When I was in real estate I remember some of the people we worked with saying “homes aren’t built like they used to.” At one point new homes and new neighborhoods seemed to pop up over night. The homes and subdivisions all looked great, but what many of our contractors discovered was they weren’t built as well as homes built years ago.
The disturbing rate of broken marriages
The homes seemed to break down and have issues that older homes took years to develop. Well today, the same can be said for marriages: “marriages aren’t made like they used to.”
Statistics reveal disturbing information that say about half of marriages end in divorce, and most within the first few years. That’s disturbing for a couple planning to be married, or a couple young in their marriage.
But what can you do?
How can you prevent your marriage from ending up on the wrong side of the marriage and divorce statistics?
Beating the odds of lasting marriages
My wife and I made it through those years, although we almost didn’t make it through the first year. We’ve had some serious challenges that would end most marriages.
We’ve survived job loss and financial strain. We’ve made it through homelessness, twice! We’ve dealt with in-law challenges. And we’ve survived parenting!
If you are second guessing getting married, or you’re in a marriage you don’t think is going to last, don’t give up. Have hope and be encouraged. If we made it, you can too.
Below I’m sharing some insight about what has helped us and other couples beat the statistics. Here are 5 actions to divorce-proof your marriage.
1) Just say no!
I’ve written about it before, and I stand by it. Not allowing the word, thought, or anything related to divorce in our marriage put us in a place where he had no choice but to make our marriage work.
We burned all bridges by agreeing to never consider divorce, or even speak about it in our relationship. No matter how hard it got, we chose to “just say no.” It’s a game changer for your marriage.
2) Ignore the statistics
The stats say you have a 50/50 chance of your marriage making it. To me stats are numbers on a paper, not real people. Instead of focusing on those numbers, talk to real marriages with real stories of what works in marriage.
We learned from the marriages that seemed to be working, and working well. I encourage you to do the same. Find marriages that have good qualities you like, and learn how to implement those traits and habits in your marriage.
3) Pour a lasting foundation
Just like houses, the foundation is important. If you build your marriage on something that is shaky, you can believe your marriage will be, at best, shaky. Marriages built on shaky foundations will eventually fall down.
We chose to build our relationship on Biblical principles for marriage. The principles in the Bible are lasting. When your marriage is based on them, and you truly live out those principles, your marriage will be lasting too.
4) Make marriage a priority
I love sports and the game of basketball. Marriage didn’t change that, but if I spent as much time with basketball and my friends, who love basketball, then my marriage would feel it. And it wouldn’t feel good.
Making a marriage a priority means making it the number one relationship, except for your relationship with God. Date nights are needed. Trips together and time alone are musts. Your marriage must become more important than work, ministry, and even the relationship with your kids.
5) Nurture your marriage
My wife is a great nurturer. When our kids are born she is able to nurture them in ways I’m not able to. Without her nurturing our kids growth and development would have been hindered. The same goes for your marriage. You have to treat it like a baby by nurturing it and feeding it.
We read books, we take classes on marriage, and we attend weekend retreats. We’ve also had marriage counseling on multiple occasions, and joined couples small groups.
All of these things have helped to grow and improve our marriage. Without this nurturing our marriage’s growth and development would be hindered.
An amazing marriage is yours for the taking
Your marriage can beat the statistics. You can have a fulfilling, lasting, and complete marriage. You can divorce-proof your marriage. Adopting the 5 ways above will help you do so. I encourage you to try it in your marriage.
What are you willing to do in order to divorce-proof your marriage?
Great list. Something we are aware of are the friends we choose to spend time with. It’s one thing for you as a couple to refuse to talk about divorce, but if your friends are constantly putting down their spouse behind their backs when your hanging out as friends; you don’t need nor want that. It’s different when a friend comes to you for help verses just sitting around and bad talking the spouses. We refuse to be around people who are negative about marriage. The added benefit, our kids are seeing a healthy marriage at home…and in the lives of those we invite into our home regularly.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Those marriage “haters” need to be cut-off and cut out immediately.
Great list you got something here! I would add to watch how you speak to each other. So much of communication is built on tone and the type of words we choose. Just remember, at the end of the day, you love each other. Treat each other like that!
Thanks, Paul! That is a great addition.
Like your family, we refuse to let the thoughts or speech about divorce come into play. My wife and I realize that marriage is not always easy, but nevertheless, we’re in it until death parts us.
I believe what makes our marriage divorce-proof is our constant commitment to do whatever it takes to protect our marriage. Whether it is protecting our time, our thoughts, our inadequacies, etc., we realize that we are in this thing together.
I like it, Devin! Protecting your marriage is huge. Thanks for sharing!