With the divorce rate in North America reported at over 50% it’s no wonder couples are seeking ways to divorce proof their marriage. Whether you’re a newlywed or have been married for a few years, you may have already experienced a few bumps in the road. About 50% or more singles I’ve worked with are divorced or separated and have shared with me all the reasons things didn’t work out. Although each person has their own story and experience to share, it’s clear there exists some common problems. In hindsight, admittedly the inevitable marriage breakdown could have been avoided if the problems were addressed early, and actions were taken before it became too late to save the relationship.
Do NOT make assumptions
A very common mistake couples do is making assumptions about their partner’s thoughts and actions and reacting negatively based on their false beliefs. One meaning of assumption is, “something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof.” You know the phrase never “ASS-U-ME” anything because you make an ASS out of U and ME? 9 times out of 10 this is true. A simple way to avoid assumptions is by asking your partner plainly and openly “What did you mean by that?” Or “Can you share with me what that meant or why you did that? I don’t understand your relationship with so and so, can you enlighten me?” So many partners create resentment and get angry over something completely false, based on an assumption they made over a statement or action which was completely untrue. It also leaves your partner feeling confused, lost and possibly bitter for blaming or accusing them of thoughts and behaviors which are untrue. This type of behavior destroys trust and can lead to resentment and bitterness.
Learn how to speak the same love language
There are loads of books which try to help people decode the way men and women think. We are in fact different genders and we ultimately have different motivators and ways as a gender we communicate and express ourselves. A great tool which I found helpful and many other dating experts recommend is Gary Chapman’s “5 Love languages” test. Although this is not about how men and women think (this is important to understand also) this is a test which helps to identify your dominant “love language”, which is a thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference. Understanding your motivator and your partner’s motivator gives you greater insight with how to connect with your partner in a way which makes sense for him/her. The basic concept here is we express love and affection in a variety of context and behavior; therefore understanding what makes someone “tick” allows you to communicate with them more effectively.
Have regular sex & play time
The top 3 reasons I’ve discovered marriages failing is over money, kids (parenting differences) and LACK of sex, or change in sex drive and attraction to their partner. Husbands complain about having to beg their wives to give them a blow job or have sex once a month (really?). Wives complain their husbands work too much and are too tired, or are never home to spend time with them. Sex and intimacy are key to marital survival and if you’re NOT having “enjoyable” sex on a semi-regular basis, you may be heading in the direction of divorce. Although with marriage comes change and new responsibilities, you have to be conscious of the amount of play time you have with your partner. It’s like going to work, making money and then burning it. Sex is considered a pretty major benefit of marriage; so it’s a disappointment to your partner when all of a sudden the rides over and the play train rolls in once a month. A typical challenge with a change in sex drive is when one person feels negatively about their personal and physical appearance. If this is the case, make every effort to change whatever is necessary for you to get back your libido and regain your mojo or sex appeal. Flirting with your partner in my opinion is a daily practice. It’s as essential as brushing your teeth, saying good morning when you wake up and good night before you fall asleep. And if you’re not doing these little but meaningful things, it’s all too easy to neglect the big stuff too.
Remember to put yourself in your partners’ shoes. Remove your own insecurities and assumptions, and take the time to show your appreciation with kind words and willful thoughtfulness and kindness. These daily simple tips will go a long way to divorce-proof your marriage.