Be sure to watch marriage counselor Donald Cole on Living Smart with Patricia Gras this Sunday at 3pm (repeats Friday night at 10pm)
Why is it that most American marriages end in divorce? How can I get my marriage to last longer? What should I know before I get married? These are too often asked questions by many couples today. If there were a book that told couples exactly how marriage would be, the divorce rate still wouldn’t budge because humans have flaws and unexpected behaviors.
According to the United States Census Bureau, 2,443,000 people wed in 1990, yet 1,182,000 couples divorced in the same year. The numbers haven’t changed much from then until now and that’s enough to discourage any couple right?
What are the enemies of a great marriage? One of the most common is overactive criticism. Have you ever said something humiliating, hurtful or insulting to your spouse? Have you done it more than once? That’s where most arguments start; that’s were most marriages begin to end.
It’s Impossible to predict the future but much research is being geared towards saving marriages. According to Lutheran Minister and Relationship counselor, Dr. Donald Cole, miscommunication is more normal than you would think. It’s all about what you do to fix the miscommunication. Dr. Cole’s approach reinforces these basic problems and antidotes:
The four horsemen that kill relationships
Defensiveness: feeling a need to defend yourself in the conversation.
Stonewalling: removing yourself from the conversation before it’s over. Shutting down and not speaking.
Contempt: developing an opinion of our partner that they are somehow less than us.
Gentle complaining: one partner mentions a problem in a direct but respectful manner.
Taking responsibility: the other partner recognizes what they are doing wrong and tries to fix it. Helps to lower the defensiveness.
Self-soothing: During stonewalling the stonewaller is becoming heated and needs to calm him/herself down.
Creating a culture of fondness and admiration:
In a relationship of any kind, it’s very easy to realize all of the negative things and couples rarely step back and appreciate one another. Here are Dr. Cole’s tips to maintain a good marriage.
Three things to remember about marriage
Be good friends
Learn to have a softer approach when something is bothering us
Create an idea of we-ness
To get the real tips on how to save a marriage watch Donald Cole this Sunday at 3pm on Living Smart with Patricia Gras
For more information on Marriage, Divorce, and how divorce affects children visit the links below
More articles on this topic:
by Ashley Mancha and Patricia Gras