What getting a divorce taught me about marriage

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The truth about falling out of love.

  • Most marriages start off in bliss. Wedding bells and white frosting make the day and then real life begins. The constant flirting wares off and you end up seeing each other as you are – human beings who are trying to make life work.

  • Sometimes we forget that being human means making mistakes. These mistakes add up in our minds and then next thing we know, we can’t let it go.

  • Divorce happens for many reasons: money, adultery or general selfishness. Sadly sometimes it happens when people simply fall out of love. But how do you fall out of love?

  • The truth of “falling out of love” is that you both forget to take care of each other. You forget to forgive and move forward.

  • Recently Alyssa Royse opened up about going through a divorce and what it taught her about marriage. She discussed four main things she went through during her divorce, and it taught her a lot about being married and working with her spouse.

  • 1. Dividing up assets

  • When you are getting divorced, this is what most people think of. Many movies show couples screaming at each other across the room about things they want. For Royse this was not the case.

  • She and her ex-husband didn’t have a lot of things to argue over, and what they did have was easy for them to divide between the two of them. But what she learned is what was really important to her ex.

  • Sometimes we go through our lives and forget about what is important to our spouse. We want things done our way or we want to spend money on the new Amazon product, but we forget to see if that is what our spouse wants to do or spend money on.

  • We shouldn’t feel trapped by our spouse, but we also shouldn’t forget to talk to our spouse and make sure we are on the same page.

  • 2. Dividing up debt

  • Again Royse said this was easy for her because she and her ex didn’t have any debt. But there are a lot of couples in debt – whether that debt is student loans, a mortgage or credit card debt.

  • The important thing is that first of all you know how much money you both have. Secondly, you should know how comfortable each person is with debt. For some people debt is completely unacceptable and physically stresses them out. If this is the case, they need to work with their spouse to stay out of debt and save money.

  • The important thing for a relationship is to plan your money. This means making a budget and plans to pay for the debt. Ultimately, make sure both of you have money to spend on important things but also fun things.

  • 3. Planning the future

  • Part of the divorce process is looking at things like retirement savings and deciding how they get divided, something Royse said her and her ex never really discussed.

  • When you are focused on making it through the day, sometimes you forget to think about what the future looks like. Part of deciding your future together is planning responsibilities and breaking down who is going to do what.

  • Planning can be hard, but it’s one of the biggest secrets to a successful marriage. Sit down together to plan who’s going to work, when you are thinking of retiring, when will you take a family vacation, where you will live and what sacrifices you will make to help your spouse achieve their goals.

  • Sometimes making these plans doesn’t sound very fun, but it’s important for your relationship that both of you are OK with the responsibilities you’ve been given to make the future work. Make a fun night of planning – order in a pizza and pull out some notebooks.

  • 4. Planning time to spend with the kids

  • The biggest part of the divorce process, for Royse, was a parenting plan for their children.

  • “We had to submit a parenting plan that made my head hurt to show who was responsible for what and how we were each making sure that the other parent got their needs met. Looking at [it] in that kind of scientific light made crystal clear the work that is parenting.”

  • It’s good to know how the other person feels about children. Do you both want kids? Are you both OK with changing messy diapers? How do you do without lots of sleep? Are you good at cooking? Do you like to play with children?

  • Although parenting is a lot of work, it is very rewarding, especially when you work as a team with your spouse to raise the next generation.

  • If you want to stay in love, remember to consistently find out what is important to each other, plan your money management, share responsibilities and take care of your children. You will find so much joy out of your marriage if you remember to work with your spouse to build a bright future.

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