Romantic relationships are essential to a person’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, over forty percent of newlyweds divorce (American Psychological Association, 2018). Clearly, relationships are not easy to maintain. An understanding of the causes of breakups can help couples to keep healthy relationships. Despite the need for a person to experience intimacy with a partner and commit to his or her family, it is improper for one to hold on to a failed relationship. The incompatibility of a couple, presence of infidelity, and a partner’s withdrawal are the main reasons for failed relationships and subsequent breakups. Luckily, there are steps that couples can follow to ensure that their relationships remain vibrant and healthy.
Most couples experience three stages in their relationships: projection, disillusionment, and conflict. How couples navigate these stages determine whether they are compatible. In the beginning, relationships appear rosy, and partners may establish wrong projections about each other. Usually, the partners do not view each other as they are but as how they would like them to be (Deitz, 2016). After the projection stage, partners move to the disillusionment phase. In this stage, couples learn the real character of their partner. If a spouse has an extremely bad character, this stage can lead to a divorce. Lastly, there is the conflict phase. In this stage, the partners establish whether they should struggle to maintain their relationship (Deitz, 2016). If the couple is incompatible after these stages, they ultimately divorce.
Infidelity is usually the most serious breach of trust in a relationship. Adultery puts much strain on a relationship. According to Camp, between fifteen and fifty percent of divorces are due to infidelity. Adultery in a marriage innately causes tension situation among the parties involved. Naturally, the spouse who remained faithful may feel betrayed, angry, and grief. He/she may also develop an urge to revenge. For the spouse who cheated, he/she may have guilt and feel angry for themselves (Camp, n.d.). In some cases, the adulterous spouse may misplace the blame on their partner for making them cheat.
Emotional withdrawal of a partner is similar to an emotional divorce. When a partner is withdrawn, he or she can no longer love or bound with anything that his/her spouse does. Worst of all, withdrawal makes the other partner’s attempts to build the relationship futile (Barr, 2018). Withdrawal in relationships occurs when one spouse is unable to meet the needs of the other. In some cases, a person may withdraw due to unresolved childhood emotional traumas such as growing with an emotionally withdrawn parent (Barr, 2018). Past traumatic experiences in a relationship can also make some people withdraw to protect themselves. Finally, conflict-filled relationships can cause one spouse to emotionally withdraw, especially if the other partner does not show any desire to resolve the problem (Barr, 2018). The main problem with emotional withdrawal is that it encourages the other partner to withdraw and increases the chances of infidelity in the marriage.
In conclusion, every relationship has ups and downs; fortunately, most of these challenges can be tackled. Talking openly is an essential component of a healthy relationship since it can break barriers in emotionally withdrawn relationships. It can also enable couples to learn each other and help them to avoid conflicts. On the contrary, avoiding to communicate about difficult subjects can breed resentment in a relationship. Besides communication regularly, couples should keep their relationship interesting by periodically performing enjoyable activities. Interesting relationships increase intimacy and reduce the chances of infidelity. Finally, since relationships are always work-in-progress, partners must strive to make theirs better every day.
American Psychological Association. (2018). Happy couples: How to keep your relationship healthy. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/healthy-relationships.aspx.
Barr, K. (2018). Emotional withdrawal from a relationship. Retrieved from https://oureverydaylife.com/emotional-withdrawal-relationship-42113.html.
Camp, M. (n.d.). The effect (or lack therefore) infidelity on divorce. Retrieved from https://mensdivorce.com/effect-lack-thereof-infidelity-divorce/.
Deitz, B. (2016, Aug 15). Why do so many couples break up after a year or two? 9 experts weigh in. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/178263-why-do-so-many-couples-break-up-after-a-year-or-two-9-experts-weigh-in.