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Why Most Marriages Never Work

Updated on August 13, 2018
Patrick Patrick profile image

Patrick has been working as a freelance writer for the past 3 years

Failing Relationships


Why Marriages Fail

Love is a beautiful thing. Anyone who has ever been in love will agree with this statement a 100 percent. I'm not talking about how it hurts after break-ups or the disappointments that follow the break-up. I'm talking about falling in love, those first few weeks that make you feel like you are a whole new being, like you are a changed person, it is almost like you have some light inside you that is glowing. Yeah, that love.

So why do most marriages (40 percent according to some statistics in the United States) fail? Where does the love go? This is a very genuine question for most people: Many will find themselves asking each their significant others, "what happened to us? When did things change so much?"

Change- That is what happened.


Philosophy of the self is one of the most interesting topics I have come across in philosophy. Sure, there are many different approaches and arguments of what the "self" is, which for the most part tend to conflict. I honestly don't remember who argued what, but I did come across one argument that suggested that our "self" tend to change over time. This suggested that we have the body part of us and the "self" which is more like our personalities. However, the "self-change" over time to the extent that others may actually notice that we have changed. I'm sure you been told that you have changed a lot at some point in your life. This is not with regards to changes in the body (height, weight, complexion etc) but rather changes in personality, behavior or even desires (likes and dislikes). So, do you suppose you are the person you were last year? What about you has changed? Why has it changed? Do you like the person you have become?

So, according to the philosophy (the self), people tend to change over time. Sure, you are the same person (Jason, Nicky, Jamie, etc) but who you were in high school is not the person you are when you get to college. You start hating some favorite meal you used to love, you start enjoying being alone more than having company, you start loving some music that you once hated or even start enjoying the company of people you really disliked earlier in life.



The self

To understand why friends fall out and marriages fail would require that one understands that changes do happen in life. We grow out of the "self" that we used to be, changing in one way or another. This is why I like to believe that getting married at an early age or within a short period of time after meeting is not the best idea. I am not saying that every couple that gets married early will divorce, but the reality is that they are more likely to end up breaking up. I am sure you have heard this from a good number of people who married young; "I was young and foolish". Ok, foolish may not be the word they should really use, but it is true that they did not know what they were doing all that well. Have you watched some episode of Jerry Springer? I am always shocked by how young the couples are. Some are as young as 16 with children. As they grow and change they realize that they may have made the wrong decisions. It is at this point that you here the harsh, bitter words being thrown around. When two people meet and like each other, the reality is that they like who they are at that point. A guy will like how a certain girl dresses, how she behaves, the activities she enjoys, and how she acts towards him and vice versa. But as time goes people change. These changes become noticeable more and more and people are no longer who they were when they meet. All the qualities they liked about each other have changes and their personalities have changed significantly. So what happens? The person you were once attracted to is not the same person anymore. He/She is now like a stranger to the person you knew a few years ago, and you become disinterested and the attraction fades away.

Work on It

It Can Work
It Can Work | Source

Don't rush

It is such changes that gradually kill the marriage. I like to believe that in time, those in a marriage will find the qualities they saw in each other in other people. This often causes more strain on relationships and in the event that both partners fail to work on their differences, there is a fallout.

So what should people do given that changes will always take place? I think the answer to that is to stop rushing into marriages. Getting to know each other more is the key given that it will allow each party to ultimately commit to the other. Love is the baseline, but it takes work to make it work. It is at this point that I would ask those who have been married for a good number of years to remember what they loved about each other in the first place. Take time to do the things that the other loved and show how much you appreciate each other in doing so. That effort will always be appreciated.

Can Marriage Work?

Yes, a marriage can work; After all, there are couples that are going strong after 20, 30 and even 40 years of marriage. I do realize that it is not easy- It has never been easy. Ever heard of the quote that "if it was easy everyone would do it"? Being in a marriage means being committed to each other through all the difficulties. It is working to resolve all issues together as a team and working through all the issues together. This is how you show your appreciation for each other - working on the love you share. After all, who says that being with another person will end up any differently? Once you find love, real love that is, work on it and keep it alive.

