After numerous years of collecting stories about the best and worst ways to handle marriage, separation, and divorce, the editors at Divorce Magazine have decided to offer some of their best tips about divorce prevention. These suggestions might help you get to the point where you want to work things out with your current spouse, or they will help you in your next relationship. Either way, this advice is worth the read.
According to DivorceStatistics.org, 40-50 percent of all first-time marriages will end in divorce. And although the reasons vary, some of the top ones include poor communication, financial strain, intimacy issues, built-up resentment, deep-rooted feelings of incompatibility and not being able to forgive.
There’s no question that when there are these types of problems in a marital union, there’s a pressure to find a solution. And sometimes, for one or both spouses, it’s divorce. However, it’s important to remember that while initially divorce may seem like “the answer” to a hurting marriage, it tends to affect spouses, children and society as a whole in a myriad of negative ways.
There’s data to support the fact that divorce can lead to all sorts of psychological and behavioral problems in children; it can also cause them to have relational issues with their parents, siblings and others due to their fear of abandonment. Also, divorce can cause the health of the separated spouses to decrease. Not only that but divorce affects society as a whole. Aside from the fact that divorce costs taxpayers as much as $25,000-30,000, studies indicate that people who are married tend to be far more productive at work than those who come from a broken relationship.
For these reasons and so many others, it’s best to not look at divorce as an answer to a hurting marriage; to instead seek out other solutions to divorce. Here are five of them:
1. Go for counseling
Out of all of the solutions to divorce that will be shared in this article, this may be the most effective one. Unfortunately, there are a lot of couples who will wait until they feel totally hopeless within their relationship before even considering seeing a professional marriage counselor, but the reality is that it’s healthy for all couples to go at least a couple of times per year. That way, they can get tips and tools to either get viable remedies for the problems they are having or to make their marriage even stronger. Marriage counseling is proven to improve physical and emotional intimacy, increase communication and establish an overall better connection between spouses.
2. Talk about your needs
If one or both of you have problems communicating with one another, that’s just one more reason why it’s such a good idea to see a marriage counselor. But if you do feel like both of you are able to talk and listen pretty well, don’t hesitate to share your needs. Sometimes couples end up resenting each other simply because they feel like their needs are being ignored or they are going unmet. Just because you and your spouse share the same house, that doesn’t mean that you can read one another’s minds. Whatever you’re expecting from the relationship, it’s important that you share it.
3. Spend more quality time together
There are a lot of couples who are not happy in their marriage simply because they don’t feel like they relate to one another anymore. This can happen when things like financial pressures, hectic schedules and their children’s needs take precedence over spending time with one another. Going on dates, taking vacations, making sex a priority in your marriage are not “luxuries”. In order for a marriage to be healthy so that it can last, these are necessities. It’s absolutely imperative that you and your spouse spend quality time with one another.
4. Get some accountability
Although your spouse should be your main accountability partner, also look for some other married couples who can help to hold you accountable as well. Accountable to what? Accountable to the vows that you took on your wedding day. Everyone needs friends and mentors who can serve as a support system and this is especially the case when it comes to married people. Sometimes couples see divorce as their only solution because they don’t have others around them to remind them that there are other solutions to divorce; ones that usually prove to be far better.
5. Accept that your spouse is human—just like you
Yes, on the surface, you know that your husband or wife is human. But here’s the thing: When you think about all of the things that frustrate you, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s about them not being who you want and/or expect them to be. Humans are flawed and they make mistakes. But the more than you accept that as a reality, the more open you’ll be to not being upset with your spouse when they disappoint you; the more willing you will be to give them what you want in return when you fall short: patience, forgiveness, understanding, encouragement and love. Yes, the more willing you are to give what you want in your marriage, the more of a chance it has not only to avoid divorce but to truly thrive!