As we enter 2012, many of you will be filing for divorce. The question that I would like to pose is this: Are there steps you can take or resolutions you can make so you don’t go through a divorce, and so that you can have a healthier marriage in the coming year? Here are some thoughts that I would like to share with you in no particular order:
1. Treat your spouse with respect. Love your spouse. Communicate. Communication does not mean talking, it means listening as well. Be a good listener.
2. Spend time together. Too often we are rushing off, whether at work or to do things. If everything is just done in a whirlwind fashion, everyone loses. You need time together. If you have children, try to spend time not only with your children, but also time alone. It is too easy to lose your way in a marriage because you are caught up in working, taking care of your children, and losing sight of the reasons why you married in the first place.
3. Show your spouse that you care. Compliment each other. Compliments, even over little things, mean a lot. Don’t forget special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. These are all important. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money, but at least get a card or send some flowers.
4. Don’t be negative. Try to be positive. Don’t ignore each other. Fight fair. By this I mean when you have a fight, and every couple does, don’t threaten a divorce. Don’t push each other’s buttons. When you have a fight, get over it and move on.
5. If you are having serious problems, go into marriage counseling. Remember that divorce should be the last resort, not the first.
6. Avoid temptation. Avoid that other man or other woman. Avoid that one drink too many. Put your priorities in order. Yes, work is important, earning a living is important, but it is important that you cherish your spouse and children.
7. Try to avoid instant gratification. That is one of the reasons why so many marriages fail, because everybody wants instant gratification.
8. Slow down. Our world is too fast-paced and getting faster and faster, what with texting, tweeting, and who knows what else, sometimes it is important to slow down. Put away the phone. Put away the computer. Spend quality time together. Do things as a family.
9. If you have to have the last word, make sure it is the right last word. From experience I have learned that the best last word is “yes dear.”
These are some of my thoughts to build and have a better marriage in 2012. What are yours?