Indeed, marriage can be a stable and mutually satisfying arrangement. For many it is so. When it is, it may look to an outsider as though the relationship is effortless. Yet, those on the inside often say that their good marriages are the result of hard work. Even good marriages can have their ups and downs,
There are myriad reasons for the downs, perhaps as many reasons as there are couples. Nevertheless, it may be said that two important root causes for marital complications are: 1) the differences between the spouses and 2) failures in communication.
Spouses often have very different personalities and different interactive styles. During courtship, these differences can be enticing. However, over time, they can also become annoying.They can become too challenging to each other's habitual ways of handling things.
Different backgrounds can also be appealing. The unfamiliar can excite. However, such differences can make mutual understanding difficult to achieve. Sometimes one or both spouses may hope to save the other from a problematic past. However, the effects of past problems can be hard to undo. As the novelist Karen Bender (2013) said in A Town of Empty Rooms, "A sorrow of being married was that you could not dive through time and comfort the child your spouse had been or, perhaps less noble, fix his troubles before they reached you."
Communication can be difficult, especially when people have different personal styles and backgrounds, but it can be also be challenging even if they don't. We are generally not taught to talk to each other, especially when there is conflict. Repeated communication mismatches can make it hard to come back from the inevitable relationship ruptures that occur between two individuals..
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