5 Tips to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

Marriage is a tough job, but it can also be one of life's most rewarding experiences. If you don't want to be among the 43 percent of couples that end their marriage in separation or divorce within 15 years, then you should consider the preventative measures suggested by Lorna Jorgenson Wendt, the founder and president of Equality in Marriage, a nonprofit organization that provides information and support to men and women, so they can strive to maintain an equal partnership. Wendt defines a 50-50 marriage as one in which both husband and wife feel valued.

Equality in Marriage was born when Wendt's husband of 32 years, former General Electric Capital CEO Gary Wendt, filed for divorce. She believed that she was an equal partner in the relationship and subsequently decided to fight back when offered only 10 percent of the couple's assets. She won a greater, undisclosed sum of money, and her headline-grabbing victory was a coup for women everywhere. Now, Wendt has made it her life's job to advise other couples and to help them learn from her mistakes -- long before divorce court is even an option. Here, she offers five ways to keep your marriage intact:

1. Know thyself. Every woman needs to spend some quality time with herself. You need to know your interests, goals and dreams in every area; this includes your financial portfolio. "Women need to be able to say, 'I could be alone in this world and that would be okay,'" says Wendt. Even if you are already married, you are not ready to truly be part of a pair unless you are independent and can take care of yourself. You also need to know what you want, so you can communicate that to your husband.

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