Have you failed at marriage?

Just because you failed doesn't mean you're a failure. There's a lot you know now that you didn't know before.

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  • Getting divorced wasn't pleasant, but it did have a positive side. Divorce taught me strength and maturity. During the time I spent single, I analyzed what had gone wrong — on my side and my ex's. Because I took the time to sum up my relationship, I remarried knowing a lot more about marriage. Almost 10 years later, I'm still learning, but the best of the learning process is that my husband and I are doing it together.

  • A failed marriage is devastating. You feel let down and embarrassed in front of family and friends. But there is nothing shameful about divorce. We all make mistakes. Though it is better to rectify those mistakes while you can, a failed marriage does not mean you will fail at your next one.

  • Try to give yourself enough time to recuperate before jumping into another relationship. In the meantime, here are some common marriage issues to learn from before you move into your next relationship.

  • No love

  • While this is, perhaps, the most obvious, a surprising number of couples marry for reasons outside of love. For example, some people are afraid of being alone. Time passes by and they realize they have yet to marry and start families. They commit to marriage in hopes of something positive coming out of it. Another loveless reason to marry is convenience. Some marry in order to leave home or gain some type of financial benefit. If you enter a marriage feeling no love at all, chances are, you will not have a successful marriage.

  • Failure to communicate well

  • You and your spouse talk, but the conversations are brief. There is no depth to your conversations. You realize you speak more to your best friend than to your spouse. You may feel uneasy about something in your marriage, but you choose not to discuss the issue with your spouse. Instead, you hope for the problem to go away or hope your spouse will eventually pick up on what is troubling you. It is tricky to make a marriage work when you hide your feelings and do nothing about them. Communication is a must in all relationships — especially marriage.

  • Spending little or no time together

  • You and your spouse find any excuse not to spend quality time together. You spend too much time at work, with family and friends, or even in the same house but in different locations. On days off, you might decide to spend time watching a movie while your spouse is out with friends. Spending too much time apart causes a gap in your marriage. It's not a bad idea to spend days off together, doing something fun or just relaxing on the couch.

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  • Acting single

  • When you go out with friends, you dress attractively. You may take off your wedding band and place it in your pocket. If an opportunity presents itself, you give your cell phone number to people you just met. Depending on the situation, you avoid speaking of your spouse, as though he or she doesn't exist.

  • Lack of support when it comes to the children

  • You do everything on your own. You dress the kids, cook for them, pick them up from school, help with their homework, take them to see doctors... Only one parent is present. Your spouse expects you to handle everything. Sometimes, a little help is all you're asking for.

  • Discontinue doing nice things for each other

  • Since you are already married, you and your spouse feel there is no need to keep the sparks going. There is no need for romantic date nights, flowers, jewelry or "I love you."

  • Addicted to social media

  • You spend all your free time on social media and ignore your spouse. He or she is speaking to you, but you're not really listening. You are so involved in what you are doing, your spouse feels left out and unwanted.

  • Marriage is something you have to want to work on every day. As long as you and your new spouse love each other, fighting to avoid these common marriage pitfalls, you will find it easy to work toward a blessed marriage.

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Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.

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