It's a question whose answer has preoccupied me for a long time. You learn most everything from when the brain is developed at 6-9 months old to 6 or 7 years old. Social skills, speech human attachment, emotions then self-esteem, morality, etc.
The biggest time is 0-7 (some say 0-6 years old). The basis for the rest of life is learned. The created therapy for missing that but has to be given pretty close to that age (7-9 years old). Attachment disorder therapy. Attachment some say forms love, trust, self-esteem. If a person has little trust overall, something happened in 0-7. Example - a person is raped at 25. Their trust of anyone outside of family (spouse, kids, friends, work, social institutions) may not be great. They still have trust with others. Fact is people with a good foundation handle things better than those without. Example 2 - same situation. But, they had no foundation. No real friends, no family, etc. A few will defy the odds but the result is going to be far worse. Much like some of us that had abusive childhoods regardless of CSA.
Here's what the Bard would call the rub: if it's interrupted, it can ruin everything else going forward.
If you have a wife that has a good foundation, blowing a marriage is rather missing a huge opportunity many don't get. You probably should try even harder to make it work.
I saw this a year ago: without love (it was a comment on marriage), there isn't much of a point in life.
I've seen many beat a lot of things and thank their wife/spouse exclusively. I've seen women do the same but also thank mom. I rarely see them thank a shrink except in passing. I've seen people in AA/NA thank their sponsor and the group but ultimately the spouse was behind it they said. It was like, "I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for my wife/husband/bf/gf."
What I got from this is: people without love founder way more often than not. If your like me and made it this far, you're one of the few.
Wikipedia is a little technical but here's some:
Attachment theorists consider the human infant to have a need for a relationship with at least one caregiver for normal social and emotional development to occur.
Newborn infants do not seem to experience fear or have preferences for contact with any specific people. In the first few months they only experience happiness, sadness, and anger. A baby’s first smile usually occurs between 6 and 10 weeks. It is called a ‘social smile’ because it usually occurs during social interactions. By about 8–12 months, they go through a fairly rapid change and become fearful of perceived threats; they also begin to prefer familiar people and show anxiety and distress when separated from them or approached by strangers. The capacity for empathy and the understanding of social rules begin in the preschool period and continue to develop into adulthood. Middle childhood is characterized by friendships with age-mates, and adolescence by emotions connected with sexuality and the beginnings of romantic love. Anger seems most intense during the toddler and early preschool period and during adolescence.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_development