Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
With unhappy marriages I find the opposite to be true.
Unhappy marriages tend to be stunningly similar, at least in the sources of their unhappiness.
The three most common are baggage, responsibility and communication:
~ Baggage. Each partner brings a history of unmet needs, unexpressed feelings and unhealed wounds to the marriage, which then collides with the baggage their partner brings.
~ Responsibility. Both partners have trouble either seeing or owning (or both) their own contribution to problems in the relationship. More often they slip into blaming their partner instead.
~ Communication. Neither partner knows how to talk about underlying feelings and where they come from, so the real issues eroding the relationship never get addressed.
All serious problems.
But usually not without an outsider’s help.