Premarital counseling is a step which many couples are taking before they marry. Roughly half of American couples who wed will stay together. As couples postpone marriage in order to attend college, to begin careers, and as medical technology allows for family formation much later than ever before, we are seeing the median age for brides and grooms increase. And this is the good news: as couples age beyond 24, their risk of divorce decreases. What leads to such high rates of divorce? Many believe that divorce is a result of irreconcilable differences, incompatibilities, and what couples are fighting about. But according to research by Dr. John Gottman, it isn’t what couples fight about, but how that predicts whether a couple will stay together. When criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling are introduced into a couple’s conversation, bonds corrode and marriages fail.
Conflict is normal. 69% of the time, couples conflicts cannot be immediately resolved. Understanding that conflict is normal and having a template for managing differences in a healthy way is the first step. Learn to recognize behaviors that predict divorce and to have tools that eradicate them from your interaction. Managing conflict well is only part of a happy relationship. We must also focus on dedicating ourselves to keeping the friendship system strong, and building trust and commitment. Make your marriage affair-proof by establishing together what constitutes fidelity for the two of you. Recognize that you haven't found the perfect person. It is to love the person you have found. Love is an active choice, not merely a feeling, and there are specific ways to keep it alive.
Your relationship is too important to pick anyone who lacks reassuring answers.