Four Steps To Saving Your Marriage.
Realistically, tips and advice on how to save a failing and struggling marriage abound.
Everything from books, seminars, or solicited (and unsolicited) advice on what you should do to save your marriage is abundant.
With all this information available though, why is that in many lands, the rate of divorce has been on a steady climb?
* Divorce Becomes The Norm.
According to Barbara Dafoe Whitehead; co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University and author of the book The Divorce Culture, after the sixties "the rate (of divorce) accelerated at a dazzling pace."
She continued: "It double in roughly a decade and continued its upward climb until the early 1980s, when it stabilized at the highest level among advanced Western societies. As a consequence of this sharp and sustained rise, divorce moved from the margins to the mainstream if American life in the space of three decades."
The fact that this rise was not only considered sharp, but sustained as well, concerns many of us striving for a happy, successful, and long-lasting marriage.
In addition, a quick look at the world news will leave one feeling that divorce is all a part of the "norm," leading many to wonder if any marriage can survive.
* No Marriage Is Perfect.
The notion that one can achieve a perfect, stress-free and problem-free marriage just doesn't exist. Due to human imperfection, a perfect marriage is just not possible.
In addition to trials and tribulations (due to financial, physical, emotional, or mental setbacks), misunderstandings and disagreements, some marriages have been tainted by infidelity, strong resentment, and bitter, sometimes abusive speech.
So what's a couple to do if feel their marriage is on the brink of collapsing? Is divorce always the answer? Or are there steps they can take to save their marriage?
* Four Steps That Could Save Your Marriage.
Since I am by no means a licensed marriage counselor, you may ask; "Why should I listen to what you have to say?"
Simply put, you don't have to - but I have been an eyewitness to its success.
So just what are the four steps couples can take to begin putting their marriages back together?
- Make A Resolution - The old adage goes, "there is no I in team." With that said, spouses should agree to work together on making their marriage a success. Writing down their decision on paper will bring a sense of ownership to the agreement, and will solidify both partners commitment to saving the marriage.
- Identify What The Problem/Problems Are - In one sentence/statement, each spouse can write or verbalize what they think is lacking, or what they think is causing the rift in the marriage. An honest, open-ended, and non-debatable discussion can ensue concerning each others feelings and desires.
- Set Reasonable And Attainable Goals- Once you've open the lines of communication, as a team set reasonable and attainable goals regarding what improvements you both want to make in your marriage. In addition to attaching ownership to maintaining your goals, and providing a clear vision as to what you both what to achieve, put them down in writing and sign your names to the finished product. In essence, it's as if you and your spouse are signing a contract with each other, promising that you'll do your personal best to achieve the goals set out before you both. If signing your name to such an agreement does not appeal to you, simply skip that step and make a verbal promise instead.
- Get Counseling - More often than not, counseling of some sorts is needed to help couples get over their most difficult hurdles. Whether this counseling be of a spiritual nature (such as spiritual advisers from one's place of worship), or more mainstream (such as a licensed marriage counselor), avail yourself to that additional help and apply the advice accordingly.
Realistically, solving ones marital problems will not happen overnight. It will take time and considerable effort on the part of both spouses.
Whatever you do, don't be so quick to give up if you're efforts seem to get you "nowhere fast."
Keep in mind the encouraging words from the book, The Case for Marriage (by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher): "The truth is shocking: 86% of unhappily married people who stick it out find that, five years later, their marriages are happier."
So if you're experiencing trouble in your marriage, why not give these suggestions a try. They just may be the steps vital to saving your marriage.
(*It is vital to note, that although these tips can be applied to even the most strained marriages, marriages where there is extreme physical, mental, or emotional abuse may call for different action. In the end, it is up to the individual to decide what is best for them and their family - especially when children are involved).
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