3 Ways To Avoid "Gray Divorce"

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older couple
One writer reveals how to beat the rising trend in divorce amongst older couples.

On the other hand, if you look at your marriage as having a higher purpose, something beyond yourself, and if your spouse shares the same view, you are able cling to that higher purpose when everything feels like it's falling apart. 6 Life Lessons For Finding Fulfillment

What higher purpose, you ask? What about commitment to a promise? What about keeping a covenant? What about a determination to become the kind of person your spouse needs rather than simply waiting for your spouse to change into what you think you need and deserve? What about the kind of real love that endures "for better or worse."

2) Realize that marriage is not all about you.

Duke University Ethics Professor, Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, describes the destructive force of this self-fulfillment paradigm as one "that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become 'whole' and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person."

He goes on to say that regardless of how well you think you know your spouse going into your marriage, you really have no idea what you are getting into, "The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married." 4 Selfless Actions That Reveal You're In Love

Many in the "me" generation seem to have a hard time with the notion of selfless, sacrificial love. I know, because I belong to that generation!  But the truth is that it's the kind of love that transforms marriages and leads to ultimate and lasting fulfillment. It causes us to ask different questions than we me be naturally inclined to ask:

• Instead of asking, "What's in it for me?" ask, "How can I bless you?" 
• Instead of asking, "What are my rights?" ask, "What is the right thing?" 
• Instead of asking, "What will advance my cause?" ask, "What will enhance my marriage?"
• Instead of asking "What can I get?" ask, "What can I give?"

I understand the fear and concern involved in being selfless. What if my spouse doesn't love me back in the same way, and my needs don't get met?  Don't I need to look out for myself? How I Learned To Be Vulnerable

While it's true that there are no guarantees whenever people are involved, genuine, sacrificial love is a compelling force for good that best leads to true fulfillment. It's the kind of love that feeds and sustains a marriage for the long haul. 

3) Every day, choose to make your marriage a high priority.

There are a thousand things that vie for our attention on a daily basis. Today, more than ever, we run from task to task, from screen to screen, from crisis to crisis. It's easy to take our eye off the important, in order to stay on top of the urgent.  

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