Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.
Little by little, a relationship or marriage erodes, as little or big fights and quiet resentments eat away at the warmth and love which originally overrode all the differences which already existed. No two people agree on every issue nor are compatible in every one. Things are personality quirks and different needs at different times, whether for affection, sex, material things, social life, etc., are normal. Originally, the couple knew these differences existed and chose to embrace them as ways of balancing or complementing each other. She admired his neatness. He learned to relax from her. He liked her sociability. She liked his ability to vege out.
However, unmet needs, small intolerances, disappointments, and irritations build up. Some marriages disintegrate to the point where they can't be saved. Others repair in couples therapy or with some major paradigm shift, like the shock of an impending or real affair, illness or near loss of the other, or some experience which sheds new light on what's important in the relationship. Then, the couple reminds themselves to overlook the differences.
Most often, couples recuperate by small and significant repair work on a regular basis, such as apologizing, forgiving, accepting, making love, doing favors, buying gifts, and having fun with each other and mutual family or friends, thus, resolidifying their bond.
When big things interfere, however, such as addiction, abuse or infidelity, then, serious work must be done before it's too late. Both have to want to save their love desparately enough to make big changes and sacrifices.