When you’re standing at the altar, you should know who it is you’re marrying. Ideally, you ought to know all their strengths and weaknesses, habits, moral principles, goals in life, and all the little quirks that make them the person you love.
But marriage isn’t where it ends. You don’t get your happily ever after just because you’ve said yes.
In fact, marriage is where the work genuinely begins because our true colors tend to come out even more than before.
You’ve pledged yourself to this person for life – but what if they’re not right for you after all?
Read on for the 10 clear-cut signs you married the right person.
1) You know you can rely on them
First things first, you have signed up for a partnership. You are not here to parent your spouse or lead the whole family while they slowly trail behind you.
If you married the right person, it means you can rely on them in most aspects of life, including:
- Finances (they are financially responsible, transparent about their income and spendings, and they share your financial goals)
- House chores (they split house-related responsibilities with you 50/50 depending on each other’s working hours, preferred house chores, and physical abilities)
- Admin (they’re up to date on your bills, know how to take care of themselves, and don’t need reminders to run important errands)
- Emotional support (they’re always there for you if you need them, offering solace, advice, and comfort)
- Childcare (if you have children, your partner is very engaged with them and is fully capable of taking care of them while you’re not around)
If your spouse doesn’t tick all five boxes, it’s not a complete dealbreaker – if they’re willing to change and are displaying active progress, that is.
Remember: you’re not your spouse’s parent. You’re a life partner. You should be a team.
Which brings us to…
2) Your marriage works like a well-oiled machine
Look, there will always be some marital issues that need addressing. No marriage is ever perfect.
But if you look at how you two work together on a daily basis, you should have a feeling that you make a great team.
And I’m not talking only about dealing with big problems or sorting through fights. I’m talking about the little things.
They cook, you tidy the kitchen.
They take the bin bag out, you put a new one in.
They are shy and you’re outgoing, so you deal with the phone calls while they write the emails.
You don’t need to be so in sync that you finish each other’s sentences (although it would be pretty cool), but your strengths and weaknesses ought to naturally balance each other out.
So, here’s my question: do you fit together like a nice piece of a puzzle?
3) Your disagreements move the marriage forward, not backward
If you’ve answered yes to the above question, you should also try to ensure the whole puzzle stays intact while both of you work on some individual faulty pieces.
In other words, the right spouse will handle disagreements in a mature and effective way.
If you fight, something productive usually comes out of it, such as a new understanding of each other’s perspectives, a new rule for setting boundaries, or a compromise that suits both parties.
A disagreement isn’t something that triggers your nervous system and sends you into a spiral of anxiety and stress. It’s not something that can make or break the marriage.
It’s an opportunity to understand each other better.
Even if you’re very angry.
4) Your spouse is your safe place
Speaking of dysregulated nervous systems and fights, it’s normal to argue from time to time – as long as your spouse remains someone you feel safe and protected with.
Do they give you the space to be your authentic self? Can you be silly, play around, and let your inner child truly shine?
You’ve chosen this person to be your new family. Your home.
Do they try their best to ensure that this home is a happy and safe place to be?
5) You’ve seen them actively work on the relationship
Nobody’s perfect. We all have our own issues, and many of them tend to come to the surface once we enter a romantic relationship or marry someone.
Often, it’s not the issue itself that’s a dealbreaker. It’s our unwillingness to work on it.
Out of all the items on this list, this is one of the most important ones. Have you seen your partner actively work on themselves so that the relationship moves forward? Have you witnessed actual progress in those years you’ve been together?
In the next decades, you’ll go through various changes in circumstances, personal transformations, and obstacles. To make it through, you and your spouse need to be able to enact true behavior changes.
If they’ve crossed your boundary in the past and you had a discussion about it, have they learned never to cross it again?
If you’ve pointed out some behavior that was hurtful to you, have they stopped acting in that way?
One of the primary reasons I broke up with one of my ex-partners was that in four years of the relationship, I saw no progress on his part. I kept bringing up the same issues year after year. And I got tired of it.
If your spouse makes empty promises but never truly changes…can you learn to be okay with this behavior forever?
6) You support each other’s growth
Let’s say both of you are willing to change and adapt. That’s great!
But then there’s the issue of accepting every new version of each other. Throughout your life, you will continuously grow, change directions, and upgrade. The same applies to your spouse.
The person you married a year ago isn’t the person they’ll be in thirty years.
And that’s okay. In fact, it’s amazing – if your personalities work well together, you might develop in similar directions and grow as a team.
But you’ve got to make the decision to love all the versions of one another that are to come.
You’ve got to be each other’s greatest fans.
7) Your friendship is stronger than your intimacy
Most people consider intimacy incredibly important.
But do you know what’s even more crucial for a thriving marriage?
While your libido will most likely decrease with age, your mental, intellectual, and spiritual connection will stay. In fact, it’ll probably grow stronger.
Far too many people rely on sexual chemistry to keep their relationships going. If you’ve married the right person, you know that your bond isn’t just about attraction.
Think about this: if you weren’t attracted to your spouse and were just friends, would you find the friendship fulfilling?
8) They make your marriage a priority
If you ask old and happily married couples about their lives, they’ll talk about jobs that have come and gone, friendships that fizzled out, and experiences that are nothing but memories now.
Those things were all fleeting. But their marriage has withstood it all.
When you married, you chose to walk through life as a team, not as two single units that live in the same house.
This means that your spouse ought to prioritize your marriage and your well-being. While everything has limits, of course – a really important work meeting will probably take priority over fixing the washing machine so that you can wash your favorite t-shirt – your marriage should be on top of the list as far as important decisions go.
It goes without saying that you should be 100% committed and loyal to each other.
9) You have similar goals and values in life
This is an obvious one, but it bears saying – if your goals and values radically differ, you’ll find it really difficult to create a fulfilling life together.
Especially if you have children.
If your spouse is very religious and you’re an atheist, how will you bring up your kids? If you want to live on a vegan farm with rescued animals but your spouse loves bacon, will you ever be able to reach a compromise?
Truly think through your values and ask yourself: If you weren’t in love, would you be okay with your spouse’s lifestyle and moral principles?
10) You rarely question whether you married the right person
Finally, the fact that you’ve chosen to read this article says something.
Don’t worry, it’s not necessarily a sign of trouble. Maybe you’re really happy in your marriage and just wanted to affirm to yourself that your spouse ticks all the boxes; maybe you’re just having some doubts after a particularly upsetting argument.
You might also have an anxious attachment style, which means you may be self-sabotaging your happiness out of deep abandonment fears and you’re overthinking.
But sometimes, asking the internet if you married the right person is an answer in and of itself.
Maybe it’s your intuition telling you that something needs to change. And if the signs above don’t describe your marriage…maybe you ought to listen.