8 Valuable Tips to Avoid a Divorce and Strenghten Marriage
From the book Divorce, how do we help our children?

Author: Aquilino Polaino-Lorente | Source:

1. Communicating within the couple is an essential factor that helps preventing divorce. What is not communicated is not shared. What is not shared, moves away. What moves away creates insurmountable distances. What distance creates, disuses. And what you disuse ends up extinguishing and dissolving any relationship, until each of them becomes a stranger to the other. Silence and lack of communication are the greatest enemies of conjugal relations. It is still curious that 82% of married Spanish women consider conjugal solitary confinement as the most frequent and first of their relationship problems.


2. Respect and admire the other: respect and admiration are also fundamental as factors of couple conflicts. In order for a conflict to emerge between the spouses, they have necessarily had to stop admiring themselves. When the mutual admiration is extinguished, the loss of respect at the beginning is only gestural but the verbal one is close. This initial loss of verbal respect is prolonged at times. It’s enough for them to be more irritable or, for a moment, "lose their nerve" - ​​in the loss of physical respect or, without any euphemism, in domestic violence. It’s very difficult for a couple to enter into a crisis if admiration and mutual respect since this crisis usually don’t appear out of the blue, but it grows slowly within the pass of time.  


3. Do not shy away from difficulties and not insist on differences: To try to solve problems, the first thing to do is identify them and then deal with them. If the difficulties are silenced and in standby, what was small is enlarged and what initially barely had importance becomes the trigger of the crisis. Living together is a good part of learning how to solve the small conflicts of each day successfully and jointly. The differences between man and woman are indelible and inextinguishable. That's why it's in poor taste to insist on them, on time and at the wrong time. The facts that distinguish one and the other are there for a sublime function: to complement, grow and enrich each other. Respect for these unchangeable differences is an excellent opportunity for both to get to know each other better.


4. It is essential to devote time, patience and tenderness to the other spouse: love requires time, attention and vigilant dedication. Who doesn’t pay attention, doesn’t understand. Who walks always in a hurry can’t notice the reality of the other, for the simple reason that it crosses its spatial scope without being surprised or affected by the presence of his partner. Among two people who love each other there must be the necessary patience, at least the same patience that requires the upbringing and good education of a young child.

If the above mentioned conditions are met, tenderness eventually emerges and invades the privacy of the other, then and only then, will complaints disappear because  tenderness’s objective is the demonstration of that will, a silent scream more powerful than any saying, and that almost never goes unnoticed by people.


5. Strive to lead a full and active sexual life: Sexual relations are necessary in the life of the couple. They are not, of course, the first, but they are one of the first conditions that define the couple or marriage and that have to be satisfied. Sexuality can suppose - and supposes, in fact - a certain effort, especially if - as it would be in the marriage - each one of the spouses forgets itself and only thinks about the fullness of the satisfaction of the other. Even in this the reciprocal donation is in force and should not be omitted, renounced nor much less frustrated.


It’s not uncommon for the couple to sometimes use sexuality either to resolve other conflicts, in which no agreement was reached, or by denying it to continue vindicating, warring and extending the problems they settle in. other areas of conjugality whose content is very different. The right thing is that each problem is resolved precisely in the area in which it originated and to which it obviously belongs, without giving rise to retaliation in other areas, which in no way are related to it and can’t replace it.


6. Establish and respect the necessary scope of personal freedom of the other: That man and woman be "one flesh" doesn’t have to be taken as a union that leads to the fusion between them and the confusion of their people. Marriage, of course, constitutes them in only one flesh, but at the same time - here is the mystery - it preserves in its entirety differential aspects of the genuine personalities of each one of them.


As a consequence, it is necessary to establish what is the necessary area of ​​freedom that is most appropriate to each of them and that the other can’t, must not force or fail to respect.

In the scenario of the profession, for example, this is an ethical requirement that should never be violated.


7. Maintain a balanced and flexible distribution of tasks and roles: The different qualities of each of the spouses, their own uniqueness and the efficiency that derives from the division of labor requires this division of functions between them. The logical thing is that the most gifted for a certain task or the one that costs less effort to carry it out is the one that has to carry it out. It is not about “lending your shoulder" on less pleasant tasks to carry the other's back. It’s only about being more effective, but without sinking into functionalist utilitarianism.

That is why it is also convenient that if one of them warns that the other performs a great effort, go ahead and do it or help him while doing it.The couple is not constituted to subtract, but to add; it is to multiply instead of divide, to take more into account what unites them than what separates them.


In a certain sense, husband and wife become co-founders, in equal parts, of one and only company, in which it can’t be specified what is of each of them, because what belongs to one is also to the other, because everything is of the two.

Here the two are co-responsible, co-existent and co-participants of everything that happens to them both.


8. Encourage a certain complicity added: The same fabric of the couple is at odds with incomprehension and the feeling of loneliness. The couple is company, absence of solitude, communion.


It is not uncommon for couples who may love each other very much and are very balanced, but they perceive that something is missing. They are husband and wife and excellent father and mother, but ... they are not companions!, the life of one has not been inseparable company of the life of the other. In these cases what is lacking is that generosity to open up the intimacy -what usually costs them- and offer it and give it gladly to the other.


When both become partners - in good companions, it is understood -, the gift of intimacy overflows and that vital joy arises, that can’t be hidden in those who feel complicit and really are of their own desires, illusions, desires, expectations, fantasies, sayings, feelings, projects, thoughts and memories.

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