Preventing Divorce: Do’s and Don’ts

Couple wondering how to avoid divorce

The key to avoiding divorce is to realize that your relationship will always need to be worked on. People believe that the day they exchanged ‘I do’s,’ the deal was done. But that’s not true: The relationship is still vulnerable. You can’t take your spouse for granted. Once you win them over, you have to keep winning them over every day. The hard work isn’t over when you get hitched. It’s just beginning.

So we’ve laid out an exhaustive list of steps you can take to help you avoid getting a divorce. These won’t work if you think it will happen overnight. Rekindling the spark you and your spouse once had will take some work, but let us tell you, it is worth it.

What NOT to do if You want to Prevent a Divorce

Don’t Keep Score in your Marriage

People often evaluate their relationships with a bookkeeping or justice model, and what that really says is, ‘I don’t need to do something for my partner unless my partner is doing stuff for me.’ Well, it turns out this works just fine as long as nobody makes a mistake. I try to use a grace model:

“I want to give my partner grace or mercy when they make a mistake, and I don’t want to keep score; I want to bless my partner regardless.”

Those blessings come back—not in a reciprocal way, but just because you’ve created an environment where both people are out to really elevate the other person.

Don’t Expect Perfection

You can’t change anyone but yourself, so stop trying. Accept your partner for who they are—period. Likewise, you need to come to terms with the fact that they were never perfect in the first place.
The taller the pedestal on which you place your significant other, the further they will fall when you find out your hero has feet of clay.
No one can live up to fantasy expectations forever. Everyone is a flawed human. The best relationship is between two people who view each other as equals and admire and respect each other.

Don’t Zip Your Lips

What’s done is done. Talking about it isn’t going to change what happened—but it can relieve the person of some of the suffering. By expressing it, it’s not being withheld and turning into some kind of physical or somatic problem.

No: If, And’s, or Buts

You have to be tolerant and you have to be accepting. People have expectations of who they want their partners to be rather than allowing them to be themselves. To accept them for who they are is to love them for who they are. You can’t have conditions under which you will love your partner.

How to Avoid Getting a Divorce

Communicate – Even when it’s Hard

Our clients often cop to having been lousy communicators in their marriages. Some people never share or discuss the things going on in their lives. It seems to be a common thing: going home from work and not wanting to talk. Silence doesn’t make for a strong marriage. Keeping your mouth shut makes your partner feel shut out—sometimes personally. So, when they ask you about your day, give them the rundown—even if it’s boring. And ask about theirs. If you’re not in the mood to chat, it’s okay. Tell them that you really want to talk, but need a few minutes to first decompress.

Reassess your Marriage Needs

The 7-year itch is real. The problem is that whatever you needed at year one, you don’t need anymore, primarily because the other person’s done a good job at filling that hole. When your needs change, ask each other what three things you could be doing differently. It’s not 30 things—it’s three things, and they are concrete as heck. Like, I want sex at least twice a week. I want you to help out with the kids more. And then I’m going to work on your three things and you’re going to work on mine.

Remember Why you Got Married

What was it that you liked to do when you first met that you liked about each other? Traveling, going on a picnic, going for a bike ride together? Do more of that.

Bring Back The Little Things

Long before you tied the knot, how did you show them you cared? Did you open their car door? Buy their flowers on her birthday? Whatever your little traditions and gestures were, stick with them. During the early stages of a relationship, those seemingly insignificant moves become representations of how you feel about your partner. If and when they stop, they’ll think your feelings have too.

Cash in Compliments

My wife and I often tell each other how thankful we are for the things we do for one another, and when you’re appreciated and acknowledged for things, it only makes you want to do it more. That’s sustained our relationship, even when there are rough times. Every couple goes through rough times, and you have to have emotional money in the bank to get through them.

Play with your Partner

See your relationship as an adventure that’s constantly unfolding, rather than something you’ve achieved. It’s something you continue to invest in overtime. Lasting couples often have rituals—things they do on repeat, sometimes on a weekly or yearly basis—that remind them of the importance of their relationship. Part of that is play, and having a playful sexual relationship. Those positive emotions bring you resources.

Have More Sex!

Don’t just be a roommate—be a lover. That’s something we see couples struggle with as they work more, have children, and get older. The minute closeness dissipates, you have a major problem on your hands. Put your phones down, hold hands, light some candles, and look at each other. It’s a great feeling to know that the flame is still alive and that your spouse is still attracted to you after years. Forgetting the true meaning behind why you’re trying to save your marriage can happen. When you’re doing everything you can and there seems to be no give on your efforts. It is important to remember the “why” behind your endeavor.

Things to Remember

Marriage isn’t Always Happy

The bumps of everyday life can take the glow off of any marriage. So our advice to you is to dive into issues headfirst: If both people remember that pain in a relationship can produce great people and a great marriage, then the crisis can be a new beginning. Research backs this up. A study from the University of Tennessee shows that anticipating some rough relationship patches results in greater satisfaction over the long haul.

Be on the Same Team

No matter how much you disagree, it’s important to remember that you aren’t enemies and you shouldn’t be working against each other. Practice forgiveness. Harboring grudges does not serve you. Be open with your feelings of hurt and anger—but don’t point fingers or hurl insults. Try to forgive and move forward.

Make your marriage a top priority.

The marriage is number one, the children are number two, and work is number three. If you make marriage number one, your children will do better and you won’t have to spend that much time managing them—and you’ll be more productive at work. But if you reverse those priorities, nothing works. Make it first. Make it top. We’ve provided you with this list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you prevent a divorce, which can be easier said than done. If you truly apply each piece of this article that resonates with you, there is a chance that you will save your marriage. Although we do understand that some relationships can and have reached the end where no amount of trying will help. So if you feel like you’ve exhausted your options and want to move forward with divorce, contact Tampa divorce lawyers to disscuss your situation today.