According to Penn State researcher Paul Amato, 60% of divorces in the U.S. are from low-conflict couples. Low conflict means these divorces are not characterized by abuse, addiction, repeated infidelity, or even violent arguments; instead they just fizzled. The partners stopped paying attention to each other and lost the fun and excitement of the relationship. It’s the old, “We are drifting apart,” syndrome.
According to Linda Mintle, a marital therapist in clinical practice for more than twenty years, here are some steps to preserve a marriage:
- Reserve time for each other.” Say NO to activities and YES to time alone.”
- Talk about the relationship becoming mundane and decide to change a few things. Add a little zest to the relationship. Novelty revitalizes a relationship. Try new things together. Get out of the rut of routine.
- Avoid the blame game. Blame is the first step towards the slippery slope of divorce.
- Talk about time for chores, work and tasks around the house. Divide the labor and assign tasks based on skill and what each person likes to do.
- Control your anger and forgive quickly. Don’t sit on angry feelings and don’t vent them in ways that are disrespectful. Deal with your negative feelings and repair issues quickly. This keeps the emotional bond strong.