April 4, 2012
April 4, 2012
I have noticed that long term unmarried live-in partners who legalize their lifestyle, often seem to wind up divorced within the next few years. I would be interested to gather statistics on just how many teams are affected in this manner. It appears to me, among my clients, and close associations that there is no guarantee that living together grants perfection, even if the duration of that lifestyle continues over decades. The very fact that there is no guarantee of stability motivates partners to maintain the stability through mutual effort.
As a counselor, I seek the dynamics of live-in relationships which lead to dissolution when they finally marry. Apparently the couple previously, mutually, agreed to their own established set standards.
But, as I study the dynamics of the new relationship as it changes with marriage, I find, in most cases, that the couple no longer have verbally agreed to a new set of guidelines. Instead, each partner, amazingly revert to their concept of marriage from their individual life experiences. Once this effort to agree on set standards is eliminated by the legalities of marriage; the motivation to maintain the relationship disappears. Apparently, this is not an established awareness. The lack of conscious effort is the inherent problem. It creates havoc and brings about divorce; in some cases very soon after the vows have been taken.
Let me create this as an example; The female may be employed before marriage, but since her mother followed the traditional role of staying home to create a family atmosphere, she automatically assumes that her new, now, husband will want the same value.
The male, letís say, had a working mother who brought up several children and kept house. He becomes aghast that his wife who had been working alongside him all these years as a partner, no longer wishes to pursue the combined role of employment and housewife.
The female is furious as she thought that both of them were headed in the same direction.
This example is just one of thousands of situations which can cause confusion, disappointment, and result in disagreements of various degrees depending on each partners nature which then determines his/her reaction.
However, regardless of the type of reaction, be it fighting, or calm anger, or withheld resentment; the resulting dissolution of a previously strong team disintegrates often to the amazement of all, including the participants.