As with most things in life, you learn by making mistakes. And so, I realized I’ve learned about marriage the hard way too; not by being married but by getting a divorce.
Here are some important tips I’ve learned on staying married that I’d like to pass along.
If it’s upsetting you. It’s worth bringing up.
If something bothers you. Speak up. NOW.
Maybe your spouse says something that hurts your feelings. Undermines you. Is dismissive.
Whatever it is, you are hurt, but don’t want to bring it up and start a whole argument. It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle.
But trust yourself. Anything that is big enough to upset you, is worth arguing about. Because those feelings of hurt or anger you’ve got won’t go away.
They will just get buried. Which brings me to my next point.
Buried feelings don’t go away. They take root and grow.
All those hurts you haven’t brought up. All those slights you ignored don’t go away. They multiply.
They attach themselves to every single feeling you’ve got about your spouse.
The feelings will surface at some point. Usually when you are arguing about a totally different topic.
Say you’re arguing about who picks up the dog poop in the yard, suddenly all those buried feelings of anger you’ve been suppressing come exploding to the top.
You are now no longer arguing about dog poop you are now arguing about dog poop AND his Mother. Not a productive way to settle a disagreement.
Date Nights Don’t Work.
If date nights are the only time that you do things together as a couple, hate to break it to you, but one night a week is not going to save your marriage. Dinner and a movie do not a marriage make.
It’s a night out, not a miracle.
Yes, it’s a good idea to schedule time just for the two of you to go out; but if that’s the only time you spend time together as a couple, then you are already in trouble.
Don’t Put Off Counseling.
Too many couples put off marriage counseling until it’s way too late.
For many, the marriage is already beyond repair before they ever sit together on a therapist’s couch.
Counseling has a better chance of working if you go while there is still a marriage to save. If you think it might help your relationship, don’t wait. If your goal is to stay married, call a marriage counselor ASAP. Counseling seem too expensive?
If you think marriage counseling is expensive, try divorce.
What wisdom about marriage did your divorce teach you?
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