How do you know when a marriage is past the point of saving?
Alisa Bowman—marriage expert, YourTango Experts member and author of Project: Happily Ever After—was sure she'd reached that point. In fact, she'd actually begun to daydream about planning her husband's funeral. While there was no infidelity or abuse in their relationship, it was clear to Bowman that her marriage was hopelessly broken. Especially when, upon getting pregnant, her husband decided to exacerbate issues by starting his own business. As the family breadwinner—and with a child to take care of—Bowman was dumbfounded at the lack of interest her husband was taking in his wife and child. As he spent more and more time at his new bike shop, Bowman began to feel like a single mother. She also felt unappreciated, unloved and abandoned. Aside from planning her husband's funeral, she began to seriously consider divorce.
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With the advent of no-fault divorces in the 1970s, it became especially easy for couples to escape their unhappy marriages, despite there being no clear breach of the marital contract. After all, who wants to languish in a loveless marriage when one's true love may still be out there, waiting? Poor communication? Lack of respect? Absence of support? Diminished intimacy? Why deal with it!? Divorce Laws, Demystified
The thing is, that initial happy-go-lucky honeymoon period doesn't last forever, and problems with respect and intimacy can easily crop up, no matter how much you care for each other. Healthy relationships take work that most people don't expect. Despite what the Hollywood rom-coms would have us believe, love isn't necessarily easy.
There's no doubt that Bowman's marriage had gone off the rails but—as she eventually realized, after making a renewed commitment to fixing her marriage—things weren't necessarily hopeless. In fact, by the end of Project: Happily Ever After, Bowman and her husband had gone from barely communicating to renewing their vows.
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