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Five Lessons Divorced People Learned from their Marriage

By Sheryl Rentz on August 17, 2012

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, a new study reveals five common themes that underlie most divorces. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, collected data periodically from 373 same-race couples who were between the ages of 25 to 37 and in their first year of marriage when the study began in 1986. Of the couples included in the continuing study, 46 percent divorced, and the conductor of the study asked a portion of these individuals who went into a new relationship what they learned from their divorce.

The following are five of the lessons revealed from the study:

  1. Boost the mood of your spouse: Of the divorced couples surveyed, 15 percent said they would have shown their spouse more “affective affirmation,” such as giving compliments, hand-holding, providing more emotional support, and kissing. The conductor of the study suggests doing one thing each day to show your partner he or she is appreciated.
  2. Discuss money more: In the majority of marriages in the study, money was the number one point of conflict. As there isn’t one financial fix for all couples, the study’s conductor says partners should discuss their individual money styles and create a plan they both can live with.
  3. Let go of the past: To engage in a healthy way with your new partner, one needs to let go of the past, such as getting over jealousy from a past relationship or something from your childhood that has made it hard to trust others. Keeping a journal, exercising, or talking to a friend are all ways to try and let go of anger or past emotions.
  4. Place blame on the relationship: Divorced individuals who blamed ex-spouses for the divorce, or even themselves, had more anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. Those who held onto anger were less likely to move on and build a strong new relationship. In a new relationship, remove blame by saying “we” and not “you.”
  5. Reveal more about yourself: Of the divorced individuals, communication was the number one thing couples said they would change in their next relationship. Couples need to argue in a way that produces a solution and not more anger, practice active listening, speak in calm, caring voices, and reveal more about themselves.

Rebuilding your life after a divorce can be difficult, but this new chapter of your life can be just as thrilling. The first step is to finalize and go through the divorce process as quickly and as stress-free as possible, and a qualified divorce attorney in Montgomery County can help you do that. Sheryl R. Rentz has extensive family law experience and can help you through every step of the divorce process so that you can begin to move forward. To discuss your case, please call (610) 645-0100.

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