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
5 steps to being happy together in the long run.
Forgotten what love is all about? Read this note, and remember.
The key, researchers say, is to celebrate the good stuff--how hard is that?
And a few that aren't so shocking.
If you find yourself doing any of these things, consider changing your behavior or counseling.
Those Facebook friends who seem to have perfect lives with flawless mates whom they adore at all times? Even they face tough times like these.
How to flag her little fibs. By Laura Tedesco
A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change.
And how you can attack the issues together.
Somewhere between the first few butterfly-inducing dates and the committed-for-life stage, there’s the period of wondering if you’re both on the same page about how serious you feel about a future together. If you’re not quite at the point of "that talk" but you’re looking for a few clues you’re heading in that direction, here are some signs he’s in it for the long haul as your relationship progresses.
Twitter users are more likely to cheat, a new study says. But how can you know for sure?