Marriage Tips & Advice For A “Friendly” Divorce

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on January 5, 2015

WWL AM/FM radio called upon my expertise as a Marriage & Family Therapist to share marriage tips to help couples have a successful marriage that lasts through time. And, I was asked for my tips and advice to help couples who have chosen to get a divorce how to make it amicable and friendly, so to speak. If you missed my interview LIVE on 1/5/15, and this topic is of interest to you, here is the link so you can listen on demand. My interview begins at the 3 minutes and 9 seconds mark: Tips For A Friendly Divorce & Marriage Tips.

Since all of my tips are not included in the time block of an interview, provided below are several additional bullet points for your reading pleasure. Thus I invite you to take what you heard during my interview, and add to the information you receive to help you during your life journey, whether it is a divorce you are in the process of, or if you are choosing to pay attention to your marriage to help it not just to survive but thrive. Below you will find 7 Tips For A Friendly Divorce and 9 Tips For A Successful Marriage.

Friendly Divorce Tips:

  1. Get counseling (Individual and Family)
  2. Kids come first. Don’t put them in the middle, don’t open them up to taking sides.
  3. Provide stability and routine, as much as possible for your kids. Divorce is such an unstable time.
  4. Get a mediator.
  5. Choose not to fight.
  6. Don’t let the other person’s issues become your issues.
  7. Make healthy personal choices (physically, mentally, emotionally).

Successful Marriage Tips:

  1. Date your mate.
  2. Communicate with your spouse not at your spouse.
  3. Each day make it a point to do one small thing for your spouse that lets them know you feel they are special, valued, and appreciated.
  4. Water the plan of marriage.
  5. Show through words and actions you appreciate your mate.
  6. Pay attention to your mate.
  7. Be affectionate.
  8. Be mindful of attending to the 3 legs of marriage: emotional intimacy, physical intimacy and sexual intimacy with an overall umbrella of communication and friendship.
  9. Be trustworthy.

Article written by reporter David Blake for WWL.com regarding my interview on WWL AM/FM entitled: Divorce After The Holidays.

If you would like to read more of my practical tips for marital success, take a sneak peek into my book: Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual, or order your autographed copy today. In addition, check out my newest book release: 10 Seconds To Mental Health (with over 200 tips for personal and relational health and wellness- that’s 1 tip/1 piece of sound advice per day for over 200 days).

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex Jennings May 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Hey, Dr. Ruskin. I’ve recently decided to part my wife, and I’m glad that I stumbled on your article; I’m hoping that it will be helpful in mediating the process. I’ve hired a divorce attorney, so I don’t think that I’ll have many problems. My main concern is my children—I don’t want them to be effected by this.

Alex Jennings |

Reply

Dr. Karen Ruskin June 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Hi Alex,
Thank you for writing in. Kids are always effected by divorce. Though the difference between how children will be effected is significant when parents have what can be classified as a “friendly” vs “unfriendly” divorce.

I am hopeful for you that you will take steps with consistency for a “friendly” divorce.
Warmly,
Dr. Ruskin

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Deanna October 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Thanks for these tips, Karen. This will help make my divorce with my husband less unpleasant for the both of us. We both want to have a peaceful divorce, so I feel like we’re on the same page when it comes to your tip to avoid fighting. I bet we could benefit from your tip to hire a mediator. Our previous discussions were a bit heated, so hiring a mediator will help make our future meetings much more civil.

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Dr. Karen Ruskin October 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for writing in Deanna. I am glad that you both shall take action for a more civil divorce process.

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Faylinn January 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

I think that, ideally, everyone experiencing a divorce would want it to be friendly. My brother is currently in the process of talking to a divorce attorney. He and his ex-wife have decided to make a commitment to not fight or to put their kids in the middle of any dispute. He says that it is very difficult to do that and that they do sometimes argue. I don’t know if they have considered getting a mediator or going to counseling, but I am sure that he would be willing to consider doing that or, at least, following through on one of the seven other tips.

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James Bergman April 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

I think the only way to make a divorce end on friendly terms is for both parties to choose not to fight. As long as they do this I think the mediation etc. will go well for them. On the other side of the scale, I think you are right to put dating on the top of your successful marriage tips. I have noticed that I am closer to my wife when I make the effort to think about and plan dates that she will like.

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emily April 14, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Having a friendly divorce seems like a very rare occurrence in today’s world. But I liked that you pointed out that you can choose to have one. It does seem like having a mediator would be a good addition to have along with your lawyers.

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Kendall Ryder September 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Putting your children first is going to be super important in a divorce! That way you can comfort them and be there for them. If they have any questions or concerns, it would be a good idea to make sure you are there to answer those. Then your children will feel a bit better during the whole process.

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Johnny McCarron December 15, 2016 at 7:23 pm

I loved your advice to date your mate. As you said, that really can go a long way when you are trying to keep your marriage happy and healthy. We often forget the kind of difference it can make to go out with your spouse occasionally. Do you have any other tips about having a successful marriage?

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Dr. Karen Ruskin January 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Thank you for the positive feedback. Absolutely I have more tips for a successful marriage! I am so glad you asked. It is my passion to share practical advice that works with the many. Hence what led me to write a marriage book. In this book I list and explain 49 concrete ways to have a successful marriage, and 29 specific ways to destroy it. In addition to these particulars in my marriage book, I provide the answers to the most asked questions from couples, top topics that most couples experience and appreciate help with, as well as communication tips and tools that have been proven successful. Here’s a link to my book entitled: ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’, if you are interested: http://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ ordering from my website I provide an autographed copy and can write a personalized message if you request as such. Additionally, I invite you to view more of my blogs right here on this website under the category of ‘marriage’ and you will find multiple articles where I have shared marital tips.
Warmly, Dr. Karen

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Lillian Schaeffer December 22, 2016 at 10:22 am

I like how you mentioned that kids come first in a divorce. My husband and I are going to be separating, but my first priority is my kids. I want to make sure they’re OK throughout this whole process, so I’ll make sure to keep them in mind at all times.

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