When couples marry, they usually dream of building their future and growing old together.
But, statistics show that 53% of marriages in the U.S., 48% in Canada, 47% in the U.K., and 43% in Australia end in divorce.
It is pretty scary but you can still make your relationship last.
Communications professor and author Preston Ni believes asking the following 7 questions helps to predict the potential success of your relationship:
1. Do you trust your partner?
Dr. John Gottman, a relationship expert, and psychologist found that there are two key ingredients that determine the success or failure of any relationship — trust and betrayal.
Betrayal in a relationship can be simple things like lying or not being transparent.
Trust is the foundation and without it, relationships crumble.
For some people, trust is complicated. Some trust blindly while some trust only a little.
Ask yourself if you trust your partner because the success of your relationship depends on it.
Evaluate your trust, not on unproven promises or wishful thinking, but your partner’s dependability and loyalty.
2. Do you have the same level of intimacy?
What does intimacy mean to you and your partner?
Ronald Adler and Russell Proctor state that intimacy has several dimensions. They are physical, intellectual, emotional, and shared activities.
The question is, are you compatible with your partner?
The difference between you and your partner’s measures of intimacy is one of the reasons why misunderstandings happen.
For example, if you are looking for emotional intimacy as a measure of love, you may overlook your partner’s efforts of being there and doing things together.
The key is to understand one another’s intimacy level to ensure long-term relational success.
3. Which side of you shows up when you’re with him or her?
It might sound cliche but your partner should bring out the best in you, not the worst.
If your partner brings out both the good and the bad side, ask yourself what situations tend to bring out that particular side?
And the most important question is if you like the person you’re becoming when you’re with your partner.
The answers to these questions help in achieving happiness in your relationship.
4. Does your communication with your partner build you or tear you?
An article written by The Gottman Institute indicates the biggest predictor of divorce: contempt.
Contempt makes your partner feel despised and worthless.
Examples of showing contempt are mocking your partner with sarcasm, hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and/or body language such as eye-rolling and sneering.
Are you and your partner guilty of these?
Ask yourself if your partner’s communication with you is deprived of respect.
However, there is still good news — contempt is reversible.
You can reverse a pattern of contempt in your relationship before it’s too late by building fondness and admiration.
Dr. Gottman advises to catch your partner doing something right and appreciate them for it.
5. How do you deal with conflict in the relationship?
Couples who have problems dealing with conflict in their relationship exhibit the fight, flight or freeze behavior.
They fight and hold grudges, even for years.
They “flight” and don’t confront the issues.
Or they freeze emotionally and shut down.
On the other hand, successful couples attack the problems together, not attack each other.
They focus on solving the problem, and when it is solved, they forgive and forget.
And with every issue they face, they learn and grow from it.
6. Do you have each other’s backs?
Every relationship faces issues and problems. But the question is does these problems bring you closer or tear you apart?
What makes a relationship successful is the couple’s ability to stand together in the face of external challenges.
They enjoy things together and face problems hand-in-hand.
Just like the marriage vow — through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
Partners who have endured physical challenges together can form a bond that can last a lifetime.
7. Are your financial values compatible?
Studies show that financial arguments early in a relationship may predict divorce.
Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher, found a correlation between financial arguments and decreased relationship satisfaction.
This argument stems from couples’ incompatible financial values.
Early in the relationship, you can recognize your partner’s beliefs about money when you look at how your partner pays for your date (or not), and your partner’s reaction when you give a non-monetary gift.
Ask yourself if you and your partner are able to solve financial difficulties and differences as a team.
If your values are different, you can try to formulate a viable financial plan that both of you agree to.
If you are still in the early stages of your relationship, initiating conversations about your finances to resolve differences can also be a good solution.
Or go to a couples’ counseling when needed to maintain financial peace.
These 7 questions are an effective checklist to build a successful relationship.
If both partners agree to compromise just to make each other happy, then they have what it takes to have a long-lasting relationship.
Because behind every successful marriage are two people who faced the challenges head-on without letting go of each other.
NOW READ: Here are 15 questions you should ask your partner before getting married
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