Marriage requires work and lots of it. Even the best of marriages that look good and happy experience times of challenge and difficulty. A great marriage or relationship requires continuous and conscious effort. Sometimes life gets in the way, the relationship is assumed as other priorities take its place and before you know it, you feel like to strangers living under the one roof. Rachael Scharrer, relationship and divorce expert and Separation Strategist, has compiled six elements can help you to stop a divorce and remain happily ever after.
How can you stop a divorce and remain happily together forever after? Try these six tips consciously for a period of one or two months and then reassess the state of your relationship.
Stop all contempt. Contempt makes someone feel worthless. Often contempt is demonstrated by one spouse speaking down to the other and showing disregarding and/or disrespect towards their spouse. John Gottman says that he can pick a doomed relationship as soon as he notices contempt and, in his opinion, contempt is the biggest relationship killer. He recommends never show or express contempt to your spouse if you want your relationship to survive and last.
Action: Be mindful and more conscious of what you say to your partner. Remember, if you don’t have something nice (and uplifting) to say, then don’t say anything at all.
Actions speak louder than words. Guystuffcounselling.com says in a relationship saying “I will change” is more powerful than “I love you.” This gives rise to the need to make a concerted effort and follow through. If you don’t follow through then your words will be like water and wash away…. And you will find yourself in the same situation. When nothing changes, then the “I will change” will mean absolutely nothing.
Action: Follow the golden rule of “do what you say you will do and make sure that you do it.”
Exercise gratitude. Too often, we become accustomed to our routines. We often play our designated roles and take each other for granted. By taking a moment to stop and appreciate the big as well as the small things that your partner does you are recognising the many things that your partner/spouse does for you which makes them feel good and want to please you more.
Action: I love to encourage couples to start by saying “thank you” to their spouse at home, to send an unexpected SMS of love or hope or write a note of appreciation and tuck it into their book, lunch bag or stick it on the mirror of their shaving cabinet.
Course correction. Often what you liked about a person is something that ultimately annoys you about them. Perhaps it was something that you found endearing about them that now grates on you.
Action: You can correct the relationship course in three simple steps:
If you can’t agree to a solution and remind each other to action the solution as needed, then there isn’t much point agonising over the issue.
Shared goals. In long term relationships, if you don’t grow together then you are bound to grow apart. To ensure that you are both moving in the same direction and share the ‘big picture’ it helps to have long-term and mid-term goals as well as short-term goals with some rewards along the way! Rewards are important as you hit milestones towards your goals so that you don’t feel like you are always sacrificing.
Action: Clear some time and have a goal setting session. Make sure that you include shared and individual goals for the short, mid and long term. After setting the goals, you can create a strategy around how you will do it
Date each other. We are often cramming so much into our days and weeks – instead of marking out time for our spouse alone, we maximise our time to include family and friends. Many couples find themselves giving their attention to the biggest issue or challenge in our life – which may be work, young children or sick family member. Taking time to date your spouse helps create connection and build a stronger bond.
Action: Schedule date night once a week, once a fortnight or once a month and commit to it. Dates don’t have to be expensive – the focus is on quality time, rather than where you go and how much time you have.
Your take away from implementing the above six tips is clarity. Having a clearer understanding of what you and your spouse wants, where you are headed in life and whether it is together.
After trying these six tips, ask yourself:
Should you feel the need to explore this topic further, please book in a Strategy Session via this link.