With the divorce rate in the United States through the roof, it’s more than possible that you’ve contemplated your marriage and your breakup all in the same thought. There are a few simple things that you can do to reduce the likelihood that your marriage will end in divorce. Married couple Samantha Bee and Jason Jones at Real Simple shared “10 Ways to Make Your Marriage Divorceproof.” We’ve picked out a few of our favorite tips.
“Realize that if you can agree on what constitutes a clean room you can agree on anything”
Some of the biggest compromises you’ll make in your marriage will have to do with your space. “Fortunately if you can compromise on the red hot-button subject of cleanliness, your marriage is unlikely to be thrown off course by comparatively less volatile topics, like politics, religion and money,” Bee and Jones agree.
“No Fisticuffs in Public”
No bickering in public, Bee and Jones say. “You don’t want to be That Couple Who Ruined the Otherwise Delightful Picnic.”
“Have sex with each other”
Sex is what separates platonic friendships from romantic ones. You didn’t get married to be platonic. “If you can’t have sex with each other for some reason, let your spouse know that you are thinking about having sex with him and that you are looking forward to the next time you are both available for sex,” Bell and Jones suggest.
“If you have to fight, walk and fight”
Being “cooped up” in the house together can fuel arguments. Bell and Jones recommend taking your fight for a stroll it might cool things down.
Yes, we know things need to be done, but seriously. Put your BlackBerry away and stop worrying about the broken garage-door opener. Have dessert in lieu of dinner. Watch old John Hughes movies. Hold hands. There, aren’t they smoother than how you remembered them?
“Accept that everybody needs alone time”
Sometimes your spouse needs to go to the bathroom for 45 minutes. Look, he’s not going to the bathroom the whole time; he’s trying to get away from you. And that’s OK. Maybe you’re being annoying. Sometimes you can be kind of annoying, you know.
“Let your spouse in on 90 percent of your day-to-day routine”
Save the other 10 percent for your bathroom time. Sam, for example, will never allow Jason to see her lurching to put on a pair of panty hose, and he never wishes for her to see him struggling to shave the back of his neck. It’s those small things that keep the mystery alive.
“When you buy gifts for each other, give them at least a full minute of thought.”
Sam’s mother once gave her partner a giant meat grinder for Christmas so that he (an extremely reluctant cook) could make her tastier hamburgers. In our opinion, gifts that require someone to perform a household task don’t count as gifts. A present should convey the message “I love you, but most of all, I get you.” (Yes, that’s a tough sentiment to express with a big-box–store gift card. Ahem.) Like playing chess or figuring out Facebook privacy settings, delighting a longtime spouse is a genuine challenge—which (duh) is what makes it worth the effort.-Essence