Love, Family

5 Tips From Divorced Women On Avoiding A Bad Marriage

5 Tips From Divorced Women On Avoiding A Bad Marriage [EXPERT]

Buried in "How readers scored first presidential debate," today's letters to the editor section of the Denver Post, is one with a slightly different twist. Kelsey Kenfield noted: "What truly frightened me to the core was Mick Romney's unabashed disregard, arrogance and lack of respect shown for the moderator, Jim Lehrer, an equally learned and accomplished person, a man doing nothing to Romney but offering him a forum to express himself. [… His] attitude towards someone he perceived as standing in his way is … more a measure of the man than anything else that happened Wednesday night. This behavior should not be ignored."

The other seven letters focused on the content of the debate and the performance of the candidates.

Kenfield's letter was strikingly similar to the warning an unhappily married woman wished she had not ignored before saying yes to her husband's proposal.

She lamented, "I wish I had paid more attention to the way he treated his mother before we were married." Another woman said, "I wish I had noticed how my husband treated the servers at the restaurant." Both of these women were dazzled by personable man who made promises about how supportive they would be to their future wives. Once married both of these men not only failed to keep their promises but instead of being supportive treated their wives in condescending controlling ways.

When I asked Tina, a recently divorced young woman who had stayed in a difficult marriage for four and a half years the main cause for her divorce, she told a sadly familiar story.

"I was very young when we married. He was 11 years older and seemed so supportive of my ambitions and dreams that I didn't notice how controlling he was. About a month before the wedding I started to get uncomfortable. But all the bills were already paid so I went through with it. I always thought I could get a divorce, but I had no idea of how hard that would be.”

It's very easy to be reassured by a man's apparent self-assurance and ability to successfully maneuver his way through the world. After all most women want to be cherished and cared for by the men they marry. In the midst of the excitement of falling in love it's very easy to miss the signs that that behavior really involves a tendency to bully and control others.

It's also very hard to hear the warning from friends and family members that they are uncomfortable about how the man you are in love with treats you. It's equally hard for those friends and family members to let you know about their premonitions of trouble ahead. Often they don't say anything at all because they’re afraid of appearing to interfere. They're also afraid of the pushback from you.

More divorce advice from YourTango:

So If you want to have a successful and fulfilling marriage instead of one that ends in divorce after only a few years, what can you do to protect yourself? Here are some suggestions from women who answered the question, "What do you wish you had known before you got married?"

1. Take your time. Tina told me: "It was only a year and a half between the time we met and the wedding. I thought it was long enough at the time, but I should've listened to my intuition and not gone through with the wedding."

2. Pay attention to your intuition and your inklings ... even when you don't want to. You may feel like there is something wrong before you have enough logical evidence to support your feelings. Don't be embarrassed by that; it simply the way the human mind works. Even if you just have a case of jitters, it's worth talking about with a sympathetic listener.

3. Avoid making up Excuses. Don't make up stories about why your friends and family are not enthusiastic about your choice. Remember, they care about your happiness even if they don't have much skill in sharing their discomfort with you.

4. Collect real data. Spend some time really paying attention to the way your fiancé treats every person he has contact with: this includes service people of all kinds. If he does something that distresses you, call it to his attention and see how he responds.

5. Risk the embarrassment of calling off a wedding. It's the easiest way to avoid divorce and even though it's expensive it's far less costly than giving up years of your life and then divorcing later.

It's much easier to focus on the excitement of planning a wedding then it is to do the important work of preparing for a successful and fulfilling marriage. Do it anyhow! You are worth it!

One more thing! Download my special gift for you: this Free Special Report entitled "Should YOU WANT TO Get Married? A Candid Conversation with Laurie Weiss, Ph.D." - you can grab it for free here.

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