Afraid You’ll Divorce Just Like Your Parents?
3 Tips to Keep your Marriage Successful
If you’re an adult child of divorce, you may struggle with a nagging worry that you’ll end up like your parents. This is perfectly normal. But you can learn how to communicate with your spouse in healthy, productive ways — and doing so can prevent problems later on. And even if your parents never divorced and you just want to keep your marriage on track, here are three tips to help:
1. Calm down.
Adult children of divorce (ACDs) often feel panicked when something goes wrong in the marriage. Understand that problems are just opportunities to learn and grow, and to find a new and exciting way to do things. You can’t think when you’re upset, so don’t talk when you are. Take a moment to calm down, take a deep breath, and talk rationally about what’s going on. Any problem can be fixed if you both focus on finding a solution.
2. Avoid drama.
ACDs usually grow up with parents who create a lot of drama — fighting, cold silences, leaving and returning, court battles, child custody problems, and financial struggles. Drama of that type is never necessary. Rather, it’s a result of adults acting like upset children. Avoid dramatic pronouncements, scenes. And ultimatums when problems arise. Instead, learn to sit down as an adult, and talk about what the solution might be; think and act as you do at work when a problem arises most people can’t throw fits and keep their jobs.
3. Get counseling early.
Consider making a deal when you first marry: If you can’t solve a problem on your own in three days, then go for counseling. In the first few years, you will likely have a few sessions, which can very helpful in teaching you how to be effective with each other. Getting counseling early, before the drama sets in, will help you create a successful marriage together.