Preventing Divorce: Do’s and Don’ts
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.