How to Avoid Divorce


What can couples do to avoid divorce? Hundreds of books, articles, workshops and lectures have tackled that question. If there were a surefire way to "divorce-proof" a marriage, we would have found it by now. It doesn't exist. But there are some things married couples can do to minimize their risk of divorce, which I plan to write about in my next few blog entrees.
There are two categories of advice that I will offer: to individuals and to couples. This blog entry is for the individual spouse. Spouses often have different opinions of the strengths and happiness of their marriages. Even if you have concerns, your partner may not or may dismiss them. Hence, you might need to focus on what you can do and not what the two of you can do--at least for now.
What you can do is do your part. There is a lot an individual alone can do to strengthen a marriage. If you are concerned about your marriage, the sooner you start to turn things around within yourself, the better. If you know how you contribute to the tensions in your marriage, work on changing that within yourself. For example, if you know that you are inclined to be overly critical when you are upset, find a way to express your need or feelings in a way that comes more from yourself, rather than blaming or attacking your partner. If you know what your partner needs to feel loved, which may be different from your own need, find a way to express the kind of love you know your partner will appreciate even if you don't receive the same attention, at least for now.....
To help you with this latter suggestion, I recommend you read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book teaches us that there are five ways in which partners like to receive love: time spent together, receiving material gifts, receiving compliments and verbal acknowledgement, physical affection, and acts of service (taking care of business, e.i., walking the dog, food shopping, servicing the car, etc.).
The way you like to receive love might be very different from the way your partner likes to receive love. If you don't know how your partner feels loved, read the book, have a conversation about it (if your partner is open to it), and then do your part! If you don't read the book, try to have a conversation anyway and reference the types of love I have mentioned in this blog entry. But if you at least, already know how your partner will feel loved by you, then do your part.

For further inquiries:

Check out Jim Covington, marriage counselor, at

Phone: (917) 656- 4363