If you asked me what the secret is to keeping people married, I would tell you there is "no secret." I think that there are simple and logical things couples can do to avoid heading for divorce court. I also believe that if you don't want to get a divorce, try to marry smartly. One of the things I didn't do was marry smartly. There were red flags and questions about compatibility from the beginning, but at the same time I was in love and rather naïve to long-term relationships. The beautiful gift I got in the end was a gorgeous and healthy daughter. But there are things you can do divorce-proof your marriage as much as possible, and at the very least know no matter what that you tried your best as a wife for your marriage — always.
1. Be Separate
Give your partner some space. Constantly making your partner "ask for permission" to do things makes your spouse feel as if you're a parent, not a partner. Let your partner have freedom to be, but not so much that your poor spouse wonders if you even like him or her.
2. Agree to Disagree
On some topics if the two of you are constantly butting heads, ask yourself if it's really worth it to you to battle. Sometimes you need to agree to disagree and then let it die. If you knew going into the marriage that your partner always does X, Y, or Z and it annoys you, accept it and stop the fight. Picking battles is crucial.
3. Fight Logically, Not Emotionally
This is so difficult. We all get our emotions in a tizzy when we're mad, but it's important to fight logically and not emotionally. This means present your feelings and gripes in a straightforward manner that doesn't involve nasty words or low blows. Plus, if you're married to a man and you're a female, staying calm (I know the struggle is real) and expressing what it is that hurts you in a direct way will really help your man understand what's wrong without shutting down over some nasty words and crocodile tears.
4. Wear Lingerie Sometimes
Yes, your partner wants to see you look pretty. Sure, corsets and bras can be as uncomfortable as heck, but taking the time to say "I still want you so here I am, looking as hot as I did on those first few dates" is worth it. Let's admit it—— we don't want our spouses to let themselves go and show up looking "schleppy" all the time either. Getting sexy and dressed up can really help take the doldrums out of married life.
Yes, it gets boring so remember . . .
5. Be Safe When Seeking Excitement
Married life gets boring, especially if it's a nice, easy life together. This is a good sign, but be careful when you're seeking excitement. We have all heard of the seven-year itch or that heinous midlife crisis.
If you're feeling bored, I want you to do one thing: ask yourself why you're so boring. Find something you can do both with your partner and on your own (sans any other individuals) to add some color to your life.
Maybe it's a new snowboarding habit. Maybe it's a DIY home project. Maybe the two of you go salsa dancing. Maybe you start watching porn together. Whatever you do, make sure that you don't seek excitement in another person either sexually, romantically, or emotionally.
6. Make Sure Children Are Agreed Upon
If you want kids and you want to keep the marriage divorce-proof, make sure you're both on board in terms of having children or not.
This isn't to say you should stay with someone if he or she doesn't want kids and you do, but that both of you should be ready to have kids and move forward. If one of you is ready and the other is not, it can cause tremendous strife in the marriage.
7. Tread Lightly With Family
His mom may be nuts or your dad may be a drinker, but whatever the case, in order to keep the marriage divorce-proof, you'll both have to tread lightly when it comes to making family gripes. Leave your spouse's family battles to your spouse — and you manage your own family. If you know anyone in your family who is treating your spouse poorly, nip it in the bud, and if you must, cut off contact. Protect your marriage. You wouldn't put your spouse in a line of gunfire, would you? Then why would you let him or her be "gunned" down mentally by family members?
8. Earn Your Own Way
I think two spouses who make their own money or who can be financially independent from each other really adds more security to the marriage — and the two individuals. Knowing you can contribute in the same way your partner does and vice versa will take a lot of pressure off the two of you. Plus, having careers you both enjoy adds to your lives tremendously.
9. Have Sex, Dammit
Don't become the couple that only has sex once a month. Don't become the woman who has a headache each night.
Sex is the only thing that the two of you can have together that you're not supposed to be having with anyone else. It's the one thing that distinguishes your marriage from your friendships, besides living together.
Invest in the sex. Change positions. Change places. Change time of day. Frequency. Try new things. Add lingerie. Role play. Watch porn — whatever it is the two of you are willing to both do together in a way that enriches the marriage and instills love and respect, do it!
10. Expect Lows
Want to divorce-proof your marriage? Expect lows and don't get discouraged when they happen. Instead, find ways to get the two of you out of ruts. If you expect lows will happen, you'll be less likely to be disillusioned or dismayed over the natural "life cycle of marriage." This will help you ride it through to happier, higher times.