5 Ways to Avoid Divorce

Everyone has some level of fear of marriage commitment, even people that are already married.After 20 years as a love life coach my sense is that the real underlying fear here, is the fear of looking like a failure socially if your marriage ends in divorce. This is also a big reason why single people are afraid to get married in the first place.Social shame.
Which frankly, is a big reason people get married in the first place.The pressure to belong and conform is everywhere and we are told if we just follow the rules well enough, it will all work out. And if it doesn’t?? Well, then it must be your own personal failure or your partners, right? Well, I’m not buying it.

As a professional love life coach I am forever thinking of ways to help people experience more well-being, more freedom, save time, save money, attract less heartache, increase pleasure, reduce pain and greatly reduce the frustration of conventional dating/mating/relating. My mind is always on the hunt for new ways to help my clients and students.  I am always finding ways to keep then upgrading to something far better.

Tourists looking at map --- Image by © Olix Wirtinger/Corbis

Here are 5 of the “divorce proofing” theories I have come up with in the last 20 years in my work as a conscious coupling and relating coach.  My concepts and lessons are based on sessions with a great many people that were willing to share their feelings with me about this common fear. I offer suggestions that people will be encouraged to so some deep self examination to face their fear and avoid common problems in the first place. 

1) Flip the Script on the Norm.

Real Intimacy is Only Possible Through Personal Freedom and Choice.

Keeping your integrity AND getting what you want is possible!  I know, we were all told that we had to sell out one to get the other. We were told we had to give up freedom to gain a relationship. While it is simply true that there are certain trade offs in any relationship, they must never, ever include trading off our most core sense of personal freedom. It is certain death for passion in any relationship.

High value men and women, worthy of admiration as leaders, have figured out how to do this. All the successful couples who’s marriage I enjoy begin around, have figured this out.

First let’s get a few key terms defined: 

Freedom = Holding Integrity around your Choices 

Intention = Inner Motivation 
Deep intimacy is only possible for people that don’t loose sight of personal choice in any given circumstance, moment-by-moment with a natural competence. Sexual turn-on, and thus sexual intimacy, is linked to how we display our natural competence that sub communicates the level of confidence we posse and can exude/share.
Great leaders are clear on their intention , operate from their core values, take ownership of their choices, assume responsibility for their own emotional lives/stability in order to extend that to others. This is  especially relevant to male engagement with women in a love relationship to gain respect, build loyalty to his purpose and in turning a woman’s body on.

All of this may sound like a lot of work and heavy responsibly, but it is actually the path to freedom. There is freedom in real choice. You don’t really have freedom unless you are able to take choices as you are offered or create, with integrity and grace. 

For example:
I have a buddy that is the embodiment of attractive leadership. He is also one of the few men I know that could have a main chick and side chicks, without causing harm and actually leaving them all feeling well loved and truly attended to in a real way.

Why did I get this impression about his abilities? Well, in addition to many hours of deep conversation with this man over several years, I also observed him, first hand in every area of life. He is the master of high quality attentiveness. This is because he is so clear on who he is, what he stands for, and how he lives is a full on expression of his life purpose.

So when THIS man made the choice to commit to one women, I believed him and in his his choice.  I have a great deal of confidence in he and his beloved woman as a couple with what it takes to be a great team in life.

He didn’t choose her by default, pressure or as settling. Oh no, not a man like him! He KNOWS he could pull off the other options and to it well, but he made a judgement call referenced from his OWN values as a fully free man. THAT, my friends, has staying power and deep intimacy potential. 

2) Build Hunger for each other.

Nobody ever told you that time apart is as important as time together, did they?

Well when you are interested in creating a strong, healthy relationship, not just Hell bent on getting into a relationship, then you place value on alignment and balance.  This means you will have to ignore the implied and often overt norm prescription of making each other your everything to the exclusion of everyone else… and to do that 24 freakin 7.  

This creates a set up for failure since the most fragile social system is one man, one woman and their children alone in a single family house, especially if neither one of you has a personal identity anymore.

Add to this, the socially reinforced notion that taking breaks from each other is a sign of a bad relationship and we are further taught that the only time you can indulge in breaks is with a hefty dose of guilt or if you are having an actual emotional break down. 

