The divorce rate in America is currently an astounding 50 percent according to the CDC. With half of all marriages ending in the misery of divorce, people are starting to say that divorces are simply too easy to get.
The problem isn’t that divorces are too easy, the problem is that marriages require hard work. People enter into this lifelong contracts expecting the roses and sunshine of their dating life, and the reality is not nearly as glamorous. If your marriage is struggling, here are some tips to help you work through the challenges and enjoy a healthy, supportive relationship.
The Power of Language and How You Talk to Each Other
The pen is mightier than the sword, and the spoken word carries an incredible amount of power. Despite the power of language, we tend to be harshest with the people we are closest to. We can remain polite with complete strangers in public, but we will tear our spouses down with little regard for their feelings. When you have a disagreement with your spouse, there are certain things you should remember.
- It’s okay to disagree- You are a couple, but you don’t have to agree on everything. Disagreements are your opportunity to share your feelings and work on building a stronger relationship.
- Be respectful of each other – In other words, keep the conversation civil. If you find that you are starting to slur insults and fight dirty, then you should take a break and talk about the issue again later. Go fo a walk around the block if necessary to cool off.
- Focus on the real problem – Before you start the discussion, determine what the real issue is. Do you feel like finances are out of control and your spouse won’t curb spending? Are you upset that your spouse makes you feel unappreciated? Stick to the issue at hand and talk about how it makes you feel. Do not start digging up past arguments and transgressions in an attempt to win the fight; everyone loses when couples start throwing stones.
Allison Pescosolido, M.A. and co-founder of Divorce Detox, reminds married couples that it’s vital to treat your spouse like the special person he or she is. Rather than tearing each other down with criticism, try building each other up with compliments. Not only will your spouse feel appreciated and loved, but it will remind you of why you are with this amazing person.
Be Willing to Compromise
Marriage is hard work, and you will have to compromise to make it work. You may feel that compromise is a nice word for lose, but it’s actually the art of finding solutions everyone feels good about. When you disagree, talk with each other honestly about your concerns and fears. Listen to your spouse, so you can come up with reasonable solutions. If you are at a stalemate and cannot move forward with this issue, then consider investing in counseling to get help with the issue.
Learn how to Forgive and Forget
When you get married, you should accept that you will hurt each other at some point. It is a simple fact of life. You will forget an anniversary, your spouse may say hateful things in an argument, or you might just do something stupid that causes pain. It’s human nature that we make mistakes, and sometimes people get hurt in the process. Be willing to forgive your spouse for the offense, and that means not bringing it up again. Forgiveness is a choice, and learning the art of it will make your marriage stronger.
Learning how to talk with each other effectively talk with each other is a fine skill, but it can make the difference between remaining married for life or being one of the divorce statistics. You should learn how to compromise, and understand how to forgive your spouse for mistakes and move forward. A couples therapist can teach you these skills and help you enjoy a healthy, successful marriage.
About the Author
Ryan Tate blogs about higher education and counseling. If you are interested in becoming a counselor, you might consider applying for a masters degree in school counseling at http://counseling.online.wfu.edu/ or http://www.shu.edu.