Keeping your Expat Marriage Safe
Following yesterday's post about the tough choices expat spouses make, here's a practical follow-up. Remember what I said about open and honest communication? Always necessary, and in expat relationships even more so.
Sam Marguiles PhD, Esq., wrote in Psychology Today. He has been active in mediation for thirty years. He has written three books, numerous articles and has taught and consulted throughout the USA. Read through the list and add up the amount for you.
Divorce Piggy Bank
Having mediated thousands of divorces I have acquired some knowledge over the years of what acts and omissions reliably contribute to divorce.
I have also learned that marriages generally don't break over a specific event but rather erode over time as spouses fail to feed the marriage what it needs to thrive. I also know that most divorces are expensive and that is common for each lawyer to ask for a retainer of $3,000 to $5,000. So this post is designed to help you finance your divorce gradually as you engage in those behaviors that slowly damage and eventually destroy your marriage.
Here is what you should do. First, buy a good size piggy bank. Every time you commit one of the acts listed below, or anytime your spouse commits one, you deposit the required amount in your piggy bank.
This way, by the time you need a retainer you will have saved it. You will want to count the money in your piggy bank once a year because it may serve as a guide to how close you are to divorce.
Be sure to share this data with your spouse.
- Go to bed angry with your spouse. $3.
- Spend an entire day without expressing affection or praising your spouse. $3.
- Make a sarcastic comment to your spouse. $5.
- Raise your voice in anger to your spouse. $3.
- Do the above and fail to apologize. $5.
- Dismiss as unimportant an issue raised by your spouse. $7.
- Install a TV in the kitchen. $20.
- Watch TV while eating together. $10.
- Spend a night in bed with your spouse and make no gesture of affection such as a kiss or caress. $5.
- Refuse a request from your spouse for sex for the second time in a row unless you have a note from your doctor. $7.
- Refuse a request from your spouse for sex for the fifth time in a row unless you have a note from your mother. $30.
- Roll your eyes at something said by your spouse. $5.
- Refuse a request to go to counseling with your spouse. $100. ( almost 100% predictive of divorce.)
- Spend a year and not take a vacation with your spouse while leaving the children home. $25.
- Schedule so many activities for your children that you leave no time for your marriage. Each week pay: $5.
- Be upset with your spouse and not raise it because you believe it pointless to discuss it. $10.
- When your spouse raises an issue stonewall and refuse to discuss it. $50.
- You fail to learn what actions by you bring pleasure to your spouse. $50.
Although this list is by no means exhaustive it represents a good sample. Readers are invited and requested to add to the list.
Knowing what you can do to save your relationship: priceless.
Let's hope your divorce piggy bank is starving.