Success in marriage requires effort from both

Guillermo Martinez

Mesa Legend


It’s been reported from the American Psychological Association that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.  There are many reasons as to why this predicament may be taking place.  Whether it be because of financial stress, issues with fidelity, or even differences in parenting philosophies, couples are giving up on marriage a lot sooner than later.

Sandy Jardine is a marriage counselor in Scottsdale, Ariz. who specializes in understanding and figuring out the issues that come between couples.  “Decisions in terms of finances have to be made together, once one partner begins to make decisions without consulting the other about it, that’s when trouble begins to brew,” Jardine said.

With college students accumulating more debt with student loans than ever before, this can lead to a vast amount of financial hardships they may have to face in the future. Financial status could soon be a determining factor on divorce.

“It’s unfortunate that this has to be such a problem but the reality is that this is something that comes up a lot, my suggestion is that they hire an accountant, even start making graphs and charts to help them with their spending habits,” Jardine said.

Doris and Edward Sullivan have been married for 53 years and live in Phoenix.  “Oh yeah, you can’t have a happy marriage if your living situation is being jeopardized. Before you know it you start resenting each other, you don’t want that.”  Long distance relationships, unstable compatibility, and lack of excitement could lead to internal struggles in a marriage that could be attributed to issues of fidelity between individuals.

When asked about the same situation Edward said “Yeah, me on a farm compared to her being surrounded by doctors she wasn’t the one who needed to worry. I did my best to keep it under wraps, I didn’t want to show her I was jealous, but when I finally said something to her about it she assured me everything was going to be okay and it was.”

Jardine believes that originally we are caught up in the midst of thinking that the person we marry is perfect and can’t make mistakes and when they do it can be a sort of setback.          “So when you come home and find that your wife isn’t home, she doesn’t tell you where she’s at, who she is with, what she’s doing. Now what are you suppose to do as a husband. Do you call to see where she’s at? She doesn’t answer, you become concerned, and it just starts piling up from there,” Jardine said.

Married couples have multiple outlets to communicate with each other. Social media and messaging apps have a genuine effect on relationships and how information is presented and conveyed.

“It’s starting to become a small complication, the sad part is it’s not something you would see as a traditional marriage issue, it’s nothing professors or psychologists teach you in school, at least not in my day. I have had couples come in complaining that this one liked this girl’s picture and when trying to figure out why one person liked another person’s picture that’s not their spouse, it becomes a head scratcher,” Jardine said.

To keep the relationship from going out of sync and becoming dull, being creative and innovative with your other half is important.  “You see, Doris might be the brains of the operation, but I’m the heart of it. Our anniversaries are always filled with some type of adventure. Some better than others, the bad ones we always look back on and laugh about. We’ve been to so many places, traveled the world, trying something new all the time never really hurts,” Edward said.

When adding children into the mix of everything, it can be an even more constant struggle for support and understanding between two people.  “The handling of children is a vital part of the whole picture. I have couples coming in and bringing together their approaches of handling themselves as well as other parts of the family. Disagreements about whether one parent handled the punishment of a child correctly are always on the list of discussion topics, and then you have a situation where one parent might be looked at as the mean parent and so on,” Jardine said.

She also went on to say that couples can be too caught up in their own hardships because of the unsuccessful past relationships they themselves had with their own parents.  “If there was one partner who grew up in a home where everything was apple pie and board games compared to someone who might not have had it like that, those traditional values will be tested out on the kids. Once again it leads to friction on who is right and who is wrong,” Jardine said.

“I grew up in France for the majority of my life, when I came here to the states and heard such foul language they used here I felt like such a panzy. I never did catch that essence of American culture, but Ed was raised on a farm where he was use to it. So when we started having children, and they started to talk like him I had to put my foot down. I did not want my kids talking like farmers,” Doris said.

“We just need to try and be better for each other, you might not be the best couple in the world but that doesn’t mean you should try harder at being successful unit,” Jardine said.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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