Dana Vince, M.A., LPC, MHSP, maintains a website at www.healingheartscounseling.org I am a licensed Professional Counselor practicing in the Knoxville area of ...Read More
Since the new US Census has been released, there is a lot of buzz that in many states around the country, married couples are, for the first time, in the minority. What does this mean?
Research is showing that many couples are co-habitating instead of getting married. Many pundits in the media are stating that marriage is dying. This is not necessarily true. People today still want to find that special someone to grow old with. The problem is the divorce rate is still so high that people fear getting married. They don’t want to become another statistic. And people who are married, are quiting on their marriage too easily.
So how can you avoid being part of the divorce statistic?
If you are not yet married and are still seeking that special someone, don’t only follow your heart. Your heart can lead you places that are not healthy for you and can blind you to the characteristics of a person that will later be problematic in marriage. This doesn’t mean don’t follow your heart at all, but balance it with following your head. Do the work of understanding yourself, working on having a solid sense of who you are and what you want out of life. Don’t be afraid to be choosy in finding a mate. Take your time getting to know one another before taking that important life step.
If you aren’t married and have already found that special someone, do pre-martial counseling. It can save you a lot of heart ache in the long run. Many of us weren’t given the greatest role models for marriage. Many adults today are children of divorce. By getting some help from a professional, you can learn important tools for conflict resolution, communication, expectations, and other important information to navigate marriage successfully. Read books together, like The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, or The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. These books help outline some important factors in having a strong and healthy marriage.
If you are already married, don’t neglect the needs of your marriage. Keep courting one another and don’t take each other for granted. Continue daily gestures that show love and appreciation to your partner. Marriage is work. Just because you aren’t getting along, or it seems the passion has faded, doesn’t mean you have to be headed for divorce. It means you have some work to do. Don’t wait until resentment and hurt feelings are to the degree that you are ready to sign divorce papers. If you find yourselves struggling, seek help. Whether it be your pastor or a licensed counselor, getting outside intervention can be what is needed to get past the rough spots. One marriage at a time, we can change this statistic and put marriage back in the majority.