Elsa and Chris met in 2010, a year before the Thor release would make them household names. “It’s difficult when you go from being an unknown person to a very known person and all the changes that come with that,” Elsa explained. But the sudden change in lifestyle allowed her and Chris to grow together. It certainly wasn’t easy, though. The couple got married just a few months before this rise to international fame and welcomed their first child shortly after that. “We did everything very quickly," she said.
While Elsa and Chris don’t quite have a roadmap for how they’ve "survived as a couple," Elsa said, they’ve put in the necessary work in order make their marriage a solid one. It’s work that comes through in their body language. Their stances on the red carpet and the small gestures they subconsciously make at home point to the many ways Elsa and Chris trust each other and show their love, according to Karen Donaldson, body language expert. Ahead, she breaks down what each of these moves means for this marriage.
Chris doesn't have any walls up when it comes to Elsa.
This body language proves Chris feels safe with Elsa, Donaldson says. You might wonder how she knows that considering Chris is asleep. "Well, having your hand overhead when sleeping is a non-defensive position," Donaldson explains. "This pose exposes all of Chris’s vulnerable areas." It tells Donaldson that he's comfortable letting his guard down when Elsa's around.
They know they're good together.
"In this image Elsa’s hand is on Chris’ chest which hints at feelings of possessiveness. A he-is-mine-type hold," Donaldson says. It's her way of telling onlookers that they're a unit (and making sure no one forgets it), while also showing pride in their marriage.
Chris' body language exudes all kinds of confidence in his relationship. Donaldson explains having a hand in your pocket can either mean you're nervous or "cool and sexy." In this case, because of his posture and the way he's pulling Elsa in, he falls into the self-assured camp.
Chris adores Elsa...
...But he's not totally comfortable with PDA. The kiss on Elsa's head is a display of adoration, but "his eye contact is elsewhere," Donaldson points out. His hand is in his pocket again, but this time Donaldson sees the move more as a "self-soothing gesture" to ease his discomfort.
Elsa, on the other hand, is all for it. "She leans in and exhibits a full-fledged accepting smile," says Donaldson. She'll never turn down the extra lovin'.
They're friends and lovers.
Sure, an arm around your partner is a loving gesture, but Donaldson's more focused on the "comfortable and casual" vibe this body language gives off. There's space between Elsa and Chris and rather than holding Elsa's hand, Chris is only touching her fingers. Usually this might raise some flags but in this case, given the pride and confidence the two have in their relationship, Donaldson says it means Elsa and Chris are both "a loving couple and good friends."
Having fun together is a priority.
One look at this Instagram photo Elsa posted for Chris' birthday and Donaldson can detect the sense of playfulness in this relationship. Even with the packed schedules that come with work and parenting, these two will always make time for fun.
And it's clearly something these two are proud of: "Happy birthday to my biggest child," Elsa wrote in her caption. "I love you to death @chrishemsworth. Let’s be kids forever!!"
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.