According to Reuters, a recent report by Men’s Health magazine tells us that Charlotte ranks # 6 in the country among states where marriages are most likely doomed for divorce. The ranking was determined based on several factors including the number of licensed marriage and family therapists and the stringency of divorce laws.
Regardless of the report, if a couple is truly committed to making their marriage work, they do not have to become one of the statistics. Here are some ways to divorce proof your marriage:
Use the “D” word sparingly. Do not threaten to divorce your spouse. Do not wonder what it would be like to divorce your spouse. Do not even consider it as an option if you are struggling. It can seem like the easy way out and will prevent you from working through your issues.
Do not put yourself in situations where you are tempted to stray. If your marriage is troubled, the grass will almost always look greener with someone else. But guess what? That grass will fade as well, for no relationship is perfect.
Respect each other. This means no name calling, no emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. It means truly listening to your spouse.
Remember what made you fall in love to begin with. During the difficult times, it is easy to lose sight of this. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a few steps back from the situation and just reflect on the good parts of your relationship.
Open and honest communication. Do not keep secrets that affect you as a couple…whether they be financial, emotional or physical. Secrets can destroy a marriage. By keeping secrets, you are showing that you do not trust your spouse enough to share what is on your heart…or it shows that you have something to hide.
Learn how to fight. It’s inevitable that you and your spouse are going to argue and disagree. It can actually be quite healthy if done properly. What happens too often, however…is that an argument becomes so emotional that each person starts flinging insults and barbs at the other to the point that you both forget what you were initially arguing about in the first place. It becomes more about control than about resolution. In order to fight fair, you need to focus on the issue at hand and avoid statements that start with “You”. Instead, get your point across by saying “I feel”. This will keep your spouse from getting defensive. Here is an example of how important phrasing can be when getting a point across:
“You never listen to me.”
“I feel very hurt when you do not listen to me.”
See the difference? In essence, you are saying the same thing. The first example, however, will put your spouse on the defensive. The second example will force your spouse to focus on your feelings.
Keeping a marriage intact is never easy…but anything worth having is not supposed to be easy. Divorce proof your marriage by following these tips.