Married couples are extremely vulnerable between their 11th and 20th anniversary. Why? Because experts say that’s when the feel-good chemicals that helped you deepen your bond are pretty much dried up. And without the help of those chemicals and endorphins, issues that never bothered you before can suddenly become deal breakers – and resentments – and can eventually destroy your relationship. So, here are the issues that need to be tackled if you want to stay together:
- You can’t handle the in-laws. Research shows that how spouses relate to their in-laws is a strong predictor of how long the marriage will last. For men, those who get along with their wife’s parents are 20% less likely to get a divorce. While a wife who can’t say ‘no’ to her in-laws – and ends up being a doormat – is 20% more likely to end up in divorce court. If you want to stay together, you need to get to the point where you get along with your in-laws, but they don’t impact your relationship.
- You’re always the victim. You believe that whatever goes wrong is your spouse’s fault. But it takes two to break a marriage, which means you need to pay attention to your own actions and see how they could have contributed to the problem. So, even if you always give your spouse their way – you need to ask yourself why, and see your own faults. Are you afraid to stand up for yourself? Or if your spouse cheated on you – you have to look at what you may have done to contribute to their alienation.
- If you always have to be right. You know the right way to do the laundry, raise the kids, and pay the bills. But that means your partner is always wrong. But if your partner never feels like they can make a valid point, or do something successfully – they’ll want out. People need to feel validated, which is why three of the most powerful words in a relationship aren’t “I love you,” they’re actually “You are right.”
What about you? What issues have you and your spouse tackled over the years? How has it strengthened your relationship?