Relationship Tips: Useful Ways To Avoid Divorce
Have you been through a Divorce? Well I have and let me tell you if it’s possible to save your relationship, you totally should do all you can to make that happen.
There isn’t such a stigma around divorce anymore, which is mostly a good thing – after all, no one should be forced to stay in a marriage that’s making them miserable with a spouse who they no longer feel anything for out of obligation to be seen doing the ‘right’ thing. However, because divorce is now so common – a couple gets divorced on average every 36 seconds in the United States alone – it has led to an increase in people giving up on their relationships without first trying to save them!
Of course, sometimes you just know that things aren’t right and that no matter what you and your spouse do, it’s only ever heading one way – to the divorce courts – but if that isn’t how you feel; if you believe that there is a chance you could save your marriage, isn’t it worth giving it a go?
If it feels like your marriage is heading for divorce and you haven’t made much of an attempt to save it so far, try these ideas to help you try to salvage things first…
Change Your Mindset
Chances are that if you’re willing to even entertain the thought of trying to save your marriage, there is a chance that it can be saved. However, it probably won’t be easy, and this idea might just be the most difficult one to try. Why?Because changing the way you think about your relationship, act within in it, and your expectations for it is tough. You can’t just flip a switch and stop thinking and be feeling the things you do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
For example, instead of just looking at the situation from your own point of view (which is admittedly important) try seeing your spouse’s side of things too. Is there anything you’re doing that is causing them to behave in ways you don’t like? Are you pushing his button? Do you have unrealistic expectations of her? If you ask yourself these questions and the answer is ‘Yes’ then it might be time to rethink things, break the cycle and start afresh with a more open-minded approach to your relationship. It may work, it may not, but is definitely worth trying.
It’s an obvious one, but a lot of couples are reluctant to enter into marriage counseling for various reasons, perhaps the most common one being that they fear the counselor will put all the blame on them! However, counseling is nothing to fear. In fact, having an impartial third-party listen to you both can lead to some pretty big revelations that change the way you think and feel about things. They can also help you to keep things calm when difficult subjects need to be discussed.
If after examining your relationship and where it all went wrong, you identify things you’ve done wrong, then be brave and not only acknowledge that, but apologize unreservedly. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make; many old resentments will just melt away!
Put Blame on One Side
I’m not going to lie, this can be pretty difficult, especially if your spouse has cheated on you or something equally as horrendous, but focussing all of your time and energy on apportioning blame for this and that just leads to more fights, frustrations, and resentments which become a vicious circle of anger.
It just isn’t constructive. Of course, if you have been wronged, you’re probably going to want to clear the air and talk it through, letting your spouse know just how bad it made you feel, but try to do this calmly and take responsibility for any part you may have played in the situation. Then, resolve to put it behind you both. Again, it may not be easy, but if you aren’t willing to forgive and stop bringing things up every time things aren’t going how you would like…well there’s very little hope left that you’ll be able to successfully salvage your marriage.
Deal with Conflicts the Smart Way
Connected to the above, it’s important that you learn how to deal with any conflicts that arise in a smart way. If you don’t speak up when you have an issue, then resentments can simmer, and because your spouse may not know what they’ve done to upset you, there is a good chance they will keep on doing it in the future. The key is to bring up issues without apportioning blame and to move on from them swiftly. You can do this quite simply by modifying your language. For example, instead of telling your spouse that he’s selfish for not calling you when he knows you worry, you could gently remind him that he was supposed to check in and express your feelings of worry. This is a much less confrontational way to go about things.
Avoid the Personal Insults
Sticking with the same theme, try to avoid using personal insults when you get into an argument with your spouse. Calling them names and showing them no respect will only serve to make things worse. That goes for eye-rolling, laughing when they’re expressing a concern and being sarcastic too. None of these things are even remotely helpful!
Go On Date Nights
When a relationship is struggling, it’s often the romantic, fun and flirty side of things that goes out of the window first. It can be tempting to withhold affection as a punishment or simply because you no longer feel whatever it is you used to. If this is true in your case, then it might be worth taking some time to go on dates, hold hands, have fun and get more physical again. Numerous studies have shown that physical affection can release stress and we all know that a little romance can work wonders, so if your relationship isn’t going so well, it’s probably one of the best things to try. If you can make some time to be together each day, even if it’s only for dinner in the kitchen or watching a movie in the lounge, then that will be even better.
Make a List of Their Good Points
When your marriage is under strain, and it feels like you’re falling out of love with your spouse, it can be helpful to sit down with a sheet of paper and a pen and list all of their good qualities. After all, you fell in love with them in the first place – they must have some! This is a great exercise for bringing some perspective back into the situation because it can be all too easy to pick at every flaw your partner has while minimizing the good and conveniently forgetting that you aren’t perfect either, too, of course!
Try a Trial Separation
You might be thinking that you’re trying to recover your relationship, so it makes no sense for you to spend some time away from your spouse, but actually a lot of the time, the opposite is true. When you put some physical distance between you and your husband or wife, it can help you to think more clearly about the situation than you can when you’re always around each other, and you inevitably end up arguing or seething with resentment at something they’ve done. Who knows, you might even find yourself missing him or her more, and it’ll certainly give you some idea of what life will be like should you get divorced – maybe you’ll like it, maybe not, but maybe you should find out either way.
Work on Common Goals
A marriage is a partnership, so it makes sense that if you want to save yours, you should start looking for the common ground. Take the time to talk about your hopes and dreams, not only for your relationship but your wider life and identify the areas upon which you agree. Then, set down some concrete goals and start working on them. While doing this, you might find that you need to compromise a little – he might want to travel more while you want to focus on your career, but that’s what marriage is all about at the end of the day, so just keep your eyes on the prize, focus on the stuff you share and negotiate the rest. When you’re working together, it’s much easier to get the old magic back.
Only you and you alone can identify when it’s time to give up trying and call it quits, but try not to make it too soon. If you really do want to save your relationship, then you need to keep picking yourself back up and trying again when things don’t work out exactly to plan.
At the end of the day, some marriages just aren’t meant to be forever. If you try all of the above, and anything else you can think of to save your relationship, to no avail, then maybe divorce really is your best option, and that’s okay, but at least give yourself the chance to find out first!