After twenty years of working with couples and seeing everything from pre-marrieds to unfaithful mates, Jim and Elizabeth Carroll, the directors of the Marriage Boot Camp, offer you some of their best tips about divorce prevention. These suggestions can help you work things out with your current spouse, or they will help you avoid the same mistakes in your next relationship.

We don’t call ourselves a boot camp for nothing, so it may feel like we’re yelling at you here. Trust us, marriage is hard work and sometimes a little tough love is exactly what we need.

1. Take On Your Marriage!

Get off your lazy butt and do the hard work of creating the marriage that you want. Stop whining, complaining and blaming. Find a Boot Camp, a Conference, a Work Shop or a great counselor.

2. Speak a Second Language!

Communication is the key to a strong relationship. Study your mate, learn the subtle cues for attention, affirmation, and of course sex! Learn to speak your mate??s emotional language and love language.

3. Learn to Forgive!

Master the art of forgiveness. Learn what forgiveness is and isn??t. After all is said and done, release the offender from being in debt to you so that YOU can be free.

4. Start With Yourself!

Deal with your past. Take a thorough inventory of yourself and make sure that you aren??t poisoning your current relationship with your baggage. When you grow, so will your marriage.

5. Learn to Fight!

Get the skills, the tools, and a solid foundation of rules for fair play. Don??t assume you know what you??re doing; get expert training.

6. Spike the Ball!

Excessive celebration is highly encouraged! When you get through a tough conflict, make sure that you celebrate together! Go out for ice cream, have a happy hour, or everyone??s favorite ?? make up sex!

7. Be on the Same Team!

Know that you are fighting for your relationship, not to make a point, not to win, not to beat your mate down. Know that your mate is NOT your opponent.

8. Stay in the Game!

A coach told his football players to ??play hurt??. So if you get bumped and bruised, get past the pain and stay focused on the goal. If you are an avoider and you tend to run out on your team, then your relationships will suffer.

9. Make Deposits in Your Mate’s Love Bank!

If your mate is on empty, every little irritant has the potential to flare up into a fight. Make deposits regularly so that you don??t have to rely on over draft protection. Ask your mate to list those things that fill their love bank and then do them!

10. Supportive Community!

Make sure that you have a network of friends and family with whom you can be open and transparent. Make sure that you can trust them to be honest and hold you accountable.

11. Learn the Differences Between Men & Women!

Our brains and our attitudes are as different as our bodies. You??ll be surprised how much conflict can be resolved by understanding your mate better!