Why Married Couples Divorce & 5 Tips to Prevent it
The experience of a breakup is amongst the worst stresses you’ll ever go through. Some describe it as being worse than the death of a loved one.
The numbers for divorce run between 40-50%. Can we confidently trust it won’t happen to us?
Top reason for divorce?
Studies throughout the world claim that “growing apart” is why marriages are primarily failing.
I see this in my Calgary counselling offices all the time. Couples describe themselves as “not feeling connected”. They are worried and wonder if they can recreate what was lost.
Should we be worried?
Well, the divorce rate has risen and Statistics Canada states that the longer a couple lives together the higher the chances for divorce. Why?
Consider these reasons couples divorce:
- Infidelity (25%)
- Unreasonable behaviour (17%)
- Mid-life crisis (10%)
- Money (5%)
Yet, “growing apart” tops the charts at 27%. What can we do to stop this trend?
We are living longer than generations before us
Could it be the longer we live together the higher the chances of two people growing apart, or could it be the greater we take one another for granted and fail to keep on nurturing our love?
Untended love can be compared to a chequing account. Money goes in. Money goes out. Love goes in. Love goes out. Deposits. Withdraws. An even balance is maintained, but it doesn’t grow. We don’t work hard at growing a chequing account. No. When the balance rises we move the surplus into savings or investments.
To keep a marriage happy we need to do more than just maintain an even balance. We need to see our investment grow.
What can be done?
FOLLOW THESE 5 TIPS:
#1 Quality time
Spend consistent time together. Plan it. Schedule it in. Keep it frequent. Keep it interesting, fun and intimate. When you do this, you are telling your partner that they are a priority to you. We say “You matter”, not just with our words but also by the quality of time we spend with them. Nothing says it better.
Be honest about the problems, don’t shove them under the carpet. Even when it may be difficult, bring up aspects of your relationship that are leading to unhappiness. Let your partner know that you love them and are committed when you bring these up.
Also, complement them often and daily. Notice not just the physical traits, but also the personality traits and say things like, “I appreciate how generous you are… or organized, creative, fun, diligent, studious, hard-working, playful, kind, gentle, passionate…
#3 Laugh often
Enjoying each other is key to keeping a couple’s love alive. Be playful. Watch funny videos together. Do things that make you laugh. Sit at a restaurant, look around, and try to guess what the other tables are talking about without getting to serious. Laughter releases positive hormones in our brains that help enhance bonding.
Do activities that you can both appreciate. Do something new! Make 3 lists of things you can do together. One list of activities that take 15 minutes. Another of activities that take 30 minutes to an hour. A third list of activities that take a half or full day. When you have only 15 minutes together, choose something from the list to do and enjoy. Make this list together. Keep it creative.
#5 Keep dreaming
Talk of how you’re going to keep building a future together. Don’t just talk about the stress and bills piling up as you do. Expand your communication to a vision of your future and what it would look like to reach your goals.
Talk of a future trip you want to take. A concert you want to go to. The mortgage and what you can do when the payments get lower over time, or eliminated all together.
Research has shown that these five activities help enhance a couple’s connection and sense of future building together.
How are you doing in the above five areas?
If the above actions don’t work for you, then seek professional help. Couples or marriage counselling is a lot cheaper than divorce. You loved one another once. It is very possible to repair what isn’t working anymore, with the right help.