According to a survey of mental health professionals conducted by YourTango.com, the No. 1 way to divorce-proof your marriage is to improve communication followed by making your spouse a priority — even over kids.
Not surprisingly, "communication problems" is cited as the most common factor (65 percent) that leads to divorce, followed by couples' inability to resolve conflict (43 percent). The top communication complaints when considering divorce: 70 percent of men blame nagging/complaining, followed by their spouse not expressing sufficient appreciation (60 percent). 83 percent of women cite a lack of validation for their feelings and opinions, followed by their spouse not listening or talking about himself too much (56 percent).
More from Your Tango: Don't Let These Divorce Statistics Dictate Your Fate
The biggest factor that prevents unhappy couples from splitting up is kids. However, a significant majority of experts say it's worse for your kids if you stay in an unhappy marriage.
More from Your Tango: How To Save Your Marriage When You Feel Hopeless
"73 percent of experts say that mediation, instead of divorce litigation, facilitates a smoother end to the marriage," states Andrea Miller, CEO, YourTango. "And having a prenup ranks last as the most common trait in an amicable divorce. Given how crucial communication is to a successful marriage, better to find a good therapist than a good lawyer!"
If you're really serious about healing wounds, relationship expert Lesli Doares offers some advice: "Have you identified and taken responsibility for your part in the breakdown of the marriage? Relationships are reciprocal. You each put stuff in and you each take stuff out. It is really easy to focus on what your partner is doing without owning your unproductive behavior."
The top surprising traits of successful couples? Pursuing one's own individual interests and hobbies (78 percent ) followed by learning to argue — in a healthy way (36 percent). As expert Ashley Davis Bush explains, "Conflict is inevitable. But conflict has its benefits if you use it productively. Use respectful language with each other and be willing to listen to your partner."
- The majority of couples who divorce after seeking counseling do so after less than six months of help.
- 71 percent indicate sites like AshleyMadison.com don't impact the divorce rate as spouses who want to cheat will find a way irrespective of such sites.
- 95 percent agree one should wait at least 6 months after a divorce to start dating.
Research methodology: Conducted on SurveyMonkey.com, we polled 100 mental health professionals November 6, 2013 and November 12, 2013.
love: friendship, dating, sex & marriage
Hopeless romantics and cringe-worthy chick flicks would tell you that it doesn’t matter what you do on the date, as long as you’re together. But they’re wrong. Dead wrong. Women use your date ideas to size you up, says matchmaker Rachel DeAlto, author of "Flirt Fearlessly." “You absolutely will be judged based on the date you plan. There are so many subconscious impressions that we take in while dating.” Gulp. Here are 10 terrible ideas that can land you on the no-lay list—and simple swaps to keep her happy. By K. Aleisha Fetters
Here are 15 signs we’ve been on "The Bachelor" bandwagon—all 27 seasons of it—for (possibly) longer than we’d care to admit.
In the grand tradition of celebrating love, we’ve chosen some of the mushiest, sweetest, and most memorable scenes to hit the big or small screen. From marriage proposals to unexpected serenades, these moments will make you believe in love (and want someone to cuddle up with, stat).
How to flag her little fibs. By Laura Tedesco
It started out great this season with Juan Pablo. It's not ending up that way.
Revealr is a new iPhone app that allows those looking for love to hear their possible matches before they see them.
A new poll reveals 59 percent of the country supports same-sex marriage.
If you’ve ever been to a club—like, ever, even once—you are not going to be shocked to hear that women get a lot of unwanted, aggressive attention. But when you read the findings of this study on how often and why it happens, it might make you feel downright sick to your stomach.
No matter your current relationship status or past relationship fails, get a fresh start this month, with these tips for spring cleaning your love life.
Forget the rules you've always heard—it's time to start making your own.
Are you in an affair without knowing it? Unless you’re a swinger, having sex with someone else counts as cheating. But then there’s the fuzzy area between friendship and infidelity—and chances are, your girlfriend sees those shades of gray as more black and white than you do. “Men aren’t as attuned to identifying ambiguous behaviors as cheating as women are,” says Daniel Kruger, Ph.D., a University of Michigan psychologist, who’s studied gender differences in definitions of infidelity. In other words, what you consider totally innocent could be her deal breaker.