A recent article has people talking about the expectations we all carry into marriage and how we react when they are invariably unmet. According to the marriage therapists and researchers quoted in the article, a degree of difficulty and hard feelings is inherent in even healthy marriages.
As a divorce attorney, I certainly hear people clients discuss the dynamics and feelings that brought them to my office. Some stories have clear events that lead to the divorce such as infidelity, addiction, or abuse of some sort. Others relate stories of fundamental incompatibility or deeply seeded conflict over basic values such as financial stewardship or co-parenting differences.
But the most common reasons I hear from clients seem to fall under this idea of normal marital hatred. There is no one thing or event they can identify. Instead, the relationship has slowly eroded under the pressure of accumulated small events that went unnoticed and frequently unaddressed by one or both spouses through the years.
The article seems to suggest that this may be normal and not a sign that a marriage is terminally defective or that a divorce is necessary. If that is so, it makes one wonder what level of this normal “hatred” we need to be willing to accept in order to preserve what is typically the most important relationship in our lives.