Wall Street Journal highlights the work of psychologist Terri Orbuch, a research professor at the University of Michigan, who looked into 373 marriages over 25 years. Of those who learned lessons the hard way (In line with the national average at 46%), Orbuch found five major themes divorced couples wish they could have done differently:
1. Boost your spouse’s mood: Compliments, cuddling, kissing, saying ‘I love you’, anything to express your love and offer emotional support.
2. Talk more about money: With finance being a main area of conflict, partners must discuss and examine their individual money styles.
3. Get over the past: Let go of the jealousy, anger, and sadness of the past. Dr. Orbuch recommends putting your emotions on paper in order to release them.
4. Blame the relationship, not each other: Blaming your ex-spouse, or even yourself, can only lead to more grief. Don’t discount asking for your partner’s perspective on them problem.
5. Reveal more about yourself: Communication style is the No. 1 factor divorced individuals in the study said they want to improve in their next relationship. For better lines of communication, couples should talk alone ten minutes everyday about something other than work, the family and children, or the household.