– Contributed by – Amy Waterman, a professional writer specializing in attraction and dating, most specifically marriage counseling and relationship guidance. Amy is also the co-author of “Save My Marriage Today”.
A reality of modern relationships is the knowledge that divorce statistics have been steadily escalating in recent years.
Even now, all marriages have between a 40 and 50 percent chance of divorce, which increases for second and third marriages, which is why it is more important than ever to have the necessary skills to ensure your relationship is secure against the threat of divorce.
Here are some key steps to apply to your marriage and avoid divorce:
1. Start by understanding and being informed.
You can never be too informed about tools, methods and studies about building successful marriages. Understand the risk factors. Your age and maturity at marriage can determine how successful it will be, the anatomy of an affair and what you can do after infidelity.
Understand the success factors like the personal and psychological circumstances that will influence your marriage, what are the tools and approaches available to you in dealing with conflict, and numerous other relevant data.
All this information is readily available to you whether through self-help material, a counselor, support groups or other venues. In fact, we have made it our commitment to provide these to you in different formats to help you make the best out of your marriage.
Remember, this information is not available for you to begin hyper-psycho analyzing your relationship, yourself and your partner. It’s not a matter of spewing trivia for the sake of conversation. The information is there for you to ponder over and internalize it to help you transform yourself and your marriage.
That includes maturing to such a point that you become more competent in your knowledge but more prudent in your approach.
2. A solid marriage is one in which you never stop putting in effort to make it better and better.
Good marriages are made. They don’t just fall from heaven or off the pages of a romance novel. Unfortunately, many couples still believe that everything will be just fine after the wedding. Well, the wedding may have been absolutely lovely but the hard work of the marriage comes right after!
When the prospect of years together crops up, you just can’t slack off. Nope, it’s not a matter of stressing yourself trying to please your spouse daily. It’s a mutual commitment to be ‘focused’, to communicate, spend time together, plan and set goals as a couple, lay down guidelines and sticking to them and knowing when to change them, dealing with kids and other significant relationships and so on.
And, don’t forget, keeping up the romance, passion and intimacy in your marriage even if at some days you both are not in sync. Interestingly, a couple who has put in the effort, develop an almost 6th sense about the other’s needs and desires.
3. Commitment, commitment, commitment.
Notice that we did not say happiness as one of key factors in making a successful marriage. It’s not even purely love. You see, happiness comes and goes and takes many forms. Love grows, wanes and develops in a relationship.
Commitment, though, is something to invest in, to muster, to understand, to renew from time to time. This is the one constant through the happy and sad times, through the passionate and lovelorn times. Commitment makes people want to stay, make them feel they ought to stay, and/or they have to stay.
What many couples don’t realize is that commitment is a decision. It’s an act of choice within one mature individual that translates to how this person will be present for another. It is not a whim nor an extra. It is the true foundation of any relationship.
4. The power lies within you.
I always say that mature individuals make mature, lasting marriages. What people fail to realize is that, in anything, specially a relationship, you can take responsibility and choose your actions.
When it gets tough, you have the choice to either react to the situation you’re in or be swept away by a tide of emotion. When faced by temptation, the temptation will not make you ‘do it’, you will! It all lies within you. A happy, fulfilling relationship begins with you.
This means that you also have a lot of self-work to do. Work out your issues, mature, learn to love yourself. These are all part of growing up and growing into a successful marriage. Even when your partner has issues of his or her own or buckles under the pressure of a crisis, there is still you.
All in all, what I have outlined here are four broad tips on how to avoid divorce. There are many little details in each tip that you can continue to explore with your spouse as you build a successful marriage.
You may be making mistakes that will jeopardize your marriage recovery!
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