There is no crystal ball for predicting whether a new marriage will last “til death” or not. Some seemingly incompatible couples end up having happy marriages; other times, spouses that appear to be perfect for each other wind up getting divorced.
Though no one, least of all the spouses themselves, can know on their wedding day what the future will hold, there are habits that happy married people do that tend to help keep their relationships strong. Here are six such habits, as collected by the Huffington Post:
1. Not overspending on the wedding. A study from Emory University suggests that women who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding were 3.5 times as likely to be divorced as those whose weddings were in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
2. Meeting online. This relatively recent way of meeting potential mates seems to produce sturdy marriages. A study found couples who met online had a lower divorce rate and higher levels of marital satisfaction.
3. Turning off your social media. Though the Internet may have connected you to your spouse, spending too much time on social media can hurt your relationship. Research from 2014 found that a spouse who spends a lot of time on Facebook and similar sites tends to make the other spouse unhappy, causing 32 percent of them to consider divorce.
4. Watching romantic movies together. The simple act of watching movies about romantic relationships can strengthen real-life marriages. A study found that couples who watched movies together, then talked for half an hour about the characters’ relationships, had half the divorce risk of other married couples.
5. Let your spouse interrupt you. It may seem like your spouse is trying to distract you when you are reading. That is because he or she is — because he or she wants your attention. Couples who often responded to each other’s random comments were more likely to be married than people who rarely paid attention to such interactions.
6. Doing things you both enjoy. During your downtime, it is important to do things together, as long as both spouses are having a good time. Activities that one spouse hates can actually harm the marriage.