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Why Are Modern Marriages So Hard to Maintain?

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In a recent post published on the Independent, couple’s therapist Esther Perel (you can check it here), shared some insight on why modern marriage is so hard.

Instead of who will we marry being dependent on arrangements previously made, or even on our partner’s wealth, we get married due to a much more urgent reason.

In today’s society, we see a new trend of marriage – the romantic model of marriage. We are getting hitched more and more due to love, which is great, BUT why is the divorce rate still increasing?

Perel has a simple yet insightful explanation and has claimed:

Marrying because you are deeply attracted to someone and have fallen deeply in love with someone (…) are rather recent ideas.” 

She also added that along with the traits desired in a partner in traditional marriage such as companionship, family life, status; modern values have simply been added up to the traits we look for in a partner nowadays. In modern marriage, passion, love and romance also play a big role in marital life and, as Perel simply puts it, “We simply added more requirements to the mix.”

This marital overload will also show its effects on the couple’s sex life:

I don’t do it [have sex] because it’s part of marital duty. I do it because I feel like it and you feel like it and we feel like it at the same time and hopefully for  each other.”

This much pressure on a partner to fulfil not only the traditional marital “duties” imposed by traditional marriage but also to fulfil all the other person’s needs eventually leads to disappointment.

But Perel offers some advice:

Instead, it’s worth being aware that you’re placing so many demands on your partner — and that they might be equally demanding of you.”

She also adds that instead of looking for our spouses as someone in charge of our personal fulfilment, we should look for other sources such as friends and hobbies.

Another suggestion was communication. If the couple can communicate what they would like their partner to do (or not to do), our expectations are readjusted to match not only our partner’s needs but also our own.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Is modern marriage harder? Do we demand more or do we just know what we are looking for? Let us know in the comments!

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