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!