According the American Psychological Association, about 40-50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. Second and further marriages tend to be even more at risk for divorce. However, if the right skills are applied, you just may be able to save your relationship and avoid divorce.
1. Communication is key
First, please lose any “if it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced” attitudes. Think about why you got married in the first place. Marriage is about sharing your love and life with your spouse for the rest of your life. Trust us, if you can save your relationship and avoid divorce, every step will be worth it.
Open communication means sharing not only household and child responsibilities but also the deeper stuff as well. Such as sharing your opinions on things, helping each other come to peace with your pasts, sharing commonalities, etc.
When you fight, save your relationship and avoid divorce by not letting it get abusive.
Instead, try to have compassion and find out where your spouse is coming from.
It doesn’t mean that you need to agree 100 percent on every little thing. In fact, there is such a thing as agreeing to disagree. Try to make each other laugh as much as possible.
If you have children under the age of 18, also remember that they are noticing more than you realize. Try thinking of open communication as also demonstrating a healthy example for them.
When parents’ divorce or break up, unless the relationship was toxic to begin with, children get caught in the middle and often end up confused and intimidated.
They are also more likely to get into unhealthy relationships themselves. They are only just beginning to learn about the world and you’re their most significant teacher.
So if you can save your relationship and avoid divorce, make them your number one motivator for doing so.
Open communication is the number one way to avoid divorce, too. Being compassionate and understanding almost always helps to eliminate negative situations. If you have kids under the age of 18, it also teaches them how to fight constructively.
2. Give adequate space to each other and also care for yourself
This can be a somewhat difficult balance to strike, especially if you’re going through a very negative event such as a death or job loss.
Either way, spending too much time together eliminates the sense of mystery and excitement. Spending too little time together, however, gives the sense of growing apart.
Worse, it often makes the other partner suspicious.
If your partner says that they want some space, it’s best to just give it to them. Men, however, instead of letting their partner know that they want space first, tend to just up and hide. Women, on the other hand, tend to let their emotions be known on the spot and their male partner often mistakenly think that she wants a quick fix.
When men up and go hiding, women tend to take it personally and think that it’s because they did something wrong.
If your partner just wants to have a night out alone with their friends, that’s healthy. Go ahead and let them. If however, they want to spend more time with you, continuously blowing them off will not likely save your relationship. If you have kids under the age of 18, that’s not setting a good example for them, either.
3. Spend some time with each other
We’re not talking about your time in the bedroom. We’re talking about breaking out of your routine at least once a month. For example, you can plan an outing to go dancing instead of going to dinner and a movie. Whatever you do, remember that intimacy is key.
You need to make sure that it’s something that you both like. If you have kids, it’s also good for them to see that the adults around them have needs for themselves and each other as well.
Once many people have kids, they mistakenly believe that their lives need to revolve around them 24/7. However, this is actually not the case. Yes, your kids do need to take priority but you need some adult time as well. Do always make sure that your kids will have good adult or much older supervision ahead of time.
In the end, going out on dates on a regular basis may be just the thing that will save your relationship.
4. Never be quick to hold grudges
Holding grudges is never a way to avoid divorce. In fact, harboring unforgiveness is a major reason that people tend to contact a divorce attorney.
This does not mean that you “forgive” your spouse over and over again for things like cyclic affairs or feeding an addiction. Both are a sign that something has gone very wrong and at least one of you needs to seek professional help.
If your spouse is unwilling to change, it may be next to impossible to avoid divorce and time to contact a divorce attorney.
If you have any reason to believe that’s the case, that’s when it’s time to seek a divorce attorney.
5. Never try to control
Marriage is not a magic ticket for change. When you marry, you’re actually more likely to see more, not less, of your partner’s flaws. Your spouse is not there to be your ideal man or woman. Your spouse is a unique individual with a unique personality. One way to avoid divorce is to avoid trying to change your spouse. Instead, try to embrace them for who they actually are. That is who you fell in the love with in the first place, is it not?
The only person you can control or change is yourself. Please save your relationship and avoid divorce by acknowledging this.
Is divorce ever inevitable?
Unfortunately, there are cases in which divorce is the best option. If one partner is abusive, has an addiction, won’t stop having affairs, or has a mental illness, it’s definitely time to contact a divorce attorney.
Those who are abusive are usually convinced that they’re not the ones with the problem. If affairs are the issue, that shows that he or she has stopped caring about you. With addiction and mental illnesses, they may or may not believe that they have a problem or believe that it can be fixed.
Sometimes people also get married for the wrong reasons. Such as a pregnancy, financial benefits, or to get out of what they consider to be a jagged situation. The first may be well-intended but has not always been found to be healthy. The latter two are actually forms of manipulation and not love at all. In those cases, it’s also best to contact a divorce attorney ASAP.
If you and your spouse believe that you have fallen out of love and have done everything you can think of to avoid divorce, it may also be time to contact a divorce attorney. If you have kids, think about whether you would want to see them to stay in a relationship in spite of falling out of love.