SAN ANTONIO — Weddings can be costly, but divorces can be even more expensive. The average cost of ending a marriage in Texas is almost $16,000. The price is not stopping couples from filing.
“The divorce rate was 34 percent higher than last year,” said Erin Smalley, a marriage counselor.
She says there are other ways to save your money and your marriage.
“Don’t do nothing,” Erin said, saying that will cost you your marriage.
“Do something,” she said. “Invest in yourself and invest in your marriage and you will impact the marriage.”
Start healing your relationship for free with these tips:
“Reaffirm to each other, hey, we’re in this for the long haul. I’m not going anywhere,” Erin said.
Next, get a marriage mentor, a couple that has put more mileage into matrimony.
“Find someone who’s you know, five, 10 years down the road,” said Erin. “Ask them: ‘What worked for you guys?’”
Erin Smalley is Dr. Greg Smalley’s wife.
“She’s way smarter and wiser,” said Greg.
They have been married 20 years and together run a marriage ministry for Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family. Greg said it costs nothing to mix it up.
“You want to bring back the butterflies?” he said. “You want to change up things? Just create something different in your relationship and that can be as simple as we’re to start making some meals together that we ordinarily would never think to make.”
It does not have to cost time, either. Schedule a quick check in with each other daily.
“We’ve been going on a walk in just 10 minutes and I’m just asking ‘OK, how are you feeling now?’” he said. “That gift of caring is a gift that you can’t purchase anywhere. It will pay such amazing dividends. Just watch what empathy can do for your marriage"
He said to ask your partner one question:
“What’s one thing I can do different during this season that would show you that I care about you, that I love you?” he said.
Still struggling? Then consider counseling. It does not have to bust your budget.
“If you’re saying I can’t afford counseling, call a local counseling center and ask them, 'do you have a sliding scale?'” Erin said. “Many times counseling centers adjust the rate based on income.”
Sticking out this tough time could mean a merrier marriage in the future.
“For couples who hang in there even when they don’t think it can work, but when they do hang in there, the research shows that five years later that these couples, they’re doing so much better,” Greg said.
Plus, they save several thousand dollars staying out of divorce court
If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants to Know, email us at EWTK@kens5.com or call us at (210) 377-8647.