Tips for avoiding the big D: Learn from Gwyneth and Chris

Learning from Gwyneth and Chris- check out these tips for avoiding the big D.  

By now you have seen the news: Gwyneth Paltrow and her partner Chris Martin of Coldplay have decided to go separate ways. Their sad news inspired me to look into current split rates (in the form of divorce stats) to uncover some tips for avoiding the ultimate separator. Now, I don’t know what caused the split between Gwyneth and Chris, but I would reckon they could have benefited from learning my tips to avoid the big D anyway. I mean, who wouldn’t? I am a humble genius!

Gwyneth Paltrow divorce

Research has shown that around 40% of first marriages end in divorce, with the number growing higher for each subsequent marriage (60% for second marriages and 73% for third). There goes my plan of being secure since I am a second wife of my current husband- I figured he already hit his 50% divorce rate and we were solid! You can try to be crafty and just never get hitched, but the legal document is likely not what is keeping or pulling couples apart. The (2014) shows the top 5 reasons for splits and they overlap into any type of committed couple-hood: communication, finances, abuse, losing attraction and infidelity.

So let’s work through these topics shall we?

Tips for Avoiding the Big D:

Communication: From talking to my friends over the years, the biggest deficit I have sensed here is just a humongous lack of the key C. Couples go from the romance period to living like roomies who barely talk about anything important. While the gym, football game and how much you hate your co-workers are fun to talk about, this is not really communicating folks. Take time to check in on feelings, thoughts and goals. Oh you have never asked about any of those things? Hmm, that might make an awkward initial convo but it will get easier as you practice- kind of like running, or so I have been told.

Tips for Avoiding Divorce

Another tip to consider: set up some agreed-upon rules for your fights. My parents had a rule of never going to bed angry and I am a fan of the “We will never use eye-for an-eye type of fighting.” It is not fair to say, “Well you did this and so I am going to do this.” Those are unrelated actions, folks and may cause the end of your love affair prematurely.

Finances: I have a gut feeling some of the hardships here are unavoidable, like when lay-offs occur or major unforeseen expenses put a strain on the marriage. While the actual event may be a surprise, you can plan for it. Planning for financial hardships should involve two things: Plan for how to handle it when it comes up, including how to handle your emotions, and money being set aside to cushion these hardships before they happen. It’s kind of like preventative care; you start it because you do not need it to help negate future problems. If you are secure with your plan and something happens, you will be less likely to run around blaming each other and allowing the emotions to sever your courtship like the great Mississippi.

Tips for avoiding the big d

Losing Attraction: This point just kind of sucks. The aging process is a natural one and for some, attraction will grow with it and for others, it may wane. I cannot tell you to stay in shape and buy $100 skin creams to keep your spouse because I just don’t think that would avoid the split anyway. What I can say, take time before your marriage to establish a very clear bond with each other that surpasses outside beauty. If you are confident your spouse loves you for all of you and would not notice a few extra pounds or a couple wrinkles- gold. If you think your relationship hinges on your ability to fit into short shorts and a tube top? Put the divorce attorney on speed dial darlin, just sayin’.

Tips for avoiding the big d

Infidelity: Affairs typically happen because of one or a combination of the above reasons. If you clearly communicate your feelings and keep a strong, attracted bond, it’s hard to see how affairs would end your partnership. Sure, it happens… but again, an ounce of prevention is worth its weight in rose gold. What if it still happens and your spouse leaves you for a younger version? Shout the 60% statistic at him as he drives away and get out the calculator to remind yourself that his indiscretion will cost him more than his new girlfriend’s body weight… in thousand dollar bills ya’ll! (*note, thousand dollar bills are fictitious, but fun to say).

As far as abuse goes? No. That’s not a “let’s talk through this and all will be fine” thang. It is a very complicated situation that deserves its own article, maybe book… maybe made-for-tv movie all its own. If you are in an abusive relationship, the best advice I can give you is to involve others in your relationship for help. There are amazing domestic violence resources available in your neighborhood, and if not- try online: Counseling can help relationships move forward if possible but remember- no one who loves you would hurt you like that. For the abuser, I do have some advice: take yourself out to the Mojave Desert and walk around for a while without any water… or shoes. You’ll feel much better and so will the rest of the world.

Tips for avoiding the big d

Coming back to celebs for a moment, did you know that Brittney Spears was married for 55 hours once, that Mel Gibson paid $425 mill to his ex-wife and that divorce is the new little black dress of celeb activities? Ok that last one was not true but the glossy mags at the checkout line would have you believe that. Something to take from all these factoids? Be thankful your marriage mistakes do not end up in the tabloids. On a serious note, never take each other for granted, and try your best to live out the cheesiest country song you can recall. If life really looks like that, death won’t even be able to “do you” part.

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