Living in an unhappy marriage hurts your entire family. Follow these steps to find happiness again.
Every marriage has its ups and downs. It’s just that when things are down and have been so for an extended period that it’s time to start considering how to handle an unhappy marriage so you can start feeling better.
After all, you deserve happiness. Your spouse deserves happiness and so do your children. Yet when you’re stuck in a miserable marriage it’s hard for anyone in the family to feel happy.
So how do you handle an unhappy marriage?
The first step is to realize that whatever you choose to do is a result of a choice you’re making (or not making).
You’ll read this article and probably lots more, but not one of them will tell you unequivocally that you need to divorce (unless you’re struggling with one of the marriage deal breakers). And not one of them will tell you that you MUST stay in your unhappy marriage.
Next, you’ll need to determine if it truly is the marriage that’s at the root of your unhappiness or if it’s something else.
Sometimes people confuse a sense of unhappiness about their life or a portion of it with being unhappy in their marriage. It can often be easier to see the marriage as being a problem instead of looking inside to discover what else might be going on.
However, before you start blaming your marriage for your unhappiness, it’s worth spending some time thinking about what else might be going on that could be at the root of your discontent.
If you discover that the cause of your unhappiness is something other than your marriage, then now’s the time to start remedying whatever it is that’s causing you pain.
If you instead discover that it truly is your marriage that’s making you sad, then it’s time for the next step.
Find ways to be happy regardless of what’s going on in your marriage.
We’ve all heard the phrase “and they lived happily ever after.” And most of us believe deep down that’s what we should have when we get married – a life of happiness and joy with our beloved.
However, the truth is that every marriage has its ups and downs, and no one can live happily ever after without putting some serious work into doing so.
To help build your endurance for however you choose to handle your unhappy marriage, you’ll want to make sure that you’re doing things that help you feel better. Maybe you spend time reading or visiting with friends or getting a massage.
The point is to take some of the pressure off of the expectation that your marriage (or your spouse) be the source of your happiness. When you can find some pleasure on your own, you’ll have the endurance and enhanced self-esteem to make it through handling your unhappy marriage.
Now you’re ready to start dealing with your unhappy marriage directly.
Once you’ve made it to this point, you should have the clarity and strength to decide how you want to handle your unhappy marriage.
Maybe you’re ready to have a conversation with your spouse about what is and isn’t working for each of you. Then you can put together a plan for how to begin addressing the issues that you each have.
Maybe you’re ready to have a conversation about ending your relationship instead.
And maybe you’ve realized that the unhappiness you’ve been dealing with is just a temporary situation to be weathered.
However you decided to resolve the issues in your marriage after following these suggestions, you’ll know that you’re making the best decision you can so that you, your spouse and your children can find the happiness you each deserve.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a life and divorce coach helping people just like you who are looking for advice and support about how best to handle an unhappy marriage. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you're ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.