How often have you heard of a post that “inspires many and infuriates few?” My guess is not often. People do love to get upset over even the littlest of things. Yet it does happen, and when it does many people take notice.
Back in August there was a post from a recently divorced author and mentor Gerald Rogers that went viral. Receiving more than 2 million views only eleven days after it was posted, the subject to bring so much attention was his advice to men about how to keep a marriage working. Lessons he gathered upon losing the woman he loved.
It is obvious that the man really did love his wife. But what was even more beautiful is the concept he is putting out to others about really investing in your relationship and taking it to a higher level.
Although relationships are complex and not for the faint of heart, divorce did not used to be the go to answer. That said the answer used to not exist either and people were told “learn to deal with the bad” and “don’t tell others”, and given little further to go on. As we got a little more relaxed and tolerant as a society things like separation became less taboo, and it became more acceptable to cut your losses and move forward into a new life.
Statistically speaking we now do that with frequency. It’s not just America either although we are a leader in divorce cases. The numbers tend to be high in so called developed countries. Shockingly around 41% of all first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in termination.
That does not say much for our understanding of how to stay together. But screams volumes about how we struggle as a nation to live and love.
So how does one avoid divorce? Unfortunately there are no simple answers to this question. You could do everything right and still have a partner that is unwilling to work with you, or unable or the ultimate in not so great………… in love with someone else.
That said it is not all bad either.
You CAN have a loving lasting relationship but you’ve got to put the time and the effort in. As the author of the very inspiring post pointed out after he was at the end of his relationship, you have to make your love a priority and not just a given to get there.
Here are five favorite tips of those that are regularly repeated everywhere Google can take you, and probably beyond.
1. Touch each other daily
We human beings are programed to need touch. Physical contact between people actually stimulates the production of the hormone oxytocin. This amazing little chemical when released in the brain creates a feeling of happiness and decreases stress.
There is also a possibility that when produced this hormone can help encourage people to stay together because it increases the bond between them. So touch each other frequently. Get in the habit of reaching for your spouse and responding to their touch. It really can bring you closer.
2. Talk about your goals and dreams together
Some of the best of married people sit down at least once a year and map out where they are, where they are going, and what they want to accomplish both in the relationship and in their personal or career lives in the coming year. It may seem a bit like a business meeting, and it is.
But it really does help to quantify how much time each person can give the other and gives some clear parameters as to what each person can expect.
3. Remain faithful
Yes, although it really should go without saying this one does get mentioned more often than not by the experts. It’s been said that betrayal is worse than rape. Anyone who has been there can attest that while rape is still devastating and horrible, betrayal is right up there on the emotional pain scale. Let that sink in for a moment. This one is a no brainer, if you are not going to be faithful then what are you doing there in the first place?
4. Complement each other
You know how good it feels for your spouse to appreciate you. Especially on the days when it feels like the whole world is out to get you. So find value in your spouse. Find the good in what they do and SAY IT to them. Say it often. Say it in front of others. Say it even when you are not having a good day. Remember you are each other’s team mate. Encourage each other as much as you can.
5. Continue to “court” each other
A big complaint of couples is that the magic gets lost after a while. With all we have going in our lives that is not surprising. But letting a relationship become stagnant is something you have control over.
Making time for “dating” just like you did when you first met is something that you and your partner deserve. It keeps things fresh and exciting. It also helps to remind you why you got together in the first place.
Relationships are never “easy”, but the hard truth is very little that is worthwhile in this world is. If you can remember that fact as you navigate the land mines of love and marriage, and make your relationship a top priority, you really can have a wonderful loving life with a partner.
Christopher Migliaccio is a bankruptcy attorney in North Texas with the law firm Warren &Migliaccio, L.L.P. A graduate of Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, MI, Chris’s undergraduate studies in accounting fortify his expertise in the intricacies of federal bankruptcy rules and the bankruptcy process.