Where Has My Marriage Gone Wrong? 

The number one question asked of counselors – where has my marriage gone wrong? We wish the answer was as simple as the question. Marriages can go wrong for a lot of reasons. One reason that is hard to fathom is the cop out answer – “we weren’t right for each other”.

I call that a cop-out answer since there was obviously something ‘right’ when you first got married – if not, why get married (unless it was forced, of course, but that’s a different story)? I said that marriages can go wrong for a lot of reasons, but you can generally look at three specific areas. These are:

Loss of trust – infidelity is the major cause of a loss of trust, but other events can also raise this issue. The good news is, if all else is reasonably well, then trust can be rebuilt and the marriage wil not only be saved, but will often be on much firmer ground.

Growing resentment – this is perhaps one of the major causes behind most marriage problems. A mother feels resentment at being stuck at home without a career. A father feels resentment because family is hindering his career. You name an event, and you can find some resentment building. Even buying a new (another) pair of shoes, or watching another football game can build resentment. Again, resentment is an issue that can be resolved fairly easily. Open communication channels enable a married couple to talk about these issues rather than letting them build.

– insecurity is one of the hardest emotions to deal with. This is often because it is ingrained, developed from childhood, and perhaps reinforced by failed relationships in the past. Being insecure in a relationship can foster lack of trust and resentment. Counseling can help an individual deal with insecurity and generally build a stable relationship. Insecurity is generally an emotion that stays so couples need to find tools that will help them deal with insecurities.

If you can identify any of those issues, then you’re well on the way to discovering ‘where your marriage has gone wrong’. Talk to a marriage counselor and start to break down these issues. A marriage counselor can help your both deal with each of the issues, steadily rebuilding your relationship.

One Response to “Where Has My Marriage Gone Wrong?”

  1. Nine psychological tasks for a good marriage

    Research on what makes a marriage work shows that people in a good marriage have completed these psychological “tasks”:


    Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings.

    Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner’s autonomy.

    Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations.

    For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby’s entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple.

    Confront and master the inevitable crises of life.

    Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger and conflict.

    Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation.

    Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partner’s needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.

    Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.

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