When most couples think about getting married, their hopes and dreams are to live together happily, until death do them part. They usually do not plan for separation or even divorce.
But sadly, statistics show that about 39% of marriages in the western world – and now in developing countries – end up in divorce, with far-reaching emotional, financial, and sometimes, physical consequences.
One may begin to wonder if divorce is now the new natural end in a marriage or if every union is doomed to fail from the beginning.
Well, this is not the case, and you can make yours different by solidifying and strengthening your marriage with your spouse.
If you’re wondering what it takes to build a divorce-proof marriage, and live happily ever after, till death decides to pay a visit, then you’re in the right place.
Here are a few things to consider and practice to ward off the sad realities of a divorce.
1. Get to know each other before putting the ring on it
A lot of young people fail to spend much time with their potential spouse before jumping into marriage. Statistics show that people who engage in courtship for at least three years have a higher chance of sticking together.
By spending enough time with your potential partner, you’ll be able to know their good and bad sides and decide if he’s the right person for you.
You’ll have a higher chance of staying together for longer when you and your partner have taken enough time to bond as friends before walking down the alter.
2. marry someone within your age range
You have a higher chance of making your marriage divorce-proof if you marry someone close to your age.
Statistics show that couples with higher age gaps are more likely to get divorced. This may be as a result of the exposure gap between them. This can cause a rift in their communication, as one may feel the other is not so experienced enough to handle certain situations, or old enough to contribute to important issues that affect the home.
Getting married to someone within your age range will ensure that you both are on the right footing, which would significantly boost the interaction and communication between both of you.
3. Be faithful
Another sure way to divorce-proof your marriage is by staying faithful to one another. While both partners are susceptible to this, studies show that men are more likely to cheat on their spouses than women.
Put your partner at the top of all your relational lists, and loving him/her unconditionally with every ounce of creativity you can gather. You won’t see the need to cheat, and your partner in return won’t have a reason to look elsewhere.
Faithfulness isn’t something you do one day and forget about, it requires daily vigilance, and it’s the sum of what you do each day that determines if you’re keeping to your vows or not.
When in doubt, you can get back on track by asking yourself these questions: who do I spend the most time with? Who is my emotional pillar when I’m down? Who do I call and text most often? Who brings my wildest fantasies to life?
4. Communication is key
Almost all the resources online about how to make your marriage divorce-proof contain this valuable point.
Communication is an essential part of our lives as humans, and we can’t get anything done without communicating with people.
The same thing applies to marriage when there is little or no communication between you and your spouse; the marriage is bound to fail sooner or later. When choosing a spouse, find someone who shares the same interests and passion with you, and not just anyone who you feel is ready for marriage.
Admittedly, not everyone has time as a luxury and may be looking to get off the ‘market’ as soon as possible. Nonetheless, find time to connect and build memories with your potential spouse before jumping into marriage, so both of you can understand each other better.
5. Don’t overspend on wedding preparations
This may sound out of place, but if you want to make your marriage divorce-proof, you need to cut down on wedding expenses.
I know a lot of ladies won’t want to hear this, but the guys can thank me later – diamonds don’t last forever, and the wedding ceremony is just a day thing. What matters is how you go on to live your lives as a couple.
There are studies even to back this claim. One 2014 study reported that couples who spent lavishly on engagement rings and wedding preparations were more likely to divorce than those who spent less.
6. Have time to make out – keep the flame burning
Although sex is not the main aim of getting married, romance is the fuel that keeps the love awake. One of the main reasons why people stray from their marriage vows due to boredom. One research showed that middle-aged women who cheat on their spouses do so because they are missing sex and romantic passion in their marriages.
In our own part of the world, men are more likely to cheat on their wives, because some women tend to draw back on their sex life as they age, making the men look elsewhere for it.
Although, this is not a good enough reason to cheat on your spouse, try to talk things through with him or her, express your feelings, and work together to rekindle the flame.
Don’t be boring, take her on surprise trips, it doesn’t have to be an expensive place. Just leave the house for a couple of days, book a hotel, visit fun places, and other stuff you did while you were still dating.
And it doesn’t have to be one-sided. You, as a lady, can also take your hubby on a surprise vacation, take him to a massage parlor, visit the beach, switch things up in the bedroom, and much other stuff you know he would like.
7. Divide house chores equally
You may be thinking, what has house chores got to do with making your marriage divorce-proof? But it’s as essential as every other one on this list.
A 2015 research reported that couples who take on their fair share of household chores have a better sex life (and better sex life results in happier marriages, as explained above).
However, this may not be suitable for all marriage types, especially those where the one partner is a stay-at-home. The other may feel he or she is funding the house, so he doesn’t have to do anything around the house.
However, that’s not an ideal way to keep your marriage from hitting the rocks, that’s why it’s recommended that both partners have a steady income source and fund the house together (see next tip).
8. Have a double-income household
Money issues are the number one cause of marital disputes. Make sure you and your wife have a steady income source, so you can work together to keep your marriage afloat.
You don’t have to be on the same pay grade with your spouse, the little you have can be used to support your significant other and take care of minor expenses around the house.
9. Go to church
Building a strong spiritual life is an essential key in making your marriage divorce-proof. One research noted that couples who attend religious services regularly are 54% more likely to stick together.
This happens when they are able to put into use the good teachings they listen to in the church. Good Christians build good families.
10. Get help
You don’t have all the answers to every issue in your love life. If you can make it a routine to visit your barbershop or hair salon when your hair is due, then why not your marriage? Counseling is not only for emergencies, but it can also be a preventive resource as well.
If you can’t find a good marriage counselor in your area, there are tons of marriage support groups on your favorite social media that you can join. Alternatively, there are lots of online counselors that are willing to talk to you. Although most of them have high charges, you can still find free online counseling services like the one we have here.
You weren’t born to live alone, and you don’t have to find answers to your problems all by yourself.