A Match Made in Divorce

While you're spending countless hours putting together your dream wedding, Lois Tarter, author of the upcoming book The Divorce Ritual, warns what might happen if you lose sight of what’s most important.

Lois Tarter • Divorce Expert/ Divorce Party Planner
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Why is it that marriages are ending so quickly, many not even making it through the first year? Due to the advancement in technology, life is moving more quickly than ever before. It seems like we all want to push the fast forward button and get immediate results in everything. And in many instances we do. However, this fast-paced mind-set that seems to work well in other aspects of our lives does not seem to fit when it comes to marriage.

You have to invest the time to make it work. The moment you pause and look at your relationship more closely is the moment that you have the clearest picture of whether or not your marriage can work. In these times, nobody wants to go through a messy divorce. It's not only costly, but also stressful. If you plan on getting married to your current partner, you need to think about this before you go down the aisle as opposed to after. There are many ways to help you come to this conclusion and see if your relationship can work long-term-- but you have to go back to the basics to do so.

Communication is so important in a relationship. If you don't express what you like and don't like, your partner is often clueless as to why you’re upset or distant. While you may not want to rock the boat if he does something that irritates you, then you also run the risk of harboring pent-up frustration over time. If you're engaged, the planning of the wedding is where much of this resentment and lack of communication can begin. If you both don't have the same views on how this wedding should go down, look out! While the woman is focused on the specific location, design for the invitations, the types of flowers, etc, the husband might be thinking about how he can get out of this thing. So communication with each other about the wedding and everything else in your relationship is vital. Put it all on the table. You can't hold onto anger in a courtship, relationship or a marriage. You need to find out what's important to each person and respect each other’s wishes.

While things may seem to be going well in your relationship now, you need to discuss where you both want to go in the future. Sure people change over time, but you want to see that you are both on the same page as you enter this marriage. It's important to discuss your mutual goals with each other. Ask him where he sees himself in five years? What plans does he have for parenthood? What does he expect out of you as his wife?  He should be asking you the same questions as well. A goal-orientated couple can make great head-way in life together because teamwork wins the race. If you both see different futures, you may want to either come to a common ground together or reconsider this impending marriage all together.

If you're thinking about going to couples therapy, the smart couples go before they get married. You might have a lot of questions running through your mind such as; What will it be like to actually be married? What kind of parents will we be? Is he likely to remain faithful? Remember, if you think there are issues before you get married, those same issues will still be there after you get married. Therapy can be very helpful in answering those big questions and tackling the issues that you’re faced with. So look at therapy as a positive step forward and not a step backward.

While previous generations frown on living together before you get married, with the divorce rate so high one might consider being on the same mailbox sooner. Many couples work well together from afar, but when the reality of living together comes into play it can be overwhelming. If you think living together before you walk down the aisle could work, then you should both consider it. If after moving in together things don't work out, you may have lost a partner but you also prevented a divorce. If it does works out, you probably learned more about each other and what compromises you have to make to achieve success.

First Published December 19, 2011

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