If you would like to divorce-proof your marriage, you've got to stick together -- through ALL the years of your marriage. While about half of all divorces occur in the first three to five years of marriage, for those married thirty-plus years the divorce rate jumps significantly. So however long you have been married, you've still got to stick together! In this column, marriage
experts Claudia and David Arp -- founders of Marriage Alive! -- share
their special bonding recipe.
Ingredients of success
What can you do to insure that your marriage does not become a divorce statistic? In searching for that elusive glue that holds a marriage together, we found some common ingredients. While there are no perfect marriages, there are some little things you can do that will help you stick together. Consider the following:
- Touch your partner in an affectionate way each day. Tell your spouse, "I need a hug!" The truth is you both need hugs. Be the initiator -- you'll get a hug in return!
- Set aside time each day to talk--even if it's only a few minutes each morning and evening. Talking will help you feel connected to each other.
- Talk honestly about issues that create tension, but try to avoid strong criticism, shouting, and anger. Remember you are partners and you want to help and support each other.
- Pray together daily. It's hard to pray together if there is tension in your relationship, so you'll want to keep short accounts with each other and also with God.
- Plan fun times together. Don't feel guilty when you leave your children to have fun with your mate. You are modeling a healthy and growing marriage that will impact future generations.
- Lastly, say often, both verbally and non-verbally, "Honey, I'm sticking with you."
Special kind of glue
Take our tips. Divorce-proof your marriage. Remember, if you want to stick together, a super marriage holds together with this kind of glue: hugs . . touches . . . conversation . . . and prayer!