How understanding divorce can help your marriage

11 min Source: TED Talk

BLUF

With so many marriages ending in divorce, one expert has her ideas on how to help stop a marriage from getting to the point of divorce.

Summary

In this TED Talk, legal scholar Jeannie Suk Gersen discusses the importance of communication in marriage. More specifically, she argues that you should think about how a marriage ends if you want to understand what makes a marriage work. And that sometimes the things we do out of love can be the very things that make it hard for that love to last. To illustrate her point, Suk Gersen uses fictional married characters to discuss three things that constantly raise their heads in marriage and divorce:
  1. Sacrifice should be thought of as a fair exchange.
  2. There's no such thing as free childcare.
  3. What's yours usually becomes ours.
Suk Gersen says the one thing that always holds is 'till death do us part'. Because of that, she advises people to have some of the same painful conversations that divorced people have, i.e. what we owe to each other, what we are willing to give and what we're ready to give up. She says these conversations should be happening in a good marriage—not after it's broken—because having these conversations early on can help build a better marriage. Transcript available here.