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According to statistics, marriages still outnumber divorces, but the gap is closing too fast. Why is marriage becoming a failed institution so quickly?

I can't understand how two people, madly in love at first, suddenly find that they are incompatible, and totally miserable in a marriage that should never have been?

How is it possible for a couple to love each other in the beginning, only to end up hating, even despising one another? What events have caused loving relationships to completely breakdown?

Are you happily married? If so, what have you found to be the secret formula for a happy and lasting marriage?

Are you now divorced? If so, why do you feel your marriage failed?
What factors caused you or your partner to decide that you wished to no longer remain married? For those who have children, what effects did your divorce cause for them?

If you are divorced, do you wish to ever again remarry?

For those of you how have never been married, does the institution of marriage frighten you as much as it does me? Have your personal observations, or the statistics on failed marriages, frightened you away from ever taking that step?

My personal choice is to remain a confirmed Bachelorette. How many of you have decided to remain a Bachelorette? A Bachelor?

When it comes to this most important step in your life, do you feel it's best to think with your head, or think with your heart?

Could you please give me your thoughts on some of my questions?


"As long as it's LEAGAL, I can pretty much do whatever
I wish, and behave in whatever outrageous manner I
want. Why? Because I'm SINGLE, because I'm FREE,
because I'm NOT in love, and because
I'm TOTALLY independent!"
- Playgirl

"When two people decide to get a divorce,
it isn't a sign that they "don't understand"
one another, but a sign that they have,
at last, begun to."
- Helen Rowland

"A divorce is like an amputation: you
survive it, but there's less of you."
- Margaret Atwood

"Women marry men hoping they will change.
Men marry women hoping they will not.
So each is inevitably disappointed."
- Albert Einstein


( 81 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 14th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
Marriage is an ever growing, ever changing relationship. So many significant things happen over a lifetime, some good and some not so good. Both partners can choose to grow and change and face the good and bad times, or they can fold.

I am quite sure many couples think that circumstances will remain pretty much the same as they are during the dating phase. Thus, they are not really prepared for a more realistic view of what having a spouse and children and job problems and money problems and illnesses et al mean to living tpgether.

I would recommend two things:

1. The couple do some kind of seminar or read a book together or what have you that discusses what married life is really like.

2. The couple do some kind of investigation with a mentor that explores how compatible they are, how well they communicate, how mature they are, etc.

Of course, a big problem is that younger people can get so "in love" that thye don't take a realistic view themselves and each other.
I guess it comes down to maturity, responsibility, willingness to compromise, ability to be kind to each other, etc.

Jun. 15th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
I am a Catholic and it's required for couples who will soon be married, to attend seminars together, before they can marry. But still, the divorce rate continues to rise.

You are right, it takes maturity and a willingness to compromise, in order for a marriage to survive.

I think it's beautiful that you have remained married for so long!
Thank you and I send you lots of love!
Jun. 14th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
The Short Version
Nature tricks us with Love. That largely biological mechanism lasts about 18 months. Most folks marry before that expires. Social pressure used to keep marriages together. Much of that pressure was on the woman as, until only the last several decades, she was financially trapped in marriage by inheritance and divorce laws and lack of work opportunities.

Even today, many women get the short end of the stick when they divorce. There's a lot of noise about 'wives taking their husbands to the cleaners', but that's largely a myth. Some women might get an up-front chunk of cash, but most of them do not have the earning power of their ex's and did in fact support him on the home front while he worked and built said earning power.

As you see, my dear, it's all about Money and Class. But as a Tejana, you already know that.

Me, I'm polyamrous. And working on a whole new type of marriage construct. Me and mine do have a few years of trial and error ahead of us, but all of us in this are going in with our eyes open...and you get to watch. We know you like to watch..lol

Jun. 15th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: The Short Version
I have seen so many girls work, in order to put their husband through school, then just as soon as soon as he gets his degree and establishes himself in a good paying job, he leaves her!

'wives taking their husbands to the cleaners
I heard this before. I have a male friend who recently got a divorce, and have heard him tell everyone that his wife took him to the cleaners. This, of course, is NOT true. I know for a fact that he didn't give her jack shit! The poor girl has to work as a waitress, depending on tips to support herself and her kids. It enrages me to hear my friend say this.

By and by, I have chucked him off my REAL LIFE friend's list!

Hope things work out for you Sweety Pie! Remember, you have promised that I get to watch! Yup! I love watching, that's for sure!
Love and hugs Sweet Stuff!

