According to the leading researcher on marriage and divorce, John Gottman, sites the divorce rate for first marriages to be 50% and up to 68% for additional marriages. With the odds against successfully staying together long term, read the tips below to help increase your marital glue.
The odds are against you. The traditional approach to solving problems by ignoring them needs does NOT work. Instead, effort needs to be made to do something different.
A pro-active, preventative approach is the only way to strengthen your marriage. This means you can no longer wait until you have problems because it might be too late. Taking the perspective of an annual marriage check up is idea. Each year, a discussion of potential areas of on-going irritation, lack of satisfaction, anger, resentment and unmet needs should be brought out into the open.
Both spouses need to be involved. Historically, women have taken on the role of relationship-fixer. Because 85% of women are also initiating divorces, this approach is clearly not working. In what I have termed “The Emotional Shut Down Syndrome,” women who do not think their husband’s are participating in keeping their marriages on track, are giving up and choosing to seek new partners who do put in the effort when things don’t look good.
Recognize the potential areas of weakness in your marriage. The number on reason marriages break up is because of issues over finance. There are a number of other causes as well such as sex, affairs, children, blended families, career and personal development, role expectations…Any area of conflict needs to be dealt with as soon as issues arise.
THE FIX: According to Acceptance Theory, understanding your partner’s flaws rather than trying to change them is the first step to fix your marriage. In marriage counseling, the emphasis is typically on improving weak areas. The problem with that is that flaws can only be improved very little. Instead, in my practice, I use the technique of Marriage Mediation to help couples use their strengths to solve the problems in their marriages. Using your spouse’s strengths is highly successful.