A variety of issues lead a spouse to the office of a divorce attorney. Divorce attorneys hear it all, so we glean certain wisdom about what is most detrimental to marriages. Given this information, we are able to infer what could potentially save marriages. We’re not marriage counselors, but we do have some insight into the matter. Consider the following tips.

Open, Two-Way Communication Makes All the Difference in a Marriage

This is the foundation of all the other tips. You can’t address what you don’t talk about. Rest assured that “stuffing” your concerns will eventually backfire. Initiate an open dialogue that includes sharing your concerns honestly and listening intently to your spouse’s concerns. Work to find common ground. Your marriage may depend on it.

The following issues tend to be hot buttons for couples and should be talked about.

Disciplining children

The love the two of you have for your child doesn’t eliminate disagreements about how best to raise your child. Expectations about what necessitates discipline and what discipline should look like need to be clearly stated. Start the conversation by stating your goals about what kind of adult you want your child to be in the future and go from there.

Finances

Savers and buyers, spenders and earners, budgeters and non-budgeters: it’s rare for anyone to find themselves in the middle of these continuums. When you put two people with different views of money together in one financial situation, things can get messy. Begin the conversation by stating your financial goals, then discuss the steps required to meet those goals.

Vision for the future

The previous two topics play into how you envision the future of your family, but there’s more to it than kids and money. Are you and your spouse on the same page? Is it something you have talked about? Everything from career goals to retirement plans, hobbies to caring for elderly parents, grandkids to community service… it’s a lot to think about. You don’t have to agree on everything, but for the sake of your marriage, you should talk about it so neither of you gets caught off guard.

This is not an exhaustive list of communication topics, but it’s a good start. The main point is that the two of you talk about what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing, and planning.

Agree About Who Can and Who Cannot Speak Into Your Relationship

Inviting a third party to mediate conversations can be a helpful tool in resolving conflict between spouses. However, more often than not, the third party should be unbiased and invited into the dispute. Well-meaning outsiders like in-laws, siblings, and adult children have a tendency to create additional conflict when they insert themselves into a marital dispute. The most helpful third parties are unbiased and agreed upon by both spouses.

Adjust to Major Life Changes Graciously

Job changes, relocation, promotions, lay-offs, declining health, grief, tragedy, injury, new interests, newborns, empty nesting, elderly parents… the list of potential life changes that will happen in the course of your marriage is long. Without a doubt, it will require adjustments and hard work from both of you. These are the “for better or for worse” moments of marriage. Expect the unexpected, knowing it could happen to either of you at any time.

This post begins and ends with the same advice: communicate.

Hopefully this post shed some light on areas you and your spouse can address together. However, if you reach an impasse and decide to pursue divorce, or if your spouse has filed and you need a divorce lawyer, Lovelace Law PC is here to help. We have offices in Fort Worth and Burleson. Reach out today.