By Jenna Birch for Your Tango.
Marriage is hard work, whether you’ve been together for just two months or 20 years. No couple jumps the broom, breaks the glass or ties the knot without genuine hopes for happily ever after, right?
But every couple inevitably has issues beneath the surface — it’s how they handle these obstacles that are the telltale signs of success. We tapped a few top marriage therapists to help us identify the common denominators among couples with healthy, enduring relationships.
After all, what are the ingredients for long-lasting love?
1. They argue.
Occasional disagreements and “fighting fair” are not necessarily signs that a relationship is falling apart.
“There is good data showing arguments are OK,” says psychologist Kristen Carpenter, PhD, Director of Women’s Behavioral Health at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “As long as you have positive interactions to offset them, you’re fine. These might include good discussions, date nights, affection or gratitude. Every couple is different, but arguments are definitely OK.”
In fact, arguments can actually be effective if they’re productive. By simply bottling up feelings, you’re creating a recipe for resentment and hostility, which can destroy a marriage.
Watch: Mamamia staff on the moment they knew they had to ask for a divorce. (Post continues after video.)