Why are there so many poor marriages?
I’m not (just) talking about the bad marriages headed for divorce; what about all those marriages that will never end which are neither good nor happy? Why are so many people living in marriages somewhere between barely tolerable and just okay?
I see three possible causes. At least one spouse:
- Does not know/believe it can be better
- Does not know how to make it better
- Is not willing to do what it takes to make it better
In a society where a marriage has a significant chance of ending in divorce, one could conclude people don’t know it can be better. While I think most people have no idea how good marriage can be, I doubt there are many who honestly think marriages cannot be any better.
The second point has some validity, but there are plenty of resources for those who want to make their marriages better. Some resources are free, some cost a bit (books) some cost a lot (seminars and some counselling). Even if someone has no idea how to make their marriage better, he or she can easily find help.
My gut feeling is the third point is the most significant of the three. I think not being willing to do what it takes is what most limits marriages. I think many men and women either are not willing, or feel they don’t have the time, energy, or money necessary to make their marriage better.
How much do you want your marriage to be better? What are you willing to do to make it happen?