If you're an adult child of divorce or you just want to keep your marriage on track, here are three tips to help:
1. Calm down.
Adult children of divorce often feel panicked when something goes wrong in the marriage. Understand that problems are just opportunities to learn and grow, and to find a new and exciting way to do things. You can’t think when you’re upset, so don’t talk when you are. Take a moment to calm down, take a deep breath, and talk rationally about what’s going on. Any problem can be fixed, if you both focus on finding a solution.
2. Avoid drama.
ACD’s usually grow up with parents who create a lot of drama – fighting, cold silences, leaving and returning, court battles, child custody problems and financial struggles. Drama of that type is never necessary – it’s a result of adults acting like upset children. Avoid dramatic pronouncements, scenes and ultimatums when problems arise. Instead, learn to sit down as an adult, and talk about what the solution might be; think and act as you do at work when a problem arises – most people can’t throw fits and keep their jobs. 3. Get counseling early.
When my husband and I first married, we made a deal: If we couldn’t solve a problem on our own in three days, we’d go for counseling. In the first few years, we had a few sessions, which were very helpful in teaching us how to be effective with each other. Now, 26 years later, we are happy and haven’t needed counseling in many years. Getting counseling early, before the drama sets in, will help you create a successful marriage together.Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.” Tina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.