Several couples that I know have broken up recently. I am not in the middle (thank goodness) of any of them, and my point here is not to judge anything about any of their relationships. In fact it is not my purpose to talk about their relationships specifically at all, beyond mentioning them as a jumping off point for writing.
I came to the marriage thing late. I never dated much, or functioned well in those kind of relationships. I'm not particularly flirty, or sexy, or anything. I can't say I understand fully how and why people pick, keep, discard partners as they do. It certainly doesn't seem as easy or seamless as my parents' relationship seemed. I'm sure there were things there that I just didn't/couldn't see, but I still don't know what they were.
I use the relationships that I know as a guage of sorts, I guess. If other relationships can last, so can mine. When those other relationships fall by the wayside, no matter what the reason - because that isn't the important part for my comparison - when they fail, I worry about my relationship.
On one hand, I know that is not a reasonable comparison. We are not them. Our problems are not theirs, and theirs are not ours.
On the other hand, I'm not trying to get into the whys and wherefors of the relationship, its problems or its failures, only the longevity and/or demise. What chances do we have if so-and-so failed, too?
I'm not trying to borrow trouble, although I'm sure I am, to an extent. I'm certainly not giving up because of what happens to other couples. Still, I know I'm not more special, more giving, more relationship-able than they are. So, it saddens me to hear of a couple breaking up. Even if I understand that it may be the best thing for all involved. Even if I know nothing whatever of what has transpired between them. Even though I know it has nothing to do with the fate of my own relationship, one way or the other.