5 Steps to safeguard your Marriage and reduce the chance of divorce
No one enters marriage the expectation that it will fail or they will get a divorce, but many of us do little things each day that chip away at the foundation of our marriage. So what are the most important things you can do…read below.
1. Continue to be affectionate in your marriage
Yes, I am talking about sex. If you want a surefire way to drain all romance and passion from your relationship- stop having sex. Sex is a healthy, natural way to increase the intimacy between you and your partner, and sometimes it’s important even if you may not be “in the mood.”
2. Don’t become boring
Take up a hobby, read interesting literature, learn a new skill, meet interesting people…do anything that makes you a more interesting person. Have you ever been around someone that beams with excitement and energy? Chances are they have found their dream and they are passionately pursuing it. Don’t talk about your kids, your pets or other people. Talk about ideas and challenge yourself to be a more interesting person.
3. Don’t let yourself go
Does it take work to go to the gym, exercise and eat healthy? Yes, it is hard, but the dividends are huge. Not only do you have more energy for your partner and your family but you will feel better about yourself (see number one). Think about how much energy you expended on yourself and getting fit and healthy when you first started dating and make a contract with yourself that you will continue to stay active, healthy and strong, not only for your partner but also for yourself.
4. Expect less from your partner
Someone said the space between expectations and reality is disappointment. The bottom line: don’t expect too much from your partner and work to make yourself the best spouse you can be. Happy couples have realistic expectations. Don’t expect your partner to meet all of your needs. I ask my spouse when we first married what were the top three things he needed the most from me each day and those are the things I focus to provide. You cannot do it all, but by focusing on his/her priorities you can eliminate some disappointment.
5. Affirm, Affirm, Affirm
Don’t criticize your spouse, especially in front of other people. Letting your spouse know they are valued, and special and that you do not take them for granted is key to marital success. I used to joke with my husband that I could tell which couples would get a divorce by how they treated each other, and I was correct. Couples that treat each other unkindly seldom make it for the long haul and studies suggest this is true. For instance, many experts contend that happy couples have a 5 to 1 ratio or positive feelings or experiences to every one negative feeling or experience. Too many negative experiences and one of the spouses is likely to think that they can find someone more pleasant and eventually file for divorce.
Some experts contend that men may need positive affirmation from their spouse even more than women because women generally have more relationships where they can go to get affirmation if their spouse is not providing it to them. Either way, positive consistent affirmation is very important.
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