Sometimes marriages erode over time, in ways that are so subtle that neither partner even notices the change. Such reasons have also given many families to actually end up being separated.
In many cases, there is a clear turning point in the marriage, after which the course of the relationship changes for the worse. In still other relationships, the behaviour of one spouse is corrosive to the marriage and sometimes to the other spouse. "Corrosive" is an excellent word to describe behaviour that eats right through a marriage. In fact, it is unfortunate that more people do not leave marriages where there is gross abuse and neglect that is neither good for them or their children.
Before the thought of a divorce should set into motion, it is important that you ask yourself about the reasons of your dissatisfaction in your relationship. Perhaps your marriage no longer meets your needs. Perhaps slowly evolving changes have led to a marriage in which you feel emotionally neglected and unrecognized, or where your spouse spends less time with you and more time with personal interests or friends. Sometimes you may start to tackle the issues of the reasons about how to go about saving your marriage.
Leaving a significant relationship is difficult for most people. But for every reason to leave a failed marriage there is also a reason to stay. Sometimes the reasons to stay are children, the sanctity of marriage, concern for your spouse, or financial constraints. But people also stay in relationships for less than rational reasons like denial, rationalization, or plain fear of being alone. As you think about your marriage, it is also important to think about your life by comparing with both sets of reasons.
People choose to remain in such marriages for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they think/hope the problems will eventually clear up, or they believe they really are loved beneath it all. In other cases, people feel they have nowhere else to go, or no one else will love them. Sometimes people stay because they simply don`t realize they can leave. And it is not at all uncommon for people to stay in an abusive relationship because they fear leaving. Here, the best recourse is to seek professional, and possibly legal, advice and protection.
Apart from your spouse being a stakeholder in your marriage, there are probably other stakeholders in your marriage as well; people who have serious investments of their own in your marriage. Children under the age of 18 depend on their parents in every significant way, but besides the minor children, there are other stakeholders like adult children, parents and siblings, in-laws and the most typical of them are the shared friends. It is important for you while considering what is best for you in this situation, to recognize and consider the importance of your marriage to the other stakeholders as well.
In a marriage of equals, constant accommodation on the part of one person will eventually cause resentment and subsequently conflict. Compromise and negotiation, on the other hand, recognizes the equality of both parties as they seek an equitable and mutually satisfying solution to a problem. In a compromise, neither party may get exactly what they want at any given time. In these marriages preservation and enhancement of the relationship is more important than getting what one wants. Couples must learn to let go the argument in the service of maintaining an intimate connection.
When being right and winning becomes more important than the relationship, the marriage will be in trouble. When either party is more interested in winning, not able or not willing to negotiate, and has poor communication skills, the more likely they will have the kinds of difficulties that will lead them to consider divorce.
Sometimes two people are able to grow, change, and evolve in similar directions, sometimes not. The longer we live, the more possibility for change to be in different directions. As we can see from the forgoing analysis, many factors contribute to the decision to divorce. No one takes the issue of divorce lightly. Endings, however, are a part of life. Everything has a life expectancy. People are finite, imperfect beings, living in an imperfect, constantly evolving, constantly changing world.
One of the most important aspects of contemporary marriage is learning how to negotiate. The better able a couple is in learning the skills of negotiation, the less conflict they will experience and the greater their satisfaction.