In a relationship, issuing of threats will create stress. If one partner keeps talking of divorce, separation, wanting an out, etc. then the other partner is under stress. Especially when the other partner wants the relationship to continue.
A young man married much against his wishes. He was not assertive enough to say he would not marry. He is in love with another girl. But due to pressure brought on by his parents, he was forced to marry the girl they chose for him. From day one, he has been telling his wife he wants a divorce. Now the pressure is building up; he is demanding she file for divorce.
His wife is not willing, they have a child. He is not bothered by all this. He feels if he is free, he can marry his girl. Who is incidentally married! If his wife were to file, he will be blame free. Is that what he wants? Why is that if he wants his freedom, he is not initiating the divorce?
Another couple have the same scenario. The husband keeps threatening he wants to separate. He feels he is too good for her, she is the source of his anger. They too have children, and the lady is under constant stress. These ladies have taken their respective marriages to heart, they feel they can contribute and make it grow. But their respective spouses think otherwise.
It is easy to tell these ladies to up their stakes and move on. But that is not what they want. And no one has the right to say they are being foolish or in denial. It is a choice they are making; they are in the marriage, they must be seeing something positive in it. They are aware of the negatives. They realize the journey will be difficult. And they also know they could be leaving. But they wish to leave on their terms, not leave because their husbands are being immature or down right cruel.
They are leading a life of living under the Damocles sword. They know that things can swing either way. But these ladies want to try to make their marriage successful, not because they are old fashioned. But because they feel committed to the relationship and so want to see it through.
This stress will not be easy. They will have physical manifestations of stress, and they will have to pull all their internal reserves. One lady does not want to involve her parents in her fight. They are old, she wants to spare them. Whether this is a right decision, only she knows. The other lady feels her family will not support her, so she wants to battle alone. It is a pity their respective husbands are unable to see the goodness under their very noses.
What will the children in these marriages imbibe as they grow up? A stressed mother who is trying desperately to offer a semblance of family life, a lady who is determined to take her responsibilities seriously, and/or a lady who refuses to give up hope? These children can turn very supportive of their mother and help her in her battle. And if she ever has to leave, these children will support her in that too. The image will be she did not give up without a fight.
There are several stressors in a marriage. When encountered together, the stressors can be handled appropriately. But when one spouse is the source of stress, then keeping the fabric of marriage intact can be a difficult task. And when the stress is in the form of constant threat of divorce, it requires true grit to face it and try to turn it around.
These women need to grow as individuals, realize their potential. This will give them the strength to fight and withstand marital stress. And it will also give them strength to call it quits if that is the inevitable result. So to be able to handle the threat of divorce, these women need to focus on self. To build up self to be able to operate from a position of strength.