5 Simple-Yet-Powerful Ways To Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

Photo: Photo by Carly Rae Hobbins on Unsplash
prevent divorce by divorce-proofing your marriage

Build that healthy relationship now, and your dreams can come true.

It is a commonly accepted statement that you cannot divorce-proof your marriage.

Lots of experts say so, so it must be true. Right?

If the standard is a 100% guarantee that that outcome will never, ever happen, they are right. But, if preventing divorce is more in line with child-proofing a house, then yes you can.

And like child-proofing your home, all it takes is identifying the risks and taking steps to minimize them.

The truth is, couples start out with a sense of hope and optimism on their wedding days. They are in love and alive with the possibilities before them.

To turn those possibilities into the reality of a strong relationship that can go the distance takes not just love — but intentional action.

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Most marriages don’t end with a bang, but succumb to a death of a thousand cuts. It is usually a slow process marked by denial, avoidance, and wishful thinking. What is lacking is effective action taken early and done consistently.

The good news is that it’s never too late to create a healthy relationship that lasts.

Here are 5 simple (but highly effective) things you can do to prevent divorce:

1. Show up.

In this day and age of people and activities vying for your attention, it’s easy to get distracted. Whoever or whatever is screaming the loudest gets noticed. If your marriage is “okay”, it’s easy for it to go on the back burner. But an unwatched pot can boil over.

If you are having some challenges in your relationship, it can be easier to divert into work, the children, or the internet.

While it may ease the pressure temporarily, it is a dangerous long-term choice. Just like you show up for work so you get paid and not fired, you need to show up for your marriage. Find a productive way to deal with any challenge as soon as you become aware of it. It makes being present the rest of the time so much easier and rewarding.

2. Be honest.

Yes, this can be scary, but it is absolutely necessary.

A good marriage is built on trust and trust is built on honesty. Agreeing to something you don’t agree to opens the door for resentment. You may think you’re being nice or trying not to rock the boat but you’re sowing the seeds for the relationship’s eventual destruction.

You and your partner are going to disagree. That’s a given and it needs to be okay. It doesn’t have to lead to conflict. But not being honest definitely will.

Being honest means you’re being authentic, which is essential for you to be happy.

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3. Learn to communicate.

No problem can be solved or challenge overcome if the two of you cannot communicate effectively. The words you use, the tone of your voice, and the openness of your body language are critical to your success.

Being curious about and empathic to your partner’s experience and viewpoint are vital if you are going to have a marriage that works for you both. In truth, why would you want any other kind?

4. Don’t focus on your partner.

When you are part of a couple, you have a built-in scapegoat.

It’s easy to pay attention to what your partner is and is not contributing to the marriage. Unfortunately, the only person you have any control over is yourself so looking outward will not bring about the relationship you want. It’s also a distraction that lets you off the hook for doing what you know is right.

Stepping up and being the hero in your relationship isn’t just good for it, it’s good for your own self-esteem as well.

5. Focus on the relationship.

It takes two ‘yesses’ but only one ‘no’ for any decision in your marriage to be a good one.

Your marriage is unique to the two of you — but it must work for both of you.

If it is only working for one of you, it’s not working. If your focus is on what’s good for the relationship, by definition it will be good for you and your partner.

Focusing on the relationship involves having a vision for the marriage that you both agree on and support. Defining common goals and developing shared values that dictate your actions will keep your marriage out of harm’s way.

Being happily married is a choice.

It is also behaving in ways that support that choice. So, yes you can divorce-proof your marriage. You just have to decide you want to.

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Lesli Doares is a relationship coach who helps couples learn how to make their relationship dreams a reality. Learn more about how to make your marriage dreams come true by visiting her website or book a Create Your Happily Ever After Marriage Strategy Session.