How Does A Marriage Die?

It can happen without your even realizing it… you get married, days go by, years go by and then—boom!  Your marriage is in trouble.

In the beginning…

  • You are attracted to one another and start to spend time together.
  • You like this person, and it’s mutual.  Joy.  Thrill.  Sparks.  Heat.
  • You become a bit anxious about whether or not this person will stay in your life.
  • You start to make commitments to one another because commitment reduces anxiety about staying attached.
  • You get married.

Problems happen…

  • Problems happen.  They just do—and they will happen to you.  For some couples, they are easy problems, for others, they are very difficult and even gut-wrenching—such as having a seriously ill baby.
  • You have difficulty managing conflicts and problems as they come your way in life.
  • You don’t work as a team on problems.
  • Conflicts become more frequent and more intense.
  • The number of times you are together that become painful seems to go steadily up.
  • You don’t communicate well together, and you start to get nastier about it all.  Danger ahead.

Life happens…

  • Life gets busier.  You have a home to take care of, probably kids that need time and attention; your work begins eating up more time, and money pressures mount.
  • You begin to neglect the parts of life that bonded you together.  You have fun less often.  You go out infrequently.  You don’t just sit down together or take walks to talk as friends much anymore, and when you do, it often turns into an argument.

Marriage dies…

  • One or both partners begin to associate the presence of the other with pain and stress rather than with support or pleasure.  Friendship together becomes a distant memory.
  • The future becomes something to threaten in arguments:  “Why should I stay with you?” “Maybe we need to get a divorce.”
  • Now you experience the total erosion of dedication to one another and investment in the relationship. You’re forgetting why you went on this journey in the first place.
  • In the absence of forces that constrain some couples to stay together, you divorce. If you have a lot of constraint and commitment, or if you don’t redevelop dedication and satisfaction, you stay married and miserable.