I was recently interviewed regarding my “tips for married couples”. I’m a single gal and have never been married myself; however, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about married from my chair as being a matrimonial lawyer. For what’s it’s worth, here are my $0.02. (p.s. – Happy Pi Day!)
1. Talk About Finances. When people are going through a divorce, they are almost always fighting over money. Oftentimes, financial problems are symptom of other issues during the marriage. Couples should feel comfortable talking about money issues with one another and to get financially naked (so to speak).
2. Make It Through that “Life Event” Together. When people ask me what the number one cause of divorce is, they often assume it’s infidelity. To the contrary, affairs are usually a symptom of underlying issues. The number 1 cause of divorce is some life event — e.g., loss of job, loss of family, illness, children’s medial issues. Therefore, when couples are faced with these types of challenges in life, they need to be prepared to work through the hard times together.
3. Don’t be Afraid to See a Therapist. There is no stigma. I recommend that some couples go together to couples counseling while seeing individual therapists. Check with your heath insurance provider to see if you’re covered. Please let me know if you need a recommendation!
4. Be a Team. When I see people go through a divorce, it is apparent to me that somewhere along the way, they stopped being on the same team. Strengthen that team unity with some quality alone time and perhaps a regular date night. #relationshipgoals
5. Listen to Hear the Other Person Not to Wait for Your Turn to Speak. It is unfortunate to me to see great couples lose track on how to communicate and really listen to one another. As a trained divorce mediator, I’ve learned that sometimes people just want to be heard– and I mean really heard. Practice active listening with your partner reflecting back on what he or she said. Listen first and speak second.
6. Don’t Forget Holidays and Special Events. The number one day for divorce is the day after Valentine’s Day (“D-Day”). This is for a variety of reasons but one is that a disappointing Valentine’s Day may just be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” after barely surviving the holidays in December together. Take the time and energy to make the other person feel special not only on Valentine’s Day but not on other special holidays that you have as a couple.