The river that separates a happy marriage from a sad divorce is not very wide. Building a bridge over it and crossing over to the other side seems to be much easier than managing to stay back and keep the happiness alive. Every act that creates a rift and encourages hatred within the family is another log added on to the bridge to divorce.
Maintaining a marriage is not an easy affair. Great care and attention goes into it. Both partners have to keep a level-head in all situations to ensure the smooth running of the ‘love engine’. But with the apocalypse of divorce looming over a family, if proper care is not taken then resentment, unhappiness and destruction will soon follow. However, with certain careful measures, the bridge to divorce can be destroyed.
A constantly bickering couple is vulnerable to divorce. A few arguments here and there never hurt. Infact, they help in keeping the flaws in check. But when it goes overboard, disaster strikes and in its aftermath leaves a trail of causalities including that of the children.
Don’t complain or criticize
When faced with a problem, people immediately try to pass the buck. They find someone or the other on whom they can dumb the responsibility. At home the victim is always the weaker partner.
Constant complaining creates an atmosphere of negativity at home and disproportionate criticism is very destructive. The harsh atmosphere created by a complaint destroys any attempts to solve the problem. The more it happens the more it will grow and soon fissures are formed in the relationship between husband and wife.
When a couple resorts to an argumentative attitude it often results in flying tempers and falling standards. The solution to this is the use of constructive criticism rather than careless complaining. There is a world of difference between the two. Criticizing in a cool and calm manner would ensure that both partners see their own flaws in the situation and constructively find a way out together.
Learn to Forgo and Forgive
When a partner commits a blunder, no matter how big or small, don’t be quick to condemn. Condemnation has the power to shake a person’s self- belief and confidence. Homes where the condemnation factor is high, chances of the couple going for a divorce are also high.
It is not hard to imagine that no one is completely perfect and a certain amount of tolerance is required to allow the other person to deal with his or her problems. Leaving out inconsequential things and forgiving those that do not harm much would help greatly in keeping resentment and hatred at bay.
Break That Wall of Silent Defence
Very often when an argument brings the ‘culprit’ of the situation to the open, he or she takes a very defensive attitude. If the ‘victim’ happens to be the female partner then they are quick to use their ace weapon – SILENCE! The moment they see the finger of accusation coming their way, they throw up a shield of defensiveness around themselves. This irritates the male partner all the more and resentment multiplies into anger very soon and it gives rise to many acts of hatred.
Accepting one’s mistake is the wisest thing to do in such circumstances. This will deescalate the situation and prevent a widening of the rift within the relationship.
The Repair Job
John Gottman, relationship expert of the University of Washington says that there is one attribute that couples in robust relationships have that those in ruined relationships do not. In mature marriages, the partners honor each other’s repair attempts.
There is no problem in this world that cannot be solved. But it would require one or both the parties to do a little bit of compromise and toleration. The only thing that prevents someone from going for a compromise to solve a problem is ego. This means that with a humble and mature attitude most problems can be solved.
This is why an attempt to repair a failing relationship should be greatly appreciated and reciprocated. No opportunity for a possible repair attempt should go a begging. It need not be a great or complicated act. It could be a sincere apology, a simple apologetic look, a gentle touch or something more personal each couple would understand and appreciate.
So be ready with your spanners and screwdrivers and keep away the tongue-lashing and stonewalling. Look for opportunities to appreciate and apologise as needed. Criticise only when needed, with an intention to correct than to consume.
Remember that every couple has in them the potential to destroy or build up a marriage. It depends on which one each couple chooses that would decide where their relationship is headed.