Shil1978 is a science buff with 11 years of experience writing about of psychology and related-topics.
Ah, marriage! Someone once stated this about marriage—that those who are not married can't wait to get married, and those who are married often wonder whether they should have gotten married at all and want out! Although this is a lighthearted comment on marriage, many of us can identify with the underlying emotion behind it. The reason we identify with this statement, of course, is because many of us get into a marriage thinking that marriage would equal to all that is good at present (your single existence) plus the extra benefits that would come with marriage.
Of course, this extra bit isn't something that we define or can identify—we just hope there is something extra that marriage has in store for us, and of course, we think that this extra is going to be a positive thing. In other words, we go into a marriage with high expectations. This, of course, is the genesis of a potential future disaster. Because what goes up generally comes down, and so it is with high expectations. When you set the bar that high, you are bound to be hit with a sobering reality check sooner rather than later.
Seven Reasons Marriages Fail
Here are some common reasons why a marriage could fail.
1. You Have Changed
How often have you heard this statement from married couples when referring to each other? I suspect the answer would be quite often! Well, if you are married and find yourself uttering this statement about your spouse, it could mean either of two things. Either your spouse has really changed, or you have changed and hence view your spouse differently now. It is a fact that people change and all change isn't bad. People evolve often into more mature individuals—their life experiences having shaped them. Your interests may change, perhaps your ideals, and who knows what else, but it would be the same for your partner as well. So, change per se isn't bad and is in fact, one can argue, inevitable. What is important, therefore, is that you, as a couple, adapt to each other and grow as individuals together, without conflict or bitterness. Expecting a person to be the same as the one you met all those years ago is unrealistic. You won't meet that person unless you time travel back to that time.
2. The Hurdle of Infidelity
Countless marriages end at the alter of infidelity. Humans are not truly monogamous, biologically speaking. Hence, it requires us to exercise a certain degree of self-control and discipline in remaining monogamous. Either one of the partners can become disenchanted or bored with a marriage a few years down the line. When this happens, some may give in to temptation. This obviously sets into motion a potential chain of events that could end the marriage. While those who cheat think they can get away with it, often times, they get found out. There are some who argue that an affair down the line can actually strengthen a marriage, but I really don't see how. Perhaps, if they don't get found out. It is a high-stakes gamble anyway and no couple who love each other truly should give into the temptation to cheat, for there is much to lose and very little to gain by doing so.
3. Arguing Your Way to Divorce
The fact is that every successful long-term relationship will have its fair share of heated arguments and serious verbal fights. I count my marriage among them. Having arguments is not a problem, but what can be a problem is how you handle arguments and how you fight with each other through your arguments. If in a relationship, the normal scenario (during an argument) is of one partner constantly being the aggressor and the other constantly being the defender, it bodes ill for the future. The partner who is constantly being defensive may well feel he/she has had enough at some point of time. The key to a long and lasting marriage, therefore, is to have a situation where both partners argue fairly and have a balance. This would not only reduce the levels of undue stress that may be felt by one partner constantly, but would also ensure that such arguments result in constructive solutions. When you fight fair and balanced, you can agree much more easily and overcome potential problems that every marriage goes through.
4. Suppressing Your True Feelings
While in some marriages, couples are upfront in bringing up any problems they may be facing in their relationship, there are marriages, where at least one partner is hesitant in bringing up any problems being faced. There may be many reasons for it, ranging from an extreme desire to preserve the marriage at all costs to not wanting to face a conflict situation, and so on. However, having such an approach does not really make the marriage last, but just extends the inevitable for a while. It is absolutely important that couples bring up their problems and discuss them with each other and not allow such problems to fester and grow to the point where it can become harder to resolve.
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5. That Nagging Habit That Does No Good
When we hear the word "nagging," we tend to dismiss it and have a laugh at it. We don't look at it as being a problem; in fact, many among us may well choose to look at it as being an inevitable consequence of being with someone. Well, unfortunately, for certain couples, nagging can quite be the deal breaker. It certainly is no fun and it can do much damage over the long term. This is a habit that you may have, yet not be aware of how serious it has gotten. Only your partner would know, and so if he/she complains about it, then pay serious, serious attention to it and try to overcome this habit. A partner who is a constant nagger can increase the stress levels of their spouse and invite constant fights. It is a habit that does you no good as well - it never does solve any problems in the long term. Sure, you want to tell your partner to do this or get that done, but it can well be said in a loving voice and in a normal tone, not in a fault-finding mode with unnecessary adjectives. You really don't need colorful language to convey your message.
6. Marrying For the Wrong Reasons
You should only really marry if you truly love your partner and want all of that, which comes along with marriage. You should definitely not marry because of money, bettering career prospects, or as happens in some Asian countries, to conform to societal rules or parental wishes. Such marriages aren't based on any strong foundation but are at best a compromise that will eventually (in most cases) unravel and fall apart. Hence, marry for the right reasons, if you want your marriage to last and succeed.
7. Work on and Nurture Your Marriage
You work hard at your job to be the best at what you do, you work hard as a sportsperson at the sport your play to be the best in your game, but do you really think you work just as hard at your marriage? Chances are you don't and that you take your marriage for granted. Big mistake! You need to build upon and nuture your marriage constantly. As with your house or your car, your marriage requires periodic maintenance to keep it in working order. It is not that we do not know what we should do to nurture our marriage and make our partners feel loved and special, it is just that we are plain lazy and take our partners for granted. Keep the romance alive in your marriage. You know what you need to do; after all, you've done all those things to get your loved one to say, Yes, and win him/her over! So, just go ahead and do those things and keep the flame of romance burning.
Do I Regret Having Married/Having Experienced Marriage?
I’ve been married for just over 10 years now and I have to admit that I have wondered on occasion whether I should have chosen to stay single. Of course, the reason one asks oneself this question is because, often times, one is overwhelmed with the responsibilities—real or perceived restrictions, the personality differences/clashes, etc.—that come along with marriage. Younger couples may find themselves questioning along these lines more often, as they get into a marriage with higher expectations in general and don’t anticipate the many things that they may have to face in a marriage. While these questions have crept into my mind on occasions, they have found their way out of my mind just as quick. Because marriage isn’t just black and white—you cannot straightjacket it.
Of course, I could have chosen to stay single, if I thought the odd bad days that I had in my marriage wasn’t worth it all or something that I couldn’t handle. However, I can’t but be thankful for the marriage I have. When I look at the smiling face of my beautiful daughter and see the love my daughter shares with her father, I am reminded of what I would have missed out on had I stayed single. When I know that I can snuggle up to and share my deepest, most private thoughts with my husband and know that he is there for me, no matter what, through thick and thin, it is a greatly reassuring feeling.
Everyone has different experiences with marriage and there may be many for whom marriage is pure hell. However, for most of us, marriage is neither great nor hellish – it just is! We bear the responsibility to nurture our marriages and care for it. It is up to us to define what our marriage means to us. I have defined it as being totally worth it and I wouldn’t give it up to be single again for sure.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Shil1978