Why Marriages Fail

June 21, 2010

Why Marriages Fail

We look at some reasons why marriage can be such a difficult business, as well as some things that can help relationships thrive.

Marriage requires compatibility not just at the point of saying ‘I do,’ but across the entire life span.

You won’t be the same person in five, ten, or twenty years. Your goals, ideals, perspectives and interests can all change as you evolve. However, as you move along your adulthood as an ever-changing being, your spouse is doing the same thing.
Couples who are considering marriage should ask themselves and each other: where could one of us be in a year, three years, thirty years? What are the potential barriers to us ‘growing old together?’ What will we do if one of us drastically strays from our current plan?

Assuming that marriage implies monogamy, the institution itself is counter-intuitive to biology.

What people need to realise is that the ideal marriage is striving for a greater good than can be obtained in lieu of multiple sex partners. But make no mistake: marriage is a man-made institution, not a natural one. Without an appreciation for the magnitude of commitment prior to starting the marriage, both sexual and emotional, a person can become disenchanted very quickly.

There is far too much emphasis on ‘weddings’ as opposed to ‘marriages.’
Don’t confuse the terms ‘wedding’ and ‘marriage.’ Your wedding occurs on Day 1, but your marriage is every single day after that. Unfortunately, women (and some men) are taught that the wedding day is the most important thing in a person’s life. But the price tag with that comes with that fleeting moment of glory can be colossal.

Many couples do not know how to fight fairly.

Too many people shy away from raising their voices or asserting their needs. At the other extreme, there are couples who simply can’t control their emotions, where every day brings a new, explosive battle in the relationship. And of course there are always relationships where one partner is a fighter and the other a peace keeper. Before you approach your partner with a grievance, take a mental peek into the mirror. What aspect of yourself, what issues or ‘stuff,’ either past or present, are you bringing to the discussion about this problem?

Marriages solve problems.

No, marriages amplify problems. A ring or a marriage certificate doesn’t improve an individual’s insecurities, solve problems or alter personalities. The increase in physical proximity and time spent together will probably increase any issues you already have.

People settle for less than what they want.

Because of society’s demands many make a decision to get married based on flawed reasoning: to have children, to not be alone, to find someone who fits an arbitrary mold or to satisfy their parents and society’s demands. If you are making a lifelong decision to meet ulterior motives, it’s not likely to bring to you much happiness.

Couples assume they are immune to reasons 1-6 and believe that hard work isn’t part of the deal.

They think that love, sex, children or some combination thereof will be enough. Marriage requires maintenance and effort as well or else it will collapse. I’ve had couples say to me, “that’s so unromantic. It shouldn’t be work, we should be able to do this naturally if we truly love each other.” While I wish I could agree with them on that score, it’s simply not reality, and this viewpoint is the precipitator for so many of the marital problems seen today.

By Dr. Rob Dobrenski, PhD.

Read more at his blog here!

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