In recent months, I have seen a disturbing amount of divorces. Many of these were couples that, from all outside appearances, seemed happy, together, and (dare I say it) even perfect. So what happened?
It's hard to say. Obviously, you can never know from the outside what kinds of things break up a marriage. Each marriage is individual and each person in a marriage has their own breaking point. What one person considers a dealbreaker, others might be able to forgive.
Still, there are so many small ways that marriages fall apart that most people don't even think of. For those of us who want to safeguard our own marriages, there are many small ways we can work toward that goal. Here are 5 small acts that may actually divorce-proof your marriage.
1.) Hire a standing Saturday night babysitter: If you aren't lucky enough to have family or friends in town who can take your kids, this is one little thing that is worth the money. Both my husband and I work full-time so we tend to leave after we put our kids to bed, but even so, you can still catch a late movie and dinner at 8:30 and your sitter will love you for giving her a super easy job. If you can't afford that, then at the very least do a mock date night. Order in, eat at the table by candlelight, and snuggle after the kids are in bed.
2.) Asking how his day is and actually listen to the answer: Too often we are rushed and in a hurry to get from one thing to the next. We may ask, "How was your day?" but do we really listen to the answer? Could you tell us how his day REALLY was? Ask for details. Care.
3.) Limit nagging (even when it's painful): Sometimes it's hard NOT to nag, but it's not sexy and it's not good for the long-term health of a marriage. Just stop doing it. Better yet, keep a list of things that need to be done and have it on the fridge or in some central location. That way everyone knows what's up and there is no need to keep asking for the same thing again and again.
4.) Work out together: We are lucky enough to belong to a gym with good childcare, so our kids go for an hour while we jump on the treadmill and hit the weights together. It's a good time to talk and be alone and also get those endorphins pumping.
5.) Read the same books: If your husband is reading something, even if it's something you would never read, pick it up after him. It gives you something to discuss, and very often, it's a great way to get even deeper into his head. It can be surprisingly intimate.
What do you do to keep your marriage safe?
Image via Dan Queiroz/Flickr