Before the First 365 Days:
How to Make Your Marriage Last a Lifetime
Find out what other couples AREN’T doing. Use Proven Strategies to Never Become a Statistic!
Did you know?
- According to divorce statistics, 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the U.S.
- About one-fourth of adults in the U.S. have been divorced at least once in their lifetime.
- Without realizing it, most couples have unrealistic ideas about marriage perpetuated by fairy tales, movies, and fantasy novels. These misconceptions can render a couple helpless to resolve conflict, creating trouble and havoc when it suddenly appears in the marriage.
- Conflict eventually happens in most, if not all, marriages. It can tell you more about your partner than day-to-day living experiences! It should be invited in—and not swept under the rug–to use as a valuable tool that promotes understanding, love, and marital enrichment and closeness.
- Learn how to use conflict to your advantage! Preparation BEFORE marriage is the golden ticket to a fun, fulfilling, and loving marriage that can last a lifetime.
Don’t Count on Luck to Make Your Marriage a Success!
We seem to prepare for everything in our life – jobs, exams, etc. Why then don’t we prepare for a successful marriage? Maybe it’s because of the fairy tales that have brainwashed us into thinking that we’ll all live happily ever after? In reality, it doesn’t work that way, as you may have noticed by now. 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce…and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run.
According to Patricia and Gregory Kuhlman of Marriage Success Training, “research shows that there is a window of opportunity during the year before the wedding and the six months or so after when couples get the optimum benefit from marriage preparation. Later, under stress, negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and be much harder to resolve. If you just wing it and count on your luck and romantic attachment to make your marriage a success, your odds are only one in four.”
How do you beat the odds to give your marriage a better chance of survival?
Through pre-marital counseling and education. According to research, pre-marital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30% and lead to a happier and healthier marriage. And the healthiest marriages are those where the couple can negotiate their differences.
Why wait until you’re married and have your first fight to see if you can negotiate? Why not prepare ahead of time with tools and skills?
Most couples naively think they don’t need preparation. Maybe they haven’t experienced relationship hardships and don’t believe there will ever be problems. And if problems do pop up, they believe they will magically turn out okay. Remember the fantasy? Marriages don’t work that way. They take a lot of hard work, thought, and skill. Love alone will not guarantee a successful marriage. Instead, discuss and resolve important issues before the big date to have a better chance for a healthy marriage, such as:
- What are your expectations for a good marriage?
- How compatible are you on day-to-day issues?
- What personality-type are each of you and what are your families of origin like?
- What are your communication skills? Are you an introvert or extrovert?
- Do you have tools for conflict management? Can you negotiate? What do you do when conflict arises?
- Do you have similar sex drives? What type of sex do you prefer?
- Do you share long-term goals and similar values?
Then, get pre-marital counseling to learn the following tools:
- Fair fighting. How to take time outs, call a truce, stop the shaming and blaming, and developing ground rules for fighting.
- Core issues and the First Argument Technique. Know what your story-below-the-story is, i.e., your trauma from the past that makes you react in fights. Then use my three-step system (as outlined in my book: Breaking the Argument Cycle) to permanently resolve issues.
- Keep your partner from becoming your enemy. When arguments build up, you cease giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, resolve conflicts immediately so you can continue to love your partner and see them in a positive light.
- Stay current. Address arguments as soon as they come up. Don’t sweep issues under the rug. They won’t go away. Resentment and anger build momentum whenever an issue isn’t dealt with and resolved.
Don’t count on luck to beat the divorce odds…and drop the fantasy!
By discussing important issues and learning skills through pre-marital counseling, you’ll be forming a solid foundation for a successful marriage.