Have you ever contemplated separating from or divorcing your spouse? If you have, you are presumably not alone. If you haven’t the odds are you will think about separation and divorce at some point during your relationship.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are 3.2 divorces per 1000 population in the United States. Yes, the Center for Disease Control is responsible for tracking the matrimony and divorce rates in the US. Yikes!
Number of marriages: 2,245,404
Marriage rate: 6.9 per 1,000 total population
Number of divorces: 827,261 (44 reporting States and D.C.)
Divorce rate: 3.2 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.)
No one gets married expecting to get divorced, but 💩 happens. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center most Americans listed 😍 the #1 reason for getting hitched.
My marriage started to “officially” unravel New Year’s eve 2012, and in the summer of 2016, my divorce was settled by the circuit court of Maryland. I went from hero to zero over a period of four painful years. Here are four things I learned during my divorce that can save your marriage:
- Trust: All 👰 should be built on trust and respect. If there is no trust in your marriage, it’s going to be exceedingly challenging to form an enduring relationship with your spouse/partner. People change over time, and as a result, the nature of your relationship will evolve. You have to trust your spouse to communicate coherently and succinctly when these changes arrive.
- Communication: Bad news doesn’t age well. You’ve got to communicate your sentiments, aspirations, and vulnerabilities openly. You also need to create a safe place for each other, so he/she feels comfortable sharing their most intimate thoughts. Without a trust bond between spouses any meaningful discourse, especially tough ones may not occur and will fester over time and transition into resentment. When communicating with your spouse, there shouldn’t be any ambiguity or assumptions.
- Intimacy: Sex isn’t intimacy. Closeness can lead to sexual pleasure, but it should never be used as a negotiating tool that you leverage to gain favors or to manipulate the other individual. Affection can be as simple as acknowledging your partner’s needs. Intimacy can be as simple as listening to your spouse’s hopes, dreams, and fears. ♀️ and ♂️ have different norms/ideas as it pertains to intimacy and foreplay. Foreplay is a gesture that can be practiced throughout the day by simple signals towards your partner.
- Family: Family is important, and each partner should meet and get to know each other’s parents and family. Because we were in an interracial relationship meeting the parents wasn’t an option. The lesson here, meet the family! You don’t have to like them, but you should at least have open communication.
you are unable to save your marriage, and you do decide to get a divorce you need to consider the following:
- A lawyer or no lawyer? Lawyers are EXPENSIVE. It will be cheaper if you and your soon to be ex-partner resolve issues such as child custody, visitation, who gets the house, who gets the furniture, etc. amongst yourselves. If you have to use lawyers make sure and get a lawyer that specializes in practicing family law and is close to the court or jurisdiction where your divorce hearing will be held. Lawyers also charge for their travel time, the closer they are to the courthouse the less you will spend on travel related fees.
- Custody and Visitation. If there are kids involved, you want to establish a regular and amicable visitation pattern before a consent order is drafted and ratified. The courts will not change a visitation schedule that has been in place for several weeks or months because the courts are looking out for the best interest of the child. Any plan in place before the first visitation hearing will probably remain in effect going forward.
- Support! Find a support network, meetup group, family, or other social gatherings with individuals experiencing similar life-changing events. Depending on your emotional disposition during the divorce proceeding you may want to seek professional help.
If you have been through a divorce and have tips to share, please leave a comment below so other’s may benefit from the lessons you have learned.