Wondering if your husband is truly happy in your union? Here are 12 ways to know for sure. They call it “dropping the bomb” syndrome and it usually follows the same pattern: one partner believes their marriage is going along fine when the other suddenly announces it’s over—finished, done, period. It turns out that things were far from fine. There was a lot of denial going on, a lot of saying ‘yes’ when you meant ‘no’ and a lot of unexpressed anger simmering just below the surface. When that simmer reaches a boil, the bomb drops.
In most cases, husbands are those who make the unexpected announcement, leaving their wives in shock, disbelief and anger at being left. The resulting collateral damage on children and extended family only widens the circle of pain.
How can you know if your husband is really happily married? Is there a way to tell if your marriage is bomb proof? When he says “I love you” can you believe it?
Here are 12 ways to know he’s happy in your marriage:
1. He feels that you notice and appreciate him and do not take him for granted. In survey, men consistently identify feeling appreciated as a prime measure of how happily married they are.
2. He knows he can be himself and confide in you without being judged or criticized. This kind of self-disclosing communication is crucially important because it builds trust and commitment.
3. He sees that you desire him and express it sexually. No matter how much a man enjoys sex, it’s a turn-off to feel like he’s the only one interested.
4. He likes how he feels about himself when he is with you. Your affectionate attention outside of the bedroom, (compliments, praise, hugs, warm touches, saying “I love you”) makes him feel good about himself and endears you to him.
5. He knows you love and accept him for who he is, but he also knows you will not tolerate bad behaviour on his part. He knows your love is real and respects it because he sees it’s not based on submissive compliance.
6. He likes that you need him but that you aren’t ‘needy’. Relying on one another is a part of a healthy relationship, but being “needy” (overly dependent) creates control and the desire to flee from it.
7. He likes that you care about looking attractive in your own personal way. He doesn’t expect you to look like a Hollywood starlet, but seeing that you care about your appearance makes him feel you value yourself and the relationship.
8. He feels respected and admired by you. There can’t be love without respect. Feeling admired by the one you love enhances self-esteem; it renews both sexual and emotional passion between you two.
9. He never feels belittled or humiliated when you are angry at him. When you are angry and don’t resort to personal attacks, you make it safe for him not to be defensive and rather more open to hearing your reasons for being upset.
10. He sees that you can let go of the past. You do not hold grudges, keep score or consistently feel victimized by life. This makes your marriage flexible rather than rigid, exciting rather than dull and open for a future of growing together.
11. He knows that for you, he is a top priority. He is comfortable taking a backseat to all you do and he’s confident that when he seriously needs you, you’ll be there for him 100%.
12. He appreciates that you are kind and welcoming to his family. No one gets to choose their family and many have problems. When you make a genuine effort to accept his, he feels respected and valued by you.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.