A Divorce Coach/Attorney Walks Into A Wedding…

Set the table to nurture both your wedding guests and marriage.

Welcome to my 2nd post in this series of 4 entitled “A Divorce Coach/Attorney Walks Into A Wedding….” You can find my 1st post by clicking https://thereslifeafterdivorce.com/blog , where I discussed the theory that Marriage is a Contract. In this related post, I’ll discuss the term of the contract. Yes, I used term in the singular because there is just one term of the contract: kindness. It’s important to define kindness, which, according to Oxford Languages on Google, is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

Kindness kills contempt

Let’s start with friendly. According to research by leading marriage and divorce researcher, Dr. Gottman, and presented in his book “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail,” Dr. Gottman explains that the number one biggest predictor of divorce is the amount of contempt one spouse displays toward the other. It makes sense right? If your partner in life begins to behave in a manner that is degrading to you, humiliates you, and just acts bitterly toward you, even some of the time, that behavior signals that the marital bonds are broken. So, how do we avoid contemptuous behavior toward our spouse? A great place to start is by being friendly. It’s that simple.

We all know what it means to be friendly. It doesn’t take much work, just some work, which is what makes a marriage perfect (see my last post). Perfect marriages require work. Friendly behavior means we show interest in the other spouse and are helpful. When was the last time a spouse complained that their husband is just too helpful? Never. When was the last time a spouse complained that their wife showed interest in their work, commute to work, golf game, football team, baseball card, cigar, or stamp collection – anything. Never. I’m talking about legitimate interest, not micro-managing or henpecking. Friendly behavior toward your spouse is a great place to start.

Let’s explore generosity. Generosity is the virtue in the giving of gifts. In the book, “The Five Love Languages,” Gary Chapman lists five ways people either give or receive love. These qualities correlate with how we were raised and the observations we made in childhood of the marital relationships of those around us and our parent’s relationship toward us as children. The book is insightful. One of the five qualities identified by Chapman is the giving of gifts. Please understand that I’m not implying expensive, materialistic gifts like new golf clubs or a new handbag. I’m referring to the gift of time, the gift of patience, and an occasional, yet simple gift of flowers or a new cigar for the collection, can go a long way. When we give our spouse a gift, our spouse then knows that she/he are thought of and her/his needs were considered, without the duty of reciprocity. The giving of simple, non-materialistic, yet thoughtful gifts, can only have a positive impact on our marital bond.

Last, there’s consideration. Consideration, in my opinion, is proximate to respect. In marriage a little consideration goes a long way. Consideration, like the other two virtues above, doesn’t take much effort, just some effort. Consideration is helping out with house work (without being asked or signaled), pouring a cup of coffee for your spouse the way they take it, helping with the kids, or just giving your spouse some downtime from the kids or household duties. Consideration is discussing the purchase of major items before the purchase. Consideration is understanding that your spouse may not be “in the mood” and conversely understanding that your spouse “is in the mood.” Simply, consideration is the careful thinking of someone else’s needs.

In short, when we act with kindness as described above, we put our spouse’s needs above our own. The antidote of contempt is kindness. If you’ve been discerning in choosing your spouse (we’ll discuss dating/courtship another time), then treat her/him right – with kindness. I promise an ounce of kindness is worth a pound of an intact marriage and avoiding divorce.

For divorce coaching services, contact me at coachdivorcesuccess@gmail.com. For legal advice or representation for a Florida divorce, you can reach me at Lindsey@sharpdyelaw.com or 321-951-7600, please visit www.sharpdyelaw.com for divorce information.

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Divorce is much more than a legal matter to you and your family. We understand this intimately and would be honored to provide you with direction, emotional support, and an unbiased opinion to help you come up with a game plan.

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