With divorce being at epidemic proportions, couples today are seeking ways to have a better relationship and prevent becoming part of the statistics. Reports have shown that over a 40 year period, 6-7 out of 10 marriages will end up in divorce. These numbers also do not represent divorce statistics for 2nd marriages which have proven to be much higher.

The search for tools to combat this growing trend has spawned a multitude of relationship experts, self help books, workshops and seminars, each claiming to offer tips and strategies in creating a better relationship. No matter what path is chosen, it is important to recognize that there is no one “right way”, and that any investment made in your relationship will be beneficial in some way.

One concept that is overlooked by relationship experts is the importance of community. To no fault of their own, they often neglect to comment on this topic’s importance since they end up creating a faux community as a byproduct of reaching the general public anyways. However, this concept is important to identify and recognize since it appears to be a key factor in whether a couple would stay together or not.

As human beings, we naturally seek a better relationship with those around us, since we are social creatures and have a need to belong to something. Throughout humanity we have created groups, organizations, clubs, religions and countless other ways for humans with common interests to band together. These “communities” create their own culture, which includes unwritten rules and expectations insuring that their commonality remain intact.

Within a closed community, it is not uncommon for the community as a whole to have an influence on the personal relationships that may develop within. This is best exemplified in ethnic cultures where the choice in a marital partner is highly influenced by the group. It is not surprising that within these communities divorce is much more rare, and the focus is placed more on creating a better relationship rather than ending one.

To say that the United States has lost its sense of community is not a profound statement since sociologists have been commenting on this dilemma for some time now. However given this fact, it is not surprising that the U.S. has the highest rate of divorce in the world. It appears as though in the struggle and search for independence, we as a larger culture have lost our opportunities to belong, and as a consequence are not held accountable to a community.

Beyond this, another outcome occurs as a result of our lack of community and that is our inability to tap into the data bank of tradition, knowledge and experience that a community can collect over time. Without access to this data, it is likely that as individuals we would make poor partner choices and not have role models to gauge our behaviors upon. Attempting to create a better relationship in our life would solely be left up to our own subjective feelings, which we know isn’t rational all the time.

Finding a solution to this dilemma is not one that can occur overnight, although there are ways to create a sense of community in your own life. When searching for a community to belong to, keep in mind that among all the commonalities it should have with you, one of the most important ones is whether or not it will support you having a better relationship.

Author's Bio: 

Ray Kadkhodaian, MA, CAC, LCPC, CADC, is the President & CEO at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center, located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Although The Lighthouse is the midwest's premiere center of its kind, offering a wide variety of emotional wellness services to its clientele, Ray and his wife primarily work with couples seeking happiness and satisfaction in life and relationships. You can reach Ray directly by emailing him at rayk@lighthouseofillinois.com