Call me a cynic, but I think it is wise for every engaged couple to undergo a crash course on divorce, especially on the Family Code sections relating to spousal support. I know it might come across as pessimistic or even cruel, but couples in-love must really be aware of the looming threat of divorce in their married life. Only then could they work one hundred percent for the betterment of their relationship.

Alarming Number of Divorce Cases

Relationship experts say that marriage is 80% work. This means that both spouses should exert extra efforts, 80% each, in the relationship in order to make it work in the best possible way. Only then could a couple dodge the divorce bullet and save themselves from the fatality, from being included in dismal divorce statistics.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “50% of all marriages in America end in divorce.” While this claim is not entirely accurate, it is quite close to the truth. Statistics reveal that 40% of marriages in America will most likely end up in divorce courts. The number is quite alarming, and must be seen as precaution for couples.

What to Do: Put in that 80% Work!

No matter where you are in your marriage right now, it’s never too late to make it better. I believe that trying to make it work is a whole lot better than having to hire a lawyer, marching to the court house to attend your very own divorce trial, and studying the Family Code sections relating to spousal support because your financial life depends on it. You and your spouse once had a fairytale moment; it never hurts to get back to that moment and try to revive it.

Reader’s Digest published a piece on the “25 Secrets about Marriage,” as they interviewed twenty-five (25) couples who have shared their wisdom on maintaining a good marriage. Some of the tips from long-time married couples include the following pointers:

  1. Laugh together. A good sense of humor matters a lot especially during difficult times when no solution is available but laughter.
  2. Respect your husband; love and cherish your wife. These words shouldn’t just be uttered once, during the wedding ceremony. It must be internalized and practiced.
  3. Go on dates, even with your kids if you have to. Reserving a date night every week or every month is a good practice for couples to maintain a vigorous love vibe.
  4. Do away with the egocentric attitude. Remember that once you’re married, the line that says, “what about me?” no longer has a place in your home.
  5. Never bring up past difficulties and always plan for the future. Don’t look back on past hardships, only on good times. Doing so would only increase bitterness that would eat away at the relationship.
  6. Never perceive money as a marital issue. One couple made an agreement to never discuss money as a problem, but only as a hurdle to overcome.
  7. Revel in your differences. Instead of being annoyed or irritated about each other’s peculiarities, celebrate them.
  8. Take adventure trips together, without the children. It’s wise to spend time alone as a couple, as it makes you focus on each other, and not solely on the children.
  9. Dream about the future together. When a couple has a shared, common dream, it’s easier to achieve goals.
  10. Treat your spouse as your best friend. Sure, you love each other; but do you really like one another? Being best friends with your spouse will make a marriage better because it means you genuinely like him or her as a person, not just as a lover.
  11. Willingness to compromise. There are times when you have to give up luxuries, and you must do it with your whole heart.
  12. Never fight on an empty stomach or with a tired body. This might sound silly, but if you have to argue, make sure you’ve had a good meal or you’ve had enough rest, so you won’t be cranky.

With these 12 tips, I’m sure you would emerge as a better husband or a better wife to your spouse. By internalizing and practicing these pointers, you’re on your way to a happy, healthy relationship and you’d never have to worry about finding yourself at a court house one day, miserably thumbing through the a leaflet on the Family Code sections relating to spousal support.

Jason Munroe first studied the intricacies of spousal support in California in order to help a friend go through a difficult divorce. A freelance writer based in Nevada, Jason is happily married to a wonderful woman, who has proven to be a great partner in raising their two children, a boy and a girl.