While checking my mails at yahoo, I saw this interesting article about divorce proofing your marriage.
When you dream about a happily-ever-after, sitting in a lawyer’s office and dividing your assets isn’t usually part of the dream. Divorce isn’t 100 percent preventable, but there are steps you can take to avoid the nightmare scenario. And if you are already divorced, don’t be discouraged — just apply what you’ve learned in your next relationship.
To increase your chances of retaining an everlasting marriage, follow these guidelines.
1. Get married after about two years of courtship
Researchers say that if a couple’s courtship is average in length — around two years, four months — there is less chance of divorce. Couples who rush to the altar, as well as couples who drag their feet to the altar, have an increased risk for divorce. “The couples who are slowest to marry tend to be the quickest to split,” according to Ted Huston, Ph.D.
2. Rethink living together
Living together before marriage is more popular than ever and it stands to reason that you might want to take someone for a “test drive” around your living space before you commit to marriage. However, research doesn’t support this. Couples who live together before marriage have a higher risk of divorce.
3. Wait until you are a little older to marry
Statistics show that if you marry after age 25, your marriage will have a much better chance.
4. Talk about the big issues before you get married
How many kids do you both want? How will you handle your finances? It’s important to clarify these questions before the honeymoon. Premarital education or counseling can help with this. Studies show that those who go through this process have higher levels of marital satisfaction and more commitment to their spouses.
5. You can argue, just don’t let it turn into World War III
Arguing is a natural part of a relationship and in and of itself does not predict divorce. However, the way you argue does. Researchers Gottman and Levenson say they can predict divorce by watching how negative a couple gets with each other, as well as how many constructive, positive interactions they have during an argument. Things to avoid when arguing: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Learn to tone down heated arguments with humor and a few kind words.
6. Do stuff together
Yes, you both need to have your own individual interests. However, if you take this too far you may start to lead separate lives and grow apart, like if he spends every Saturday golfing and she spends every Saturday swimming. Learn to reconnect by taking part in a hobby or activity that you both enjoy. Also important: Take time for intimacy even when it seems like you don’t have a minute to spare. Forms of intimacy like massage and cuddling are wonderful ways to bring you closer together.
7. Share the chores
If one person does the majority of the housework while the other slacks off, that’s a recipe for divorce.
8. Be as polite to each other as you are to strangers
Sometimes we treat the people we love most with the least amount of respect without even realizing it. Ask yourself, “Do I treat friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and even strangers nicer than I do my significant other?”
Take time to give each other compliments and remember to say “please” and “thank you” rather than barking orders or nagging.
9. Have issues? Get help!
Is one of you suffering from depression? Does one of you have substance abuse issues? Has one of you cheated? If you don’t address these types of issues individually as well as a couple, you dramatically increase your divorce risk. Take steps to decrease your divorce risk now by addressing these issues through counseling and other means!
10. Marry someone who wants to be married
It seems obvious, but it’s really not, since so many people ignore it. If you have to beg, cajole, manipulate, and hurl ultimatums at someone before they will agree to marry you, common sense says they probably don’t want to be married. If you think something is going to change when you get that ring on their finger, you’re wrong. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Find somebody who wants the same things you want!