If you got married during a young, needy, romantically lost place in your personal development, you may have effectively diluted yourself into believing you were signing on to have constant companion to stave off your loneliness forever and ever.

You may have also thought you signed up for an on-demand and always willing sex partner as well.  In your under developed state you didn’t notice that you didn’t yet posses a very necessary skill set to avoid a divorce, the ability to maintain you own stability. Without that there is no way you can take on the well being of another human being with much joy.  

If you don’t take time to develop yourself as a person before you get married and keep on this path with diligence, then you were already on the tail to divorce court and discontent the day you get married. 

When we over focus on each other and spend too much time together we inadvertently create the perfect storm for resentment and suffering to swirl our loving nature out of control.  Keeping relationships strong is all about generating a physically felt-sense longing for each other and cultivating sexual desire by letting our hunger build. 

One of the coaches that worked for my company years ago was so effected by this core lesson that he wrote a song about it. The song is titled “How Will I Miss You if You Won’t Go Away”  I think you can imagine what the lyrics to that very true song may be. It isn’t a song you will hear on the romantic and heartbreak heavy top 40 radio waves, because the truth doesn’t sell in lah-lah fairy tale land and relationship failure is profitable to someone.  Let that sink in. 

3) Stop taking Shit so Personally 

Once we understand and take mature ownership of the how and why of our in-born cave boy and cave girl primal operating systems, then we can finally live the way we desire to live, drama free and at peace. Repression and denial of our vital survival instinct, is NOT the path to relationship joy.Our cave person instincts are important and always running in the background in all of us, in every situation, but is most active in our sexual attraction relationships. The cave person within all of us seeks to keep us safe and keep us breeding which can pull a person all over the place if they are not well educated on the reality of this and well adjusted mentally/emotionally.Get to know your own cave boy/girl ways as well as that of the opposite sex, and you suddenly will stop taking so much, so personally. What a relief that can be for everyone.  This allows for much more time for the good stuff to flow. Makes sense right?You wouldn’t believe the response and great results I get with men and women when I teach the workshop titled “Female Instincts and How they Mind Fuck Men” Epic shifts happen in that room!  huge Ah-Ha moment that lift so much old hurt and confusion off of people. The air in the room feels alive and lighter. 
Feeling into a moment that is challenging and being able to observe it (be responsive in the moment) rather than reactionary (taking things personally and being defensive) is the key to cultivating trust and intimacy, especially for men with women. When we do this we choose to become the observer of our lives and all the spin of the drama just levels right out.When the spin stops when can see our way clear do the deep inner work of combining our primal base instincts with our intellect, to feel more whole as an individual. How could this not pay off in your relationship?

I suggest everyone learn the “Change Her Mood, Not Her Mind” lesson I teach, as way of life.  Sound it down into your heart as if your life depends on it, cuz it does.

 4) Mind Yo Own Damn Business

Place More Attention on How your Mutual Purpose Serves the World, than on Each Other

I know, I know, this goes against what we were all taught would bring relationship success, but believe me being up each others butts 24×7 is a fast track to break down and break up for most couples.Preoccupation with each other places undue burden on the other person and kills the sexy over time. 

The remedy for this is that you identify your own individual heart purpose and also develop the skills and be willing to take a brave stance to live it out loud. You two options here, you can take the bull by the horns and get involved in self discovery as a way of life, or you can continue to unconsciously ramble through disappointments, heart break, burn out and break ups as your means to figure out the deepest purpose for your life journey. You have options. 

Clarity around expressing our core values and preferences becomes especially tricky to navigate with a potential or current love interests. It is fun to get caught up in another person, sex and the unpacking of someones deepest willingness to share. Nothing inherently wrong in that lovely indulgence but when it becomes a distracting preoccupation that is when long term attraction and respect can get lost.

