Are you happily coupled? Or are you unhappily coupled yet you appear okay to your friends? I found out yesterday that a close friend's marriage is on the rocks. This will be the third couple we're friends with that broke up in the last few years. One was expected, the other two shocked us. It seems like my own marriage gets a quick aftershock from these events - first the total surprise and sadness, then the reaffirmation that we are fine. Each time we've gotten this news, it's affected us the same way. We've been lucky in that the friendships have remained strong, yet different.
DH read me an article years ago about a study of long, happy marriages. What the researchers found was that couples who were happy over the long haul had one commonality: The husband was "willing to be influenced by his wife's advice." I had to mull that over for a while to understand the implications. What it comes down to is that a husband must respect and honor his wife. Sounds awfully simplistic, huh? But some think tank somewhere came up with this and although it's worded rather strangely, I believe it's true.
So what do you think? Does your relationship fit this model or do you have a different predictor of success?