9 Things Couples Can Do to Avoid Divorce
Marriage is a big decision. It’s a life change and a huge commitment. For most people who marry, the goal is to remain married “‘til death do us part.’”
Divorce is equally huge. If you’re happily married, you likely want to stay that way. What can you do to preserve that love and avoid a break-up?
If you want to avoid divorce, consider these tactics
In our complicated world, marriage is mired in land mines, and the divorce rate is significant. Stress. Infidelity. Technology. Being constantly bombarded with others’ ideas of what we “should” do and be. Still, somehow, some couples find ways to circumnavigate these choppy waters and come out better than before. What is the secret to these healthy marriages?
1. Be best friends
Friendship goes hand-in-hand with a long-term romantic relationship. As it turns out, the lust you feel at the beginning of a relationship does absolutely no good decades later without a great friendship. Does that couple with 50 years of marriage under their belt still look lustfully at each other? Maybe not, but if they have a healthy relationship, they know that their spouse will be the one person in the world they can count on through thick and thin.
The two of you don’t become mind-readers once you get married. If you need something, ask for it. Share how you feel. Ask questions when you’re unsure. One of the biggest problems in failing marriages is a breakdown of communication between partners. And it’s all too easy to get mad when your partner doesn’t seem to know what you want. This leads to further isolation.
3. Know what your partner needs to feel loved – and then do it
Have you ever tried to show your spouse all the ways you love them only to find you missed the mark? For example, admiring a person’s new outfit may not count as “love language” for them. Instead, they might want you to bring them a cold beer after a long day. Sometimes, many “little things” done right contribute to a successful marriage. To nurture your relationship, understand your partner’s love language and needs, and communicate your own.
4. Be accountable for your words and actions
Accountability is the hallmark of a mature and strong relationship. People make mistakes. They may say things that are hurtful. In order to expect and deserve forgiveness, accept accountability for your words and actions. Take ownership of what you say and do … and if mess up, convey that you are truly sorry for the blunder.
5. Respect your spouse as their own person
In marriage, it’s easy to lose sight of your spouse as a separate person. But your spouse is a distinct and unique person with skills and attributes that have nothing to do with you. Admire and respect who your spouse is as a person … you might share the same bed with them every night, but try viewing them as the individual they are outside of your marriage as well.
6. Make time to do things together that you enjoy
When you and your spouse were courting, you likely spent plenty of date nights together. Over the years, however, life may have gotten in the way. Regardless of what is going on – kids, job, house, other responsibilities – your marriage should be your number-one priority. Have a list of babysitters on hand, restaurants you want to explore, museums you want to check out, concerts you want to see. Weekend away? Just happen to have a few “favorites” saved on Airbnb.
7. Spend time apart
In addition to spending time together, be sure to spend time apart. Perhaps you like your book club while your spouse dislikes reading. Perhaps your spouse likes to golf, but you don’t care for it. Spouses are different people with different needs and interests. Being happy together means that you can also be happy apart. Then, when you come back together, it gives you more to talk about.
8. Be faithful
There’s little that’s more hurtful or disrespectful than a spouse who has been emotionally or physically unfaithful. While we know it happens often, it’s one of the most damaging things that can happen to two people who vowed to love each other forever. And while infidelity doesn’t always lead to the demise of the relationship, it hurts it in ways that are often insurmountable.
9. Say “I love you” often – and really mean it
Some people view “I love you” as one of the small things in marriage. Others view it as hugely important to their marital satisfaction and well-being. Regardless of how you feel, these three words can pack a big punch, especially when they’re spoken with gusto and conviction.
How often do we say those three little words without really thinking about them? When you say them with energy and intention behind them, it’s amazing how your partner will be able to feel the difference.
When marriage becomes too hard
Marriage can be difficult despite all of your hard work. Maybe you have gotten to a point where you wonder if it’s all worth it. Before you consider divorce, however, maybe your broken relationship deserves a good last push toward survival.
Maybe that looks like marriage counseling. Maybe that looks like a trial separation. Only you can decide this – but many people prefer to know they exhausted all avenues of saving their marriage before calling it quits.
At Hello Divorce, we offer a new way to look at the divorce process. It doesn’t have to be acrimonious and awful. You can still treat each other with respect and dignity during the process. If you’re struggling in your marriage or considering divorce, check out the many resources we offer. Know that we also have online divorce plans and flat-rate services that will simplify the process should you decide to move forward with permanent separation.
Have questions? Schedule a free 15-minute call.