like to go somewhere your partner has no interest in seeing, or maybe you just need some time alone. As long as you’re not doing it to escape each other, separate vacations are fine.
5. You flirt with others
Flirting is fun, but if you’re married, you might feel guilty if you engage in a playful conversation with someone else. After all, it’s easy for harmless flirting to cross the line into something more. But it’s also easy enough to set your boundaries and have some fun without crossing any lines. In fact, there are some experts who claim that flirting with others is important.
6. You’re not afraid to speak your mind
This doesn’t mean you should step on a soapbox and rant about all of your spouse’s shortcomings. But relationships thrive when couples can express themselves freely and honestly. That means no topic is off limits, so if you need to rant, your spouse is the one person you should be able to rant to.
7. You’re sad sometimes
“The word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness” – Carl Jung
Nobody really likes to be sad, but as the saying goes, you can’t have joy without sadness. Having moments of sadness means you’re experiencing life. More importantly, you’re experiencing life with someone else who is going through sad moments and will be there to help cushion the blow. A lack of sadness or failure in life probably means you’re not taking enough risks.
Know the warning signs
Of course, sometimes some of the aforementioned traits are actually a sign of a bad marriage. Relationship red flags include a lack of communication, a lack of trust, controlling behavior, or a lack of interest in working on your relationship. If you think something is truly wrong, it may be time to see a marriage counselor.