Want to divorce proof your marriage? Read on…
“I’m living with my mom right now because I’m going through a divorce.” – new person we just met
“I’m so sorry to hear that.” – me
“Don’t be sorry! This is great.” – her friend, rather abruptly
Though my heart sank for her, it was apparent that for her, the divorce was a ‘good thing’. While I trust that her divorce was/is for the best, my hopeless romantic heart cannot imagine that anyone walks down the aisle looking forward to filing for divorce in just a few years. Therefore, my natural reaction is “I’m sorry” in the sense that the marriage didn’t turn out as you both had dreamed of when you said “I do”. Truly, I mean this with the most positive and heart felt intentions.
Don’t miss: The Ultimate Date Idea Guide with 50+ Date Ideas
What I have learned from studying marriage and divorce is that second marriages are no more likely to succeed if the first one failed. That said, if your marriage isn’t perfect (btw no marriage is perfect), you’re better off working on steps to divorce-proofing your marriage than taking an emotionally exhaustive, expensive route to divorce and hoping it works out better next time around.
That said, we’ve gathered what we’ve learned over the years of studying relationships, combined with advice of world-leading relationships researchers and even friends on social media what is to be believed as ways to divorce proof your marriage. Though divorce proofing your marriage may seem almost comical to some, obviously the intention of this is to avoid disasters and maximize the love, respect, passion, and longevity of marriage. That said here are the top 10.5 ways to divorce proof your marriage:
Top 10.5 ways to Divorce Proof Your Marriage
(Are you more visual? Click here for a beautiful infographic we made for you!)
1- Setting Goals
Dr. Gottman suggests that couples give purpose to their relationship through the use of rituals, roles, goals, and symbols. Creating shared goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship. What are your goals? What are your partner’s goals? Do you know? Talking about your deepest hopes and dreams will give you the opportunity to explore something together that can have a profound impact on yourself, your relationship, and much more.
Remember self-care is not selfish, yet it is so easily neglected due to life’s stressors. Do things for yourself that make you feel your best, so that you can be your best for your partner, parent, and friend. Self-care is critically important to keeping your sanity. It also sets the foundation to help you to have a healthier relationship by preventing burnout, helping you re-focus, all while counteracting the negative effects of stress and allowing you to show up as the very best version of yourself.
Communication is key for a meaningful and lasting marriage. Sounds cliche, you have hear it a thousand times, but it is true. Even if you married a mind-reader (lucky you!) it’s important to communicate – your goals, visions, finances, parenting style and needs. “It is ALL about communication. You have to be able to be honest and talk with each other. We have a rule in our home…there is no. “Uh, you know…never mind, forget it, I don’t remember, I can’t remember what I was going to say.” Yes you do. Say it and let’s work on this.”
4- Put Your Relationship First
“Don’t put the kids first. Put each other first. This will allow you to be happy and healthy..making you a better parent.” : Advice from my grandma who’s been married 73 years and raised 10 kids from Sarah Cates via Facebook. Bonus points: To keep the passion alive make date nights mandatory and don’t forget to try new experiences together.
For some partners (especially men) respect is just as important, if not more, than love. Simply put, you must respect each other. You will inevitably disagree or be frustrated with one another, but you must always respect each other.
Forgiveness is an art, and for many it doesn’t come easy, but the ability to forgive and to love someone even when they are misbehaving is incredibly important to build a loving future. Bonus points: Don’t bring up the past as a way to punish the present or future.
Build trust is like a muscle, you must continue to grow and rebuild trust throughout the relationship. The reality is that trust is built slowly over time. Dr. Gottman has said that the basis of trust is really the idea of attunement.
Consider the following acronym:
Learn money management and tools to grow your wealth together. It ties back in to goal setting and staying on the same page with your partner about what you want out to achieve in the next 5, 10+ years.
Whether there are kids, job, or life stressors remember you’ve got to keep the romance and passion alive. Remind your partner they are loved, desired and wanted in your life.
10- Do the little things
“Never stop doing little gestures. If you leave the room to get a drink, ask if they’d like a drink.”: Advice from my aunt who’s been married 50 plus years. from Sarah Cates via Facebook. Bonus points: Get very familiar with each others needs and prioritize those needs. Revisit them often and check in to see how you’re doing or if they’ve changed.
10.5. -Don’t ever joke about divorce
“Even if you use it to lighten the heaviness of a problem, it’s serious. Even if a joke it’s still puting the option on the table and planting the seed in your minds.” Mary Hamer from facebook.
Thank you to all those who contributed to pull these top 10 tips together! Hope you find these 10 tips to divorce proof your marriage not only helpful, but reference them for years to come. Do you have other things that keep your relationship divorce proof?
EDIT: Okay so there was a ton of new tips that came in over night which absolutely moved my heart, so we’re going to do a part 2 version that includes all of those beautiful and sweet reminders that were shared on facebook. You’ll absolutely love them. Stay tuned!!