Despite the romantic notion of “love at first sight,” a happy, healthy relationship does not develop overnight. It takes years of love and commitment by both partners. Likewise, very few marriages and long-term relationships fall apart all at once. Instead, in most cases, the partners begin growing apart over time as the health of the marriage deteriorates. In some situations, there may be a precipitating event—such as an episode of infidelity—that leads to a divorce, but, according to relationship experts, a struggling marriage is likely to be the result of much less dramatic, but just as serious, interpersonal issues.
Marriage and family therapists have a fairly good grasp of the problems facing unhappy couples. Some of the most common issues that ultimately lead to the breakdown of a marriage include:
When you first dated your spouse, every conversation was exciting. You could hardly wait to learn more about him or her, what things they liked and did not like, and who they were as a person. As time goes on, couples begin to get bored, and each partner may feel like they are losing their unique identity. Experts suggest continuing to ask questions and to explore one another’s feelings and perspectives, no matter how long you have been together....