© 2016 Patrick

So What do You Think? How Can Do we Make a Marriage work? Please share your thoughts below

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    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Mel.....You're so right! The single-most important aspect to a wonderful & long-lasting marriage (or relationship) is to take the time, focus & interest to get to know & understand our significant other. This is by no means any empty statement and is important to take to heart.

      We have all experienced knowing a couple who are so happy & comfortable with one another~~have a visible bond and somehow can handle crisis as a team. They are both friends & lovers and have discovered the vital art of communication with as little conflict as possible. I's just have to say, "Hello people!!!" This is no accident!

    • Patrick Patrick profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nairobi

      I definitely agree with everyone on this. Mel mentioned recognizing and interpretations of a partners behavior and riding out the storms, which is essential in an relationship. This allows for the couple to walk hand in hand through any challenges they face.

      I really love Mike Russo's point about love being a form of attachment. Mike also mentioned that he, and his wife grew up together, which I take to mean that they know each other very well. I know you (Mike) had not touched on love in the beginning, but I would like to think that as you were both growing up you developed some sort of attraction and caring for each other, loving the personalities and interests of each other.

      Paula, thank you for welcoming me to Hubpages. I am still new to this :) I agree that any marriage is a conglomeration of various thoughts, facts, efforts and action, but I would love to hear more of your thoughts on how to keep it from falling apart. I would not mind reading the long comment one bit :) Honestly. I am not married yet, so all the ideas I have about marriage is from the relationships I have been in.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hello Patrick and Welcome to Hubpages. I see you are a relatively new member.

      I enjoyed reading this hub, very interesting! You bring up some very fascinating explanations and common sense points on this thing called "marriage." Much of what you say, I have surely thought about and feel I agree with your analysis. This is a topic that can be discussed forever, don't you think? So many facets, cultures, beliefs and traditions, not to mention countless personalities, all come into this topic.

      One profound phrase you used is something I believe wholeheartedly....."remember what you loved about each other in the first place." That packs a wallop!

      Then again Patrick, since we are also well aware that human beings continually "change" throughout life, it's reasonable to expect that the person we fell madly in love with 20 or more years ago is no longer recognizable.

      Bottom line in my humble opinion? Marriage is a huge conglomeration of several facts, thoughts, actions & efforts. If I got into all that I have to say, it would be an incredibly long comment. I'll spare you my missive.

      Very impressive work, Patrick and I look forward to getting to know you better. Peace, Paula

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 

      2 years ago from Placentia California

      My wife was 19 and I was 23 when we were married. That was 54 years ago. I don't know what makes a long lasting marriage for everybody. But our marriage was almost an arranged marriage.

      We are both first generation Italians. My dad and her mom came from the same town in Italy. My dad and her dad were business associates. We used to play together as little kids. But I went into the Air Force at 17 1/2 and had not seen her or kept in touch with her for years. But when I was discharged all that changed.

      So to sum it up I think we have a lot in common, not so much in interest, but in culture. Her interests are in sports and mine are in woodworking and carving. But we do respect each others interests and try to make time for both of them. We were both care givers for our parents in their older years. We also have two children, a daughter who is 45 and a son who is 48...and no grandchildren.

      You noticed I have not mentioned love. I feel love is a form of attachment. Once you are attached, it is difficult to break away because you are in love. You can be attached to many things, both animate and inanimate. I've always felt I could not see myself with someone else as my wife.

      Thanks for the very well written article.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      2 years ago from San Diego California

      I don't think people really change much, I think perception of people changes. When I got married I really didn't understand women, but I learned to perceive my wife's behavior with more insight, and now I know how to ride out the storms. It is recognizing how to interpret our spouse's behavior that leads to long-term success in marriage.

      Very credible and readable analysis.


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