Want great marriage advice? Ask a divorced person. People who lose the most important relationship of their life tend to spend some time thinking about what went wrong. If they are at all self-reflective, this means they will acknowledge their own mistakes, not just their ex's blunders. And if they want to be lucky in love next time, they'll try to learn from these mistakes.
Research shows that most divorced people identify the same top five regrets─behaviors they believe contributed to their marriage's demise and that they resolve to change next time. 'Divorced individuals who step back and say, 'This is what I've done wrong and this is what I will change,' have something powerful to teach others,' says Terri Orbuch, a psychologist, research professor at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and author of the new book 'Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.' 'This is marriage advice learned the hard way,' she says.
研究表明，大多数离过婚的人都会最后悔同样的五件事──也就是他们认为导致婚姻结束并决心下次改过的行为。密歇根大学社会研究所（University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research）研究教授及心理学家、新书《再寻真爱：六个简单步骤教你找到新的美满婚姻》（Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship）的作者奥布奇（Terri Orbuch）说，“有些离过婚的人会退一步思考，然后说‘这是我做错的事情，这是我会改正的地方’，他们有非常有用的东西可以教给别人。”她说，“这是来之不易的婚姻建议。”
Dr. Orbuch has been conducting a longitudinal study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, collecting data periodically from 373 same-race couples who were between the ages of 25 and 37 and in their first year of marriage in 1986, the year the study began. Over the continuing study's 25 years so far, 46% of the couples divorced─a rate in line with the Census and other national data. Dr. Orbuch followed many of the divorced individuals into new relationships and asked 210 of them what they had learned from their mistakes. (Of these 210, 71% found new partners, including 44% who remarried.) This is their hard-earned advice.
在美国国立卫生研究院（National Institutes of Health）的资助下，奥布奇从1986年开始一直在从事一项纵向研究，定期从373名年龄在25至27岁、当年结婚的同族夫妇那里收集数据。在迄今为止25年的持续研究中，46%的夫妇离婚了，这与人口普查及其他全国性数据是一致的。奥布奇跟踪研究了许多开始新的恋爱关系的离婚者，询问其中210人从自己的错误中学到了什么。（在这210人中，71%找到了新的伴侣，其中44%再婚。）以下是他们辛苦得来的经验和忠告：
Boost your spouse's mood 振奋另一半的情绪
Of the divorced people, 15% said they would give their spouse more of what Dr. Orbuch calls 'affective affirmation,' including compliments, cuddling and kissing, hand-holding, saying 'I love you,' and emotional support. 'By expressing love and caring you build trust,' Dr. Orbuch says.
She says there are four components of displays of affection that divorced people said were important: How often the spouse showed love; how often the spouse made them feel good about the kind of person they are; how often the spouse made them feel good about having their own ideas and ways of doing things; and how often the spouse made life interesting or exciting.
Men seem to need nonsexual affirmation even more than women do, Dr. Orbuch says. In her study, when the husband reported that his wife didn't show love and affection, the couple was almost twice as likely to divorce as when the man said he felt cared for and appreciated. The reverse didn't hold true, though. Couples where women felt a lack of affection weren't more likely to divorce.
Do something to demonstrate that your partner is noticed and appreciated every single day, Dr. Orbuch says. It can be as small as saying, 'I love you,' or 'You're a great parent.' It can be an action rather than words: Turn on the coffee pot in the morning. Bring in the paper. Warm up the car. Make a favorite dessert. Give a hug.
Money was the No. 1 point of conflict in the majority of marriages, good or bad, that Dr. Orbuch studied. And 49% of divorced people from her study said they fought so much over money with their spouse─whether it was different spending styles, lies about spending, one person making more money and trying to control the other─that they anticipate money will be a problem in their next relationship, too.
There isn't a single financial fix for all couples. Dr. Orbuch says each person needs to examine his or her own approach to money. What did money mean when you were growing up? How do you approach spending and saving now? What are your financial goals?
Partners need to discuss their individual money styles and devise a plan they both can live with. They might decide to pool their money, or keep separate accounts. They might want a joint account for family expenses. In the study, six out of 10 divorced individuals who began a new relationship chose not to combine finances.