A Hard Marriage is Better than an Easy Divorce

By: Keith Weaver

Divorce seems to be commonplace today with about half of all marriages ending in divorce. It is even estimated that nearly a third of the country's kids come from divorced parents. The statistics for second and third marriages are even worse. It seems we all start off thinking that unions, especially our own, will last forever and take our "till death do us part" vows seriously. But in order for those vows to stick you have to do more than just say the words; you have to work together to keep your marriage promises.
We've all heard that marriage takes work, but how many of us actually do that work? It's easy to think of the rare examples of marriages that are strong and effortless and believe that ours will be one of those. But what if it isn't? It's easy to jump into marriage hoping for the best without making a real commitment to work on the relationship.
Recognizing the problem is key to preventing divorce. If you are unhappy but cannot say why, how can you expect to become happy again? Who is to say that divorce will solve your problem? Put a name to your grievances. Perhaps you feel distance between your spouse and yourself; you don't communicate like you used to or busy schedules leave little time for romance. Maybe you feel unwanted, ignored or taken for granted and this is the cause of your misery. Whatever the reason, determining the root of unhappiness is the first step to divorce prevention.
It can be hard to do, but talking to your spouse about how you feel is essential in in order to resolve the problems effectively. If you can't figure out how to open the channels of communication with your spouse, professional services can help. Counseling usually works best when both partners are present, but if your spouse is resistant to going or you feel more comfortable going by yourself, a professional can still help you learn how to express yourself better to your spouse.
You can also find a wide selection of books that are filled with ideas on effective ways to communicate. Keep in mind that at this particular step, you should be focusing on talking about your feelings, not actually fixing them just yet. Once you and your partner have discussed your problems and understand how they are affecting your relationship, then you can begin to fix them together.
Once you and your partner have identified the problems, you can come up with an effective plan for solving them. It's easy to come up with a plan, but coming up with an effective plan requires open and honest communication between the partners. Both partners need to understand what their own needs are and what their partner's needs are to make sure that they aren't trying to solve the wrong problem.
You may even have to see a counselor to help you break your bad habits and figure out how to change your ways. You have to be especially committed and dedicated at this point because you are going to have to admit your fears, faults, and weaknesses. In other words, you are going to have to let yourself be vulnerable, which can be scary. But if you remain steadfast, you may be able to save your marriage.

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