A psychologist on whether to save a marriage and why families break up

Not everyone can competently save a family if it is on the verge of collapse. «Is it normal for a family to get divorced?» — this is the question we asked the family psychologist Anna Berdnikova.

In her author’s column, she reflected on the realities of modern marriage and talked about why many families fall apart, even if they have children. Read the reflection column, and then write in the comments if it is worth saving the marriage to the last.

The modern Russian family can be called less stable in comparison, for example, with the family of the past or the century before last. This is due primarily to the fact that the family has ceased to be a necessary condition for mass survival. Today, a person, regardless of gender, is quite capable of living alone, providing himself with the solution of those tasks that the family used to do, either independently or through outsourcing.

The creation, preservation and development of family relationships is a daily physical and emotional work, effort. This labor is now completely avoidable, so the age of marriage is rising and the duration of marriage is falling. The infantilization of society is also growing: living here and now, listening to your desires, being worthy of everything at once are wonderful calls, but they show life from a child’s perspective as the greatest good.

What tests await the family

When a couple creates a family, in order for the family to survive and develop longer, someone, at least one, must take an adult position, be in contact with reality, and not just with their desires. In addition, the family is a structure in which not just two people meet, each with his own cockroaches. In a young family, there are two family systems of newlyweds.

Each partner has his own picture of a happy family life in his head, his own family rules, which, of course, must be implemented. In a candy-bouquet period of time, it never occurs to anyone to talk about what rules we will live by — hello to the belief that «if love is real, then lovers understand each other without words.»

And there are a huge number of questions that it would not hurt to discuss on the shore: how household responsibilities are distributed, how the family budget is formed, how our leisure time will be organized, who will pay for it, what family savings are, how they will be formed and what will be spent on, how often our parents will visit us … This is just a small part of the things that, without being agreed, again and again will give rise to family conflicts.

From a child’s position to children

Having a baby is a family test of strength. It usually leads to the maturation of a woman, if before that both partners were in a happy childish position. It is impossible not to look after the child — the consequences will be fatal. Therefore, a woman grows up: she takes into account the needs of the child, predicts the development of various situations — financial, educational, professional, domestic.

If the family fails to come to an agreement and it is not possible to resolve the contradictions that arise in a timely manner, then it collapses. Children stay with a woman because she is usually more ready to take responsibility for them. And by virtue of tradition, society presses on a woman more. She should be married, and the children should stay with her, otherwise «what kind of woman is she?»

The social pressure on a woman can be illustrated by such a simple example. Meeting classmates after … twenty years after graduation. A woman can be any successful leader, scientist, politician, etc., but if she does not have a husband or at least a child, she will receive not admiration, but sympathy, well, if not gloating.

Both parents are needed

In general, the mandatory destruction of the family is not the norm at the moment. Parental divorce is always a disaster for a child. Dad and mom for the child perform different complementary tasks, they share responsibility for family processes, by personal example they teach their children to build relationships with people of their own and the opposite sex. Therefore, the child needs both parents.

For the parents of a child, it can be difficult to survive a breakup, but not as much as for a child. Firstly, this is the choice of two adults, and secondly, the family that has just been destroyed is not the only one in their life, each of them had at least a parental family, and each of them knows that life does not end in divorce. … And the child does not know, therefore he is experiencing a catastrophe of a universal scale.

There are many forms of work and techniques to keep the family together. I will cite only one here. Every adult has his own value in the market of brides and grooms, relying on which he can choose a partner. It is this thesis that, perhaps not so utilitarianly formulated, is put into the basis of reasoning about who is a couple for whom and what is a misalliance.

So, if we continue this reasoning in the spirit that I managed to get a slightly better partner than I could, having my own value, then I appreciate my partner more and show him his value more often than if we assume that he was lucky to get such a star , like me. Waking up in the morning with the words: how lucky I am that next to me is such a wonderful person who … (you can come up with a new continuation every day) is extremely useful for maintaining and strengthening the marriage. Works both ways.

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