Karen and I have been married for over 48 years. That is a very long time to live with one person. It has had its ups and downs. Differences! that's what causes couples to fight. It is well known that the main cause of divorce is the inability to deal with differences.
And, there are no greater differences than those of men and women. Just imagine that every marriage is joining two people into holy matrimony who are almost wholly incompatible and who need a miracle to stay together.
It takes a lot of compromise, forgiveness, patience, sacrifice and patience to survive marriage. But here is the good news. Marriage changes from surviving to thriving as we learn how to trust each other. I suppose it is trust that makes the difference. When one partner develops a lack of trust for the other a downward spiral of hurt, anger and bitterness is kicked off that can be hard to heal. If healing fails or isn't attempted, divorce occurs.
I am often amazed when I speak with people who assume that every time a spouse fails to remember an important event, read his/her mind or doesn't speak softly it is taken as an intentional, premeditated hostile take over. These couples are so emotionally enmeshed that despite a legal divorce, they cannot be separated.
Divorce is easy but separation is impossible.
Marriage counseling is often focused on helping the couple realize that they did not marry each other because they were motivated by hate. Nobody on their wedding day thinks their marriage should be painful and destructive. But it doesn't take long for mistrust to develop and the trouble begins.