Sometimes an unhappy marriage can just creep up on you.
Are you miserable in your marriage? Maybe you are, maybe you’re not, maybe you’re just unsure.
Do you think your spouse is miserable being married to you?
For many of us, it’s normal to have thoughts about our marital happiness – especially when things aren’t going well because we’ve hit a rough patch.
However, it’s also possible to be miserable in your marriage and not be completely aware of it.
Here are 7 different ways you may be making yourself miserable in your marriage – without even knowing you’re doing it.
- You’re happily doing your own thing. It’s important that each spouse have interests outside of the marriage that help them each to feel happy and vital. However, when the outside interests regularly interfere with or even prevent spending quality time with your spouse, it’s time to take note.Happy marriages require that the spouses spend time connecting and that means they spend time together – having sex, playing, talking about important stuff, doing new things and doing the chores. It’s these shared experiences that help to strengthen the marriage bond.
- Believing you can change him/her. Hope is a beautiful thing because it can keep us moving toward our dreams. However, in a marriage having hope that you can change your mate is a recipe for misery.The only way anyone changes is because they choose to. Sure, you can make suggestions (or even demands), but your spouse won’t make a permanent change unless they want to. And the longer you hold on to believing you can change him/her the more likely it is that you’ll wind up miserable in your marriage.
- You’re too busy taking care of everyone else. When you spend so much time taking care of everyone else, you often neglect taking care of yourself. You lose touch with what you want and need. You may even lose your sense of self and see yourself as simply a spouse or parent.When you lose your sense of self, it’s easy to become profoundly unhappy with your marriage and your life.
- Regularly fantasizing … … about life without your spouse. When you spend more time daydreaming about life without your mate than how you can have more fun with them, something’s amiss. And what’s amiss is your commitment to your marriage.
- Expecting your spouse to complete you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all remember the “romantic” line from Jerry Maguire. But the truth is that happy marriages don’t exist between two half people.Happy marriages happen because two whole people choose to be together. And they don’t just choose to be together when they get hitched, they choose to be together every single day.
- You’re always right and ready to prove it whenever needed. Most people thrive in marriages when they’re married to someone they respect and who also respects them. If you believe your spouse isn’t capable of being right about anything unless they’re mimicking your opinions, you don’t respect them.And if you’re married to someone you don’t respect, are you really happy?
- You’re self-sufficient. There’s a general belief that we each need to be self-sufficient and capable of taking care of ourselves and our responsibilities without any outside assistance. This idea is great when you’re single and have no family responsibilities.However, when you’re married, you’re actually part of a team. And teams work together to accomplish their shared goals and dreams.
If you’re not leaning on your spouse and your spouse isn’t leaning on you to accomplish all you each hope for, then you’re missing out on the magic of working together and you may even be making yourself needlessly miserable in your marriage.
As you can see from this list, feeling miserable in your marriage isn’t something that’s obviously premeditated. Sometimes things just drift off from marital bliss through seemingly innocuous behaviors.
The good news is that if your marital happiness is waning, you can also begin to change things for the better through simple behaviors too. There’s no reason to continue to suffer and feel miserable in your marriage. Things can be better.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a life and divorce coach who helps people, just like you, who feel stuck in a miserable marriage. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And if you’re interested in working with me personally, you can book an introductory 30-minute private coaching session with me.