Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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Infidelity aside, there are a myriad of reasons marriages crash. Whether married forty years or dating forty days, all couples have the potential to grow apart. Most get stuck in unfulfilling relationships for practical reasons: they stay for the kids, they can’t afford to leave, while others are too overwhelmed and frightened to disrupt a life that has been built over many years.

According to GoMarry.com recent study, the divorce rates among American couples for first marriages consistently remaining in the 40-60% range over the last several decades, and divorce statistics for second marriages significantly higher at 65-75%, we must ask ourselves what it is that leads to stagnation and deterioration in marriage. Is it really possible to keep a loving relationship thriving for the long haul? What is it that is really is at the core of a good loving relationship that lasts over time, and is it worth it?  Over the course of my career as a relationship therapist, I’ve found that there are 3 key reasons marriages split at the seams.

The “Glue” of Togetherness is Gone

Sharing intimately on all levels is what creates the emotional glue that holds a couple together over time. Take initiative to make sure you protect your private couple time a little bit every day. Commit to turning off the phones and computers. Good quality, intimate moments keep your connection on solid ground. It’s the “glue” that creates a good intimate life physically, sexually, intellectually, and spiritually.

The Contract is Up

All couples make an unspoken contract with each other about what needs they will be meeting for each other. This can change as a couple grows and matures over time, and they may find that the original contract made no longer works for their lifestyle. Many will reach various decision points along the way regarding whether or not the benefits of the marriage outweigh the costs. Sometimes it’s time to recognize you have fulfilled your purpose for each other and you’re both ready to embrace new meaning in your lives.

Mid Life Review

Midlife is typically a time to review where you have been and where you are going. As we become aware of our mortality and the passage of time, many rev into high gear, change our lives and seek a new sense of purpose. A relationship that has stagnated over time can suddenly become intolerable when faced with the realization that time is of the essence. Many people see a midlife breakup as a last chance for a more fulfilling love relationship. If you are a couple whose contract is not renewable, then wish each other well and let go as you move on to the new opportunities in your life.

Things fall apart, people drift apart and marriages will expire.  There is no crime in reaching a mature decision that says, “this isn’t working anymore.” But if you’re committed to one another, there are ways you can avoid being another statistic. You just have to be willing to work.