Most family law attorneys know a thing or two about marriage since they’re surrounded by divorce for at least eight hours everyday. Though they’re no substitute for a qualified mental health professional, most family law attorneys would be able to write a book on marital advice that could prevent divorce. As a family law firm, we support our clients through divorce, but we’re not pro divorce. We’re here to support people in finding their happiness and creating their own fulfillment. If that means staying in your marriage, we support you. If finding your happiness means getting divorced, we can help you start the process. If you’re looking to build a fulfilling marriage, the first step is preventing marital unhappiness.
Choose to Let It Go
Ah, yes, just choose not to be upset when your spouse does something wildly irresponsible. Though that sounds like an extraordinary measure to take, it’s not as impossible as it may seem. So, your husband put too many exemptions on their W-2 and now you owe the IRS a ton of money. Okay, that’s bad. Or, maybe your wife broke the silverware drawer while trying to impatiently get a fork out of it. That’s massively inconvenient. However, getting in an argument is not going to fix the silverware drawer, or change the fact that you owe the IRS money. If your spouse knows they messed up, do not use their mistakes as an opportunity to beat them down further. Instead, accept their apology and move on. It’s okay to be angry at them when they’ve messed up. But, don’t use your anger as an excuse to verbally use your spouse as a punching bag.
Choose Not to Upset Your Spouse
Part of loving and respecting another person is accepting a person for who they are—pet peeves included. If you know your spouse can’t stand it when you leave the toilet seat up, or leave your bobby pins in random places, you should try to refrain from doing so, simply out of respect for your spouse. Maybe their idiosyncrasies don’t make any sense. Or, maybe they’re things that wouldn’t bother you in the slightest. But, going the extra mile to put your bobby pins away for your husband, or put the toilet seat down for your wife, can show your spouse that you respect them and care about them.
Continue Doing Things for Yourself
You know all those fun and exciting things you did before you got married? Well, marriage is no excuse to stop doing the things you enjoy. A lot of people fall into the habit of making their marriage their main source of happiness. The best way to counter that is to continue doing the things you did before you got married. Make time for your hobbies and make sure your spouse has time for their hobbies too. You deserve to live a happy and fulfilling life, so you need to fill your time with pursuits that make you happy.
Don’t Keep Score
Do you have a tendency to remember every single mistake your spouse has made? If not, that’s a good sign. However, if you’re the type of person who has a habit of keeping track of your spouse’s shortcomings, you might want to attempt a little forgetfulness every now and then. Research has shown that when people hang on to the mistakes their spouse makes, they begin to view their spouse in a negative light. At that point, everything their spouse does is attributed to the spouse’s shortcomings. When this gets bad enough, people begin to selectively ignore the good things their spouse does and feel as if their spouse doesn’t do anything right.
Communicate Your Expectations
Do you expect your wife to never leave dishes around the house, including coffee mugs? Does it drive you insane when your husband always forgets to run the dishwasher? Most importantly, does your spouse know these things drive you insane? The perfect spouse would be able to intuitively sense what your expectations are. But the perfect spouse doesn’t exist. Therefore, if you’ve got pet peeves, expectations, or miscellaneous preferences, you need to communicate them to your spouse. Having expectations that your spouse doesn’t know about isn’t fair to your spouse.
Evaluating Your Marriage
The majority of marriages can be saved with some hard work. But, unfortunately, not every marriage can be saved. If you’re unsure whether or not your marriage can be saved, check out No One Dies from Divorce. This book is all about how to determine whether or not your marriage is over, and if it is over, how you can survive and thrive during and after the divorce. If you do feel like your marriage has reached the point of no return, contact a family law attorney to help you navigate through what the divorce process will look like for you.