Stop Your Divorce And Save Your Marriage Part 5
For the past few weeks we’ve discussed common myths and assumptions about divorce.
Two popular ones are that divorce is a pathway to greater happiness, and that it is better for the children.
It’s tragic that these myths, and others, have taken on a life of their own. But what’s even more tragic is that people believe them and are choosing to end marriages that are good enough to save.
Consider these statistics:
- The divorce rate of second marriages is higher than for first marriages
- Living together before marrying is associated with an increased risk of divorce. Although the reasons why are unclear, evidence suggests that it might possibly be because of attitudes toward commitment such as a temporary versus permanent view of relationships.
- Long term research demonstrates that interpersonal relationship issues that divorce causes in children, may be carried into their adult relationships, thus potentially affecting the perceived quality of happiness in their own marriage.
- Research also suggests that there is a higher divorce rate for children who come from divorced families than for children whose parents stayed together; parents model commitment to their kids.
- Every marriage has its problems and challenges; there is no perfect marriage. But consider this: In one research study that was conducted in the late eighties of unhappy couples, 86 percent who chose to stay married were happier when interviewed five years later. And over half (3/5) said that they were very happy or quite happy.
THE ROLE SELF-TALK PLAYS IN DIVORCE
A marriage counselor who was working with hundreds of couples who were seriously considering divorce, observed an interesting pattern emerge. Much of the time, one spouse (sometimes both) engaged in negative self-talk towards their partner.
In fact, it was so rampant that he concluded this was a greater barrier to a couple’s happiness than was a lack of open and honest communication.
Ever have trouble controlling your thoughts? Most people do. Most people react instead of respond. So its easy for their thoughts to control them and trigger a knee-jerk reaction.
Once you start going down the road of verbalizing to yourself any negative thoughts you hold toward your spouse, you open a floodgate of negativity towards your husband or wife; nothing that he or she does can satisfy or make you happy.
Harboring thoughts and feelings of bitterness, fear, jealousy and even anger or indifference towards your mate, poisons the relationship and creates actions that will ultimately destroy the marriage.
Could it really be that one of the most chronic ailments that triggers divorce is negative self-talk towards our spouse?
If so, then think about how easy it might be for couples to avoid divorce altogether by simply focusing on the positive traits of their spouse instead of the negative.
Focusing on negative thoughts about our spouse encourages divorce.
Choosing to focus on positive thoughts about our spouse nurtures our relationship and fortifies commitment.
DO YOU THINK YOUR MARRIAGE IS WORSE THAN IT IS?
It seems to me that a couple can become so frustrated with the disagreements and unresolved conflict in their relationship that they reach a point where they feel that their marriage is a whole lot worse than it actually is.
The lesson for us is to realistically evaluate our marriage to see just healthy/unhealthy it is so that we don’t think or feel that our marriage is worse than it really is.
Be objective. Things might be bad but you owe it to yourself to identify the good along with the “bad” so you are able to see how things really are and realize that your marital situation isn’t as hopeless as you might have thought.
In Friday’s post, we’ll shift our focus away from divorce to making a case for staying married. Until then, this is Mike Tucker and I want you to be mad about marriage!