Shela Dean, Guest Author
People who divorce often think they’ll be happier. Statistics say otherwise.
A 2002 study by the Institute for American Values showed that 66% of unhappily married adults who didn’t divorce were happily married five years later even when the marriage had serious problems. Only 20% had divorced and happily remarried in the same time period. You’re more likely to end up happily married to the spouse you have than if you trade your spouse for a newer model. Why?
Here’s why: Divorce allows you to drag all your old baggage into a new relationship and avoid dealing with your issues. It’s staying in your marriage and dealing with those issues that makes you healthier. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to have a happy marriage because the foundation for a great relationship with another is a great relationship with yourself.
There is no better context for self-improvement than marriage. Marriage provides unmatched motivation to be our best even when it means facing and overcoming our fiercest demons. Couples who go from unhappily married to happily married did so because they were willing to work on themselves first.
Every married person has a painful moment. It’s the moment when you realize the perfect 10 you thought you landed is really a flawed 6 or 7. When that first spark of attraction flashes, your brain goes into overdrive producing a cocktail of hormones that has the same effect on your brain as cocaine. Mother Nature gets you so doped up on love hormones you can’t see straight. It’s why new lovers idealize the relationship, maximize their lover’s virtues, and minimize or explain away their sweetheart’s faults. The effect of those hormones always wears off.
This coincides with something else that happens: once you’ve sealed the deal with a wedding ring, you sigh in relief and slow down (or stop altogether) doing those things you did while dating. Dating is to marriage what foreplay is to sex. It’s the seduction phase of the relationship during which you do everything in your power to seduce your beloved into wanting to spend the rest of his or her life with you.
Once courtship is successful, we relax into the relationship and think (at least subconsciously) that seduction is no longer necessary. Disappointments, hurts and misunderstandings (big and small) pile up, killing the generous and positive way in which, during dating, you saw each other.
Mother Nature’s job is to get you together. It’s your job to stay together. We may be hardwired to couple but we’re not hardwired with relationship skills. Those have to be learned and that’s where ReDate Your Mate comes in.
ReDate Your Mate is a four-step strategy designed to help you:
• ReCreate the Dating You to become your best vision of You, someone who is not only personally fulfilled and experiencing self-love, but is also a hot date and a great catch.
• ReJuvenate Dating Behavior by doing again what made you fall in love in the first place and will keep you in love for the long haul.
• ReAwaken a Dating Mindset by nixing the negative and adopting a 24/7 positive and generous state of mind.
• ReVitalize Your Marriage Model into one that is based on your needs and wishes today because the reasons why you got married aren’t necessarily the reasons why you stay married.
Who among us hasn’t said, “If I only knew then what I know now, I’d do things differently?” You can’t roll back the clock. You can, however, start anew armed with what you know now. That’s what ReDating is all about—transforming your marriage by doing it better and wiser this time around.
Most who divorce look back and wish they’d tried harder. Don’t become part of that statistic. Instead, ReDate Your Mate.
Larry’s NOTE: When I read a book, I always mark the good parts with a yellow highlighter. My copy of “ReDate Your Mate” has been transformed into mostly yellow on the inside… it’s that good! Read Shela’s book and learn how to be your own hero in your relationship. Shela Dean has written another winner! Her first book, “Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy” was a dandy and this one will keep you glued to the pages until you finish it!
Copyright © 2012 – Shela Dean. Shela Dean is a Relationship Happiness Coach and speaker. She has counseled more than 2,000 couples since 1983 and is the author of ReDate Your Mate: 4 Steps to Falling in Love All Over Again!and Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy – a guide to improving intimacy for couples. Since retiring from the practice of law, she has shared her relationship strategies with others through one-on-one relationship coaching, seminars, and now through her new book detailing a fun and effective strategy for improving emotional intimacy. Visit Shela’s Website!
Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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