This is a hard topic. We all know of, or have been, in a relationship that couldn’t go the distance. Why do marriages fail? I think it’s because we are forgetting how to be happy, good-natured and selfless within our fast-paced world.
We are programmed to want
We want. We want bigger homes, nicer cars, whiter teeth, more money, to be able to bend like that, to feel that first kiss again, to be independent, to have authority over others, to be respected … it never ends. The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism is that all suffering is caused by craving. We have forgotten how to be happy with what we have.
Sex goes away
Sex is important. It’s a doorway to intimacy, pleasure and vulnerability. When the sex begins to diminish in a marriage, people can really miss the joy and freedom that sexual congress can bring. It hurts our self-esteem and makes us want what we don’t have, which can lead to bad decisions and, eventually, distrust and destruction. Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that, but it often is.
Money, money, money
Once upon a time, people had this thing called money. They could use it to take family vacations or buy a nice house in the suburbs. But then the money went away, and people couldn’t figure out how to get what they wanted anymore. Media kept telling people to want stuff, but there was no money to get stuff, so everyone became miserable, frustrated and unhappy.
Connection versus communication
We can get a shallow feeling of belonging by having our picture Liked on Instagram or our opinion Upvoted in a chat room. We are favoring those easy, shallow connections over more challenging, deeper face-to-face communications.
Unrealistic expectations of marriage
My marriage is a unique chemistry between my wife and I. If I compared us to something from books or TV, or to my own parents even, I wouldn’t be looking at “us”, I’d be looking at “them”. A marriage has to focus on “us”, not “them”, because every road takes different turns and presents different challenges and rewards.
A marriage cannot be healthy if the people in it are unhealthy. Our social contract is decaying: our leaders are not being held accountable when they mess up, the rich are virtually immune to the law and reality programming tells us there is nothing worth being ashamed of. How is a person supposed to have the integrity and character to be a valuable