I subscribe to a few news channels, mainly to ensure that I am in the know, but I do also enjoy a little gossip now and then. Today I opened up my mail and on the same page there was an article about Drew Barrymore who knew her marriage was over before her and her husband even split and a little further down on the page was an article about Gwen Stefani, that said that she was grateful that her marriage ended. Gwyneth Paltrow is about to sign her divorce papers this week. Now I know these are celebrities, but 3 mentioned in one day! This just shows how popular divorce has become.
These are just Celebrities, but how about the people in our everyday lives, our friends and family members, our Nabors, school teachers and other Mothers?
There are many reasons as to why people are getting divorces. Some of them can be fully supported and others well, maybe they are giving up too soon. Nobody other than those in the situation will truly know. The bottom line is that divorce is happening all around us.
In 2014, there was a 40% divorce rate in South Africa, with most of the divorces occurring within 5 to 9 years of marriage. Out of these divorces, 51.7% of them were initiated by the wives.
So todays article is about what we can we do to change this? How can we divorce proof our Marriage?
Research shows that the major reasons of divorce are:
- Lack of communication
- Lack of commitment
- Lack of equality
- Unrealistic expectations
Looking at the list above, it appears that most of these items can be resolved by real open honest communication and the reason they snowball out of control or to a point of no return is because they are habit forming.
Nobody ever said that marriage was easy, actually there are a few different aspects of marriage that are really hard. The thing is that like everything else in life, you need to fight for what you want. It takes dedication and hard work to reap the rewards. When looking at couples with super strong marriages that seem to be known more as a couple than anyone knows them apart.
How do they do it, what is their secret?
The Antioxidants that our body uses are vitamins A – C and E
As we all know FREE RADICALS in our body can cause Cancer, aging and Disease. We use antioxidants to protect us and neutralise free radicals and support the immune system, so how about using a few antioxidants to protect our marriage!
So here is our list of marriage Antioxidants:
First off we have A
- Everybody needs to feel secure, words of AFFIRMATION and APPRECIATION go a long way.
- AFFECTION and I’m not talking about waiting till you get in the bedroom, I’m talking about true affection, cuddling, holding hands and kissing, lots and lots of real kissing.
- Eliminate all areas of Insecurities and ANXIETY from your marriage, these are dangerous.
- Show your APPRICATION, APPRICIATE each other, don’t take things for granted and yes the little things do count, but don’t forget to say thank you.
- Boredom in your marriage creates a need for one of the partners to ABANDON ship, a serious flight risk.
- You have to AGREE on your marital goals, beliefs, boundaries and groundings
Next we have C
- Keep strong COMMUNICATION skills, talk about everything, your day, what you want, how you feel, COMMUNICATE
- A CLEAR sense of CLOSENESS as a COUPLE.
- Don’t forget about the COMPLIMENTS
- Work on your personal COMPATIBILITY and good CONFLICT management skills.
- Neither partner can be too CONTROLING
- Always CHOOSE each other.
- Always be willing to COMPROMISE
Finally, there is E
- ELIMINATE past baggage, if you don’t, it will sneak up and bite you.
- You are married to each other and not EXTENDED family, always put each other first, before you try and fit in EXTENDED family. You are not married to them.
- We live in an instant world where you do not have to physically see someone to communicate with them. Watch out for the internet, EMAIL, and social media.
- Make sure you are fulfilling each other’s EMOTIONAL needs.
- Try and maintain realistic EXPECTATIONS
- We are women and yes sometimes we nit pic and fret, but try and eliminate ERATIC behaviour. Men just don’t know what to do with this.
- Always maintain full EXPOSURE when it comes to your partner.
Let’s go one step further and drop the F Bomb.
The worst word a woman ever wants to hear is Fat. Yes, throughout marriage your weight will fluctuate, especially after you have kids. The F word we do like to hear is Fantastic. The difference is what do you decide to do about it. Are you happy and let it go, or are you going to try your hardest to change it?
Have you ever noticed how many people get divorced and 6 months later they look better than they have in the last 6 years? Why? Because they made a choice! They chose to look their best. The point is, why wait. Make the choice today, but the reason behind the choice cannot be him, it has to be you.
- You are choosing to be your best.
- When you choose to be your best, you choose to empower yourself. Which gives you purpose.
- You choose to feel sexy, which ultimately leads to more sex.
- You choose to be proud of who you are which in turn gives you confidence.
Another F Bomb that is a definite deal breaker is FINANCES are not worth FIGHTING about.
I interviewed a few people who were newly divorced and some that have been divorced for a while and they agree that the things we have mentioned are definitely contributing factors. The other things they mentioned are that the choices you make are the ones that will define the destiny of your marriage. Keeping a secret about how much you really paid for your hair cut or the pair of shoes you bought, are healthy secrets and they won’t have a long term negative affect on your marriage. As soon as you feel the need to hide something, something that you know deep down if anyone found out, especially your partner, it would destroy you. Well these are the ones to stay clear of. The one lady said that although the reason for their divorce was because her husband was unfaithful, she can never get over the fact that he never even thought it was possible that she could ever do the same? The bottom line that came from all of this is that betrayal is not something that anyone ever gets over. A marriage is built on trust and once the trust has been destroyed, well you can move forward if you want to, but it will never be a given.
So to conclude: Keep the points above in mind. Never do anything you would not like your partner to be doing. Be truthful to yourself and your relationship and have fun, lots of fun. Life is hard and boring, don’t let your marriage be the same.