How to Avoid the “Divorce Dilemma”

by Dr. Lisa M. Tait
Is Your Romance In The “RED”?

Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago. According to the book, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce.

Finances have been noted as the number one reason married couples are headed to divorce court. It seems as if the strain of poor financial management, excessive spending, job loss or underemployment places such an overwhelming strain on the marriage bond that many marriages simply cannot sustain the stress and end in divorce.

But what happens when the strain on the marriage has more to do with a deficit of love, communication and genuine caring? Therapists and Pastoral Counselors are dealing with what I call “Bankrupt Marriages.” These are marriages that are operating in the “red” because one or both partners have decided that investing in the relationship is no longer important or necessary. If these marriages were bank accounts there would be a serious negative balance.

Many couples (Christian and otherwise) are looking for a solution to this lonely existence that is many times plagued by infidelity, abandonment, abuse and neglect. In a recent counseling session with Tony and Yvette we discovered the deposits of love and care were so infrequent that they both believed divorce was the only answer.

After a series of sessions where both husband and wife were forced to focus on their personal issues and ways that they could improve the relationship instead of placing blame, this couple is back on track toward marital bliss. So what can couples do when they discern that they\’re romance is in the “red?”

INTROSPECT – Observe, examine and report your own thoughts and feelings. Search your own soul. Stop pointing the finger and ask yourself, “What can I do to make things in my relationship better?”
INITIATE – Once you\’ve given serious, focused attention to your own issues, needs and desires, do something about it. Begin with communicating the aforementioned to your spouse. Tell them what you like, dislike, want, and most importantly what you are willing to give.
EVALUATE – People don\’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect. Agree with your partner on those things each of you will do to improve your marriage and then hold one another accountable in love (no arguing, fussing or nagging… just gentle reminding).
CELEBRATE – If you “plan your work and work your plan” you will find success. Implement the above action steps and watch your relationship blossom and bloom. Celebrate the milestones, go out on a date, have a dinner party, go on a mini-vacation, simply to celebrate your love for one another.

When things are not going well in your relationship, it can really help if both partners try to understand why. If you are in a relationship that’s in trouble, ask yourself the following questions.
• What do each of us want out of the relationship? Are we getting it?
• Are we on the brink of separation or divorce? Or do we still enjoy our life together?
• Are we ready to sacrifice time and energy to make our relationship work again?
• Do we still love each other?

Have you overcome a marriage that was in the “RED”? Tell your story here!! Blog about it…