If the storm clouds are gathering take some positive action now

Divorce is never going to be a good time for either of you.  Even if you are the one doing the divorcing it is going to be a stressful and difficult experience.

The divorce process is long and arduous.  Now there are many marriages that will never work and a swift and cooperative divorce is probably the only solution.  Life after divorce is very different. 

However, there are many that can be fixed if action is taken soon enough.  All marriages go through bad times and when that happens there are really only two ways to go, back to better and happier times or down the long slow slide to a breakup.

storm clouds representing problems about to happenIf the storm clouds of bad times are gathering on your horizon then it's time to take stock and take action to get out of the way of the storm.  Here are some thoughts on how to strengthen your marriage and avoid the life after divorce that you don't want.

Talk to each other about the really important stuff
Probably one of the most difficult and the most important aspects of a relationship.  Lack of real communication underlies almost all relationship problems.  The less you communicate with your partner the more difficult communication becomes.  To rewrite the old joke about how to get to Carnegie Hall (practise, practise, practise) "How do I get to a good marriage?"   "Communicate, communicate, communicate."

When things get difficult get out of the house and go and do something together like having a walk together round the block, in the park or across Dartmoor and really talk and listen to each other.  As in all effective communication the listening is more important than the talking.

Get some counselling
If a walk in the park is not working for you try to do exactly the same thing with the help of a third party.  This can help focus your talking and bring a new perspective and sense of proportion to your problems.  You will have the great benefit of a counsell who can help both of you and give an informed opinion from a neutral third party.

Break away from the routine
Pressure and stress are the hallmarks of our times.  This tends to reinforce the need to have some comforting domestic routine in our lives, this in itself is a perfectly good thing to do.  However, like so many things this is fine in moderation but if taken to excess is can become a bad thing.  Bit like alcohol.

Breaking out of this cosy routine every now and again can do wonders for the vitality of your marriage.  Doing the same old things all the time can quickly make your marriage boring and stale.  Breaking the routine can be anything from not going to Tesco every Tuesday evening (try going to a 24 hour store at midnight, I know it's difficult if you have kids) to taking the whole family off for the weekend at a campsite/weekend break near you or if the budget is available a weekend at Centre Parcs.

You could surprise your partner with a small gift or even a couple of tickets for the latest film to feature rogue secret agents, car chases and exploding helicopters.  However, guys, buying your partner sexy lingerie never works if things are difficult between you and the frequency and enjoyment of making love have declined or stopped altogether.  This will elicit the response "You don't think I'm going to wear that, do you?" and things will even more difficult.

Always remember that there was a time when things were really good between you.  As the marriage progresses through time you will both change.  The best way to keep in step with each other is to cement your marriage with a most intimate friendship to complement the partnership and passion.  This can only be done by real honest and open communication.  Not easy but if it was easy we could all get it right.

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