Question: If you are going through a divorce, or have been divorced before, how do you avoid going through another one?
Answer: Figure out how you contributed to your first (and hopefully last) divorce, and don’t repeat what you did.
When going through a divorce, we typically focus on what our partner did wrong. As a result, we feel resentment and anger towards them. If only they would have changed. If only they would have acted the way we wanted them to.
One of the hallmarks of successful marriages is that the couple realizes that the only person they can change is themselves. People who are unhappy with their marriages feel they would be happier if only their partners would change.
These are some common, unhealthy, behaviors that many divorced people exhibit:
1. Needing their partners to act differently
2. Giving unsolicited advice to their partners
3. Not being present for conversations with their partners
4. Expecting themselves, and their partners, to be perfect
5. Not apologizing, or recognizing when an apology is needed
6. Getting defensive when their partner provides feedback they don’t like
7. Avoiding difficult conversations about sex, money, and in-laws
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, what can you do differently to help insure a different outcome with your next marriage or relationship?
Here are some basic steps:
1. Recognize, and accept the fact, that your behaviors probably contributed to your divorce.
2. Be willing to discover what you said and did to contribute to your divorce.
3. Get help to learn how to change these behaviors.
4. Take the time to practice these new and healthy behaviors so that you show up differently in your future relationships and significantly reduce the chance of getting divorced again.