Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship says, “divorced individuals who blamed ex-spouses, or even themselves, had more anxiety, depression and sleep disorders than individuals who blamed the way that they AND their ex-partners interacted.
Those who held on to anger were less likely to move on, build a strong new relationship and address future problems in a positive, proactive manner.”
The majority of those who divorce get caught up in the blame game. Divorce has to be someone’s fault when in the majority of cases, divorce is SOMETHINGS fault.
What is that “something” that is to blame for most divorces?
A lack of relationship skills or, the way in which each spouse related to and reacted to each other and the problems in the marriage during the marriage. Unless you were in a marriage that involved domestic abuse or serial infidelity when all is said and done it was the dynamics in the marriage that caused the marriage to fail.
There are 5 relationship skills we all need to learn for a marriage to work and remain satisfying for both spouses. Regardless of your gender or personality traits, if you don’t have these skills, you can’t have a healthy marriage.
5 Relationship Skills for a Healthy Marriage
1. Conflict Resolution
During conflict in the marriage, you have to know when to take a break and revisit the problem later. You have to be willing to admit when you are wrong and apologize and, you can’t solve one problem if you are constantly bringing up old problems from the past. If you can’t “fight fair” you can’t resolve conflict.
Most of us are willing to talk and share our feelings and thoughts on a subject. If you don’t LISTEN to what your spouse has to say it won’t matter how much talking you do. It is important that both spouses feel safe to share how they are feeling and have those feelings validated, not criticized.
It is sexual intimacy that bonds you together as a couple. Sex is the difference between being married to someone and living with someone as a roommate. We all owe our spouses the respect of caring about their sexual needs as long as those needs are not offensive or harmful to use. Making time for intimacy with your spouse should be one of your top priorities.
4. Life Skills
How do you cope with the stresses in life? How do you react to emergencies when they arise? A couple needs to be able to work together and make effective decisions and solve problems. If you are someone with poor life skills, you will not be the kind of support your spouse needs when facing challenges that arise during the marriage.
Can you control your impulses and emotions? Do you know your weaknesses and work on improving them? People with good impulse control and who are aware of their weaknesses are better equipped to see positive solutions to negative situations. They don’t “fly off the handle,” make threats or point fingers. They strive for improvement by taking an inventory of how they may be contributing to problems instead of looking for a scapegoat to blame the problems on.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in anger and blaming your ex for your divorce I suggest you look at the marriage as a whole. Not your side or their side but the union itself and how the lack of relationship skills played a role in your divorce.
Free yourself up to move on and rebuild a fulfilling life after divorce.