Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
I've been meeting with many clients about overcoming the emotional pain of divorce lately, so we thought I should talk about divorce-proofing a marriage as well.
Most of our clients are Christians, and they take divorce seriously. We all know how painful (and expensive!) divorce is, so I encourage everyone: take your marriages seriously too! Put the following into practice:
If you are a believer, increase the time you spend with your spouse in prayer, and discussing the Gospel. Even if it's just a question you discuss, it can mean a lot.
Regardless of your comedy differences,those who laugh together, stay together. You will all have overlaps in what is funny. So, create a "Laugh Folder" where you can send each other funny things for your spouse to enjoy.
You want to be friends, relating as life journey companions. The more you can tell about your day, your struggles, with heart-to-heart connection, the more couples give each other the benefit of the doubt when other couples get into arguments, become suspicious and develop grudges. Make sure you're talking about not just the facts but the feelings behind those facts.
Learn Personality Types
We use Myers-Briggs a lot because it's really helpful. If you know the way your spouse thinks and processes information, you'll have more empathy when your spouse goes silent. You will then realize that your spouse may be processing events in a different way. By knowing each others' Myers-Briggs type, you can recognize differences in how you relate to the world, and help your spouse navigate situations.
Settle Arguments Quickly
Sometimes you need a break, but move towards reconcile quickly. There are very few places in scripture where Jesus stays to stop worshiping God, but in Matthew he says:
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5: 23-24.
If people don't settle, they will develop into grudges that are hard to settle.
Be the Chief Forgiver
Remember how much you have been forgiven by Christ. Then you will see how easy it is to forgive your spouse. Clear the slate quickly, and you can then see boundaries.
BONUS: Establish Boundaries
They are important for marriage, allowing your relationship to grow and flourish. Even the trinity has boundaries. Each as a role and yet they are one.
So, marriages have roles too. Each spouse has roles to play, and they have starts and ends.