Use these Good Marriage Habits to Avoid Divorce

HAPPY-COUPLE

Use these Good Marriage Habits to Avoid Divorce

Divorces happen for a multitude of reasons. Almost all are preventable if the two have the time, the energy and the desire to invest in the relationship, be open with each other, and be open to changing themselves. Oftentimes once our careers, the kids and the responsibilities are all squared away, most people just want to sit on the couch and relax. But it’s important to invest in the marriage too. Or else one day you wake up next to a stranger wondering what the point of it all is. No matter where you are in your marriage, it doesn’t take much to use and practice good habits in order to keep your relationship strong and avoid divorce. If you have been married for a while and feel it getting stale, or you and your spouse becoming distant, don’t focus and become anxiety ridden about the problem. That isn’t going to help anything. Instead, look for ways to reconnect. It might seem impossible. But a nice dinner together, a day or weekend spent doing an exciting activity you have in common or an evening relaxing together and reminiscing about the past can start to rev your engines, bring you back and help close the distance between you. Here are some other good marriage habits.

Don’t hold onto grudges. A grudge is like drinking poison in hopes of another feeling the pain. You’ll only be hurting yourself. Of course you need to work out problems. So talk to your spouse and work things out. Set up some ground rules. Get through to them and let them know how you feel and let them make reparations or show that they won’t do that again. But holding onto a grudge doesn’t help anything. It only makes you and, through you, the marriage worse. Next, don’t take your spouse for granted. Think of it as always being in the courting stage. That’s how to keep love young. Show them your gratitude for what they do. Write a little note for them now and then. Give them a little trinket, something meaningful. Thank them for what they’ve done around the house, even if it is the chore they are supposed to do. Couples who take one another for granted get divorced. Those that cherish one another have a romance that lasts a lifetime. Support your partner. If your spouse has a challenge or an opponent, give them all that you can to help them win. Teamwork is always better. Remember it’s you two against whatever you come up against. Always be on the same team and have each other’s back.

Make sure to talk about problems. Be patient. Really listen and overcome the problem together. Don’t shame or blame. Instead, find ways to overcome things that suit both of you. Look for the win-win or at least find ways to negotiate. Communication is the best tool you two can use to solve all of your problems. If you have depression or anxiety learn how to cope with it, and get professional help. Don’t let it eat you and the marriage, too. Find emotional support to meet these challenges. Break out of your routine every once in a while. Do something new, fun, exciting, spontaneous and novel that will get both your hearts racing. Studies have shown that sharing novel experiences together that get the pulse going can restart that lovey-dovey feeling you had when you two first got together. Set your boundaries and expect your spouse to respect them and respect your spouse’s boundaries. When you talk, don’t mince words. Tell them what’s inside your heart. Always speak from the heart and always tell them the truth. Trust your spouse and show them that you trust them. Compliment them when you feel something nice because of them, or you notice something nice about them. Find ways to grow together and bond. Have faith in your relationship. Trust them. If you think they are being unfaithful, discuss it with them. Don’t go sneaking around. You may be wrong, and if you are you will whittle away at the trust in your marriage. Lastly, find little rituals in your marriage just for you. Whether it’s writing each other notes and putting them on the fridge, hanging out in bed and drinking coffee on Sunday morning or what have you, these rituals will help you bond and make it stronger. For more on how to inject contentment and bliss in your relationship read, The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time by Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Arranged Marriages in India Move Online

ARRANGED-MARRIAGE

Arranged Marriages in India Move Online

Though many places have abandoned this long-standing practice, arranged marriage still exists in some places in the world. In fact, it’s alive and well in India. Those who support this centuries old tradition say that people grow to love each other over time and point to the low divorce rate among arranged marriages. But proponents of an individual’s right to choose, first fomented in the West, say that this practice is antiquated, that it strips a person of their basic freedoms, preserves inequality between the sexes, and that divorce is looked down upon, not that people in arranged marriages are happier. Despite criticisms, arranged marriages are still the norm in India. The majority of Indian marriages are arranged according to experts in the wedding industry.

An increasingly modern, tech savvy urban class however is tired of the stiff and ancient rituals of the traditional marriage process. So today, websites are streamlining it, making it modern and more convenient. One such website is ibluebottle. Founded by Akhilesh Sharma, this site is dedicated to helping Indian professionals through the nuptial process. This site discourages users from selecting their mates based on caste. Instead, users are encouraged to look at the qualities they want in a spouse. In 2011 online arranged marriages reached 4 billion. It is predicted to grow a healthy 27% per year.  Participants like how much choice it gives them. And in a busy world, it helps speed up the process and makes it more efficient. Feminists on the subcontinent call it a step forward toward modernity. Traditionalists say however that Indians do not interact on the individual level. Instead, everything is done on the collective or family level. All of the rituals of a traditional Indian wedding speak of families coming together. So the institution of arranged marriage in India hasn’t ended, it’s merely moving to a new arena; it now takes place online. To acquire more perspective on arranged marriages, read Rearranged by Allison Singh.

