22 Signs You're in a Healthy Marriage

Falling in love is the fun part, the liberating and thrilling part. There is also the wedding day: the apex of your romance. Two people star in their own drama, a gorgeous fuss is made about them, sacred vows are exchanged, and they ride off into the sunset together — years of blissful union stretching out before them (of course).

But a happy and healthy marriage begins after the music stops and the formalwear is stowed away. And, while marriage can be a blast, even the most successful couples ebb and flow in terms of attraction, compatibility, and connection. This partnership is about two people who boldly choose each other, who strive to meet each other's needs for companionship and intimacy, all the while progressing through their own journey of life. A healthy marriage encourages the evolution of self. Ahead are 22 indications that your marriage is exactly that.

  1. Your spouse, in both actions and words, conveys that you are his or her equal.
  2. It feels likes you're players on the same team. It's never you against them. There are no sides. Both of you are working for the "us."
  3. You envision the same future. Will you have children? Travel often? Do you wish to build a life in a quiet house by the water or in the heartbeat of a buzzing metropolis? Even though disagreements about dinner plans, holidays, and paint colors are inevitable, when it comes to the big matters, you're gazing onward at the same vision board.
  4. It's perfectly safe to be your authentic self. There are no facades, no masks, no pressures to morph yourself into anyone other than who you are.
  5. They empower your individuality. Marriage is not enmeshment; it's two distinct identities with unique dreams, histories, personalities, and talents who have committed to moving through life alongside each other.
  6. Your core values are aligned. This means, for example, that if one values a life of meditation, yoga, and sobriety, and they find themselves married to a person who insists upon partying their problems away, turbulence is in the forecast. But if the values are in harmony, the goals will be too and, in turn, the actions.
  7. They inspire you to grow. Their love invites you to step out bravely into the world and stand taller, stretch farther, and yawn wider. Nothing about this marriage shrinks you into someone smaller than you are meant to be.
  8. Life-altering decisions are always made with respect to both individuals' comfort levels and well-being.
  9. Their presence feels like a haven, especially when an emotional storm blows through.
  10. When you are celebrating, they are celebrating. When you are grieving, they are grieving.
  11. Both parties are allowed a voice to communicate their feelings, opinions, and perspectives, and neither voice is granted more volume than the other.
  12. Compromise is a frequent visitor in your home. And your door is always left ajar.
  13. Personal boundaries are learned and honored, never intentionally defied.
  14. Time is prioritized — whenever physically possible — for intimacy. And it's a pleasure, not a chore.
  15. You always know where you stand with them in the grand scheme. No matter how fiery the words exchanged in the throes of angst or frustration, you feel secure knowing that, ultimately, apologies will be made and everything will be OK.
  16. Whether you have had a crummy day or a cartwheeling kind of day, they are the first person you are bursting to unveil its every detail to.
  17. You take delight in their idiosyncrasies. Those quirks make them who they are and yours make you who you are, and knowing this is a beautiful component of your relationship — no matter how eye-roll-worthy or silly.
  18. Acts of love are exchanged freely and organically. No one is keeping a tab.
  19. You feel truly seen and known. This human bears witness to the most cobwebbed corners of you, and it feels natural and safe to be this bare bones — this vulnerable.
  20. Better versions of each other continuously emerge the longer you are together. Each person amplifies their spouse's potentialities and strengths.
  21. They are tender guardians of your heart and mind. No matter who else in their life they wish to impress, pacify, or please, they have your back above all else. This you know for sure.
  22. Secrets are off-limits. There are no hidden bank accounts, passwords, or relationships. No matter how discomforting the subject matter, there is room for discussing it, because a marriage is only as strong as the truth it is built upon.