How Does a Loveless Marriage Affect a Family?

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Marriage is often misconstrued by those who enter it as something that will be easy and can survive on love alone. In some cases this is true, but when a loveless marriage exists, the effects it can have on a family are devastating. One of the first things that happen in a loveless marriage is the withdrawal of the mother and father in the family relationship. Even if the withdrawal isn't necessarily from the responsibilities of being a parent, residual effects can still be felt throughout the family. The lack of expression begins to leak outside the married couple's relationship between each other and into other parts of their life. Having a loveless marriage can begin to hurt work habits, social habits and potentially spill into all parts of the couple's lives. The mother and father can seem to become disconnected or distant to others who are close enough to notice the change. Children who bear witness to this can begin to feel neglected or unwanted, which can cause grades to drop or risky behavior because of lowered self-esteem.

Setting the example

Beyond the neglect or withdrawal that can be experienced in a family due to a loveless marriage is the potential to imprint negatively on the expectations and future of the children in the family. A child learns the majority of her future relationship expectations and habits from her parent's example. In a loveless marriage, the example of how to treat a spouse is being absorbed by the child and can begin to affect him early in his development. A loveless marriage serves to set the bar low for the child's expectations of marriage. These examples may seem to have no immediate effect but will surface in the child's future relationships. Lowered standards and expectations in a relationship can ultimately mean that the children in loveless marriages accept treatment that is unfitting or treat others with disrespect more frequently. The example a loveless marriage sets can cause havoc for a child's ability to find love and commit in the future.

Impending doom

Although loveless marriages aren't necessarily pleasant for the couple involved, it doesn't always mean that divorce is imminent. The options in a loveless marriage should be approached from a logical standpoint, because emotions are often a non-factor. Even though it is possible to work through a loveless marriage, in most instances this isn't the case. A loveless marriage is generally a death stamp on a marriage, which reverberates throughout the family. Without a considerable intervention and honest effort from both sides to resolve the problem, a communication breakdown often sets in--followed by an even further amplified inability to relate. Once this happens in a loveless marriage, the floodgates have been opened. This allows a strong opportunity for destruction to drown the remaining hopes of resolution. Divorce is likely at this point, because emotional fulfillment will eventually be searched for outside of the relationship. Separation and divorce commonly build an emotional wall between family members, seriously affecting their ability to fully interact with each other in an open, honest setting without deep emotional obstruction and resentment.