Divorce

9 marriage advice tips from a divorcee

Divorce happens. It sucks, but it happens. I tell you what else sucks – finding real-life people who will freely talk about their experience with divorce, which made this week’s post a tricky one. But – like she always does – my Mum came to the rescue. So here are 9 pieces of marriage advice from a divorcee. (And if you like short videos, here’s a great one of divorcees on marriage.)

1. A marriage isn’t about ‘two halves making a whole’

You’re responsible for your own wholeness within your relationship, not your partner. On the same note, you’re not responsible for making your partner happy. They are. So understand this and respect each other’s needs, for example, if they need time to themselves, respect that.

2. Secrets are harmful, so share your every thought (however mundane)

A healthy marriage consists of two people who are on the same page. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything each other says or thinks. But on a moral or spiritual plain, there needs to be a common thread. So make sure you share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse, however mundane you might think they are. Through these exchanges, you’re teaching your spouse about yourself, and you’re learning about them on a deeper level.

3. A marriage is a partnership, and a partnership is all about equality

Don’t think you have to give up a part of yourself to be a good spouse, and especially don’t dampen your light to make them feel better. A marriage is a partnership – you are both equals! So know that your needs/thoughts/viewpoints/feelings are just as important as theirs.

4. Talk about every little niggle

If your spouse does something that hurts/annoys/frustrates you, tell them, even if it is something little like leaving the toilet seat up. Otherwise, you run the risk of all the little things piling up over time, which you’ll then use as ammunition next time you have an argument – or a tit-for-tat as it would be more accurately described.

5. After an argument, make time for a debrief

Arguments happen. So rather than resisting them, instead make time for a debrief after you’ve both calmed down. Debriefs are a chance for you to both express what rubbed you up the wrong way. Explaining clearly why something caused you to react in a certain way gives your partner more of a chance to understand how you see the world.

6. Keep your independence

Make sure you still indulge in your hobbies, time with friends, or plain and simple alone time. And when it comes to finances, know that it’s okay to keep a level of independence in this area if it feels right. Just talk to each other about it.

7. Sometimes love feels like a choice rather than a feeling, and that’s okay

Sometimes love might feel like a chore, but that’s okay. There will be days when you have to intentionally love your spouse. Just because you’re not head over heels in love with them all the time, it doesn’t mean you’re falling out of love with them or you’re drifting apart. Unless you harbour more negative or hateful feelings towards them, in which case talk to each other or a professional about it.

8. Love doesn’t always conquer all

Sometimes you just have to accept that love isn’t enough, or that your love can change for a person over time, or that some circumstances, like an affair, are just too much for love to diffuse.

9. You might not fully get over divorce, but that’s okay. Go easy on yourself.

If you’ve been through, or are going through, a divorce and want to share any thoughts or advice with the Popup Weddings community, please leave your comments in the box below. My Mum did it – so can you.

About the author

Jo Wigley

From her word-nerd studio (way) down under in New Zealand, the copywriter in Jo crafts websites, advertising campaigns, scripts, blogs and brochures for businesses across the world. While the creative consultant in her helps brands, big and small, find their voice in one heck of a noisy world.

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