How love dies after marriage
Most marriages happen when people are in love with each other. Most divorces happen when couples stop loving each other. In a study by Karen Kyser, it emerged that falling out of love is not a one-time event. It happens in stages.
It may start very early in the marriage. The first phase is the disillusionment and disappointment phase.
Disillusionment can happen as early as the first six months after marriage by as many as 40 per cent of couples. Twenty per cent of couples may start to experience doubts about the marriage by the first year after the wedding.
The things that may lead to these doubts include a partner’s controlling behaviour, lack of responsibility, and lack of emotional support and connection. Lack of consideration for the partner’s opinions, feelings and input is a big deal during this stage.
The second stage of falling out of love happens when there is a gradual loss of an emotional attachment to your partner, after experiencing a lot of disappointment.
You care less and less about him or her. At this point, there is resistance to making changes in favour of your partner. You find it difficult to accommodate their requests and their needs like you did before.
During this stage, the feelings of disappointment reduce and are replaced by anger and hurt. This is caused by ongoing unloving actions.
The focus shifts from love to the negative aspects of the relationship and the negative qualities of the partner. It becomes difficult to appreciate anything good in the relationship.
At this stage, 40 per cent of the couple actively consider leaving the marriage, even if they may not.
The last and final stage involves apathy and indifference. During this stage, there is increasing emotional and physical distance.
The hurt and anger are replaced with indifference. You may feel sorry for your bae, but you don’t feel guilty about leaving them emotionally or physically.
At this stage, about 80 per cent of couples take action to either leave the marriage or have an alternative romantic relationship, which will meet their emotional needs.
If you are in this stage, you may not see your spouse as capable of changing. There is no hope.
Throughout these phases, the partners always try to do something to salvage the situation. At first, they try to please them, as they suffer in silence.
Sometimes they blame themselves for the relationship challenges. When this doesn’t work, they become more active and assertive in seeking change. When this doesn’t work, they may decide to leave, but they struggle with how to end it with the least damage.
Sometimes they go for counselling as a last attempt to save the relationship.