Have you ever seen that perfect couple who seem to have everything going right, and then POOF out of nowhere they get a divorce? There are certain traits that people say make a marriage more likely to succeed: similar interests, equal careers, similar ideals, etc…but are there really things that can give you a better idea if your marriage is doomed or not? With about 90,000 divorces filed each year in Florida it would be nice to know ahead of time if you are going to join the list of failed marriages. Well, it turns out that there are some ways that suggest your marriage won’t make it…if you know what to look for.
Most people are judging their relationship on the wrong elements. Step one to look for is how do you both tell the story of your first date? This is known as the marital narrative and is 90% accurate in predicting the success of the marriage. In a happy marriage the description will be full of the positive elements of the first date. In an unhappy marriage the description will include a lot of individualism and negative elements. There will be a lack of “we” and “us” pronouns in the unhappy marriage description. Step two: Walter Cannon’s Fight or Flight theory. Couples who fight early on in a relationship are actually MORE likely to succeed than those who don’t. This is because these couples learn to work out their problems and lead a stable relationship. Couples who avoid the conflict of fighting early on are more likely to be in a consistently troubled relationship since there is never any resolution, problems just compile. Step three is to look out for the little signs of displeasure. Simple signs such as eye-rolling show marital trouble because it shows that you are no longer valued to your partner. Step four is whether or not there is power-sharing in the relationship. Social activities need to be controlled by both people in the relationship, not just one. If one person is controlling all activities it adds a risk of possible failure and displeasure in the relationship. Step five: you know your relationship is in trouble if you are even considering the fact that you may not be compatible with your partner any more. Researchers show that just this consideration shows an element of marital unhappiness.
So despite the fact that Florida has a stable marriage rate of more than 9 marriages per 1000 residents there is still need to be aware of the possible signs that people could be missing for the marriages that DON’T work out! Seven counties in Florida (Pompano, Lauderhill, Hallandale, Hollywood, Davie, Ft. Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach) still have divorce rates over 12%. If everyone starts to pay attention to the signs above maybe this divorce rate will slowly start to decline. Even if your marriage doesn’t have any of these signs there are always ways to make it even better! For ways to improve your marriage click here.