NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast host Shankar Vedanta has a fascinating conversation with his guests about the evolving purpose and role of marriage. Mergers for security and survival or for national conquest gave way to unions based on love. But we learn, in the ever more modern world, what we hope to gain from marriage and from our partner keeps growing, imposing nearly impossible expectations. Today we seek emotional fulfillment, romance, friendship and personal growth — a task extraordinary and wonderful when accomplished and nearly impossible to achieve in relationships between two people. So much of this compelling podcast is consistent with what we learn as mediators when helping couples unwind their long or short term relationships. Often, the expectations have outstripped the ability for life to keep up. Whether their values have diverged, their careers soared or stalled, or the demands of parenting strained the time needed to nurture their individuality, couples seek a peaceful resolution to their divorce in the hopes of better days ahead.