Some people are so miserable in their marriages and it’s not the fault of the marriage or spouse, it is just the certain time period they are stuck in. Those who marry young or marry because of a child on the way, or those who marry because religious doctrine demands it, might just make it and stay married until death.

Or not. There’s no prescription for how long or how happy a marriage should be except that it should be healthy and work.

Some marriages only work for a few years, and the individuals involved are smart enough to call it quits. Some marriages work here and there, and last decades, even lifetimes. And some people do very well going from relationship to relationship and never marry. Think about it: more of us in our 30s and 40s are marrying later in life because we’ve had several relationships that didn’t end in marriage, and this taught us what to look for in a first marriage.

There shouldn’t be any shame in divorce nor should there be in not getting married. Finding someone who works and is healthy for you is the only thing that matters, especially if you’re going to have children. But there is no perfect narrative except the one you’re working on, and hopefully building with the person who is right — and healthy — for you.

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