Is your marriage on the rocks? Are you working to reconcile? According to journalist Vicki Larson, the three worst ways to salvage a relationship are:

  • Buying a new house or renovating an old house: Some couples who are working to salvage their marriage look at a new or renovated home as a fresh start. Unfortunately, new house purchases or significant renovations can be stressful. A new or renovated home can not only can take a physical and emotional toll on a couple, but can also trigger arguments or concerns about finances. Instead of providing couples with a fresh start, a new home may actually create more strain on a marriage.
  • Going on an exotic vacation: If there are problems in a relationship, a vacation will not make them go away. "While an exotic vacation might be fun or even remind people why they got together in the first place, the problem is, vacations end," says Michele Weiner-Davis, director of the Divorce Busting Center and author of "The Sex-Starved Marriage" and "The Divorce Remedy." Once the vacation ends, couples are often thrown back into reality and the problems they were attempting to run from.
  • Having a baby: Couples often believe that having a child will reconnect two people and reenergize a marriage. The truth is that having a baby adds stress to a marriage. According to the Gottman Institue, up to 90 percent of couples say they are stressed, conflicted and less satisfied in their marraige after the birth of a baby. About 12.5 percent of those couples divorce or separate by the time their first-born is 18 months old.

So what should a couple trying to salvage their marriage do? Experts recommend therapy. Weiner-Davis is a strong believer in marital education and feels that too many couples do not know how to negotiate, collaborate, or express their feelings in a proper manner. Visits with a professional who can teach these skills and facilitate conversations about feelings and desires can go a long way to saving a marriage.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington