According to DivorceStatistics.org, 40-50 percent of all first-time marriages will end in divorce. And although the reasons vary, some of the top ones include poor communication, financial strain, intimacy issues, built-up resentment, deep-rooted feelings of incompatibility and not being able to forgive.
There’s no question that when there are these types of problems in a marital union, there’s a pressure to find a solution. And sometimes, for one or both spouses, it’s divorce. However, it’s important to remember that while initially divorce may seem like “the answer” to a hurting marriage, it tends to affect spouses, children and society as a whole in a myriad of negative ways.
There’s data to support the fact that divorce can lead to all sorts of psychological and behavioral problems in children; it can also cause them to have relational issues with their parents, siblings and others due to their fear of abandonment. Also, divorce can cause the health of the separated spouses to decrease. Not only that but divorce affects society as a whole. Aside from the fact that divorce costs taxpayers as much as $25,000-30,000, studies indicate that people who are married tend to be far more productive at work than those who come from a broken relationship.
For these reasons and so many others, it’s best to not look at divorce as an answer to a hurting marriage; to instead seek out other solutions to divorce. Here are five of them:
1. Go for counseling
Out of all of the solutions to divorce that will be shared in this article, this may be the most effective one. Unfortunately, there are a lot of couples who will wait until they feel totally hopeless within their relationship before even considering seeing a professional marriage counselor, but the reality is that it’s healthy for all couples to go at least a couple of times per year. That way, they can get tips and tools to either get viable remedies for the problems they are having or to make their marriage even stronger. Marriage counseling is proven to improve physical and emotional intimacy, increase communication and establish an overall better connection between spouses.
2. Talk about your needs
If one or both of you have problems communicating with one another, that’s just one more reason why it’s such a good idea to see a marriage counselor. But if you do feel like both of you are able to talk and listen pretty well, don’t hesitate to share your needs. Sometimes couples end up resenting each other simply because they feel like their needs are being ignored or they are going unmet. Just because you and your spouse share the same house, that doesn’t mean that you can read one another’s minds. Whatever you’re expecting from the relationship, it’s important that you share it.
3. Spend more quality time together
There are a lot of couples who are not happy in their marriage simply because they don’t feel like they relate to one another anymore. This can happen when things like financial pressures, hectic schedules and their children’s needs take precedence over spending time with one another. Going on dates, taking vacations, making sex a priority in your marriage are not “luxuries”. In order for a marriage to be healthy so that it can last, these are necessities. It’s absolutely imperative that you and your spouse spend quality time with one another.
4. Get some accountability
Although your spouse should be your main accountability partner, also look for some other married couples who can help to hold you accountable as well. Accountable to what? Accountable to the vows that you took on your wedding day. Everyone needs friends and mentors who can serve as a support system and this is especially the case when it comes to married people. Sometimes couples see divorce as their only solution because they don’t have others around them to remind them that there are other solutions to divorce; ones that usually prove to be far better.
5. Accept that your spouse is human—just like you
Yes, on the surface, you know that your husband or wife is human. But here’s the thing: When you think about all of the things that frustrate you, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s about them not being who you want and/or expect them to be. Humans are flawed and they make mistakes. But the more than you accept that as a reality, the more open you’ll be to not being upset with your spouse when they disappoint you; the more willing you will be to give them what you want in return when you fall short: patience, forgiveness, understanding, encouragement and love. Yes, the more willing you are to give what you want in your marriage, the more of a chance it has not only to avoid divorce but to truly thrive!
Here are a few additional divorce solutions that you must look into:
1. Understand what are the biggest issues in your marriage
Name that specific problem(s) that is causing your marriage to crumble down. What is it about your spouse that is driving you nuts? Is it a specific habit in them or are there issues that you acknowledge you need to work on? Whatever it is, be specific in stating the marital problem before you can find a solution to it.
Read More: 10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce
Like for example, if financial issues are straining your marriage, then take a step back and dwell on what you must do. Come up with a team approach to sort out your financial concerns. All couples must develop a gameplan together on three primary things:
- Creating a monthly budget and sticking to it
- Creating a strategy to get out of debt.
- A roadmap on how to save and invest for the future.
Make a list of all the such issues that lead to disagreements, including the ones you refrain from talking about thinking it will only cause more conflicts and tension with your spouse.
2. Start over from scratch
Sometimes, this is the best way to move forward. Forget about the fights, the negativity, the constant problems. Start from all over again. Remember why you both fell in love and build your marriage all over again from there. Do you remember the last time you talked for hours with your spouse, the long drives or anything special you did together? Get silly about one another and infuse your relationship with love, once again.
3. Change the negative patterns
Do you always fight over the silliest things? Do either of you lose your temper at the drop of a hat? Do you nag each other even when you can make your point in a loving manner? Break these negative patterns and embrace healthier habits in your marriage. Be respectful towards each other, kiss in the mornings and greet your spouse in the evenings. Remember, it is these small habits that can actually make or break a marriage. Be mindful about these always.
4. Leave no stone unturned
Make every effort to improve your marriage. Understand that this will take time and effort from both partners. Prioritize your marriage and spouse and express gratitude to one another. Accept each other’s differences and make decisions together as a team. If you both struggle to achieve this, then do not hesitate to seek help. Read books together on how to build great marriages, attend seminars on how to effectively overcome problems. Do everything you can to make your marriage work.
5. Take the word ‘divorce’ off
Simply put, remove divorce as an option from your marriage. If you feel you can get out of that tough situation by divorcing your spouse, then clearly you need a mind makeover. Negative thinking in this manner points out to the fact that you are not 100% committed to resolving the conflict. Make a pact with your spouse and forbid divorce from ever creeping into your vocabulary. Many successful couple stick together out of sheer determination and love.
Know that you married your spouse for a reason. Remember those reasons and it will be easier to try again. Divorce will soon be out of the window, and your marriage.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Shellie Warren