It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to recognize that marriages don’t just abruptly end. In reality, marriages tend to unravel after a prolong period of malaise and even denial. Generally, couples attempt to stick it out by placing additional emphasis on counseling and communication. That said, most couples can point to a moment or moments when things really reached the point of no return. But here’s the vexing thing. Sometimes partners step away from healthy relationships. These departures leave the other partner wondering, “What just happened?” In this piece, we look at some of the reasons women leave happy marriages. Do any of these apply to you?
1. Perceived Lack of Trust
There are times in which partners have their trust challenged by miscommunication and seemingly small disagreements. Surprisingly, the vitality of an otherwise happy marriage can hinge on a moment. If a woman feels as if an infraction is an indicator of a deeper trust issue, she may walk away without looking back. For good or bad, an otherwise healthy marriage may be discarded because of a hunch.
2. Mental Illness
All of us have struggled with the “blues.” Often, depression is a direct result of a loss and is acute in nature. However, there are times in which our mental health issues reach far beyond depression. Diagnosable mental illness can not only derail the best intentions of the individual, but can sully the entire trajectory of the existing relationship. Women – and men for that matter – can leave a marriage when mental illness disrupts healthy, positive thinking. Personality disorders, manic-depression and the like can be the catalyst behind a partner’s sudden departure from the relationship.
3. Competing Visions
One of the most unhelpful images yoked to the westernized ideal of marriage is this idea that the “two become one.” The healthiest marriages allow ample space for both partners to fully explore and embrace their visions for vocation, life, spirituality, and the like. However, there are times in which partners discern that their visions are competing visions. Inasmuch, a drifting apart make occur in the relationship. If a woman or her partner feel that their vision for the future is not compatible with the overall trajectory of the marriage, the marriage may come to an end.
Not every married couple chooses to have children as part of their familial “equation.” This childless dynamic is okay so long as all parties are on board with this approach. However, women often feel the tug of parenthood when their significant others do not. When there is this sort of incongruence in the relationship, a marital parting may be on the horizon. A house divided against itself cannot stand. In the same way, a disagreement on the “kid or no kid” issue can be a deal breaker.
5. Open Relationship
Some couples create an agreement which allows for “open intimacy.” While a great deal of trust is needed among partners who allow for expressions of sexuality beyond the relationship, the relationship will possibly suffer for it. Here’s the thing, trust declines when our attention is focused on more than one intimate partnership. Woman in otherwise strong relationships may leave the relationship if they feel that their intimate partner is more attune to the extramarital affair than the marital bond.
As the human condition evolves, our discretionary time expands. Because technology and medicine often give us more time to devote to leisurely pursuits, we may choose to travel or engage in a variety of hobbies. Here’s the rub, in our pursuit of fun, honed skills, travel, and the like, we may become quite bored with our existing relationship. Some women, as well as men, may feel like that their partner is not interesting or active enough to compel a long-term commitment. We may never fight with our partner, but we may become very bored with them. Hence, some women move on with life without their current significant other.
7. Sexual Orientation
Some couples are well into their married life when one of the partners realizes that he/she is attracted to members of the same sex. A partner may truly love his/her spouse while not being intimately attracted to the partner. When a woman (or man) acknowledges sexual attraction to a person of the same gender, it may mean the end of the current relationship. Although the separation and potential divorce may be quite difficult, it may also be necessary. We all seek authenticity if we are healthy. In the absence of this authenticity, we can spiral into self-doubt and depression. Being true to orientation can mean a relationship status change is appropriate.
While the title implies all sorts of options, the intent is singular. There are times that women (and men) step away from a good relationship because they see “bad moons” on the horizon. A health crisis, a terminal illness, and the like are all reasons a partner may walk away from a “good thing.” In our attempt to protect others from the issues we have encountered, we may do more harm than good.
Sometimes, partners walk away from what should be a good thing. It’s vexing, it’s painful, but it happens. When it happens, it is vital for the partner on the receiving end of the bad news to be open to the space while continuing to remain hopeful that reunion is possible. Strong communication is a must. And, ultimately, acceptance of whatever outcome is in the cards for the relationship. We cannot make choices for our intimate partners. We can, however, take good care of ourselves.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.