Are you asking yourself, how did it get to this point? Especially since the day you got married it seemed like you had the world at your feet! Weren’t you so full of hope and excitement for the future? Seriously how often have you seen an engaged couple head to the alter with anything less than enthusiasm, bubbling with expectation of their happily ever after?
So, what happens when the honeymoon phase is over?
After having countless conversations and coaching many people who find themselves in less than desirable circumstances in their marriages and/or partnerships – wondering how they got there ( at one time myself included) – I discovered this is a pretty common scenario.
The divorce rate in America is 40-50% for first timers and even higher for those giving it another go. So many couples unknowingly make mistakes that lead to the dissolution of love.
Are you making a relationship mistake that will lead to divorce?
Check out the top 5 mistakes that lead to divorce:
#1 Making the kids your #1
Have you fallen into the common pitfall of putting your kids before your marriage? Any parent knows how hard it becomes to keep the romance alive once kids come along. Mothers especially can become victim to placing priority on the children. This misguided precedence will take its toll on the marriage and can set the stage for separation.
It was through intimate love for your companion that created your family and that love needs to be fostered. One of the best ways to foster intimacy with your partner is to set regular date nights. This time away from your roles as mom and dad will allow you to reconnect with each other and connection is key to an enduring union.
#2 Focusing on the Negative
Negative thinking can easily snowball out of control. Once we start focusing on negative thoughts about our partner, it’s hard to stop them. Therefore, it’s wise to be mindful of the true importance of any transgression.
If your spouse is abusive or exhibiting other detrimental behaviors, calling it quits can be the best option. However, if you realize that your irritations are not deal breakers, try to release your negative thoughts. After all, no one is perfect. Both your mood and your marriage will benefit from positivity!
Try writing your partner a love letter or simply make a list of all the reasons you married your spouse. These simple affirmative acts, practiced often, will help your union to no only survive but to thrive.
#3 Expecting your partner to make you happy
If you aren’t truly happy with yourself, you won’t be happy in any relationship. While a fulfilling marriage can add a level of bliss to life, it shouldn’t be your only source of joy. It isn’t fair to expect your partner to deliver you value, happiness or a sense of self worth. These can’t be supplied externally. Happiness must start from within and only then can overflow to be shared with others including your spouse.
If you’ve lost sight of your own value or are having a hard time experiencing joy, working with a therapist or coach can help you rediscover your brilliant essence. Realizing and cultivating your own greatness will transform both your esteem and your marriage for the good.
#4 Respect for your spouse:
Respect is a cornerstone to a healthy marriage and creating mutual respect is vital to the longevity of your union. Teasing, eye-rolling, and public trash talking are all things that should be avoided at all costs.
Teasing is especially destructive to a marriage because cutting remarks can wound deeply. Even if said in jest, some comments just aren’t funny. Plenty of couples will tease each other in what starts as playful banter but can quickly degrade into hurtful jabs.
Make sure you communicate respect to your spouse at all times. Your partner will be more willing and able to lavish you with love and affection when they feel respected and this respect will help your marriage flourish.
#5 Choosing “me” instead of “we”
While it’s vital to practice self-care and nurture your own needs, be careful not to constantly choose “me” instead of “we”. Focusing solely on your own needs will cause you to abandon the needs of your relationship. Rather than living two separate lives inside of your marriage, ensure that you commit to activities that you enjoy doing as a couple. Connecting with each other regularly is imperative to creating a divorce-proof marriage.
While no marriage can ever truly be divorce-proof, avoiding these 5 common mistakes will keep your marriage healthy and increase the longevity of your love.
So true! After 30 years of marriage, husband and I are going through a very rough time and are presently separated as we realize one or the other and in some cases both of us made those 5 mistakes….fortunately we are still very good friends and can communicate relatively well. We are trying to work things through and hope not to repeat same mistakes and grow old together…
I love your site by the way and always find inspiration to grow and be happy. Thank you!
I’m so sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through a difficult time. It is true that relationships require patience, effort and self-reflection, which is why it can be so useful to read articles like this and really look at each person’s expectations in the partnership.
Whatever you and your husband decide to do, I hope it comes from a place of self-love and understanding!