One surprising research finding is that of those who first rated their marriages ‘very unhappy’ but stayed married, five years later 80% said they were happily married. In other words most unhappy marriages will become happy if the couple can hang out with the discomfort at the crossroads, and most will do this without outside help.
It is hard to work through a difficult marriage but it is also tough going working through a separation or divorce. The aftermath of an undignified separation can last years, particularly for a low conflict couple (around 50% of marriages). Ending well requires the same team work as is required to mend well. Ending poorly doesn’t forward the issues to a lost property office. They follow us around and re-appear in the same or another form in the next relationship.
That observation is reinforced by another – that divorces with the greatest potential to harm children occur in marriages that have the greatest potential for reconciliation. Some kids live in the lost property office in marriages that have lost their way, whether their parents break up or not. They are more likely to be retrieved if a difficult relationship either mends or ends well.
The next section on this site will walk you through the lonely decision to end or to mend or even to take no action at this time.