You never enter into a marriage thinking about divorce. But the reality is that it does come up for many couples. Divorce is always a last resort and should never be entered into lightly. But even if your marriage is healthy, there have no doubt been moments when the dreaded D word has come up. So, even if you’re not quite ready to pack your bags, here are some tips from those who’ve truly seen it all: divorce lawyers.


Money should be discussed early on

Unfortunately, money is one of the top reasons for divorce. Couples often aren’t fully open about their financial obligations which leads to arguments about spending or saving later in the relationship. It’s important to have this discussion while you’re still in love and excited about the relationship. Otherwise, what started as paying for the first date might just lead to a lifetime of racking up credit card debt.


Do you know whether you both want kids?

It’s common for couples to disagree about children. Whether to have them, how many to have and when to have them. Of course, it’s very possible for people to change their minds over time. But it’s important these discussions are had at the beginning of the relationship and revisited regularly.


Marriage is a work in progress

A marriage is not something that’s created on your wedding day. It’s a living, growing being which needs to be revitalised often. Both spouses need to spend time tending to it and growing it. It’s important that both spouses make an active decision to work on and prioritise their marriage every single day. Take a moment every day to remember why you chose your spouse and what you love about them. This might be more difficult on some days.


Pretend your spouse is CC’d on all your text message and emails

And conversations, for that matter. Try not to say anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with your spouse hearing. Especially, never say anything negative about them in company. Imagine your friends and family knowing how you truly feel about your spouse. Imagine them hearing you use negative words to describe them. That’s not the picture of a happy marriage.


Have a discussion about in-laws

There’s a reason in-laws have such a negative reputation. They can be intrusive and pushy, especially when there are grandchildren involved. Make sure to discuss how often you’d like to see your in-laws, where you’ll be spending holidays and special occasions, and whether they’re welcome to pop round without notice.


Have a vacation at least once a year, just the two of you

Taking a vacation every year, just the two of you, might seem like an impossible undertaking. But the reality is that you do need the opportunity to truly connect. Choose somewhere remote, where you won’t be bumping into people you know and where you won’t have all the technology of home. Unplugging for a few days and spending time together without television and cell phones can be enormously beneficial to your relationship.


Delegate everything

It’s important that you don’t feel like you do all the work in the house. Be sure to delegate tasks around each of your strengths. For instance, if one of you is a better cook and enjoys preparing the evening meal, that can be their task. But then it’s important that the other one do other tasks around the home like cleaning or laundry.


Set goals for your relationship

Just like you set goals at work yearly, and possibly quarterly, it’s important that you do the same in your relationship. Otherwise, it’s possible that it will stagnate. Maybe you’ll choose to work on your communication or prioritise spending special time together on the weekend. Whatever it is, discussing your efforts and working on your goals together will strengthen not only those parts of your marriage, but the entire relationship.


Divorce comes with a sense of loss

Many people expect to quickly bounce back after a divorce. But the reality is that you need time to grieve your loss. After making the decision to divorce, you effectively lose a loved one, someone who’s been in your life for many years. You need time to grieve this loss as you would after the death of a family member.


Your lawyer is not your therapist

Or your friend, for that matter. You’re paying your lawyer far too much money to explain exactly what went wrong and who did what in your marriage. Rather, if at all possible, see a counsellor before you get to a lawyer’s office and you’ll be more likely to avoid going down that route.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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