Thanks for joining us again in this conversation about things people wish they’d known before getting divorced. In the previous installment, we spent a moment talking about having real, meaningful conversations with your spouse, and also the importance of expressing love in the way that your mate best receives it. These are critically important issues if you want your marriage to survive.
Moving on we are going to be looking at a couple of other important things that married couples would do well to pay attention to, as it could save them a trip to divorce court in the future. As Henry Ford said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” So join us now as we look at the importance of fighting in a marriage, and a few basic facts that every married couple needs to accept.
FIGHT IT OUT!
Fighting is normal and healthy. That may seem strange, given the fact that it is often fighting that lands people in divorce court. But believe it or not, it isn’t fighting that’s unhealthy for your relationship, it;s how you fight that can have a negative impact on your relationship.
According to Greg Godek, the author of ‘Love: The Course They Forgot to Teach You in School‘, says that one of the most important differences between a couple’s fights and any other kind, is the mindset that drives the outcome. “The problem is that we’ve all been conditioned to believe fighting can only be a win-lose proposition.” says Godek, “Because we subconsciously expect an argument to have a clear winner and loser, we line up all of our ‘evidence’ as though we’re going before a jury. We focus on the idea of winning the fight.”
When you are fighting with your spouse, however, it is important not to view them as the “other guy” – the one you need to beat in order to be the victor. A marital argument needs a different approach, one where you listen and respect the other person’s opinion, even if you don’t agree with it. You also need to be willing to concede points and even relinquish control of a situation. In the long run, being “right” doesn’t make your marriage stronger, but being loving and respectful will.
ACCEPT THE FACTS!
This may seem a little vague, and in truth it is. Because there isn’t one single ‘fact’ that’s going to make the difference here – there are many. But you need to make peace with a number of things in order to ensure that your marriage will last. The first one is, of course, that your marriage will not complete you.
You are a complete person. You are not going to be “made whole” by another person. So the sooner you make peace with the fact that your spouse may make you happy but they will not make you whole, the sooner you can adjust your expectations. Which brings us to the second ‘fact’ – don’t go into marriage expecting that you can change your partner.
Marriage is made up of two people who have both wonderful character traits, and very annoying flaws. Both you and your spouse are humans, who fail and screw up and make mistakes. The sooner you accept that fact and get on with putting your focus on the positive, the better your marriage will be. Don’t waste time hoping they will “get better” or “change.” Because that isn’t something you can control. Instead, focus on what they do right, on what you love about them, and the flaws will bother you less and less.
Marriage is hard. Many of them don’t survive. But with a little work and dedication, sometimes they can be pulled back from the brink of disaster. Although not always. If your marriage has gone over the edge, and cannot be saved, come in and talk to our experienced divorce attorneys. We have helped countless individuals work through their divorces and prepare for their new futures. We can help you too.