Jun. 14th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'd like to get married personally. And what I think is a marriage, has many forms. I do think people can find each other, live together, love each other, enjoy each others comapany, have children, and choose never to get married. I think people get married too quickly.

My ex and I were engaged for almost a year and she broke it off and broke up with me. Soon she turned around and started going out. They have been married 2 years and have a son who will be 2 soon. She's flustered and feeling stuck married to an older guy (he's not a ba guy) and she's still young and wants to party and enjoy life, yet... has a son and can never find a babysitter. When she can, her husband never wants to go out as he works and "has done all his parting." :( She rushed into it. I knew she would feel different after she turned 21...
Jun. 16th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
I'm sorry your ex didn't choose the right guy, which was you, to make her happy. Now she must remain in a marriage where she feels stuck.

Yes, people rush into marriage without fully realizing what a major step it is in their lives. That's so sad.
Jun. 14th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Marriage is not for me.
Jun. 15th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean!
Jun. 14th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
El matrimonio es la relación mas complicada que yo he encontrado en mi vida, conforme pasa el tiempo, ambos se dan cuenta que el otro no era lo que esperaban o creian, más sin embargo creo que es tambien muy importante, hasta ahora conozco muy pocos matrimonios que sean 100% felices ya que la mayoria de los matrimonios que tienen mucho tiempo es mas por conveniencia que porque realmente se sigan amando. El secreto creo yo es la comunicación y la aceptación, si todo se habla y discute es mejor, lo peor que puede haber en un matrimonio son los secretos y las mentiras. Si aceptas al otro como es ya tienes ganado el camino...
Jun. 15th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
¡Lástima que no se requiere en las escuelas, estudios serios para el matrimonio, porque es uno de los pasos más importantes y más difíciles en la vida!

Yo también pienso, que la comunicación, y el respeto son las cosas mas importantes, hasta más importantes que el sexo. Por cierto, e notado que todos esos matrimonios que entran con esta idea, y que llegan al matrimonio sin pensar, y como si fuera un juego, empieza uno o el otro de ser infiel, y por eso es que empiesan los secretos y las mentiras. ¡Lástima, por que la trajedia es cuando existen niños, que en realidad, son los víctimas!
Re: ¡Lástima! - ormembar - Jun. 15th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 14th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
I am married:)

sharing my life with my wife makes me happy. We can do more things. We can afford to do them, have time to do them, have someone to do them with. It's nice.

Now, the kid thing, I don't know.
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
Marriages like yours are rare and are envied by most.

I honestly believe that research should be made on couples such as yourself, to see what it is that has made the marriage a success!
Jun. 15th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
People grow and quite often they change, sometimes a woman will, for what ever reason, forget why she fell in love with a man and start to try and change him into something totally different that what she fell in love with to begin with. When that happens it is possible for a bereak down to happen, but not necessarily become enemys.

I am divorced after 22 years, because of the reason I mentioned above. My favorite hero said it best when he exclaimed, "I yam what I yam and thats all that I yam." Why try to make me into something that I am not? When a spouse can only find fault in what the other does, it does not take long for the straw to build up and break the donkeys back.

As for Marrage, Its a wonderful institution, but I am not so sure when I will cross that bridge again, but I am sure that I someday will. I will use both my head (the bigger one) and my heart on the next one and not just my heart.

Jun. 15th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
I will never understand why one partner tries to change the other after marriage. I would think that what made them fall in love in the first place, was because of how that person was.

Oh, POPEYE! What a clever little character he is, to come up with something that's so true! :o)

I know you will cross that bridge again someday, and I know this time around, it will be a beautiful love story for both of you!

Thank you Daddy, and I love you!
Jun. 15th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
I was married for a few weeks' short of 11 years. Much of it was happy.

The problem was that my wife was extremely strong-minded, and determined to get her way at all costs, no matter the consequence. I think it was just the way she learned to live. I on the other hand found myself consistently weighing whether the argument point I wanted to make was worth wrecking the marriage for. It did occur to me that her tactic was problematic, but at that time I was of the opinion that she would change.

10 years came and went, and she didn't change until finally I said I couldn't do it anymore and decided to consider divorce an option. That was the instant her tone changed. Even then, as you know, she didn't let go without a few parting shots, of sorts.

I don't let my experience color my opinion of marriage. It was my relationship with her that was flawed, not the institution. It's a matter of finding someone with whom you can coexist, and balance each others' wants and needs. I was a fool for thinking she'd change, she was a fool for never giving an inch.

