SEEKING COUNSEL WHEN MARRIAGES FAIL
Some make an effort, and see their minister, doctor, social worker, or marriage guidance counselor. But in the main, these are the minority. The one who is trying to hold the marriage together, "for the sake of the kids," is usually the one to seek help. (I've heard that overworked phrase "for the sake of the kids" quoted a thousand times over during the years.)
So where does that leave today's happily married couple on the brink on a brand-new life?
Several critical features stand out, and I'll list them briefly.
First: If you come from a divorced family, then the odds are stacked against you. But this does not mean inevitable failure. It simply means that to succeed in marriage yourself, you will have to make an extra-determined effort to overcome the problems that will beset you. Be prepared to work hard at your marriage. Be prepared to overlook the little things, the possible irritations, the unimportant features which are really of little concern to the total pattern of life.
Second: Make certain that you are totally aware of the importance of the sexual side of marriage. If you think you know everything, you're probably headed for disaster. Read books, read magazines, get information on what is the role of each partner. And think of your partner, not yourself. Try to incorporate some of the thoughts and suggestions outlined in the relevant section of this book - or some other authoritative book on sex technique.
Let me make it very clear. In nearly every case of divorce, sex almost always looms as one of the major factors. It is often not mentioned, but when it comes to the basics, it often features boldly. Never underestimate the importance of sex in marriage. If you fail here, then the chances of success start to wane dramatically. I have seen too many broken marriages over too many years to believe otherwise.
Third: If people remembered the simple advice given in the "golden rule," there would be fewer divorces. "Do unto others as you would like them to do to you." It is simple. It is also basic.
If this routine were followed through, I am sure the divorce rate of this country would drop significantly in the first year. In all respects, give your partner your first consideration. Put yourself in your partner's position, and try to see yourself through his or her eyes. It will dramatically alter your entire outlook.
Fourth: The love of money is the root of all evil, the Bible says. This is a significant point. It is essential to come to a satisfactory understanding regarding the family finances early in marriage. This will do much to allay any anxieties, tensions, arguments and misunderstandings later on. Money is essential in this world; it is also the cause of considerable argument and discontent. So, make certain that soon after your family unit is established you come to agreement and satisfactory arrangements regarding this. It is vital.
Fifth: Attention to most of the other general matters mentioned in this section of this book is also important. You must have a workable understanding about your in-laws; about your friends; about your likes and dislikes about entertainment; your attitudes about religion. The more you have universal compatibility on these matters, the less likely it is that fights and rifts will occur.
Sixth: Work at your marriage, right from the start, even if you are working from a poor start. Hard work can do miracles in any marriage - especially if both of you work at it!