What Made Your Marriage Fail?

Are you separated, divorced, or on your way there? If so, we want to hear from you. (We promise complete anonymity!) We’re working on a new project about happy-ever-afters… and not-so-happy-ever-afters… and we want to interview couples, over email, about the thing that caused their marriage to fail.

If you’re interested in sharing your story anonymously — it’s a chance to vent, or to put it all down for posterity, or to help others avoid the same pitfalls — then send us a message via our contact form here. And we’ll tawk!

Oh, and if your marriage is a gloriously happy one? Or at least reasonably satisfying? No discrimination: We want to hear from you, too. Again, anonymity is guaranteed. Just send us a message via our contact form here.

Thanks, as always, for sharing…. and over-sharing.



  1. What made our marriage fail? We did.

    I grew up in a family that was hostile and abusive toward me, so I suppose it’s no surprise that I would end up marrying a man who was hostile and abusive toward me throughout the course of our marriage.

    I had spent several years in intensive therapy before I met my husband, sorting through painful childhood issues, so I thought I was sufficiently healed to begin a family of my own. What I failed to see at the time was that my husband had grown up with a father who was hostile and abusive toward his wife, Tom’s mother. Tom had not explored any of his own childhood issues, nor did he have any interest in doing so. He brought all of those issues into our marriage and played them out in an almost exact replica of the model he had grown up with.

    It took me years to accept that, despite all the work I had done, I had married right back into a pattern that was all too familiar. By then I had children, so it wasn’t a simple matter of picking up and leaving.

    I am happy to say that my relationships with my children are the ones that truly benefited from the work I did in therapy. The insights I gained through my own work made me a much more thoughtful, sensitive, tuned-in parent than my parents had been. My children have grown up strong, confident and loving, despite the toxicity of the marriage.

    So … what caused the marriage to fail? The same thing that causes any marriage to fail. Partly my issues (in subconsciously choosing someone who would repeat the abuse I had grown up with). And partly his issues (in refusing to acknowledge that he even had any issues).

    I was married to him for more than 27 years, long enough to see our children grown. I’m done … with him, with marriage, and probably with any further romantic entanglements. Those lessons I learned early about my unworthiness have simply gone too deep, and at this point in my life, I’ve got other priorities. I feel worthy and affirmed in many other areas of my life, such as with my children, students, colleagues and friends. That’s more than some people get in life. It’s more than I ever dreamed I would have. And it’s enough. It is enough.

  2. I have been divorced twice, and have been single again for 8 years. The marriages ended for different reasons but the thing they have in common is me. I’m still trying to figure out what I could/should have done differently to make my part better.

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