This topic center concerns marriage and marriage-like relationship problems. Our aim here is to educate the reader about the nature of such problems and to illuminate what can be done to solve them when that is possible. We're going to use the term 'marriage' here for the most part, but it should be understood that what we have to say applies more or less as readily to domestic unions and most other types of cohabiting committed 'romantic' relationships, whether homosexual or heterosexual in orientation. The state may define marriage rather narrowly, but we take it as a given that relationship problems do not discriminate.
Most people enter into marriage with the best of intentions, assuming that they will remain in a permanent and happy union. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that relationships work out as planned. Many marriages degrade in quality over time and end up in a conflicted state. In recent years, something like 50% of formal marriages made in the United States have ended in divorce. This figure does not include the breakdown of other non-married but otherwise committed unions. Many people discover that it is, in fact, difficult to keep a marriage relationship alive and well. It takes work and mental flexibility that not everyone is willing or able to offer.