I believe the main goal of marriage is to stay happily married. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
If you feel your marriage is having problems, do something to fix it! Address the problems and don’t just hope those things will just “go away” or “get better” with time. The fix could be as simple as bringing up whatever problems you’re having with your partner. Try to keep the lines of communication open as much as possible. Little problems can fester and turn into big ones mighty quick. Don’t be afraid to suggest going to a marriage counselor. This does not mean your marriage is on life support, but you want to fix what might be wrong. I know most of this is not macho. But if you take the macho route, you might be macho all by yourself and paying a big price for it.
Show your spouse with actions, not just tell your spouse how much they mean to you. It’s amazing how good you feel when your partner actually listens to you. Isn’t it nice when they tell you about their day at work or something that is important to them. Whatever they are talking about may not be important to you, but if it’s important to your spouse, it should become important to you as well. Show compassion and empathy when appropriate and it will be reciprocated when the time comes. You are the person they should be able to lean on.
Hey guys, try surprising your wife with a meal you prepared ready by the time she gets home from work. Or better yet, take care of the laundry and clean the house before she gets home from work. All this and a nice foot rub are powerful foreplay tools. You may truly unlock the inner vixen in your mate.
Your wife should be your girlfriend, and your husband should be your boyfriend. I’m a big advocate of date nights. You have to have some time with just your spouse alone. This means getting dressed up a bit and look good for your partner. That means you gals should get out of your sweats and put as much effort into dressing up, hair and makeup for your husband, as you do for the occasional night out with the girls. Guys, yes you should take a shower and shave before your night out. Put on something other than your favorite jersey or flannel shirt. Just think back to when you were working hard to impress each other when you started dating. You should still be trying to impress and attract your partner. This also means it is time for the two of you to get out of the house for your dates.
Speaking of trying to attract your mate, I don’t understand why I see so many women in the gym trying to lose weight and look good when they are newly divorced or going through a divorce. Perhaps this is something you should have been doing all along. The same goes for you guys. I see guys that I have never seen before in the gym and after talking to them, they tell me they are trying to get “back into shape” because they will soon be or are back on the market. Sorry guys, but bowling, golf and softball just are not exercise. They and other “sports” are excuses to drink beer with the guys and be away from home. I’m a big believer in exercise, and it’s obvious benefits to your mental and physical health. The two of you don’t have to look like cover models for fashion magazines, but you shouldn’t give up and stop trying to look good for your spouse! A gym membership is much cheaper than a divorce.
Get yourself a pool of reliable babysitters you trust and use them. I know it is tough with careers, kids in sports and all their activities. There could also be special circumstances such as elderly parents or special need children. You have to make the effort for everybody’s sake.
Let’s talk about sex. Contrary to some negative perceptions from some organized religion, sex is a good thing. There’s been an overabundance of studies on the subject and I believe most of the “experts” say it is good for you physically as well as emotionally. I can’t think of something that connects two married people more than sex. The act produces all kinds of good chemical reactions and gives you both an incredible feeling of intimacy and closeness that a marriage needs. If you’re having sex with your spouse on a regular basis, how can you stay mad at him/her for not doing the dishes and other silly arguments that may pop up? I defy you to even think of the dirty dishes after had a mind-blowing session between the sheets. Sex is the glue that keeps you together!
I have heard that woman need to feel loved to have sex and men need sex to feel loved. I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, I think it’s spot on. So guys and gals do your best to keep those love vibes going and get naked! It’s a win-win situation when you and your spouse are making love on a regular basis. (To each other of course)
There is a variety of reasons people get divorced. Many times it’s a combination of things; poor communication, unfaithfulness, tragedy, Illness or accident, or you just plain grow apart. When you split up with your spouse, this is a good time to reflect on what you think went wrong. This would be a good time to take an inventory of what you think you may have done to contribute to the ultimate demise of your marriage. Please don’t wallow in this. Just try not to make the same mistakes twice. This would be a good time to work on the things you believe you need to improve on and perhaps time to get rid of the things that may have contributed to the riffs in your relationship. A good therapist might be a good idea to help you sort all this out.
I’m not talking about abuse. If you’re in an abusive situation, get the hell out and take your kids with you. Your safety and your children’s safety is paramount. This also holds true if your spouse if an addict; drugs or alcohol.
Most folks blame the other person for their marriages going south. Some of the time the blame rests square on one person’s shoulders, but most of the time it is a team effort. Remember getting divorced is closing one door and opening another one. Walk through that open door with your chin up with the confidence that you will try not to make the same mistakes twice.
By L.J. Burke, author of DIVORCED DAD: Kids are Forever, Wives are Not.