How to Avoid OCD Related Divorce

OCD

How to Avoid OCD Related Divorce

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can seem like a stranger getting between you and your spouse. Of course a spouse with OCD can limit your comfort level in your own house, play with the balance of power and limit your lifestyle. OCD rules can seem confining, even smothering. So how do you avoid OCD ripping your marriage apart? How do you avoid OCD related divorce? The first thing to do is to learn all you can about your spouse’s condition. OCD is a brain disorder that distresses and can even disable the sufferer. According to the World Health Organization OCD is one of the topmost causes of disability across the globe. OCD doesn’t just affect your spouse, it affects everyone around them. 60% of family members get involved to some degree in the rituals of someone with OCD. Often slowly an OCD person’s habits, rituals and opinions will take over your life. It can start to feel as though you are being criticized constantly, or as your spouse might see it, re-corrected. Further, they could make you late to engagements say making you go a certain route to avoid potholes. They may curb your good time out by refusing to let you use a public restroom. Of course, making any marriage work can be difficult. But OCD can look like a boulder size stumbling block, especially if the condition has worsened over time.

One way to put things into perspective before you call the divorce lawyer is to see things from your spouse’s point of view. How hard is it for them to live with OCD? Though they do these habits compulsively they may secretly feel guilty about say driving friends away with their difficult behavior, making outings less interesting by interjecting their needs or demands and so on. They may struggle between trying to control their behaviors in order to make you happier and being compelled to fulfill their compulsion or compulsions. OCD sufferers usually take part in these rituals because they are scared of what might happen if they don’t go through them.

They believe deep in their hearts that these rituals keep themselves and the ones they love most, namely you, safe and protected from harm. Now it’s time to do some research. Look on the internet and find local support groups in your area. There are some great books out there about OCD. Contact the International OCD Foundation for more information and see if they have any workshops, symposiums or other resources or events in your area. Be sure to discuss the problems you are having with your spouse. Convince them to go to therapy with you. Tell them the truth. Don’t sugar coat it. If there behavior is driving you to think about seeking out a divorce attorney, maybe this information will provide them with the wakeup call they need to get a handle on their condition.

Offer to help them find a counselor and to go to counseling with them. Make sure this is a therapist they can connect with and that has some experience or background in dealing with OCD conditions. Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville Monnica Williams, Ph.D. writes in an article for Psychology Today, “Ask yourself, Am I going to let my spouse’s rituals ruin our marriage, or am I going to find strength to be supportive and compassionate so that we can have the marriage that we have always wanted?’” A supportive therapist may be required to help keep the relationship together and cope with the situation depending upon how serious your spouse’s symptoms are. If your spouse is going to therapy, it’s a good idea to go with them so you can get a new perspective on the issue, how to handle them, get knowledge you didn’t have before, and perhaps you can even ask the counselor for some strategies to help you cope with your spouse’s behavior. Being married to someone with OCD isn’t easy. There may be many times you want to throw in the towel. But if you truly love this person and think you can support them through this difficult time you and your spouse should come out better and stronger than ever before. For more, read Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J. Landsman, Kathleen M. Rupertus and Cherry Pedrick.

Conducting an Interfaith Wedding

Interfaith-bird

Interfaith marriages, once rare, are growing more and more common in America and the West. Still, often parents, grandparents, family members and guests have certain expectations due to their own particular religious or cultural background. Remember that it is your wedding, yours and your future spouse’s. You should include elements that make you happy. Sure, you can be open to changes and suggestions. And, depending on who is footing the bill for the wedding, you may need to make certain accommodations. But overall, your wedding should be what you as a couple want. You shouldn’t compromise everything to make others happy. You may only get one wedding, so do it without any regrets. That said, you want your guests as happy and comfortable as possible. And you probably both want to include elements from your own faith or background. An interfaith wedding can be a unique, refreshing, extremely interesting, worthwhile, and fulfilling experience. Make sure you follow these tips to conduct an interfaith wedding properly without missing any important elements.

You and your spouse-to-be should have a long, in depth discussion about each other’s faiths. How are they similar and different?  It won’t hurt to do some research on your own as well. Have the deepest respect for your partner’s faith. Have two or three get-togethers with both families so that they can meet and get to know each other. Display your deep respect for your partner’s religion. See if you can have two officiates play a role in the wedding ritual. Make sure each side’s most important elements are included. Make sure everyone in the wedding party is at the rehearsal dinner, especially close family members. This will help avoid any confusion on the day of the actual event. Make sure that the entertainment and the music fits the overall aesthetic and meets the needs of both cultures. Discuss the wedding vows at length and make sure they reflect the tone of the wedding and what you really want to say to one another. Choose a secular place such as an art gallery, a museum, or even use an open faith such as Universalist or Unitarian to hold the ceremony. You could even have two separate ceremonies, if both sides are having trouble agreeing and you are frustrated in trying to make everyone happy. If people on one or both sides are being too pushy or insistent on certain things, remind them that it is your wedding. Tell them to relax, and make sure they know that you love them.