If you’re in a relationship, you’ve likely wondered about the future and what type of spouse your partner might make if you were to ever get hitched.
But the truth is, when you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to see whether your partner has the qualities of a great spouse.
Sure, they might be a fun girlfriend or boyfriend, but do they have what it takes to get through life and marriage?
Well, you’ll know by the end of this article.
If your partner does these 9 things, they’re marriage material:
1) They respect your boundaries
If there’s one main difference between my husband and the men I’ve dated in the past; his respect for my limits.
I vividly remember telling him at the start of our relationship how I dislike being called names during arguments. I find it very disrespectful to be sworn at.
And to his credit, he’s never once sworn directly at me in an argument, and trust me, we’ve had plenty of those in the last 6 years!
So the point is, whatever your boundaries are, it’s crucial your partner respects them, especially if you’re considering tying the knot with them.
And as harsh as it may be to hear this – if they don’t respect your boundaries, they simply don’t respect you.
2) They take responsibility for themselves
I’ll get to the point on this one:
Do you want a life partner or a child?
Because if your partner can’t take responsibility for themselves, you’ll find yourself playing the role of an angry parent more than a fulfilled partner.
Here’s the thing:
A person who can reflect, own up to their mistakes and look after themselves (and others) makes a fantastic spouse.
You can truly build a good life with them, one where you both work hard and bring progress to the table.
And isn’t that what a successful marriage is all about?
3) They offer emotional support
Now, I can’t stress how important emotional support is.
It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your partner is. Or how rich, funny, or charming.
If they don’t hold your hand and let you cry after a long day, or allow you to vent after a weekend with your parents, they’re not marriage material.
Because let’s be honest, life is tough sometimes.
We have bad days. And we all deserve to go home to someone who cares enough to listen and offer their support.
On the other hand, if your partner tells you to, “Stop being so sensitive,” ridicules you, or is too busy for you when you’re feeling down, it may be time to reconsider whether they’re worth keeping around at all.
4) They can take a joke
Laughter will pull you through many situations in life, so it’s important to have a partner who has a sense of humor.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come home, stressed to the max, pissed off at life, to find my husband doing something funny to make me laugh.
It always brightens my mood.
Also, couples who laugh together tend to have a stronger bond, which in the long run, should equate to a strong marriage.
So don’t compromise on this one.
If your partner gets huffy whenever you lightheartedly take the mickey out of them, or they belittle your sense of humor, I’d think twice about marrying them.
It’s gonna be a loooong life if you’re with someone who takes everything so seriously.
5) They compromise
You’re probably tired of hearing the word “compromise” in relationships, but unfortunately, there’s no way around it.
Because no two people are ever going to align on EVERYTHING forever.
There will come a time when your partner wants their parents over for the weekend, but you’ve planned a game night with your friends. Someone has to give in.
Even when it comes to making dinner and deciding who takes out the trash – compromise will undoubtedly become a part of everyday life.
And that’s why it’s so important that your partner is good at it.
They don’t become resentful. They don’t become petty. And they’re not selfish.
They compromise for the good of the relationship, and ultimately, because they’re a team player.
6) They actively listen
The other day we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. It was the first time we’d all met in such an intimate setting.
I couldn’t help but notice that every single time my friend spoke, her husband listened intently.
He’d look directly at her, nod along, and he never once interrupted her.
It might not sound like a big deal, but I could see how much he respected her by listening to what she had to say.
They’ve been married for 25 years, and there’s no doubt this basic act of being present and fully engaged with each other has helped contribute to their successful marriage.
7) They put in the work
Does your partner pick up the load? Let’s say if you both work – will they help out with chores or cooking when you both get home?
If so, that’s a good sign.
After a fight, will your partner make an effort to come and rectify things? Will they work on their issues to avoid repeated arguments?
If so, that’s another good sign.
Does your partner contribute to the relationship as much as you do? I.e, they make time for you, they’re considerate, and they invest in the relationship.
If the answer to all of the above is “yes”, marry them because it’s not often you find someone willing to put in the work. So when you do, you know you’re onto something good.
8) They fight fairly
Your fighting styles, much like your sense of humor, are going to play a big part in your marriage.
If you’re with someone who gives you the cold shoulder or is extremely volatile during arguments, putting a ring on it won’t make them magically calm down.
Ideally, your partner should be able to regulate their emotions (so no tantrum-throwing), reflect on their behavior, and always look for solutions rather than blowing the issue out of proportion.
They shouldn’t play the blame game or manipulate you during arguments.
The bottom line is, if they fight dirty now, you may be in for a lifetime of dirty fights. But if they fight fairly, you stand a chance of having a good, healthy marriage.
But a lot of this comes down to the next and final point on the list:
9) They communicate openly
Naturally, if your partner communicates openly and honestly, you probably don’t have to deal with the issues I mentioned above (blame game, cold shoulder, volatility, etc).
Instead, they’ll sit down and work through issues calmly.
And in all other areas of life, they’ll do their best to communicate their needs and boundaries, which is super important in a marriage.
I have friends who, by their mid-30s, are already divorced.
And one thing they always say is how they never saw the divorce coming. They never “fought”, something most of them were very proud of.
Until I pointed out that never fighting or having confrontation often means that one or both people aren’t communicating how they’re really feeling.
So while things may seem great on the surface, there’s a lot of tension, resentment, and unspoken feelings that bubble away until one day, they explode.
I hope this article has shed light on whether your partner is marriage material or not. This list is just a guide, not a definitive list.
Ultimately, my husband didn’t tick all of these boxes when we first met, but he was willing to work on a lot of things, and that’s why I chose to marry him.
So if your partner is aware of their shortcomings and is actively improving themselves, take that into consideration as you ponder whether they’re marriage material or not.