If your marriage is anywhere from a bit out of shape to in a very bad way and you want to save it you have to understand how to stop the divorce truck from hitting you at great speed.
Divorce is exceedingly common and whilst the number of marriages is falling the number of divorces are pretty steady. It's likely that more than half of the marriages of today will end up in the deep unpleasantness of a divorce.
The reasons or grounds for a divorce are quite straight forward. However, the real reason that couples divorce is often because "it's just not working anymore, there is nothing left in the marriage."
Here are some thoughts on simple things to bear in mind about how to treat your marriage and make your relationship prosper. They are not magic but simple, straight forward and easy to do.
Don't argue about insignificant (and sometimes significant) things
Arguments are often common when divorce is on the way. Attacking and counter attacking are not going to save your marriage even if you think you are right or your partner is definitely wrong. This can become a cycle spiraling upwards into ever more serious confrontation. You need to stop the endless cycle of arguments and lower hostility levels. If you do not defend yourself you will find your partner will not attack you, it is hard (but not impossible) to shoot at an unarmed person.
Learn how to compromise
You won't always agree on everything and it would be very boring if you did. It's good to learn how to accommodate and, indeed value, those things upon which you disagree. Compromise is an essential skill and it can be learned by being patient and practising a lot.
Make your marriage a top priority in your life
It was once and needs to remain so throughout your life. It's easy to let it slip and become grey and predictable. Make time for each other by spending quality time together. Don't let the cares and pressures of life flatten you. Do special things together each week. Even having a shower together or bottle of wine at dinner will be a start. It doesn't matter so much what you do as it can be the little things that nurture the relationship.
Learn to admit you're wrong
Now this really is difficult. If you and your spouse have an argument (they can never be totally avoided) and you realise that he/she is really right, admit it. Trying to defend a position that you know to be wrong never works as your spouse will pick up on this and you will be cast as the person arguing for the sake of it. Never a good place to be.
Involve your spouse in major decisions
Marriage is a partnership although there was a time when it was more of a male dictatorship. Fortuneatly, patriarchy and all its equalities is long gone. Each partner in the marriage has the right to be part of the family decision making process. Start by discussing the decisions that have to be made rather than saying "This is what I want to do, what do you think?" This is not true involvement and can easily lead to the problems outlined above.
Accept your spouse as he or she is
You fell in love with your spouse as he or she was at the time. There were no expectations of changing him or her. It was love and it would last forever. The problem that can arise is that one or both of you change over the years. If you are growing apart then either the compromises become greater or you recognise this and learn to live with it. One of you trying to change the other without some change in you is unlikely to be successful.
Divorce is not a fun thing to do and is a total last resort. Where the relationship is capable of repair then put your best into making it work. If not get a good lawyer and proceed gently and kindly towards divorce and on to a good life after divorce.