According to a special report on CNBC, divorce rates have actually dropped in America. The reasons for the decline vary from people choosing more suitable partners, the level of maturity of the individuals who marry, better financial positions, and higher education (Milstead, 2012). Yet, notwithstanding all the contributing factors to couples staying married, the ability to work together is vitally important as well.
What was once a trend of failing marriages is slowly turning around. Couples have the opportunity to become a part of a new trend of marital success. As with any other area of life where growth is realized, time, careful planning, and faithful effort must be put into a relationship for it to flourish. Couples have to be smart by implementing strategies to handle challenges and disagreements before they arise. They must get on and stay on the same page by consistent and open communication with one another. They must have an aim for their relationship in terms of where it is heading and the parameters must be clearly defined.
How To Beat The Odds Of Divorce
Attaining a blissful marriage is a wonderful goal for husbands and wives. However, making a relationship thrive takes more than a promise of “I will” at the altar. Living over 21 years of my life in a marital relationship, coupled with providing life coaching for both men and women, one thing I stress in coaching sessions and mediation is that couples must focus on their relationship and labor together in order for it to work.
As a couple, there are five areas of life you can focus on together that will help your marriage become a partnership and head in the “right” direction. It starts with creating and implementing a strategic plan that covers your financial, personal, relational, social, and spiritual life together. Within the context of this plan, you can discuss and outline topics such as:
1. Finances: How the two of you will spend money; spending amounts requiring the others agreement; saving schedules; the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your investments; your debts and assets; any and everything as it relates to the financial well-being of the family as a unit.
2. Activities: What kind of activities the two of you will engage in together, alone, or with friends, and how much time will be devoted to those activities; what type of friendships to build together, and how the two of you will handle opposite gender friendships or friends the other doesn’t like.
3. Social Media: How you will engage in social media and what is considered “out of bounds” or “fair play;” how much time is appropriate and how much time is too much; what times of day or night is agreeable.
4. Arguments: Rules of engagement in terms of “discussing” issues that arise; how the two of you will “iron out” differences of opinion or disagreements; individual areas of sensitivity and how you will respond; decision making and how you will overcome “stalemate” when a mutual decision cannot be reached.
5. Religion: How and where you will worship; what will happen when one or both are no longer being fulfilled in the present spiritual environment; prayer life, moral and ethical perspectives; living wills; the plan of action if one becomes ill, out of work; future individual goals; how to best support each other.
While there may be many other points to include in a strategic marriage plan, the road to a successful union encompasses a shared vision, a mindset of “we” and “us,” and a commitment to work together.