What is the difference between successful and unsuccessful marriages?

Many people decide to commit to marriage every year, yet as we all know the divorce statistics are at an all time high. What makes some marriages last and others dissolve, sometimes very early; a couple of years or less. Many experts and others in the field would probably have many theories as to why so many marriages end in divorce. Well, I think that several considerations should be mentioned when trying to figure out the marriage dissolution maze. I purpose the following reasons as to why some marriages last and others do not.

Marriages that don’t work:

FIRST: Marriage is forever, at least it used to be. Many couples in today’s world enter marriage with the thought process that if things get “sticky” or if the couple becomes unhappy a divorce is just one legal document away. Marriage is no longer forever!

SECOND: There seems to be this unrealistic belief that marriage brings happiness. This is a touchy subject, many don’t like when I inform them that their spouse is not responsible for their overall happiness. This is a heavy burden to place on another person, to make someone else responsible for their happiness. A spouse can do little things to make you happy and two people can create awesome memories, but at the end of the day true happiness comes from GOD and self. It is each individual person’s responsibility to create a relationship with God and to find out his or her purpose in life, which will lead to happiness. To say that a husband or wife has to make someone else happy takes away individual responsibility. Ideally, only whole and happy people should marry, thereby lessening the pressure that can be put upon a spouse to create happiness.

THIRD: Many people show up in marriage with many wounds; such as past physical and sexual abuse, abandonment issues by parents, trust issues from prior relationships, and mental health issues. All of this can lead to a volatile relationship. Wounded people marry looking for someone to HEAL them.

FOURTH: Many couples are selfish and not willing to work through the hard times. Couples like instant gratification and when they do not get instant gratification they become angry, bitter, and resentful. Most couples spend time crying and talking about how and why they are unhappy instead of investing that time into their relationship.

Marriages that work:

1. Individuals allow selfish needs to die
2. Divorce is not an option simply because someone is unhappy
3. Individuals have a relationship with God
4. Individuals are self-aware and work on healing and solving their issues from the past
5. Individuals understand that they are responsible for their own happiness
6. Individuals are aware of their role in the marriage and execute it daily

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Harsh Words or Damaging Words?

When is it ever acceptable to use damaging words? From time to time we all say things that we wished we had not said, but for some people this is a regular occurrence. When two people are in a relationship whether its romantic or familial, conflict will arise, but the use of damaging words should never be acceptable. Sometimes words are not damaging, but they are harsh. There is a difference between harsh and damaging words and both categories have a different consequence or reaction.

For instance, harsh words may be words or statements that are true, but the person on the receiving end doesn’t want to hear or accept the reality of what is being said (denial). Harsh words may include telling someone that they performed poorly. This may seem harsh only because the receiver does not want to hear the truth. Sometimes harshness comes from the manner in which the message is delivered. Perhaps yelling is involved and cursing or name calling. Once hurtful words are said, the focus of the conversation switches from productivity to war and agony. So, how do you know if your words are harsh or damaging? Well hopefully this will help:

Here are some common damaging words:

1. Shut UP
2. You are a piece of crap
3. Stupid
4. You are an idiot
5. Bitch
6. You are worthless

The receiver’s response may also be a clue that the words are damaging:

1. If the receiver begins to cry
2. If the receiver feels attacked
3. If the receiver wants to end the relationship
4. If the receiver complains about your word choice

8 Steps For Recovering From A Messy Break UP

Nobody likes to suffer from a broken heart, due to a bad break up. Life would be great if couples could learn to dissolve their relationships in an amicable manner. Wouldn’t it be great if two people could simply say; “this is not working, we both agree that we want out, have a nice life, and see you around.” Unfortunately this rarely happens, instead there is name calling, fighting, court battles, lies, accusations, and sometimes violence. The person you once loved, you now hate and wouldn’t shed a tear if they died the next day. The truth is that the hate and anger is usually rooted in pain; the result of betrayal. So, how can someone move on from a broken heart and a messy break up? Hopefully the following suggestions will help.

1. Perform a relationship (autopsy)= examination of a dead relationship: figure out what went wrong, what role you played in the relationship demise. Maybe you ignored red flags, maybe you had poor communication, maybe you did not assert your thoughts or feelings etc.

2. Create boundaries: change phone numbers if necessary, change locks to your home, close join accounts, change passwords to online social media or any other accounts, create distance from your ex. (exceptions are made when children are involved), stop phone calls and texts

3. Social support: create a support system of friends and family, seek group or individual counseling if necessary, church support can be helpful

4. Exercise: to release stress, yoga, walking, running, or hand weights work well

5. Occupy your mind: volunteer to help others to keep your mind off of your problems, learn a new hobby, work a second job if possible

6. Positive words: choose your words wisely, don’t dwell on the break up, don’t share the story over and over, don’t ruminate in hurt feelings, don’t focus on the negativity, don’t burden friends and family with stories about how horrible your ex is or what their latest antics are (seek counseling if necessary)

7. Spiritual connection: prayer and meditation are essential, God heals all

8. Journal: express emotions, regrets, and lessons learned