Devon Corneal is not a therapist or relationship expert, but after almost ten years of marriage, she’s not convinced that your taste in movies or music determines if you and your significant other are destined for happily-ever-after or a bad break-up. Her marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s satisfying and happy and it’s taught her a few things about what keeps long-term relationships working.  Both she and her husband have figured out how to compromise on music, and other things, and settle in for the long haul.

Here are fourteen of those things that she has learned that do seem to say something about how strong your relationship is, some of which will surprise you:

1. You Freely Speak Your Mind

Constant communication is essential to building a lasting life together. Relationships flourish when couples can express themselves freely and honestly, which means no topic is off-limits, and you both feel that you’ve been heard.

2. You Fight

Disagreements are natural, so if you aren’t quarrelling, chances are you’re holding back. But when people in healthy relationships fight, they fight productively and fairly. That means no name-calling or humiliating each other. It also means trying to understand your partner instead of trying to score points. And when you’re wrong? You apologise.

3. You Make Decisions Together

You don’t make all the decisions. Neither does your partner. From what movie to see to how many children to have, you make decisions together and listen to each other’s concerns and desires. Sure, this may mean you see Transformers on Saturday night. But on Sunday night, it’s your turn.

4. You Can Do Your Thing

Just because you’re in a love doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment together. Take time to pursue your own hobbies and having your own circle of friends keeps your relationship fresh. You both have the opportunity to grow as individuals while growing as a couple.

5. You Like Yourself And Your Partner

Don’t base your partnership on the hope that it will change. You accept that neither of you is perfect, and you accept and value each other for who you are right now—not who you might become.

6. You Find Balance and Understanding

Sometimes your partner needs to work longer hours while you play chauffeur and chief cook. Or you must devote time to an elderly parent while your spouse tackles the chores. That’s life. What matters is that, in the long run, your trade-offs seem fair.

7. You Find Happiness

Healthy relationships are full of laughter and fun. This doesn’t mean you’re laughing every hour of the day—or that you drive each other up the wall sometimes—but it does mean that your life together is mostly happy in some simple ways like making dinner, laughing at the same things, finishing each others’ sentences…

Love Wishes Quotes

8. You Trust Each Other

Healthy relationships are built on trust and a commitment to communicate with each other without reservations or secrets. Want to know how much you trust each other now? Take this quiz from the University of California, Berkeley

9. You Talk To Your Partner, Not To Other People

When you have problems and concerns, you share them with your partner, not your Facebook friends. You can use friends as a sounding board, of course, but not as a reason to avoid hard conversations with your significant other.

10. You Treat Each Other Kindly

If you find yourself showing more respect to strangers than you show your partner, it’s time to take a step back and revisit your priorities. Nothing is more important than treating the person you love with care, consideration, empathy, and appreciation.

11. You Let Things Go

As surely as the sun rises from the east, your partner will annoy you; and as surely as the sun sets in the west, you will annoy him or her, too. You will say things you don’t mean. You will behave inconsiderately. The important thing is how you deal with all this. So he forgot to pick up eggs for the second time? Tell him you’re disappointed, of course—then let it go.

12. Your Relationship Is Your Safe Place

Your relationship should be a safety net—a stable place to come home to at the end of the day. That doesn’t mean you don’t fight—it just means that when things are tough, you’d rather see your partner than console yourself with colleagues at Happy Hour.

13. You Are Intimate

Sex is an important part of healthy relationships, but not the only one part, and it’s different than intimacy. Intimacy is less about physical satisfaction than about bonding, friendship, and familiarity. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll feel connected—in and out of bed.

14. You Say The Magic Words

“I love you”, “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry.”

Article Source: Real Simple

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