My wife, Ashley, and I have devoted much of our adult lives to battling the epidemic of divorce and helping couples rediscover the timeless principles that lead to a strong and vibrant marriage. Along the way, we’ve noticed some patterns of behavior that usually lead to divorce. I’m convinced that if couples will stop doing these things, the quality of marriages will rise and the divorce rates will drastically drop.
In no particular order…
1. Speaking negatively to (or about) your spouse.
When couples start nagging or insulting each other or complaining to their friends about their spouse, they’ve put themselves on the fast track to divorce. The tone of your words will set the tone of your marriage.
2. Taking on a Win/Lose mindset.
Couples in trouble tend to see every disagreement with their spouse as a fight where there will be a “winner” and a “loser.” Healthy marriages recognize that a husband and wife are united and will always share the same fate, so in every disagreement, they will either win together or lose together, so they work together to find a solution where they can both win.
3. Confiding in a “friend” of the opposite sex.
Once you find yourself having a conversation or sending a text message that you hope your spouse doesn’t find out about, you’ve stepped way out of bounds. Most affairs start as “friendships” that cross the line. For more on this, check out my popular post on 5 ways to build an affair-proof marriage.
4. Surrounding yourself with negative voices.
People who choose divorce usually have friends who celebrate the “pursuit of happiness” even at the expense of your marriage and family. Surround yourself with people who love you, love your spouse and love God and their influence and wisdom will lead you in a better direction. For more on this, check out this 2-minute video with my amazing wife Ashley and me.
5. Basing your choices on your feelings instead of your commitments.Our culture seems obsessed with Hollywood love stories and movies based on the feelings of love. This creates a huge problem, because our feelings are fickle (which is why most Hollywood marriages fail). A strong marriage is built on commitments, not feelings. If you make your choices based on commitments, your feelings usually have a way of catching up eventually.
For new ways to enhance the intimacy and passion in your marriage, check out our new video series, “Best Sex Life Now.”
6. Starting off the wrong way.
So many marriage problems could have been prevented before the marriage even started. If you’re reading this and you’re not yet married, please commit to starting your marriage off the right way and take a minute to watch my short video on The 6 Questions to Ask Before Marriage.
7. Giving up.
The couples who make it aren’t the ones who never had a reason to get divorced; they are simply the ones who decide that their commitment to each other is always going to be bigger than their differences and flaws.
For additional tools to build a happy, healthy, rock-solid relationship, check out our bestselling book “iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage” which you can now download straight to your iPhone or iPad by clicking here.
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