I'm in a new relationship now, with a woman whom I love and who loves me. if the relationship survives long enough and is strong, yes, I'll marry again. But I keep my guard up for mind games and emotional manipulation.
Jun. 15th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)
At least, as you stated, many of those years were happy.

It’s sad when one partner tries to cause so many problems when the other finds it impossible to continue living under the same roof! How much nicer and easier it would be to part as friends.

I’m so happy that you have found someone who most likely is compatible to you and I’m sure she will prove to be the kind of wife you so deserve. I believe a marriage should be an equal give and take relationship.

I wish you the best Sweety Pie! What a lucky girl to have a guy like you!
Jun. 15th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
The trend is easily explained.

1) Feminism (the "not Camille" kind)

2) How men feel about feminism.
Jun. 15th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
I do believe your explanation makes an awful lot of sense!
Jun. 15th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
Done marriage and done Divorce. And Ya know no matter how long you live with someone you love and such You never really know them at all.

So with that in mind from my own experiences.. i adopted Gene Simmons method. no Marriage. Live in Sin. no one owns anyone. And what is aPiece a paper claiming your Undying passion for anyway with your other... Is it all worth teh money becuase that is all it seems money talks..
Jun. 15th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
That little piece of paper is the difference between your significant other (SO) making decisions about your care and your, possibly estranged, parents or siblings.

That little piece of paper could be the difference between being in a vegetative state and being allowed to die of starvation or thirst.

That little piece of paper can be the difference between you getting the house you are living in and your SO relatives getting it, or forcing it's sale.

That little piece of paper could determine who gets to raise your kids.

That little piece of paper can be very important, especially when you can not speak for yourself.
(no subject) - nightvyxen - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - davev1968 - Jun. 16th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - playgirl - Jun. 16th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nightvyxen - Jun. 16th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Question... - eeecho_42 - Jun. 16th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Question... - nightvyxen - Jun. 16th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Certianly... - eeecho_42 - Jun. 16th, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
Divorce is on the rise because it has become a painless option in most states. Marriage is (at least legally) nothing more than a contract between two people. Contracts are made a broken all the time, so nothing unusual there. So let's look at the reasons for marriage in the past. The woman supplied, cooking, cleaning, rearing the children, oh and sex... The man supplied the food for the table via hunting and growing crops, protection for the family, oh and sex. Today, men can cook, women can get their meat at the local grocery, schools do most of the raising of the children, and the police provide protection. So that leaves.....Oh Sex... Now we know that realistically not everyone is getting married just for a sexual partner, not when there are so many available without marriage. So exactly why are people getting married? Well, two incomes make for a stronger financial base and therefore allows for a better life style. At least until the kids start coming, then the Harley is traded for a riding lawn mower, the corvette for a minivan and life becomes much more complicated. At that point the marriage will start to break down unless,,,,,unless the two people involved in the marriage are friends. Good friends. For it's at that point that you need more than your sex drive to muddle through the day to day of married life. In truth I think the reasons for marriage failing is that they are too easy to get and too easy to get out of. I know couples who have out and out said, "Oh well, if this doesn't work we can always get a divorce and move on." For those of you who are getting married to someone you think needs changes remember this. You can change a person but there is no telling what they will change into. So take more time before you marry. Decide if you both really want to marry and are committed to making it work. And last remember marriage is a job. You have to work at it everyday to make it work. If both people go into the marriage committed to the idea that you will treat your spouse like royalty and not worry about what is in it for you your marriage will flourish. At least that is the way I see it.
Jun. 15th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
You are so incredible! Who the hell needs a marriage counselor, when there is someone like you!

Every thing you have stated is the TRUTH!

I honestly believe that good and satisfying sex is imperative, but I feel it’s secondary for a successful marriage, long lasting marriage! The most important and rewarding things in a marriage are respect for one another (absolutely no belittling for the others shortcomings), no matter what! Complete and open communication is a must, as is becoming the very best of friends possible. OMG, fidelity! There must be fidelity until "death do us part!"

Physical beauty eventually fades, and if a man marries a woman only because she's beautiful, and as the years go by and she gets older, she starts losing her looks. Since the husband married her only for her looks, then he will definitely start looking at other beautiful women with much more than desire on his mind. The same goes for a woman. If she marries a guy only because he's a stud in bed, and eventually can't perform as much sexually as he did when he was young, because he's grown older, then that's when the woman starts having affairs with other men.

Marriage should be based on the beauty each one has inside, and nothing else. I honest to God, believe in "Love, honor and obey."

