Post # 1
So FI’s friend and his partner split up this weekend after 10 years. FI is a bit bummed about it and says “let’s never do that its so important to keep our relationship working I never want to break up” – and neither do I! We’ve done premarital counselling through our church and have a lot of honest discussions. We’re on the same page for most things (values, family, timelines, expectations), and on the less-important things we’ve agreed to disagree (politics etc). My parents are divorced and I’ve committed to not going down that path. However… shit happens.
So, what can you recommend to keep a relationship strong and healthy? How are you divorce-proofing your marriage?
Post # 3
@bella128: SO wish we had done premarital counseling!
Post # 4
Pre-marital counseling is a great first step. We are working our way through a book called The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work by Gottman. I like it so far and it just helps keeps communication open.
I think always recognizing that a relationship is work and requires nurturing, energy and attention can help minimize problems or stresses. We do not plan on getting divorced (we have already been together for 9 years), but we also recognize that we would never want to be miserable together. Like you said, $hit happens sometimes, but working hard to avoid it always helps!
Post # 5
@anidiotabroad: me too for you 🙁 please take good care of yourself!
Post # 6
Read anything by John Gottman. I read his book Why Marriage Succeed or Fail when I was in my mid-20’s and good 10-15 years away from marriage, but it still helps me in my marriage now. Most important is the 3 to 1 ratio of good to bad interaction. And every good interaction is like making a deposit and bad interaction is making a withdrawl. Hugging when you walk past each other–deposit. Snippy when you are tired–withdrawl.
So I always try to put tons of deposits in and pay attention to the times I can acknowlege the things he does like taking out the trash or loading the dishwasher. My friend has a “why should I thank him for doing the things he *supposed* to do” attitude, yeah that marriage is on the rocks. I’m the opposite and thank him for every little thing. (And he does the same. I scooped the cat litter box a few days ago and he remember today and made a point of thanking me) Seriously make all the difference in the world when you feel appreciated and like someone is paying attention.
The other one is know the other person’s love language. I haven’t read the book since we both recieve and give love the same way, but for other people I’ve heard it’s helped them soooo much in their relationships.
Post # 7
Communication. Don’t let things build up and build resentment.
Appreciating things the other does and nevr taking each other for granted.
Post # 8
I try really hard to not take a bad day out on my husband. Bc he loves me, he would make for a convienient target. Instead, I try to talk about the day with him. Usually by the end of the conversation, he’s put me in a better mood.
Post # 9
I don’t think you can really divorce-proof a marriage. Obviously, it goes without saying that things like communication, and being on the same page about major things like having children etc, are important; but ultimately, people can and do change, and what works for a couple/individual now, might not in 10 or 20 years time. Likewise, while you might agree on major things now, there is nothing to say that won’t change over time (for example I set out assuming we’d have children, only to realise over 5 years into our relationship that actually, I didn’t want children; and that could easily have ended the relationship; or, if my OH suddenly got massively into religion overnight, I would likely end things, as I am extremely anti-religion and couldn’t be with someone who was very religious).
Perhaps that is pessimistic; I prefer to see it as realistic. Do I hope that I will be with my OH forever? Yes, if our relationship doesn’t change for the worse, and I continue to be happy with him. Do I believe we will be together forever? Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be marrying him. Do I KNOW we will be together forever? No, that’s impossible. Would I end it if I was no longer happy? Yes. I feel no need to try to divorce proof our relationship; if it works, it works, if it stops working, I’m not going to flog a dead horse and stay in a relationship that is making me unhappy.