There are all sorts of marriage problems and all sorts of bloggers waiting to solve them for you. This is not one of those articles. This is more of a "pat yourself on the back" sort of thing. Here are 10 signs that you and your spouse have a solid relationship and you don't need to be worrying too much about infidelity or betrayal of trust or any of those other nasty things.
Once you've lived with someone for a while, it can be easy to show a lack of respect. It's one of the many dangers of being completely comfortable with someone. It's a good thing to be comfortable with your spouse, but there should always be respect and courtesy. Say please. Say thank you. Have fun, but in a way that's acceptable to both of you.
If there's still a healthy amount of respect between you, good for you. You guys are doing OK.
You're never too old to flirt. It keeps that spark alive and keeps life exciting. It's a way to show each other that you're still invested in your relationship even if you've been together for 50 years.
If there's still some flirting that goes on in your marriage, bravo. That's pretty awesome.
The fact that you and your spouse are willing to help each other out is great. The key word here, though, is "willing." Doing small acts of service for each other grudgingly isn't going to cut it. If he willingly folds your clothes, or if you willingly make him lunch, way to go.
Service is one way your spouse shows his or her love for you. If this is happening regularly in your marriage, you're doing it right. Congratulations.
4. There's gratitude
Being grateful for your spouse and the things they do is a beautiful thing. It's not only an expression of love, but a way to show that you're not taking each other for granted.
As Albert Clarke once said, "In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy."
If you feel it, show it. If you don't feel it, look harder. If you feel it and show it, your marriage is probably doing better than you think.
This one is huge. Pride is the root of all marriage problems. Therefore, humility can be the solution. Genuinely apologizing when needed (and sometimes even when it's not needed) is essential to any healthy relationship.
Humility also means accepting the give and take of marriage. You're two different people, and humble spouses recognize that they're not going to get their way in every situation.
Nobody is perfect, but if you both regularly practice humility instead of pride, you're golden.
6. There's laughter
This refers more to laughing with each other, and not at one another. Where there's laughter, there are smiles. Where there are smiles, there's happiness. Where there's happiness, there are great marriages.
So, if there's laughter in yours, you're doing something right.
One of the common factors in too many failed marriages is that one or both spouses simply stop trying. A good relationship doesn't just run itself. It takes effort, and a lot of it. Many of the attributes already listed in this article don't just come naturally; you've got to develop them.
Remember that just because a marriage takes effort doesn't mean anything is wrong. Effort is normal and healthy — it's a good sign. If both of you are trying to create a positive, lasting relationship, you're going to.
In the words of motivational speaker Tony Gaskins, "Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it ... it dies."
If you don't expect your spouse to be a mind-reader, you're on the right track. Talk about everything. Talk about finances, the kids, work, play and especially your disagreements. Stay on the same page. Be patient through the process. You're two different people trying to work together. It takes some time.
I know that's pretty sappy, but where there's love, there's a desire for things to just ... be good.
As number seven indicates, it takes effort to ensure that the attributes in this article are present in your marriage; but here's the thing: If you love each other, you've probably been working on these things for a long time. They're not as difficult to develop as you might think. Just look back over the years at how far you've come.
If there's love in your marriage, you've got a good thing going — and that's something to be happy about.