DON'T run straight for divorce.
But Then Reality Sets In
Your life together relaxes in every way — the craziness is over and things start to feel different.
A lot of people don't realize this before they walk down the aisle — they think the commitment only exists when things are going smoothly. And so, when obstacles arise their bond weakens, tensions flare and arguments ensue.
A Seemingly Easy Decision
What's their solution? Divorce. Because it's just not working out the way they hoped it would.
Host, author and speaker Dr. Tammy Nelson, couples therapist Tony Victor, co-creators of Imago Relationship Therapy Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, clinical director of Action Relational Therapy of FL, Inc. Sue Butler along with Kimberly Anderson aptly suggest to make divorce your LAST resort. Divorce isn't the answer for everyone!
Oftentimes, all you need is to look at your marriage as a work in progress.
Here are two ways these YourTango Experts suggest to actively maintain a long and loving marriage:
1. Put Your Marriage First — Daily
Show your spouse that your relationship with him/her is most important by working diligently everyday to keep the spark alive. Life's obstacle and other relationships might get in the way, but your marriage still comes first ... no matter what.
Helen Hunt LaKelly keenly urges, "Create a structure by which you commit to keep the relationship nourished and thriving. Because without a commitment — a daily commitment to practice healthy relationship here while you're dealing with all of these other relationships in the world — you have to practice [daily] on taking care of your own relationship." She continues to explain that if you divorce and start another marriage to avoid the previous problems, "the same problems will surface with [marriage] number two."
2. LISTEN To What Your Partner Is Saying
Without judgment (and only with the intent to understand your partner), silently listen to what he/she is saying or feeling. Don't interrupt! This lets your spouse know that he/she is important, and you care about what he/she thinks and feels, no matter how many times you've had a certain conversation before.
Tony Victor explains that listening (well!) should be your goal in any conversation — easy or difficult —with your spouse. "At first, it's just something people just don't think of, but it becomes just a natural habit," he explains. Listening generates a positive response and gives you the opportunity to work together towards resolving issues between the two of you.
Still think you can resolve some of the issues within your broken marriage but don't know where to start? Watch the YourTango Experts video above to hear some more great marriage advice!