IN THIS ISSUE:
7 Tips to Divorce-Proof Your MarriageBy: Marian Stansbury
In today's world couples struggle to maintain successful love relationships that last. Statistics have shown that in the U.S. 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Many couples are choosing to cohabit but still want a relationship that is stable and loving.
You may have unrealistic expectations of romance and long-term partnerships. You may have an idealized vision of the perfect relationship based on your dreams, ideas, and fantasies. The media often inspire fantasy ideas about marriage. When a marriage begins to lose its "glow" and reality sets in, many couples break up rather than trying to make it a viable relationship.
So, here are seven tips to divorce-proof your marriage:
1. Understand that relationships go through different stages
2. Mindset: Growth or Fixed?
3. Have effective communication skills
4. Learn how to manage emotions and resolve conflict
5. Share values, goals and life vision
6. Be appreciative
7. Frequently share physical intimacy
By being educated and knowing what it takes to create long-term relationships, developing realistic expectations of what long-term commitment means, and putting in the effort required to make it work, you too can have a successful relationship for life.
Copyright © 2017 by Marian Stansbury and the Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Marian Stansbury, Ph.D. supports couples and singles in creating an Extraordinary Relationship. As well as being a Relationship Coach, she is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author of an eBook on Amazon: A PATH TO CREATING AN EXTRAORDINARY RELATIONSHIP. Her web site is www.ToolsforaHappierLife.com
I hate being alone. Isn't marriage supposed to be about being "together"?
I've been married for a little more than 2 years and I almost never spend time with my husband. He's in the Marines and he has been deployed overseas for most of our marriage. At first it made everything even more special and romantic when he did come home, but now I'm just lonely and resentful and I end up picking fights with him and we're miserable. I have even started thinking about having an affair with one of our neighbors, mainly because I hate being alone. I don't want to be selfish but I don't think I'm cut out to be a military wife. Should I try harder, or should I give up?
Dave responds ...
I understand your struggles and offer concrete action steps for you.
As a retired Navy chaplain, with 22 out of 28 years assigned with the USMC (also a husband, father, and grandfather), I can tell you that what you describe is normal. I have seen this many times before. My family and I have experienced many long deployments. We know what you are going through and we thank you and your husband for your service to the greatest nation on earth. Oorah!
Marriage is certainly about enjoying being together at times, but it is also about supporting each other in all situations. The Bible calls this being each other’s “Help Meet”. The sacrifice of deployment is not just your husband’s, but it is a sacrifice and a contribution on your part as well. Let me assure you that these lonely times are temporary, and many rewards will come your way. Embrace the challenge and decide to do things that will help you through. Here are some specific recommendations:
Dave Wilder | www.treasuredrelationships.com
Dr. Wendy responds ...
I understand how lonely and resentful you must feel when your husband is never around. Perhaps you'd like to have a conversation with your husband to discuss how you are both feeling, and to plan for the future. Here are a few questions to consider: If nothing changed, could you be happy with the current state of your marriage? How much time do you need to spend together to feel like you are spending enough time together? Does he have any control over his future deployment overseas? Are there ways for the two of you to stay connected when he’s away? Do you and your husband feel aligned with a shared vision for the future? Are you both committed to doing whatever it takes to sustain a loving marriage?
You may find it very helpful to consult with a relationship coach who could help you both to express what you are feeling, to communicate more clearly and to understand each other better. Meanwhile, you may also want to look at how you can enrich your life with friends, family, community, work, learning, exercise and activities. How can you enjoy your own company and expand your horizons in a healthy and productive way? Hint: having an affair with the neighbor because you’re lonely wouldn’t be the best choice. What are some good choices you could make?
Dr. Wendy Lyon | www.drwendylyon.com
The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
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