By Judy Dutton and Dana Hudepohl
Just ask these five couples whose love passed the ultimate test....
It can happen with a phone call at 4 a.m. It can happen when your doctor says, "I have some bad news...." It can happen a week after your honeymoon, or in the middle of a deadline crunch at work, or on your way to your child's yellow-belt ceremony. Tragedy can hit, hard, anytime. And though it's romantic to think that couples can cling together and weather the storm, the reality...
Or, perhaps one party is beginning to feel anxious about where the relationship is going – or the other person expects it to go.
Reasons Hearts May Break
There are so many reasons people get together, sighs Elayne Savage, PhD, a relationship coach and author of Breathing Room-Creating Space to Be a Couple. "They may need to fill a need in their life. Whether or not the person fills that need, half of the couple may continue to see the world through rosy glasses. Thus the couple may stay together longer than they should," she says.
Having unrealistic expectations also can doom a relationship, Savage says. "Some people will want certain things, not find them in a person, and sort of make the person a 'fixer-upper' and try to create those qualities in the person. Pretty soon, the person resents it as does the person doing the fixing."
Savage also says some people confuse nurturing with intimacy. Cuddling or a backrub, she says, may be caregiving more than intimacy.
Who suffers more, men or women?
"More men commit suicide over a lost relationship than women do," Jean Cirillo, PhD, a psychotherapist and consultant to TV reality shows in Long Island, N.Y., tells WebMD. "It's harder for them, when they have formed an attachment, to leave on terms other than their own."
"Women take a breakup easier," syndicated columnist and psychologist Joyce Brothers, PhD, tells WebMD. "Women are more tuned to their feelings and know it's coming. It doesn't hit them like a ton of bricks.
"Also," Brothers notes, "women have more people to talk to, their hairdresser, aunt, even a taxi driver. "Women get over a breakup -- but never get over comparing themselves to the woman the guy ends up with."
"It's harder being the dumpee," Sandra Reishus, MHS, a clinical sexologist and relationship coach and author of Oh NO! I've Become My Mother, tells WebMD. "If you are the dumpee, your self-worth comes into play."