number one predictor of divorce
Dianne Solee of Smart Marriage Conference fame said it again just the other day. The number one predictor of divorce is avoidance of conflict.
From my experience with thousands of couples it seems to be that when one or both cease engaging in conflict with each other, it is because that person(s) no longer care. Too many arguments, too much pain, and too much frustration. Finally, rather than fighting, arguing, or whatever you wish to call it, they simply cease being involved in the conflict. They’ve checked out. Looking for fulfillment anywhere else. No longer caring if you fight, move out, or jump off a bridge. Surely an emotional wall that high has to be the number one predictor of divorce. Things can’t get better if you don’t deal with them.
So does a couple have to have conflict to get back to a good relationship from a not-so-good relationship?
However, if they handle their conflict this time the same way they’ve handled it before, they’ll just withdraw from each other emotionally again. That means the secret is to learn to fight fair, to quit attacking each other and focus on the problem rather than the person.
There are any number of books that you can pick up that will give you strategies for this. I humbly and meekly recommend mine, Your LovePath that will be available early December 2008. If you feel that you’ve gone too far for a book to help, click here and consider enrolling in one of our weekend workshops for couples in crisis.
Whatever you do, don’t just tune out. That’s death to the marriage. Even if you think that’s what you want, it’s not going to be easy to divorce, start over, and then discover that you evolve into having the same kind of problems with the next person. The mature thing to do, in my opinion, is to stop running and to stand a fight. Just fight right this time.
If you need some guidelines, let me know.