I don’t have a guaranteed formula for a successful marriage but I do have some ideas on how to make a successful life which includes being reasonably happily married. These are principles and ideas taught to me by my mother who has never divorced. She has been married twice. Her first husband passed away and her second husband was my father’s closest work colleague and best friend. Her second husband was a single man and had never had a girl friend before.

(1) My mother would often say that divorce is not an option and that divorce does not solve anything. You may disagree but hear me out. I agree that it takes two to tango and sometimes there are inherent characteristics that mean it is impossible for one to change. Thus the other has a chioice – put up with it or leave. But leave for what, which is what my mum always used to say to me.

(2) My mum was not totally happily married. She had a six month courtship with my Dad before they got married and she said he was all sweetness and niceness pre-marriage. In the last part of the honeymoon she said he lost his temper with her and after that always revealed his violent temper very frequently. Even as a youngster, I asked why she stayed – she always told me – out of the frying pan and into the fire.

(3) Divorce is not an option is something my mum used to teach me. She would always say – Out of the frying pan and into the fire and that phrase is imprinted on my mind. Before I do anything I always think of that phrase. Also I think some people divorce to further hurt their spouse and to publicly shame them – I think we should be careful before we use divorce as another weapon to hurt our spouse. Our spouse is a human being and we should never hurt another human being even if they have hurt us, misled us, mistreated us and even lied to us. If we have children – then there is a further complication – what message and what values are we giving to our children when we divorce. I respect my mother more because she never broke up the family unit even though if I told you all the things I saw my father do she would have every legal justification.

(4) All situations have their ups and downs and in some extreme situations divorce may be a blessing but it does raise all sorts of issues and it may reveal: 1. not a very wise choice in the beginning. 2. a lack of commitment. 3. the use them and run away character.

(5) Going back to my mother, she dutifully kept with my father but he died when she was in her 30s. I always admired her for keeping it from public knowledge what my father was privately, and for giving us kids (four children) a reasonable upbringing (not the best but reasonable). My Dad had a best friend who was single – and he came closer after my Dad’s death and eventually my mum married him, and she has had a much happier second marriage. If she had divorced she may never have met this man – who may have had no respect for her for divorcing. Instead he saw a loyal person who lovingly nursed my father during a long illness (cancer).

2. STUDY YOUR PARTNER: You have to study your spouse, their habits and lifestyle and to see to what extent you can flow with their wishes. You may also have to bargain. For example, OK on Saturday we will do what you like and on Sunday we will do what I like. If I married someone and I knew he loved cricket I will suddenly become more interested in cricket so that I can appreciate what he likes. But not all women think like this – they are uncompromising.

3. PRE-MARITAL SCREENING: This is where screening pre-marriage comes in – you have to assess the person’s character pre-marriage and consider whether they are the uncompromising type. If yes, you might have to seriously think about whether you should marry such a person. It will be hell unless you are prepared to flow their way. Pre-marital screening is easier said than done. Pre-marriage – you have to study your partner to see if you can live with their values. People change too – so after marriage you have to find a way to flow with your partner or be in the same flow together. Thus pre-marriage you have to consider hobbies, likes, dislikes. None of this works perfectly but that is no excuse not to do it.
4. ONCE MARRIED – you need to become a communication expert – study it, develop it and become an expert. As for a negotiating and communication expert – sure if the spouse is like a piece of rock it won’t work but I don’t think it can harm becoming one – it will benefit your life in some way. With better communication and the ability to communicate more effectively and tactfully – you may find that you are able to click better.

5. PRAY AND BLESS, BLESS AND PRAY. I can’t say my solution works for all and it only works for the truly religious but I would say we should pray for our spouses and pray for understanding and tolerance. Pray for a miracle and spend time praying, blessing, praying. Become a prayer and blessing expert.

Out of the fire and into the frying pan. 5 points to think about before you marry and divorce

Develop the mindset that divorce is out of the question or is a total last resort when objectively everything has not worked. Think a million times before you leap. Work on strengthtening your belief systems and resolve concerning this.

Study yourself and your potential spouse and consider is there a good match in terms of interests, values and how you see married life.

Study yourself and your potential mate from all angles – love is good but may not be enough for a lasting marriage. Think what may turn you off and are some of those already evident?

Become a communication expert, become a negotiation expert – equip yourself with the best communication skills so that you can remain calm and courteous as much as possible.

5. Be more open to prayers and blessings, and look for all the blessings of being involved with this person.

Author's Bio: 

An I CAN READ English specialist with over 20 years teaching experience, I have worked in the British Council and Linguaphone, well-known language institutions. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. In 2006, I was appointed as an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. For enquiries about I CAN READ classes, email FOR DAILY BLESSINGS: