How to Guarantee A Divorce
By Frank Kermit
When wedding season is upon us, I get couples coming in for some pre-martial coaching. This process, usually in private couples coaching, but sometimes as a group class is to get couples to ask one another very important questions, the answers to which may even end their engagement.
The goal is to build a rock solid foundation for the marriage so that when tough times trouble the couple, the couple has the best possible odds to stay strong and steady until the storm passes.
One of the components that I teach in my coaching workbooks for men and women, "I'm A Man, That's My Job" and "I'm a Woman, It's My Time" in this process is the rule of putting a life partner ahead of your own extended family and friends.
In dealing with couples on the verge of a break up or divorce, as well as, separated and divorced individuals who are starting over, a remarkably clear pattern became identifiable.
One of the key components that the individual asking for the break listed as a primary reason for ending the relationship was a feeling that a partner put the wants and needs of extended family members and friends ahead of the needs of a spouse and even their children.
It is important for new couples getting married to understand that the number one person in your life is your spouse:
If you end up in the middle of a conflict between having to choose what it best for your spouse or what is best for anyone else, you better choose your spouse if you want your marriage to survive as you must be able to trust in your spouse that your spouse would choose for you.
In the most basic of terms, it is you and your spouse against the world. You come together in marriage to form a partnership to build a common future, a family unit, and to have each other's best interest in mind because it is expected that the two of you have already discussed and agreed upon achieving similar life goals.
These conversations should have covered family planning, careers, retirement, lifestyle and coping with any known and potential obstacles to those plans as well as agreed upon sacrifices necessary to make all of those goals happen.
If you haven't given any thought to these core goal oriented communications, you will be thinking about them while you are in the process of splitting up.
Ironically, the very questions you are asking yourself about your partner during a divorce are the same one you both needed to talk about during your engagement.
There is only one exception to this rule...if you already have young kids when you are getting married.
At that point, your kids who rely on you and have no one else to depend on take priority over your new spouse.
Your spouse is an adult that got to choose to be with you and must accept your priority to be a parent to your children.
However your children did not have the choice of having you as a parent and you may be the only person your children have to give a damn about giving them a decent start to life.
In the future I will write an article for child-free adults who date single parents and how to navigate realistic expectations of step-parenthood.
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