Sadly, about 40% to 50% of married couples end up divorcing in the United States. And it’s never easy.
Divorce can be extremely hard on both parties, especially if children are part of the picture. Whether you’ve been with your partner for decades or are just recently married, if it’s not working — and you truly don’t believe it’s going to work — divorce might be your only true chance at living a happy life.
There is hope, however. If your relationship is truly doomed, and it’s only going to cause more stress, pain, and difficulty in your life, it’s okay to move on and follow through with your plans for divorce. But if you believe it can be salvaged, and you’re ready to fight, it’s up to you and your spouse to do everything in your power to make it work. Here are some tips that should help:
Consult a marriage therapist
After working with a marriage or family therapist, 93% of patients said they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems. Respondents also reported improved physical health and the ability to function better at work after attending therapy.
Every marriage and relationship has its own special set of problems. That being said, there are plenty of experienced marriage counselors out there who have seen just about every variation of those problems. They can help offer guidance and support throughout some of the toughest times and the most contentious conversations.
Find what made you love them in the first place
If you married your partner, you didn’t do it because you hated them. You did it because you loved them. So where did that go? Feelings can and do go away, sure, but if you are right for each other, they can and will come back if you keep fighting. It might sound and feel shallow, but start by remembering why you were attracted to your spouse in the first place.
A 2011 University of London study found that blood flow increased 10% to the “joy response” part of the brain when subjects saw a beautiful painting — just like when you look at a loved one. If you can, try and really see your spouse for what they are. Think back to what made you fall in love with them in the first place.
Take a vacation
You have to be careful with this one. It’s best to take a trip after you’ve already been working on your relationship for a while and have done the other two tips previously mentioned. If not, and you go on a week-long trip when tensions are high, it could be a disaster for your marriage.
Constant arguing can ruin an otherwise beautiful vacation. So make sure you both are in a good place when you plan, book, and go on a vacation. If you are in good moods when you go, you’ll be able to kick back and relax with them the entire time, which might be exactly what you need.
Don’t compare yourselves
Far too many people get stuck comparing themselves to other relationships. This can only lead to more problems down the road. First, you will truly never know if your friends’ marriage is as happy and great as they might make it seem. Behind closed doors, it could be even worse than yours. And second, even if their relationship is beautiful — good for them. But that has nothing to do with you and your relationship. Instead of comparing your marriage to others, focus all your energy on your unique relationship.
Again, divorces happen all the time and it’s okay if nothing works and you just have to move on. But don’t just move on after the first sign of a marital problem. Who knows, if you can address your issues in a healthy and respectful manner, your relationships might even come out even stronger on the other side. Good luck!