Who would know better about how to avoid divorce and have a successful marriage – than a divorce lawyer?!
Read on for 21 helpful marriage tips based on the in-the-trenches experience of a man who deals with the fallout of marriages that did not work.
You already know this – creating and maintaining a successful marriage takes work. Relationship work. Great marriages are made by treating our spouses with love and respect and hanging in there when these two qualities are in short supply.
It’s been said, “In marriage it is never about not falling, it is always about getting back up.”
That’s true. But wouldn’t it be nice if we never had to fall in the first place?
Today’s blog features advice from a person who should know about mistakes in marriage. Hal Boyd has practiced law as a divorce lawyer for over 20 years. No doubt, he has noticed the same mistakes being made over and over by the couples that come to him to divorce.
His words of marital wisdom should serve as an effective reminder for all married couples.
- Things change — respect each other and be willing to change. Remain flexible and open to compromise.
- Stay true — cheating never works — the poison on your soul lasts forever. Never surrender your integrity.
- Listen more than you talk. Think more than you say.
- Don’t keep score. You don’t win at marriage. Strive to stay even.
- Sometimes she just wants to be held. If she doesn’t she’ll let you know.
- If you want to make love to your wife at night, start in the morning.
- Pick up after yourself. Flip the laundry. Do the dishes. Cook a meal or two or three, and change a diaper. Neither of you took a vow to be the maid.
- Don’t pick a fight. Stop. Wait. Think. Then say what you mean and mean what you say after you stop being angry.
- Don’t go in to the marriage thinking he or she will change, or you will change them. Change grows organically from within.
- Sometimes she cries for no reason — sometimes he broods over non-sense. This too shall pass.
- He or she might be your one, but eventually they will be the half or the quarter (kids, career, etc. ) Strive to keep growing back together.
- Roughly a third of people will suffer from a mental illness during their lifetime. There is a better than even chance one of you will become ill. Acceptance & Treatment, early and often.
- Children change everything. She will unapologetically love her children more than she loves you. If you can’t handle that, [don’t have children].
- Space is more than what’s 20 miles straight up, or the inches between your ears. Maintain your space and allow him or her theirs.
- Don’t threaten divorce — you either are or you aren’t. Threats breed fear — fear leads to distrust — It’s nearly impossible to earn someone’s trust, again.
- If you are on the couch and she is doing chores you are in the wrong place. Do things together.
- If you can’t control your emotions — leave — take a walk — pray. But whatever you do, don’t hit, slap, grab, pull, push, hug, knock, slam, choke, pinch, pin, head lock, arm bar, round kick, front kick or beat each other in anyway shape, form or fashion.
- If you must fight, use your words and remember: anger equals ten feet. Never pick up a weapon in anger.
- Domestic Assault is no joke. It’s 48 hours in jail, a $250.00 fine, court costs, anger management classes, alcohol and drug testing and evaluation, prohibition from owning or possessing a firearm (ever again), an automatic no contact order and a lifetime of regret — for the first offense.
- Your wife or husband never has it coming. If you disagree refer to #18 above.
- May the Lord grant you the courage to change the things you must, the grace to accept the things you can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.
These 21 pieces of marriage advice are common sense. But how often do we forget common sense – especially when it comes to our relationships?
One thing is for sure: God hates divorce.
In Malachi 2:16, God states:
“For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
This verse was written in a time when women did not have the legal right to divorce their husbands. Today they do. Therefore, this verse also applies to wives.
What God expects is for husbands and wives to love each other.
The problem is we reduce love to a strong emotion and feeling. Emotions and feelings are actually the products of expressed love.
True love is a decision and a choice.
Love is expressed by being slow to get angry and quick to forgive. (See James 1:19).
We forgive our spouse because God has forgiven us. Who are you to hold an unforgiven grudge against your spouse in light of the fact that God has forgiven you of your sins against Him?
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, ,“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
The more committed we stay to our marriages the easier these commands will be to live out.
The Bottom Line
We can learn from other people’s marriage mistakes.
A successful marriage boils down to 3 requirements:
Love – Commitment – Respect for your partner.
Work to make sure a divorce lawyer never uses your marriage as a teachable moment for preventing divorce.
Before You Go
Please like, share or comment. I would love to hear your opinions on these 21 tips.