Denying Divorce: Forget About Divorce as an Option, It Just Might Save Your Marriage

No one is saying that your marriage isn't difficult. It might even be miserable. But an interesting set of statistics shows that people who take divorce off the table as an option not only resolve their issues, but end up being happier than ever. If your marriage is feeling troubled, and you're considering divorce, consider trying alternate therapies instead, marriage counseling, or just some open communication. But whatever you do, don't bring up the "D" word as an option, because doing that will change the rules of the game.

Now, of course it's important to acknowledge that there are a lot of influences on you to get a divorce. Your friends who don't like your spouse, legal advertisements, even popular culture. It's a common statistic that most marriages end in divorce, and so it seems like an acceptable, even normal way to resolve problems in a marriage.

But let's look at some statistics. Of all the couples surveyed who were contemplating divorce and then decided not to go through with it, 80% claimed to be happily married only five years later. In all likelihood this is due to two elements. The first is that those couples who decide not to consider divorce, the only remaining option is to deal with the problems experienced in the marriage head-on. This is a powerful and proactive tactic that will lead to acknowledgement of the problems the couples face, and maybe even to solutions.

The other element is that once divorce is considered, the dynamic of the relationship is changed. This is a more subtle, though far more destructive product of considering divorce. The dynamic of this is simple. When a fundamental disagreement develops in a marriage - as it will in almost all relationships - those who never consider divorce are forced to deal with the disagreement. Those who do consider divorce preserve an "out" that can be used without ever addressing the issue. As the problems in the marriage mount, or the fundamental issues become more divisive, the easy out of divorce can become more and more appealing.

This thinking will take both of you, however. When both people in a marriage are actively searching for a solution to a problem, and both accept that divorce is not - and will not be - an option, a solution will almost surely be found. You and your spouse will be asking what you can do to make things better, rather than asking if it's worth it, or if you should cut your losses and run.

Remove divorce as an option and endeavor to go into relationship counseling, therapy of some kind, or just talk about your problems in a mature and open way. It seems simplistic, but statistically it also seems to work. Those who deny divorce as a viable end to a committed marriage will also be more motivated to work on that marriage, and work through the problems that could, without communication and understanding, put an end to something that was supposed to be a lifetime commitment and bond.