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Stages that many unhealthy marriages ultimately go through

We have previously written about specific benefits associated with divorce. Although very few individuals enter into a marriage union expecting that they will one day divorce, divorce can ultimately be the healthiest option for some couples. However, it is not always easy to know when divorce is a healthy option and when it may make sense to put more effort into any given marriage.

Some individuals understandably look for “clues” as to whether their marriage is worth “saving” or moving on from. Ultimately, every marriage is different. There is therefore no one “right answer” regarding whether a couple would most benefit from moving on or from working through the darker times. However, it is ultimately helpful for some individuals to know how some unhealthy marriages operate in order to have a frame of reference from which to evaluate their own marriages.

An article recently published by The Huffington Post explores the four stages of marriages that are dying. Certainly, not every marriage that ends goes through these phases. However, many marriages that end in divorce likely go through at least some of these stages. Evaluating these stages may aid you in determining whether your marriage is now too unhealthy to be salvaged.

The first stage is disillusionment in which a couple or a member of a couple recognizes his/her/their discontent. The second stage is erosion, in which one or both partners realizes that the discontent could lead to divorce but remains committed to working through pressing issues. The third state is detachment, in which one or both partners detach in significant ways emotionally from the relationship. Finally, there is the “last straw” in which one or both partners declares a desire to move forward alone.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Is Your Marriage Dying? Know In 3 Minutes Using This Diagnostic Tool,” Becky Whetstone, May 6, 2015

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