Why Marriages Fail Revisited

I’m happy to say that Why Marriages Fail was picked up by a few large-scale sites, generating a significant number of hits to the article. While many had positive thoughts about the piece there were a number of people who were very critical of it. Some described it as “simplistic” while others said it was too cynical. The reality is that there are entire books dedicated to the subject of marital discord so any blog post will necessarily fail in comprehensively covering the topic. I wrote the article as an attempt to increase awareness and empower people who are either contemplating marriage, who are in marriages that have problems or those whose marriages have dissolved and are wondering “how the fuck did this happen?”

The Last Psychiatrist has weighed in on why marriages fail. I admittedly haven’t followed his work very closely. This is because I’ve viewed his approach as “I’m the doctor and therefore have it all together, you are not and therefore are completely fucked up.”* This is a mindset within society at large that I’m attempting to debunk. However, having re-read my post on marriage I definitely viewed it as perhaps overly pedantic, possibly because I’ve never been married and therefore haven’t experienced the struggles firsthand. Therefore I shouldn’t be throwing stones at The Last Psychiatrist’s house…today.

Click here to read his position on how to destroy a marriage. While he describes different reasons on marital discord I don’t see those as antithetical to mine. Rather I see what he proposes as a result of the factors I enumerated earlier.

* I’m also not a big fan of mental health professionals writing anonymously.

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8 Responses to “Why Marriages Fail Revisited”

  1. Amber says:

    I’m choosing not to click that link Rob. As much as I know that people should take all opinions into consideration I’m slightly biased. Also, I felt very…connected to the words in your post. Although it might have been cynical in some peoples’ eyes, I feel that marriage can make a person very jaded anyway. I know mine has.

  2. Tara says:

    I agree with you that no blog post, or magazine article, or even any book would ever be able to comprehensively discuss the complicated nature of marriage and why it fails. As a marriage and family therapist, I’m particularly fond of David Schnarch and his “4 horsemen of the apocalypse” theory. Though, just like everything, this is a theory, and even though he boasts an impressive prediction rate of the marriage that will fail, it has its flows.
    We’ll always run into difficulties when we try to over-simplify human behaviors, especially when those behaviors are deeply tied to emotions and emotional needs. God help those who are or who have been married…I don’t know what that mine-field is like.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been reading your site since its launch. I think what you are trying to accomplish is very admirable. Showing people that the mysticism of psychology is simply experience (all these problems have happened 1000 times and this is how to deal with them, and also we hope to help you deal with it as if you’re the first because it’s never happened to you before) and simple patience. I like the lastpsychiatrist because he’s (or she’s) honest and insightful. In terms of respecting a person, saying what you mean and letting people know you said it is the highest level of courage. But because they’re anonymous doesn’t mean they don’t have insight. As you so eagerly point out, psychiatrists (taking a big leap of faith and assuming the lastpsychaitrist is in the field) are no different than normal people. He/she might have sever confidence problems and putting intelligent positions out where colleagues who they respect might read and mock could be a debilitating fear. I aspire to be an intelligent and compassionate psychologist, I consume as much anecdotal literature as I can because I think the heart and soul of pyschology is in experience (not that the text book and science part aren’t important, it’s just not where I want to go). I guess the end point of this long and rambling comment is thank you for putting yourself out there and thank him for being brutally (and perhaps purposefully antagonistically) honest. From at least one person who aspires to be as hopeful as you and as wildly eclectic as I imagine the lastpsychiatrist to be, thank you.

  4. marcia says:

    I don’t see your lists as being antithetical to one another, either.
    I remember thinking — the first time I read your article — that your advice seemed oriented more toward young people either beginning, or anticipating, a first marriage, than toward marriage “vetrans.” You addressed fundamental reasons for incompatibility, as well as the problem of entering a partnership with unrealistic expectations.
    Anon, OTOH, described specific behaviors and attitudes that emerge as a marriage progresses. They may be the result of the issues you mentioned, or may develop along the way as the honeymoon period fades and other phases of the relationship begin and progress. Negative personality traits may intensify under stress, and some couples may not weather crises well, pulling apart rather than together.
    Adding children to the mix (a point you didn’t cover much) seems to heighten stress and frustration for many people (I’ve read that most couples report higher marital satisfaction after the children are grown and gone).
    I’m no expert, but I’ve been married over 20 years, have three children, and have experienced our marriage passing through different phases, some happier than others. There were times each of us contemplated divorce, but those feelings were temporary and, I think, normal.
    I wouldn’t take any of “Alone’s” criticism or superiority to heart. I divorced his blog because of his overbearing arrogance and intolerance for views other than his own. ‘Nuff said.

  5. nobody says:

    Thanks for the link. While your article was interesting for the not-yet-married, his/her article touched exactly the topics my marriage of 8 years is facing.
    To both of you: Thanks.

  6. The Edge says:

    You’re all wrong.
    The reason marriages fail is because in Vermont, gay people are planning their weddings.

  7. Jen uhhh Side says:

    The reason marriages fail is because of the people that get married.
    The end.

  8. Less people should get married….but try convincing John Q. Public of that.

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