I often hear from troubled spouses that, until the “crisis,” an outsider would have thought their relationship was ideal. Sometimes, when one partner decides enough is enough and leaves, the abandoned partner expresses amazement, never saw the problem which, according to the one who left, may have been developing over several years. This is not unique. Even in a long-term relationship, one partner may be unable to express discontent while the other partner is entirely unaware that a problem exists! We grow so familiar and complacent in a relationship that we assume our partner “knows” we are unhappy, while that partner may either miss the signs or assume that if a problem exists the other would say so. As if we expect the other in this breakdown of communication to be telepathic!
While the above description, drawn from real-life cases is fairly common, not all marital discord takes the same course. So what constitutes a “good” marriage? How can couples improve a marriage in which both partners want to succeed but can’t quite bridge their differences, or feel they cannot get their needs met? Articles in this section address some common issues.