We are only human and we get tempted to modify ourselves for others and often deny our deepest call on our lives when are needy for attention, affection and love.  We can slip into looking to the other person or the relationship to define us and give us purpose.Nothing will kill attraction and passion for life faster than this, very common pitfall of “norm follower” relating.What all dating/relating professionals will tell you is a fact, it that all women are drawn to men with a strong purpose, because women feel most alive when being purposeful around an awake and loving leader’s direction. All men report feel greater self respect and are more confident when they blaze their own trail with clarity of purpose. 

Attraction and long term joyful living with one or many partners requires that we know our inborn heart purpose that allows us to powerfully walk shoulder to shoulder in life with others that share the same heart direction for life. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that this would be most vital in the selection of partners in life and the commitments we make in our most intimate relationships? 

5) Don’t Get Legally Married. Commit to What Matters Instead. 

Not getting legally married really is the cure for divorce. This may seem like just a humorous, cheeky statement, but hear me out. What if deferment of authority to the courts itself contributes to the likelihood of a break up? Ugly ones at that!

It would seem the most obvious way to avoid divorce would be to not get married in the first place, right?  Deal is, the legal definition of marriage isn’t the only definition of marriage, but along the way it has somehow become THE definition of a “legit” marriage.  

When we look at it honesty it is actually the least rooted in the down-and-dirty-real-make-it-or-break-it-lives of people living out their coupled commitments. There are, of course, other ways of marrying oneself to another human being or to a bigger purpose.

We all know that break ups without a legal document are just as devastating emotionally, even if not always as financially costly and with as high a consequence of social scorn to endure. 

So, why not consider operating out of a commitment to what really IS, instead of hoping that the ole legitimizing document you filed will be the magic pill. When you research things you will find that a blanket marriage licence essentially makes your relationship a ward of the court should you ever break up. Will this be enough leverage to cause you both to relax and stop worrying over potential loss of your partner? Or will it make you feel stuck?

Seems to me most legal marriage starts out about a fear of loss. Oh nobody ever things so when they do it (I did’t) but what mostly commonly happens is the commitment of the whole relationship shifts focus after a time. It shifts to guarding each other to make sure the other is keeping your vows. If a sense of belong to each other is what you desire why not just agree to belong to each other in every way, so you don’t feel you neediness for the legal way in order to feel legit and safe? It is reasonable right?

In my work as a conscious coupling and uncoupling coach I spend a great deal of time with people struggling in long term relationships that are in crisis. I have helped facilitate and witness couples that choose to become free of the crutch of the court commitment they were leaning on to keep them in the marriage. They couldn’t tell if they were there out of obligation or our of desire anymore, so they got all the obligation stuff off the relationship.They were brave.They took a free fall into a chance at pure form love and a leveled up commitment to generating attraction with each other consciously.It is amazing to witness this this step into what is real and good faith, as it transforms relationships. Suddenly the intimacy can be created, hot sex can be had and goals can be reached. Why not commit to those things instead without the legal part? Ask yourself, is it easier or harder to live based in desire with or without the legal contract?

The legal truth is that anything that a marriage licence covers, can be covered in a legal contract created by the partners in the relationship. Contacts are hard to get into, and easy to get out of, this is by design to spare hard feelings if their is ever a dilution of the contract.

Marriage license are easy to get into and hard to get out of. Somebody is profiting from this and those someones don’t have your day-to-day commitment to each other at heart.  

I say, if you are mature enough to sit down and negotiate contracts around everything, then you are mature enough to get and stay joyfully married. This is called conscious coupling which is the opposite of unconsciously handing over your rights thinking that blind act will offer you the stability to relax and enjoy each other more fully.The only way to relax and enjoy each other more is to become more conscious within all your relationships and by getting to know yourself deeply there.

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If you would like guidance in the how and why of all of the items I have mentioned here, then click the link that applies.

Men Start Here >>>>  The Integrated Man Starter Pack  
Women Start Here >>> The Love Men UP Project


Michelle Terrell has been a health and wellness coach since 1995. In those years she collected data and the real life testimonials of thousands of good men who were feeling lost and confused in their love lives. Her workshop students dubbed her The Pistol Whip Hippie because her teaching/coaching style is irreverent, in your face and radically honest (the Pistol Whip part) with the follow up being supportive, nurturing awakened energy (the Hippie part) that inspires men to strive to be their very best.