As a relationship expert, I'm asked for comments by TV stations, radio hosts and popular blogs whenever a well-known celebrity goes through a public breakup or divorce. While I don't need to comment on the specifics of the personal lives of celebrities, the fact remains that these events offer a teachable moment. That's why when Kim Kardashian's marriage ended after only 72 days, I was inspired to create this very useful tool.
I developed a checklist of the seven critical areas to discuss and resolve if you want to be divorce-proof. Ideally, I would suggest you work these issues out before you consider a walk down the aisle. However, if you're already married, the sooner you resolve these issues, the better. If you discover any big disconnects after the fact, you may need a coach trained in conflict resolution to help bridge the gap.
More from YourTango: 5 Tips To Make Yourself 'Sociopath-Proof' When Dating
It's called The A.L.L.W.A.Y.S. Formula.
If you want a divorce-proof marriage that will stand the test of time and last forever, the key word to remember is A.L.L.W.A.Y.S. I created this unique acronym in order to give couples a specific formula to consider that is more memorable, actionable and achievable. Before we get into specifics, it's important to remember that the most important quality you'll need in a potential partner is character, so choose wisely.
This framework will give you a set of guidelines to determine if your highest and most important values, beliefs and ideals are in alignment. It is these characteristics that will create the foundation of a long-lasting union that is divorce-proof. As you do this exercise, remember that you don't need a partner that is identical, you simply need one who is complementary. With those key factors in mind, let's get started with the acronym.
1. Aspirations and dreams. The first question to consider with your partner is: "What do you aspire to create in your life?" It's critical that your hopes and expectations match up because that is where the seeds of discontent will find fertile ground. Basically, any time your expectations don't match your results, the end result is pain. That's why couples split up and go their separate ways. That is simply not sustainable over the long-term.
In doing this process, be sure to explore the following topics: Where do you want to live? What type of home do you want? Are you an entrepreneurial spirit or do you prefer the certainty of a predictable salary? Do you see yourself traveling the world or are you kind of a homebody? Basically, if you're dreams aren't aligned and complementary, within a short period of time, you're going to find yourself in a nightmare.
More from YourTango: Lost Your Feminine Touch? Reclaim It Today With This Simple Tip
2. Family. Family dynamics can be a highly-charged and emotional topic so it's critical to line up with your partner in this area. A person from a large extended family who gathers every week for Sunday dinner may have very different expectations from a partner whose family lives far away or is estranged and may not have spoken in years. Of course, if they love your family and fit right in, that's a great match ... but what if that's not the case? Keep reading ...
More marriage advice from YourTango: