Marital breakdowns in general WHY?


#1

After my own situation and reading other posts/threads, really, WHAT is going on with marriages nowadays? A priest/friend of mine stated that he thought it was mostly egoism and lack of attention (not sure if he meant from wives and husbands equally but likely just in general). But adultery, lack of communication, finances, power struggles, facebook cheating, internet porn, abuse, etc. - marriage is being attacked by all various means and evils.

Without God, church, prayer, priests, counseling, Retrovaille, and other marriage resources, seems marriage doesn't stand a chance in this day and age. Are we, in general, just becoming so invariably selfish (wives or husbands) and/or have unrealistic expectations, that a strong marriage from the get go will always be an uphill battle?

I am struggling with my own issues in my marriage and we have a long road ahead of us to grow in our relationship but thankfully, we have counseling and great priests to guide us. How do you keep your marriage strong??


#2

I don’t have an answer to your question… my marriage is broken (I am in the middle of a divorce). But I do know with my marriage the problems were there from the get go. My husband lied to me about his sexual orientation, he cheated on me (even while we were engaged), there was gay pornography, he lied about wanting children (said he did before we were married, then didn’t after wards), etc.

The foundation of the marriage was never strong to begin with in my case. It’s like the scripture passage with my marriage being build on a foundation of sand. And I feel foolish (and guilty for it).

My husband managed to skip out on pre-marital counseling through the Church. Basically he was in the military and was supposed to be doing pre-cana overseas but somehow got his chaplin to sign off on it without doing it. I really and strongly believe that all couples should go though pre-cana (or something like it if they aren’t Catholic). I think if he took the pre-cana and knew what he was committing too, he wouldn’t have later asked for a divorce because he would have backed out of the marriage before it happened (at least, I would hope so).

Anyway, I guess my point is marriage, since it is under attack, needs a stronger foundation. More so than ever before.


#3

[quote="teresadeavila, post:1, topic:253176"]
After my own situation and reading other posts/threads, really, WHAT is going on with marriages nowadays? A priest/friend of mine stated that he thought it was mostly egoism and lack of attention (not sure if he meant from wives and husbands equally but likely just in general). But adultery, lack of communication, finances, power struggles, facebook cheating, internet porn, abuse, etc. - marriage is being attacked by all various means and evils.

Without God, church, prayer, priests, counseling, Retrovaille, and other marriage resources, seems marriage doesn't stand a chance in this day and age. Are we, in general, just becoming so invariably selfish (wives or husbands) and/or have unrealistic expectations, that a strong marriage from the get go will always be an uphill battle?

I am struggling with my own issues in my marriage and we have a long road ahead of us to grow in our relationship but thankfully, we have counseling and great priests to guide us. How do you keep your marriage strong??

[/quote]

Once I saw statistics in a Yahoo poll that asked exactly that, why couples split more nowadays. Most of the answers (American?), say, about 65% chose that it was that the couples did not try long enough.

I was surprised. For it is my opinion. When you go to marriage with the chance of divorce, you half way there. I read about pre-nuptial agreements what made be laugh though it is not a laughing matter.

Now, the problems you mentioned appear and there are no marriages without problems. The strange thing is that some marriages survive through hails of bullets others sink in a calm sea.

If we were able (we, me too) to remember Christ's teaching: "pardon your enemies" all marriages would survive. Love of your enemies is the only true love for it asks nothing in return. But how far away are we from Christ's love for us...

Nevertheless, we should always struggle to follow His Path, the Path of forgiveness, not 7 times but 70x7 times...

Should God grant us this Grace, for without Him we are nothing...


#4

Indeed marriage needs strong foundations. Marriage is a sacrament, which is "an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace. Graces flow from the sacrament, which enables a husband and wife to live out their vocation. However, it is my argument that 1) contraception and 2) pornography are two main culprits that weaken the foundations of marriage. Contraception does not allow the spouses to give ENTIRELY of themselves to each other, because it witholds the fertility of one or more of the spouses. Therefore, contraceptive sex is no longer a selfless act between the spouses, but a selfish act. Without the unitive and procreative aspects, it becomes selfish mutual masturbation. Second, porn destroys the intimacy of the spouses, for it brings a third party into the marriage relationship. How can a marriage be strong when those two heinous sins beat and batter the relationship apart?


#5

Yes, I have noticed it too on CAF lately. I think that people (expecially generation X’ers) are becoming more “I” focused instead of “we” focused.

Today’s technology and communications ensure instant gratification in almost everything we do. We have way too many life options now and alternative lifestyles have become the norm. No one blinks an eye anymore when a person cheats, or goes to a strip joing. No one blinks an eye when a couple announces a split.

Children are no longer valued to the same degree. We convince ourselves that our “children are resilient and they will get over their parents’ divorce with no problems.”

It’s a me me me…I want…I want…generation. Generation X is now on the divorce bandwagon following our Baby Boomer predecessors.


#6

[quote="mellowcalico, post:2, topic:253176"]
I don't have an answer to your question... my marriage is broken (I am in the middle of a divorce). But I do know with my marriage the problems were there from the get go. My husband lied to me about his sexual orientation, he cheated on me (even while we were engaged), there was gay pornography, he lied about wanting children (said he did before we were married, then didn't after wards), etc.

The foundation of the marriage was never strong to begin with in my case. It's like the scripture passage with my marriage being build on a foundation of sand. And I feel foolish (and guilty for it).

My husband managed to skip out on pre-marital counseling through the Church. Basically he was in the military and was supposed to be doing pre-cana overseas but somehow got his chaplin to sign off on it without doing it. I really and strongly believe that all couples should go though pre-cana (or something like it if they aren't Catholic). I think if he took the pre-cana and knew what he was committing too, he wouldn't have later asked for a divorce because he would have backed out of the marriage before it happened (at least, I would hope so).

Anyway, I guess my point is marriage, since it is under attack, needs a stronger foundation. More so than ever before.

[/quote]


#7

no marriage is perfect. a lot of people are bring childhood/ young adult issues (abuse/neglect) into the marriage and some of us don't know how to be good husbands and wifes much less mothers and fathers. forgivness and selfgiving can go a long ways. heroic virtues are very hard to find now days. if you have a marriage free from hurt, pain and selfishness etc. than you are very very blessed. it takes heroic virtues to stay married to one person your whole life. we need more good marriages as examples and more spouses with good virtues. the Kippley's have many great books on marrage.


#8

I think that all the reasons listed by the other posters are correct (the various attacks on marriage, failure to set a very strong foundation, etc). And, I also think that divorce being so EASY and ACCEPTED really changes things. I think that "back in the day" people didn't get divorced unless there was really something horrible going on (abuse, etc). Now-a-days people get divoced because "he/she didn't try" or "we grew apart" or "we just wanted different things out of life." It is accepted and considered "no big deal" in our culture today (in America). Look at the things/people that we idolize................. movie stars and socialities................. getting married, divorced, various children from who-knows-where, arrests, drugs, sex, etc.

Overall, I think that it is much more than just an attack on marriage. I think that it is an attack on our human-hood. The things that make us special people.................... getting tossed away. Very very very scary stuff, if you ask me. :eek::(


#9

Not married here but I think the answer has a lot to do with the self center culture we live in. Most folks I know are divorced and few are happily married. I’m amazed when I see people eventually marry sad to say as most seem to just live together now. I work with one girl who has several children with her boyfriend but is in no rush to marry him. :eek: :hmmm:
People also seem to believe that marriage is disposable. If it’s not fun time to get out of it. Others marry for reasons of security and companionship only to find maybe the single life was better. Then there’s maturity some just aren’t mature enough for the sacrifices marriage demands. In any case being single seems the better road to travel in some cases.


#10

The OP stated that the priests she talked to said that "lack of attention" was a problem in marriages. Agreed. I am not against leisure time, everyone needs time to pray and to play and have thier own hobbies or interests etc. etc. It is very important. But the key is to have good wholesome leisure. Alot of our culture is addicted to the constant checking of media and find themselves unsatisfied. Our culture is one that loves to "waste time." This along with alot of spending puts pressure on families to work more which negates time for husband and wife to spend together. God should be at the center of our marriages but more often than not God cannot be talked about without disagreement. Marriage as a sacrament, something that involves God, is something of key importance to hold on to.


#11

I think the biggest problem is the way the mainstream media has redefined marriage. It's no longer a lifelong union between a man and wife, but instead is way for two people to show the world they love each other and want to be together forever, at least until something better comes along.

My wife and I were actually discussing this this morning and I pointed out to her how different our perspective on marriage (two people becoming one in the eyes of God for all eternity) is from the current view. We talked about other people we know who have gone through divorce and infidelity, but when we tried to talk about how we'd handle the same situation the conversation pretty much fell apart because our definition of marriage doesn't include the word divorce or the possibility of looking for something better to come along. We both realize that "for better or worse" means staying with the other through good times and bad, and accepting them with all their faults.

I love my wife no matter how she looks in the morning, or how tired she is at night. If things aren't going well now, I know they'll get better if we give them a little time and effort. We plan on growing old together so any time we hit a rough patch in the road, we know that if we keep walking it will smooth out again eventually. Even if it takes a bit more walking than we planned, we know we'll still be there for one another at the end.


#12

I have three friends who have had divorces, and the common theme among the three is that they jumped into marriage without really understanding what marriage is. All three of them chose divorce as soon as the honeymoon period was over, because all three thought their marriage would be perfect without trying. They all were married outside the Church and would have benefited from marriage classes.


#13

Love all these comments, keep 'em coming! Love the comment about marriage is only about showing the world your love until something better comes along, God MUST be in the center, ditto on contraception (we've used NFP for 10 years and it WORKS) and porn (don't even get me started on that), the "I" v. "we" mentality/selfishness, social media issues, deception/lies, etc.

I was just flabbergasted going out with some of my hubby's friends where they openly talked about having a boyfriend (although she is married with kids) and a sibling who is married with kids yet has had a string of mistresses on the side - this mistress even attends family functions/get togethers!!!:eek: What thaaa?? Is this our societal norm?
And people were talking at dinner like IT WAS NO BIG DEAL. :confused:

Family and marriage is seriously under attack, folks. I am just realizing how bad it can get.
Had dinner with 20 some year olds about to get married, very cute couple, um, but they talked about themselves only the entire time at dinner. All they know about my hubby and I is our first names and our jobs. We got their entire lifetime of dating and career goals for 2 hours straight. :shrug:


#14

I think all of the reasons given so far are good reasons for what is going on. I'm on the tail end of Gen X and am now seeing the next generation starting to get married. Right now, so many of the people of my generation who got married are now getting divorced. It seems that for many of the women I know who are now or currently getting divorced seems to regret marriage because they felt like they got married to a certain person because he "seemed like the right and acceptable person to marry" or that their husbands turned out to be huge disappointments in terms of never growing up and acting like a man, but wanting to be playing their playstations and x-box games all day when they come home from work. On the other end of the spectrum you either hear some of the guys not seeing it coming and being thrown for a loop because they really weren't sensitive or aware of what was going on in the marriage, or they call their wives "b-tches" for nagging them too much and wanting them to be something that they weren't. Anyway, that is what I've seen personally. Of course, the other problems addressed is also true.

What gets me is that it just doesn't seem that one or both parties want to try to make it work. It's not like there weren't problems before in the past. I just think that people don't take their vows as seriously as they used to. In regards to the Gen X and the younger generations, I once read an in-depth article about these generations and their lack of wanting to commit. It appears that seeing their parents' generation (baby boomers) destroy their marriages, getting into other relationships that may or may not have lasted either, has fueled a fear into these next generations that they cannot trust anyone. That love doesn't last through thick and thin, that it's ok to separate and divorce if you don't want to work at making things last. They don't want to be hurt and there truly is a fear of commitment because they are afraid the same thing will happen to them. So, I think part of the problem is that many of these couples go into marriage half expecting to be hurt and betrayed and that there will be a chance of divorce.


#15

I just wanted to mention on a positive note, that ppl who:

  • are university educated
  • delay first marriage until age 30 and beyond
  • have a religious affiliation

only have a divorce rate of 12%.

For some reason, if the couple has a lower level of education, the divorce rate goes up a lot. I don't know why :shrug:

I am all 3 of the above, so my divorce rate is 12%. Most of the ppl in my neighbourhood are also university educated, have some kind of religious affiliation and have delayed marriage until their 30's. I have yet to see a divorce in my neighbourhood.

Interesting to say the least....:ehh:


#16

[quote="Serap, post:15, topic:253176"]
I just wanted to mention on a positive note, that ppl who:

  • are university educated
  • delay first marriage until age 30 and beyond
  • have a religious affiliation

only have a divorce rate of 12%.

For some reason, if the couple has a lower level of education, the divorce rate goes up a lot. I don't know why :shrug:

I am all 3 of the above, so my divorce rate is 12%. Most of the ppl in my neighbourhood are also university educated, have some kind of religious affiliation and have delayed marriage until their 30's. I have yet to see a divorce in my neighbourhood.

Interesting to say the least....:ehh:

[/quote]

That is interesting information. I can understand how religious affiliation can affect the divorce rate as well as delaying first marriage until after 30. I do think, especially today, more people tend to know themselves better and eventually grow up when they get a little older. Perhaps in the past people were expected to act like grown-ups once they graduated from high school or were even in high school. They were raised to become responsible. I know this is generalising, but I think on the whole, our generation and the younger generations have had our childhoods extended longer than usual and it probably does come down to the whole "Me! Me! Me" concept brought up in this thread. Kids don't always realize that it's not all about "Me!", but then their parents and other adults around them show them that. It seems that it is taking a lot longer to teach and for some, it may not be getting into their heads.

Also, having worked with many couples for their marriage, I find that the older couples tend to be a bit more level-headed when they plan their weddings. They tend to plan more for the marriage rather than just for the wedding. The younger ones are less likely to do that.... not that it doesn't happen. I know it does with my own marriage and others I've worked with or know personally.

Like you, though, I don't understand why a lack of a university education would make the divorce rate rise. I would say everyone I know who is getting a divorced or who have had a divorce were university educated. That said, they all got married in their 20s either right after college or a few years after.


#17

My wife & I got married in our early 20's but were both raised to believe that marriage is forever. Aside from everything I stated previously, I've always liked reading stories about the WWII generation, particularly about couples who met and got married within days of the husband being shipped overseas for four years, and after that time were thrown together, not really knowing one another but living at a time when divorce was frowned upon, and somehow they managed to stay married for the next 40-60 years. I figure if couples like that were able to build a lasting, loving marriage on such a flimsy foundation, there's no my wife & I, who knew and loved each other before getting married, couldn't do the same thing.


#18

This kind of relates to what we are talking about which is keeping God in the marriage as a sacrament. If you read "Gaudium et Spes - 43" it is interesting how the document mentions that putting God to the side in our daily life and interactions is not good. I think the same goes for marriage.


#19

[quote="Sarabande, post:16, topic:253176"]
That is interesting information. I can understand how religious affiliation can affect the divorce rate as well as delaying first marriage until after 30. I do think, especially today, more people tend to know themselves better and eventually grow up when they get a little older. Perhaps in the past people were expected to act like grown-ups once they graduated from high school or were even in high school. They were raised to become responsible. I know this is generalising, but I think on the whole, our generation and the younger generations have had our childhoods extended longer than usual and it probably does come down to the whole "Me! Me! Me" concept brought up in this thread. Kids don't always realize that it's not all about "Me!", but then their parents and other adults around them show them that. It seems that it is taking a lot longer to teach and for some, it may not be getting into their heads.

Also, having worked with many couples for their marriage, I find that the older couples tend to be a bit more level-headed when they plan their weddings. They tend to plan more for the marriage rather than just for the wedding. The younger ones are less likely to do that.... not that it doesn't happen. I know it does with my own marriage and others I've worked with or know personally.

Like you, though, I don't understand why a lack of a university education would make the divorce rate rise. I would say everyone I know who is getting a divorced or who have had a divorce were university educated. That said, they all got married in their 20s either right after college or a few years after.

[/quote]

I'd guess finances might be part of it. Unfortunately there's a pretty big gap in earnings potential (in general) between people who have a college degree and those who don't. I view it as unfortunate b/c not everyone should go to college; some people are better off postponing it or learning a trade but if you don't have a college education a lot of people end up in unskilled jobs. And lack of money puts a huge strain on a marriage.


#20

I would say, intuitively, the causes could be classified among three basic groups:

— malice and deception
— naivete, lack of thinking about the consequences, being too passive to do something about a harmful attraction (possibly some form of laziness)
— lack of willingness to work on the relationship, address the needs of the other etc. (possibly some form of laziness)

Obviously, there will be nuance in practice and there will be causes sitting between the above groups or even unable to be classified in either. But those will be rare (e.g. psychic disorders).

For clarity, I am not sure if incompatibility exists (and I stole the phrase from an expert witness called by the Roman Rota highest ecclesiastical court normally looking at marriage cases). More like, with enough effort, any two Catholics who seriously mean it should be able to pull it off.

Any form of laziness may be augmented by the availability of the "second chance", i.e. divorce and remarriage (civil). Having a second chance waiting in case of failure reduces the willingness to make effort.

(Think about sports and computer games. Do you put more effort in a tournament or in practice, especially freeform practice, or a computer game in which you can save the current state of the game and reload if things go awry? But if you put the same effort in practice or that computer game, you would have fared better too.)


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