Unhappy Marriage?

How To Improve A Miserable Marriage

Woman sitting on the floor next to her bed crying about her miserable marriage.

When the sweetness of love turns sour and the freedom your heart once felt now feels like a cage, you have choices. Important choices. Life-defining choices. Do you throw in the towel and pray you get a second chance with someone new? Or do you learn how to improve a miserable marriage and pray you get a second chance with your spouse?

Being unhappy in your marriage is a subjective experience. There is no clear-cut definition for “just getting by” vs. “unhappy” vs. “miserable.”

But there are signs of an unhappy marriage — indications that can easily become a slowly swelling undercurrent of discontent.

Hindsight, of course, can be a bit arrogant in its omniscience. “I wish I had paid attention when (this) happened.” “I wish I had said something earlier about (that).”

Prevention is always preferred. But sometimes it takes a plunge into misery to realize what you’re missing and what you can have if you put in the sweat equity.

Whether your marriage is unhappy, unhealthy, or toxic (or some combination of the three), the time to take action is now.

Advice for how to improve a miserable marriage is, in many ways, the same advice for how to create and maintain…

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How To Survive An Unhealthy Marriage While Working To Make It Better

Photo by Gianfranco Grenar on Unsplash

What do you do when it’s all falling apart and you feel as if trying to save your marriage is an uphill climb? What if you’re not fighting just the blues or boredom, but something more inherently problematic? Do you know how to survive an unhealthy marriage while also working to make it better?

Every couple wants the sizzle to last, even though they know that a certain amount of monotony will sneak in. That’s just the nature of familiarity and the price of being with one person for the rest of your life. 

All those crazy, sleep-depriving, romance-obsessed hormones have done their job. And, predictably, they eventually take leave and give way to sustainability. (Thank God!)

Before diving into tips for how to survive an unhealthy marriage, a few distinctions are in order.

Just as with photography, the gray scale can make transitions in relationships so nuanced that you barely notice them. Even black and white have degrees of intensity, often noticeable only in direct comparison.

So, what’s the point of applying the science of art to the science (and art) of marriage?

If you’re going to work on making your marriage better, it’s important to recognize what needs work…and why

You don’t need to…

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Wondering "Why Is My Marriage Unhappy?" Here’s What You Need To Do

Woman looking forlornly at her husband who is engrossed in his phone.

How did we end up here? Why is my marriage unhappy? We had such big dreams when we got married, and now we just exist.

Crossing the threshold into married life is often a bigger leap than couples are prepared for.

You’ve been there. You remember the bliss, the take-the-world-by-storm dream of all life’s possibilities.

You remember having almost everything in common. And you remember filling in the gaps of your differences with the creation of new and positive agreements to strengthen your connection.

You probably even remember acknowledging beneath the snow of pixie dust that “life won’t always be perfect.” But no matter, you would “lean on one another and get through it together.”

And yet, somehow you have arrived at the stark awareness of your disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Why is my marriage unhappy? Is it me? Is it him/her? Is it “us”? How do I figure it out? And can we get back to being happy?

Getting your marriage compass redirected to true north involves more than spinning in circles and waiting for the needle to settle. It requires a mapping of your coordinates, as well as your surroundings.

You may have only recently articulated those despondent descriptors – unhappy, miserable,…

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When Is A Marriage Unhealthy?

A woman trying to cover up her sadness about her unhealthy marriage with a smile.

When is it time to take notice? When is a marriage unhealthy vs. just in need of a little spring cleaning? 

Just like housekeeping, marriage inevitably sees its share of “just stick it in the dishwasher for now” management. Kids need to get to school, you need to get to work, bills need to get paid. And, well, the house needs to be cleaned.

But eventually, there is a moment of awakening. That moment when your eye catches the gray layer on top of your furniture, and a finger-swipe reveals what’s underneath the dust.

Is just a little Pledge-and-wipe warranted, or is this an indication of what might be lurking in corners and under the furniture?

When is a marriage just navigating “life”? And when is a marriage unhealthy?

If you knew how things would look and feel years down the road, surely you would pay attention now.

Or so you would think.

The truth is, we are constantly forewarned about every aspect of life. Health, exercise, nutrition, investing, parenting, education, etc. 

And yet, if you’re like most of the world, it’s not until the consequences strike that you take notice.

When it comes to recognizing an unhealthy marriage, there are signs that…

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9 Keys For Fixing An Unhappy Marriage

Woman holding her husband’s arm and contemplating the keys for fixing an unhappy marriage.

Are you committed to bringing your marriage back to life?

You may have no idea how you got here. But one day you woke up and realized that you haven’t been happy in your marriage for a long time. And now you have to decide between fixing an unhappy marriage or ending it.

Hopefully you’re not ready to throw in the towel. But your disappointment in where your marriage is warrants a fearless and compassionate examination.

And, if you’re going to restore your relationship to the hope and happiness it once had, you’re going to have to work for it.

Here are 9 keys for fixing an unhappy marriage. All are doable, with promising benefits, if you are committed to bringing your marriage back to life.

  • Stop doing damage. 

    Fixing an unhappy marriage is a difficult, forward-aspiring effort. Even with the best intentions, there will be times that feel like dead-ends and lessons in futility.

    But one thing’s for sure: There can be no forward momentum when there’s negativity pulling you backward.

    If you’re to have any hope of repairing your marriage, you have to stop doing the damage that broke it. No more snide remarks. No more disapproving body language. No more blame. No…

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