For Adult Children of Divorce, 3 Tips for a Better Marriage than your Parents Had

If you're an adult child of divorce in a marriage that's been struggling, you can learn good marriage-building skills to keep your relationship from going the divorce route. Here are three tips to help:

1. View your parents as examples of what not to do.
If your parents were not good role models of how to keep a marriage healthy and strong, you can learn from their example. If they fought, become determined not to. If they didn’t communicate, learn how to solve problems. If their sex life was bad, work to make yours good. If one of them was angry, or depressed, addicted or emotionally suffering, make sure you’re not, and get help if you are. You can always learn how to do it in a new way.

2. Find other role models for marriage.
Look at other family members, friends, neighbors and even characters in TV, movies and books to get an idea of how it might be done different. Did that couple in the cop drama resolve an issue in a healthy way? Mentally replay it and learn from it. Is your sister’s marriage happy? Don’t be envious – follow her example. Many self-help books can teach you better skills. Don’t hesitate to try new things.

3. Get some counseling.
Ask both your parents what went wrong. If they blame each other, assume they both made mistakes. Do what you can to improve on their record. Get individual counseling to overcome early programming, couples counseling to correct problems before they become tragic.

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., "Dr. Romance," http://www.tinatessina.com, is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with 35+ years experience in counseling individuals and couples and CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for Love Filter - the Relationships Website. She's the author of 13 books in 17 languages, including Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage; Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences; and The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. She publishes the Happiness Tips from Tina email newsletter, and the Dr. Romance Blog. She has written for and been interviewed in many national publications, and she has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live and many other TV and radio shows.