The road for many relationships is hard, especially committed ones like marriage; but there are a few things to try before divorce that could be the deciding factor on whether or not you call it quits. Along the way, it's easy to forget why you fell in love with jobs, kids, and the busyness of everyday life. If you don't nurture your relationship or you hit too many bumps along the road, you can lose sight of what really matters. So here are seven things to try before divorce.
1. Individual Counseling
Sometimes, the issue isn't with the marriage itself, but the baggage that came into it, and getting rid of that can be one of the best things to try before divorce. You or your partner may be struggling with prior wounds that haven't yet healed and therapy can help with that. Having someone to talk to, who can empathize and give you tips on how to deal with your emotions, can make a lasting difference in your relationships with those around you.
2. Couples Counseling
Couples therapy is a good way to talk out your feelings together without having the damage of fighting about them. A lot of marital issues stem from a lack of communication, and if your tendency is to fight when you try to talk about things, going to couples therapy could save your marriage. It's a judgment free zone where both of your opinions will be heard and efforts will be made to salvage your commitment to one another.
Similar to couples therapy, but can be offered by a trusted friend rather than a paid therapist - mediation allows you the chance to talk with someone who is unbiased to give you both feedback on your issues. It's helpful to have someone on the outside listening to both of your complaints and giving you an opinion as you work things out. This is especially helpful if they also have an experienced, successful marriage and can offer up proven wisdom.
4. Go on Dates
Somewhere along the way, we forget to do this, don't we? The flowers stop coming, we stop dressing up, we eat dinner on the couch, and all romance is lost. Don't let it be! Shave those legs, throw on the special dress that makes his eyes light up, and make him take you to your favorite restaurant. Be gracious and kind, and thank him with a kiss. Flirtation is how you fell in love; what better way to light the spark again than to flirt some more?
5. Get Intimate
Make love often and have lots of intimate moments. You're married, and that can unfortunately mean that things get stale in the bedroom after a while. Sometimes you may stop altogether. Don't give up hope. Find ways to spice up your bedroom life. Make more time for each other after dinner; buy some sexy lingerie; and let your bodies communicate for once. You can't argue if you're speaking through body language!
6. Back Away from the opposite Sex
You have to be careful being around the opposite sex when there is turmoil in your marriage. Sometimes other people can suddenly become very appealing. You might start to question why your husband doesn't notice your hair when the guy at work does, or you just might get hit on all the time when you're out with the girls. No matter how tempting, it's best to step away and imagine a wall between yourself and them. You have built a life and committed to this one person and you owe it to both yourself and him to give it everything you've got to make it work before you give up. Don't let a couple of compliments dismantle an entire relationship.
7. Give It All You've Got
Even if it does end in divorce, if you do everything you can to keep it from going there, then you did your best. Along the way, seek healing for yourself and pick yourself up. Don't let a failing relationship drag you down with it. While you are in a committed relationship, you are still an individual and you need to be the best you can be for you.
I know not every romantic story has a happy ending and we don't all get complete fairy tales. Relationships are hard work that we have to put a lot of constant effort into maintaining, but if they're with the right person, they're worth it. Here are a few things you can try before divorce to give yourself a fighting chance at a happy and successful marriage. Do you have any other suggestions to try before calling it quits?