That's according to relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch. She conducted a 25-year study for the National Institutes of Health. And she says that divorced people can tell us what they learned about marriage the hard way and what they would do differently. So here's the advice from divorced people, which she collected during her study:
- Show how much you care, every day. That's because showing someone that you love and appreciate them and approve of their ideas and decisions has a huge impact on happiness. That means, more kissing, hand-holding and emotional support, and saying things like "I love you" and "You're a good parent." When people don't get that, they're twice as likely to divorce. And what Dr. Orbuch discovered was that men need the support more than women! Because women get it from lots of other people in their lives, like friends, family and the stranger who says, "Nice haircut!" But men are more isolated and don't get that feedback from anyone but their wives.
- Share the blame! Studies show that people who blame their partner for their relationship problems are more anxious and depressed and have more trouble sleeping. But sharing the blame ends the arguing and finger pointing. The best way to show you're in this together? Use "we" instead of "you." For example, don't say, "You're such a grouch!" Try something like, "We're both so tired lately. What do you think we should do?"