When you think about divorce, it's common to picture adultery, financial incompatibility, or emotional distance. These things, however, are not always the death knell for a marriage. Really, the moment a guy knows his marriage is over for good is far less dramatic and kind of mundane.
Just what is this moment? It's when a person realizes the relationship suffers from a lack of commitment. No, seriously. According to A National Survey on Marriage in America from the National Fatherhood Initiative, a lack of commitment was cited as one of the most common reasons for divorce. Feeling protective of the relationship and taking steps to work on it, are crucial components to a lasting marriage.
Of course, what constitutes commitment can vary a bit from couple to couple. In general, however the word commitment implies emotional fidelity and intimacy, according to the website for Psychology Today. In general, commitment also implies a certain level of focus and dedication to the relationship. Given the increasingly busy state of most people's lives, making time for an intimate, vulnerable, human connection in real life might not happen very often, or at all. If both partners aren't willing to work for the marriage, then the relationship may be over. It might not end in a fit of screaming and thrown plates, but a series of sighs, rolled eyes, and growing feelings of disconnect.
That said, there are steps couples can take to prioritize their commitment to the marriage. They are not necessarily easy, however. According to the UCLA Newsroom, couples who are deeply committed to one another are willing to admit when things aren't going well in a relationship, and take actions to change them. Speaking up in times of trouble is nerve-wracking for plenty of people, though. Staying silent and pretending that all is fine may seem like the kinder option, but the silence can slowly decay the marriage's underlying trust and honesty. Like most everything else related to relationship success, a lot of marital longevity comes down to simple communication. Speaking up — especially when things are less than picture-perfect — is crucial.