By Susan Allan, Life, Sex and Relationship Coach©

Did you know that in 2001, 60% of American marriages ended in divorce? By 2005, 70% of marriages are expected to end. What can we do? How can we avoid the "marry-go-round"?

When we become a couple, we hope that it will last forever but for most of us, that is not a reality. The average American marriage lasts seven years. After a break-up, there may be emotional scars to heal before another relationship can thrive. When we commit ourselves, we try to base our interactions on love instead of on fear but why is this so difficult?

"Unconditional love involves unconditional acceptance of oneself and love without fear. It is not a place you can get to; it is a place you can 'be". Frank Zizzo, Ph.D.

If you are in love and you want to avoid divorce, are you willing to love unconditionally? Often, my clients discover that, in truth, they have been unwilling to compromise. When they investigate all their needs and discuss options with a "third-sider", couples may reconnect to their deep love for one another. Then, they relate without depression, control or rage.

"Once you can forgive yourself and others from your past, you can move towards unconditional love." Uri P. Peles, M.D., Director, Beverly Hills Center for Sexual Medicine

For humans, the greatest need is to love and to be loved in return. When we process through THE 7 STAGES OF LIFE©, we are closer to a peaceful relationship than ever before. If we can fulfill our partners' needs, we will and vice versa. When we do this, life is wonderful for each of us. When we don't there may be pain. We can process through our own emotions; we may feel PANIC without abandoning the relationship; we may feel AGONY without using guilt on one another; we may feel RAGE without resorting to betrayal. We will be willing to NEGOTIATE with each other and when we are at PEACE, we will enjoy it together. And PEACE is the 7th STAGE.

Susan Allan is the author of DIVORCE: The Marry-Go-Round or
How to Save Your Money, Your Sanity and Your Life.
She is the founder of and is the "Ask The Divorce Coach" columnist. For FREE relationship seminars at Quest in Santa Monica, and for answers to your questions, email