There is good news and bad news about marriage in today’s world.
The good news is that it really can be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling ways to live a life.
The bad news, however, is that many marriages are very unhappy.
A young woman columnist, arguing against the very idea of marriage, said:
“When I look at marriages, mostly what I see is pain. And the thing about having pain is that it feels so good when you stop.”
Do you feel marriage is a satisfying way to live a life or merely a source of pain?
The pain and suffering in some marriages cannot be denied.
They are seen in the high divorce rate in lands where divorce is permitted.
Why so much turmoil in marriage?
Common marital problems
One difficulty is that no one is perfect.
We all have quirks that can irritate others.
When we see individuals only occasionally, those quirks are not important.
But when we live with an individual in marriage, they can loom very large indeed.
They can result in destructive bickering.
Or the relationship can explode in violence.
Differences in personality, or in goals, can cause big problems.
What happens when a talkative individual marries someone who prefers to be quiet?
Or when one mate values material possessions more than the other does?
Perhaps the wife may feel she has lost face if her husband does not keep her in the same luxury she enjoyed in her father’s house.
Or the husband may spend long hours at work leaving his wife alone, causing her to feel lonely.
Drunkenness is another major cause of marriage breakup.
Some, in today’s permissive generation, feel that occasional infidelity can be beneficial.
But researchers say:
“Infidelity doesn’t work. Lots of people think an adulterous affair might spice up a marriage, but an affair was always a sign of real problems. It was never a painless thing.”
Bearing this out, reports in many countries showed adultery to be one of the most prevalent grounds for divorce there.
Did you ever consider, too, the way the deteriorating economy can erode a marriage?
When both husband and wife go out to work—as so many do today—a family tends to drift apart.
And when a couple gets deeply into debt, tension, bitterness and recriminations often result.
Again, the modern tendency of people to ‘do their own thing’ works against the stability of marriage.
Couples find it difficult to adjust to each other’s likes and dislikes.
Often they expect the same freedom in marriage that they had while single.
Married people who cannot cultivate a giving attitude have a serious problem.
Then relatives can be a problem, especially in those lands where marriage is viewed as a union of two families rather than just two persons.
In such places pressure from relatives can be strong.
The husband’s mother may be so domineering that she, rather than the wife’s husband, is her head.
Or perhaps the girl’s own parents insist on telling her what she should do, instead of letting the young couple live their own life.
These are some of the difficulties couples may encounter when they get married.
Hence, we can truly say that marriage is still under assault, still under great pressure.
Will it survive? Yes, marriage as an institution will survive, because it truly can be “one of the most satisfying and fulfilling ways to live a life.”
But evidently individual marriages can also have unhappy outcomes.