Statistics surrounding divorce are often misunderstood, or at the very least misquoted. Sometimes, divorce statistics may make it seem as though divorce is inevitable, especially if you and your spouse are experiencing a difficult period in your marriage. However, a recent article from Psychology Today reminds us that that is not true.
While these tips certainly will not work for every marriage, they do include some important proactive steps you can take in order to help your marriage steer clear of divorce. Some of these steps, adapted from the article, appear below.
Realize Nobody is Perfect
When we first meet our spouse, and often when we first get married, it is not uncommon to view our spouses as perfect. As most of us know, time generally chips away at that image. However, instead of allowing that to build resentment or disappointment, the article reminds us to look at human being as human beings. Human beings make mistakes, and no one person can possibly do everything.
An important approach to this is prioritizing tasks, including those important to your relationship as well as to you as an individual. A partner or spouse can provide significant support and guidance, but it is dangerous to rely on one person for everything. Doing so generally leads to disappointments, and disappointments can lead to disagreements that ultimately lead to divorce.
By prioritizing, you can more clearly understand and express your goals as well as help your spouse understand these things about you and vice versa. When someone comes up short, prioritizing can help you determine just how important that shortcoming really is and even potentially avoid negative consequences that could accompany it.
Be There for Your Spouse
As much support as your spouse may provide you, realize that you should be providing the same. Taking an interest in and being supportive of the talents, goals, and other objectives of your spouse can help you and your spouse find common ground and interests to continue building a strong relationship.
Sometimes, this involves a bit of personal sacrifice. For instance, you may have certain expectations that your spouse has a difficult time meeting because of excessive demands at his or her job. While you should not feel the need to completely ignore your feelings, it is important to approach these situations understanding that this is probably already causing your spouse a great deal of stress and the best approach could be one of gentle understanding rather than reproachful disappointment.
Being a cheerleader does not mean sacrificing safety and logic, either. In fact, it means making those things paramount in your approach. There is a difference between being supportive and enabling, and you will need to determine the difference to help your relationship grow in the right direction.
Differentiate Between Equity and Equality
It is not uncommon for one spouse to feel that he or she is shouldering the majority of the burden in a relationship. This is one reason why prioritization and communication are so important. When one spouse feels overwhelmed, it is just as important for him or her to vocalize that concern as it is for the other spouse to really listen to it.
Keep in mind that little things can be an important part of balancing emotions and responsibilities. Chances are you know your spouse better than anyone else, and that means you know a lot about what he or she needs in order to thrive and be happy as an individual as well as in a relationship. While you do not owe your spouse or anyone else special favors, rewards, or much of anything else, it does not hurt to be kind and understanding. In fact, simply being kind can go a long way toward reinforcing the foundations of your relationship.
Additionally, couples do not have to do everything together. A successful marriage has boundaries that allow each individual the opportunity to grow separately as well as with their spouse. By giving your spouse equality, you are empowering him or her to do things that are important so that your spouse does not become resentful or restless. Likewise, not all spouses will excel at the same thing or have the same weaknesses. Being aware of these and making an extra effort where it is easier for you to do so can make a world of difference in your relationship and really give each spouse a sense of equality in the relationship. You may not share everything completely equally, but your relationship should balance out with these strengths and weaknesses.
Acknowledge Divorce Could Still Happen
The decision to divorce is never easy, and arriving at that decision is a personal journey that each person making it must undertake. However, avoiding the idea of divorce does not make it any less likely that it will occur in the same way that pretending taxes are not due does not mean you do not have to pay them. Divorce is the right option for some couples depending on their unique circumstances, and it could be the right option for you. Talking about that is often the only way to understand the role it might play for your family.
There is a great deal on the line when it comes to marriage and divorce, and everyone has a different set of unique circumstances to consider. While an attorney, friends, family, and others can provide valuable insight about divorce and how it might affect you, only you and/or your spouse can ultimately decide if divorce is right for you and your family.
If you have made the difficult decision to pursue divorce or simply have questions about how divorce might affect you, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation. Working with an experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you understand more about the options that might be available to you.