TOPICS: Bad marriages

No marriage guarantees a lifelong relationship, but neither does any relationship…and marriage was designed to be a lifelong relationship. We too often look for an easy way out.

If you feel unhappy, then just leave. If you feel unfulfilled, then leave, if your husband/wife makes you angry you can leave.

But why do people hang on to bad marriages that have no hope of improving? Obviously, the answer lies in some pay-offs that either one or both the partners receive by remaining in the marriage, however unfulfilling or painful it may otherwise be.

Besides financial gains and a social standing because of the marriage, very often women remain in the marriage because they do not have cordial relations with their own family and do not want to go back there, and are also not courageous and empowered enough to make it on their own.

Low self-worth, which makes them believe that they cannot do better than what they have, also makes them dread a divorce and settle for a less than mediocre relationship. Sometimes it is the sheer laziness of beginning a new life that could make different physical, mental, emotional, social and financial demands on them that keep them in a painful marriage.

Whatever be the reason, the bottom line is that it is a sick dependency on the marriage and the insistence of finding the non-existent ideal or perfect solution that keeps them in self-defeating marriages.

This painful yet accurate interpretation of the situation is often a dirty job for the counselor, when the wife chooses to delude herself into believing that her failing marriage can be rescued, even with the evidence to prove otherwise, i.e. an extra-marital affair of the husband, hardly any togetherness time except the dining table, no meaningful communication except everyday mundane things, and the husband giving her a brotherly peck on the cheek or on the forehead before going to work and saying  ‘take care’.

This painful truth has to be revealed to her to free her from her illusion, with the hope that though painful in the short term, it will liberate her to live a better life for herself by making a wiser choice in the future.

Divorce is the only option when it is not the ideal life that you had envisioned for yourself. It might be the lesser of the two evils. If you cannot live harmoniously together, then it is better to live harmoniously apart.

Remember there are no perfect solutions in life, only better or worse alternatives.