Why are marriages unsuccessful and if they are, why do we try to keep marriages as sacred cows? Where shall we start from, is it the society or is it the individual? No man living in a society is safe from the vicious dogmatic beliefs that he himself, may carry through extreme conditioning. Our behaviors, that we are not mostly aware of, are like deep roots. Let me use a metaphor to carry on with what we shall discuss. There is a disease in plants that is called root rot, it occurs when plants grow in damp soil; the interesting element is that it shows symptoms similar to many other diseases and often by the time, if through methodological diagnosis, you reach till the disease it becomes too late to fix the damage. The main reason it takes time to understand the disease is because you can only detect and confirm with finality by looking at the rotten roots, and for that you have to dig and take out the roots.

Marriage is like a plant; our society is a damp soil, and our behaviors are roots of the plants. When the society acts as damp soil, root rot becomes inevitable. So in order to understand the progression of complications in an unsuccessful marriage, we must divide the problem into three stages.

At the first stage, what matters the most is self-awareness. Sinek in one of his trainings quoted it beautifully; there was an illness by the name of black death of child bed in which mothers used to die of infections after child birth, from the 17th till 19th century, majority of the cases were caused by the doctors themselves because they had no knowledge of germs and did not believe in washing their hands. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician pointed out that the cause of illness was the doctors themselves but the doctors did not listen to him until very late when many deaths had occurred. The point to learn is that sometimes you yourself are the cause to your problems, so at the first stage of an unsuccessful relationship you must realize that you yourself may not be the cause of the problem. This means that after a detailed analysis of your own behavior you must find a solution to any problem that is occurring because of you. Once the issue is resolved on your part, or if you realize that you never were the cause, then you must move onto the next stage that is an analysis of your life partner. This is where you try to analyze the cracks and the short comings, and try to reason with your partner. If at this stage, your partner is not willing to understand all the reasons, and your relationship is persisting in a very unpleasant form, then you must move on to deal with the third stage.

After exhausting your options, at the third stage, you must release yourself from the shackles of such a relationship and must not suffer any further. This stage is the most critical stage, as I write this article to establish a point. We as human beings go through severe conditioning to carry certain sets of values and beliefs in our life, and then we create certain refuges to defend these sets by all means. A collection of these values and beliefs carried by the society as a whole act as a damp soil where the behaviors, roots, are ultimately affected by a root rot.

Unsuccessful marriages linger on due to many reasons, and almost all of them come within the boundaries of societal pressure. Most of the couples come to know about the probability of success of their married life within the first year and if the chances of success are very low, then the couple should call it off before producing a child. The point to be learned here is that there comes a stage where the plant has to timely fight the damp conditions of the soil, otherwise a disease is inevitable. A timely decision is what matters; questions like what will my family think of me, what my friends will think of me etc. are all secondary questions. The primary question is that if we continue in the same manner can we live a happy life? A person should be strong enough as a social actor living in a social phenomenon to bear the social pressures and move on with the decision that s/he actually wants to take, and not what the society wants him/her to take. It is this strength that we must produce, only then shall we live a happy life.

If I take a decision and it goes wrong, so then what, I shall proudly say the onus is on me. Fear is abstract, and it does not exist in an actual form of reality, we must deal with all such fears and move on with our paths. Every day I meet people who are unhappy with their marriages, and they spend a life rotting in their shells. At the end, everything comes down to a single point; make a timely decision before you reach a point where no road shall lead towards happiness.

Grab the symptoms before the root rot hits you, and solve your problems. Once it hits you and the disease does not allow you to settle by any means, make a timely decision, call it off and work on arranging another plant, you shouldn’t carry the disease for the rest of your life. Stand up, be bold, make a decision, and own it!