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Life Happens, and Here’s How It Leads to Divorce

The old saying “life happens” refers to those incidents that are often beyond your control but disruptive enough to cause long-lasting and detrimental change. A recent article on the Health website looked at these “life happens” events and how many can mean the end for a marriage. Writer Amanda MacMillan spoke with Elizabeth Ochoa, PhD, and here were the doctor’s observations.

In all, there are seven life events that can do in a marriage. They are:

  • Illness
  • Job changes
  • Childbirth
  • Living apart
  • Trauma
  • Empty Nest Syndrome
  • Infidelity

For more detail on each one, we highly recommend checking out the article in its entirety at this link.

As for our purposes today, we’re going to deal with the burning question that permeates throughout each one, and that is this: What can I do to prevent life changes from ending my marriage?

It’s not simple or easy, and it often requires a concerted effort wherein both spouses are on the same page and working as a team. That means each spouse is engaging in the following behaviors.

1. They’re trying to experience things through their spouse’s point-of-view. “Life happens” events can sometimes make us draw up inside ourselves, but that’s really the opposite of what you should be doing to keep a marriage strong. Rather than focusing on how the life event is impacting you, put your partner’s needs first and try to really empathize with what THEY are going through. If both parties in the marriage are reciprocating, then it makes it much easier to work together as a team.

2. They’re setting long-term goals even in the short-term. Being goal-oriented can see you through some rather difficult life events. If it’s a cancer diagnosis, you may be living for positive results at that six-month checkup. If it’s a death in the family, it may be reestablishing your life routines. Tap in to your productive side to see the long view and be cohesive with one another in your goals.

Is a “life happens” moment to blame for your divorce? What experiences helped (or are helping) get you through it?

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