Facing Divorce: What Couples Wish They Knew Before the Wedding

When it comes to marriage, there are some things you need to consider before joining hearts, hands, and a lifetime partnership. What couples wish they knew before the wedding can be an exercise in hindsight that prepares you for your next relationship. The reality is that all relationships take work, but marriage trumps most relationships, because the person you choose to marry will eventually know everything about you; and, let's face it, we all have some idiosyncrasies that may drive our significant other nuts.

Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men-only family law firm with offices in Jacksonville, Daytona, Fleming Island, Gainesville, Fort Walton Beach, and Boca Raton, serving all of North and South Florida.

What to do Before the Wedding                              

Discuss practical matters. Is a prenuptial agreement desired? How should you bring your children, and your significant other's children, into the family? It is also very important to know who you are marrying. 

Make Sure You Truly Know Who You are Going to Marry

Although everyone is valuable and worthy, not everyone feels that way about themselves. In fact, most people struggle with self-worth issues. These issues will eventually present themselves, and wreak havoc, if you are not proactive. The best way to be proactive is to address these types of issues before the marriage. That doesn't mean you do not get married; it means that you are informed ahead of time about what things may creep into your relationship that will need to be addressed. The best way to approach this particular topic is to talk to your partner, and possibly consider seeing a premarital counselor. Create a plan for dealing with each person's personal growth work.

Plan for Future Relationship Issues

To avoid a Jacksonville divorce, once you identified some of the issues that you and your partner may need to address, you can prepare a plan of action. The most important part of any plan, regarding relationships, is communication. Honest, open, compassionate communication is the keystone to all relationships, but it is vital to a marital relationship. When communicating, try to follow these guidelines:

  • Listen to you partner. Don't fall into the trap of arguing. This usually happens when you get defensive or feel judged. Even if your partner is judging you, try to see beyond the judgment, and hear what she truly saying. Focus on what your partner feels and try not to take her feelings personally.

  • Share your feelings. Sharing your feelings, without judgment or evaluation of your partner's behaviors or choices is important because if you push them down and ignore them, they will increase in intensity, and they will eventually cause more problems. Remember, it's not your partner who is triggering your feelings, it's something that was said or a choice that was made. For example, “I feel really frustrated when you walk away from me while I'm talking.”

  • Make a request. After you have shared your feelings, figure out what you can ask of your partner; that will help eliminate a recurrence. Identify the “need” you have in the situation, and make a request. For example, “I need to feel connected and heard. Would you be willing to stay and listen and not walk away?”

  • Be open to your partner's requests. In the example, your partner walked away for a reason. Perhaps she felt judged or frightened. Listen to why she walked away, and encourage her to make a request that would make her feel more comfortable and safe when discussing relationship issues.

Water the Garden

Think of your relationship as a garden. It will only grow if it is tended with love and care. Every garden is a little different and requires unique care. Here are some important factors to consider when planning to care for your relationship garden.

  • Like a garden, your relationship needs constant attention. Be sure to set aside time each week to nurture your relationship. Having a date night each week, where you can spend quality time together, is a great way to water the garden.

  • Do things that you both enjoy together. If you both like hiking, make sure to go hiking together often.

  • Support each other. As mentioned earlier, we all have baggage that we bring into our relationships; it is important that you support your partner when their baggage needs to be dealt with.

  • Healthy boundaries. Create healthy boundaries that honor you, and support your partner to do the same.

Unfortunately, Jacksonville divorce is something that happens to a majority of married peopleat some point in their lives. Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men-only family law firm with offices in Jacksonville, Daytona, Fleming Island, Gainesville, Fort Walton Beach, and Boca Raton, serving all of North and South Florida.

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