A recent essay by Michael Metzger succinctly explains why it is that so many modern marriages are in trouble:
In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond cites the famous first sentence of Tolstoy's great novel Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Diamond goes on to write, "By that sentence, Tolstoy meant that, in order to be happy, a marriage must succeed in many different respects: sexual attraction, agreement about money, child discipline, religion, in-laws, and other vital issues. Failure in any one of those essential respects can doom a marriage even if it has all the other ingredients needed for happiness."
In other words, lots of things all have to go right for a marriage to succeed and only one thing has to go wrong for it to fail. Add to Diamond's list the fact that in the modern workplace men and women are in close contact with each other to an extent that's probably unique in human history. It's a situation in which they see every day people of the opposite sex to whom their own spouses often measure up unfavorably. The constant proximity and interaction between the sexes in the workplace creates the potential for marital challenges that are perhaps unprecedented in Western culture.
At any rate, without wishing to sound like an e-harmony commercial the problem for many moderns is that as our culture becomes more and more diverse, as traditional values give way to a wider spectrum of moral assumptions, and as more people see religion as extraneous to human well-being, it gets harder and harder to find someone who matches well in all those "essential respects" Diamond lists.
It's another reason for being skeptical, perhaps, of the alleged merits of "diversity." The more varied we become as a society the more likely the pool of compatible potential mates will shrink to a puddle.
Thanks to Byron for the tip on the article.RLC