Is your second, third or fourth marriage in trouble? Don't just pull the plug. "People tend to get divorced for the same reasons, over and over again, but you can break the cycle and make your marriage stronger," says Santa Monica, Calif. therapist Shari Foos, M.F.T., who specializes in couples counseling. Before you split for good, take the following steps toward potential salvation. Spend some alone time. During your solice, try to identify and explore the issues that are evoking the pain, anxiety, frustration, hurt and other disturbing feelings, says Foos. "Beware of dumping your unresolved angers and hurts from your last marriage onto this one -- for it's a common mistake people make." Get perspective. Cultivate a rational perspective on your behavior and marriage by reading up on divorce prevention. Go to your local bookstore to find a selection of current titles.Map it out. A written map or outline of your present relationship can help organize your thoughts and assist you in individual or couples counseling. "Be honest with yourself and write down what your role may be in your marriage's problem areas," says Sarahjane Ferber, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in Chicago. It's also vital to note the positive roles your spouse plays. "Taking this list to a therapist, a clergyman/counselor or to a couples counselor can help you resolve frustrating differences in a rational and orderly manner," Ferber says.
"Sometimes the most difficult and painful relationships can be the most healing, if the partners are willing to compromise, stop blaming each other and accept each other's humanity," says Foos. "Marriage is a team effort: If more people accepted that forgiveness and peacemaking, plus solving problems together, are primary marital responsibilities, there would be fewer divorces."
Need help? To locate a therapist in your area who specializes in divorce prevention, refer to the free national mental health directory 1-800-therapist.com.
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Source: Relationships & Love