While researching my book about divorce, I interviewed 100 of the top family law experts in the United States. At the end of many of my interviews, I would ask this question: “What advice would you give to someone before they got married, or to someone who is already married, to help them stay married?”
The lawyers I spoke to often had different points of view on the causes of divorce, but on this they were unanimous: learn to identify the symptoms of divorce and seek treatment immediately. Treatment may range from simply recognizing the problem and working with your spouse to change the behavior, to finding a therapist who helps solve (as opposed to merely discusses) marital problems. Remember early detection of symptoms is the key to making it to your golden anniversary just like early detection of disease is the key to making it to your golden years.
Here are some of their responses. I hope that you will read them often if you are married, read them before you remarry if you have been divorced, and, if you are considering marriage for the first time, take them to heart before you tie the knot.
Excerpted with permission from The Divorce Lawyers’ Guide to Staying Married (Volt Press, 2006) by Wendy Jaffe. A happily married attorney, mother, AOL Love & Sex Coach and contributing columnist for Divorce Magazine, Jaffe based her book on in-depth interviews with 100 of America’s leading divorce lawyers. Their consensus was that nearly 2/3 of divorces are entirely avoidable, if couples learn to identify nine key symptoms of divorce. Whether married, divorced or single — anyone hoping to sustain a healthy, lasting relationship can benefit from Jaffe’s expert advice, outlining how couples can avoid major marriage/relationship problems, as well as learn from past mistakes!