Inspectorjury, the more I know you, the more you leave me in awe by your wisdom!

I do so love you!
Re: Wow! - inspectorjury - Jun. 15th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
I think too many people get married out of infatuation and eagerness, not true love.

Eventually all that fades, and we have a divorce.

Just my take.
Jun. 15th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely right!

We all become infatuated by so MANY different things in life. When a person marries someone because of infatuation, the marriage is doomed from the very beginning! And that's sad!
Jun. 15th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Reading all these comments, all I can say in response is...

Orgy Porgy, Ford and Fun
Kiss the girls and make them one

Or something like that. Buncha horndogs.

My thoughts on the subject are warped and twisted largely due to social ostracism (these days, largely self-imposed) and neuroses that need looking into. I can't help but think that people don't grasp what marriage is supposed to be, and that a lot of people don't want to work at it.

Oh, and my younger sister was convinced she'd never get married (it was an issue of pride). She's been married for a couple of years now.
Jun. 16th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
I honestly DO believe that many of them have no inkling as to what marriage is suppose to be.

You're right, when these people suddenly find that the marriage is in trouble, they feel it's much easier to just divorce, instead of taking the time to try and work things out.

So your sister ended up getting married, huh? I'm glad and I hope that she and her husband will someday celebrate their golden anniversary! :o)
Jun. 15th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Relationships first need trust in order to work. Without that, then there's no reason to go any further. Once you have the trust, then there has to be openness. There has to be a discussion of each other's futures. Also, one of the most important questions one has to be able to answer is, "Can you see yourself growing old with that person?" Another one is, "Is that person family?"

There will be times of intense conflict because relationships take work. If you don't know yourself, then you're setting yourself up for change which can greatly affect the relationship. You also have to know the other person. Does he/she meet your expectations? If there is any doubt, then maybe it should be reconsidered.

Truly, I believe there's just so much one has to think of and discuss in order to achieve those bonds which are deserving of holy matrimony.
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
I have found that when a couple marries when they are older, the marriage stands a much better chance of surviving. It may be that as one grows older, maturity sets in and one comes to know oneself better.

I honestly believe that when two people become good friends first, and grow to love and respect one another because of that friendship, then marriage has a greater chance of survival. I don’t believe the important thing is trusting each other, but more like proving to that they CAN be trusted. And loyalty, there must be loyalty ALWAYS and FOREVER!

I have seen wives belittle their husband’s because they lost their job and can’t find one, or the husband makes less money than someone else’s. This is where compassion comes in. There should always be compassion for the others misgivings. Forgiveness is also a most important factor.

Each MUST giving each other their space and not expect (suffocating) the other to provide constant entertainment for him/her.

Communication. If something is bothering you, you must feel comfortable in knowing that you can bring it out in the open to try and work it out.

Last but not least, there is sex. Both should always make an attempt at totally and completely satisfying each other. AND they should always kiss before they go to sleep! :o)

As for growing old with each other, I believe Robert Browning said it best with these beautiful words that make my heart go pitter-patter:

"Grow old with me! The best is yet to be."
- Robert Browning
(no subject) - tigron_x - Jun. 17th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
A good thing and a bad thing...
I think the breakdown of the institution of Marriage is both a bad thing and a good thing: Throughout most of human history, marriage has been necessary for one's own survival, and for the survival of one's children; even when remaining single was economically feasible, one's declining years would be pretty nightmarish without offspring to see to one's needs. But today in America, we do not need a spouse to live, and it's possible to raise children without a partner, as well. It would be NICE to have a partner, but we CAN survive without one...and in every relationship there's bound to be moments (or days...or months...or...) when being single would be better than THIS.

I know my own history isn't going to set new standards of success (I've had some long-term relationships, but never married) but I've seen some marriages that REALLY WORKED, so my faith in the institution is still there. I know enough about myself and relationships to make a reasonable success of a marriage, and I'd keenly like to have some children. The tricky part is that I'm pushin' fifty and perhaps I've passed my "sell-by date."

I guess you just never know.
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
Re: A good thing and a bad thing...
My God! I believe men who are pushing fifty are at the best age ever to start a serious commitment!

I promise I'm telling the truth when I tell you that I know this man who married at 70 and now has a beautiful son. Believe it or not but this couple has already been married for about seven years, and are as happy as an be! :o)
Re: A good thing and a bad thing... - paulcurtis - Jun. 16th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Oh, and speaking of long marriages... - paulcurtis - Jun. 16th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
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