Why Marriages Fail by Anne Roiphe

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 714 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 714|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Role of Communication
  3. Unmet Expectations and Unrealistic Ideals
  4. The Impact of External Stressors
  5. Conclusion


Marriage, as an institution, has long been a subject of fascination and scrutiny. Countless books, studies, and personal accounts have attempted to shed light on the dynamics of this complex relationship. One such exploration is found in Anne Roiphe's thought-provoking book, "Why Marriages Fail." In her work, Roiphe delves into the intricate web of factors that contribute to the dissolution of marriages. In this essay, we will examine Roiphe's analysis and explore the multifaceted reasons behind the failure of marriages, drawing on her insights and incorporating additional research to provide a comprehensive understanding of this widespread phenomenon.

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The Role of Communication

Roiphe emphasizes the crucial role of communication in the success or failure of a marriage. She argues that a breakdown in communication often leads to misunderstandings, resentment, and a loss of intimacy. However, it is essential to delve deeper into the concept of communication itself. While Roiphe acknowledges its significance, she fails to explore the various forms communication can take within a marriage.

Communication encompasses not only verbal exchanges but also non-verbal cues, active listening, and empathy. When couples fail to effectively communicate their needs, desires, and emotions, it creates a rift between them. For instance, a spouse may express dissatisfaction through subtle gestures or indirect statements, hoping the other will pick up on their discontent. However, without open and honest dialogue, these signals may go unnoticed, leading to an accumulation of unaddressed issues. Therefore, it is crucial for couples to develop strong communication skills that foster understanding, empathy, and emotional connection.

Unmet Expectations and Unrealistic Ideals

Another significant factor that Roiphe highlights is the presence of unmet expectations and unrealistic ideals within a marriage. She argues that the romanticized notions of everlasting bliss perpetuated by society set couples up for disappointment. While Roiphe's analysis is insightful, it is important to delve into the origins of these expectations and their impact on marital satisfaction.

Societal influences, such as media portrayals of idealized relationships, can shape individuals' perceptions of what a marriage should be. When reality fails to align with these idealized visions, disillusionment sets in. Moreover, individuals may enter a marriage with unspoken expectations regarding roles, responsibilities, and even emotional support. Failure to communicate and negotiate these expectations can lead to frustration, resentment, and ultimately, the failure of the relationship.

To mitigate the detrimental effects of unmet expectations, couples must engage in open and honest discussions about their hopes, desires, and boundaries. By aligning their expectations and continuously reevaluating them throughout the course of the marriage, couples can build a foundation of mutual understanding and adaptability.

The Impact of External Stressors

Roiphe briefly touches upon the impact of external stressors on marriages, such as financial difficulties, work pressures, and family conflicts. However, a more comprehensive exploration of these stressors is necessary to understand their role in marital failure fully.

Financial strain, for instance, can create tension and strain within a marriage. Constant worries about money can lead to disagreements, feelings of inadequacy, and an overall sense of instability. Similarly, work-related stress can result in emotional exhaustion, leaving individuals with limited energy to invest in their relationship.

Furthermore, family conflicts, such as disagreements with in-laws or the challenges of balancing familial responsibilities, can significantly strain a marriage. These external stressors can erode the foundation of a relationship and exacerbate existing issues.

To counteract the negative impact of external stressors, couples must develop coping mechanisms and stress management strategies. This may include seeking professional help, setting boundaries, and prioritizing self-care. By addressing external stressors head-on, couples can better navigate these challenges and preserve the health of their relationship.


In "Why Marriages Fail," Anne Roiphe offers valuable insights into the intricate dynamics that contribute to the failure of marriages. By examining the role of communication, unmet expectations, and external stressors, Roiphe provides a starting point for understanding this complex phenomenon. However, it is essential to acknowledge that each marriage is unique, and additional factors may come into play.

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To truly comprehend the reasons behind marital failure, it is crucial to incorporate a broader range of perspectives and evidence. By delving deeper into the multifaceted nature of communication, the impact of unmet expectations, and the influence of external stressors, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of why marriages fail. Only through such understanding can we hope to develop strategies and interventions that can promote healthier, more fulfilling marriages in the future.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Why Marriages Fail By Anne Roiphe. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“Why Marriages Fail By Anne Roiphe.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
Why Marriages Fail By Anne Roiphe. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
Why Marriages Fail By Anne Roiphe [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from:
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