The cause of every unhappy marriage is most likely a deep-rooted sense of unfulfillment. A feeling that there is not enough love, affection, trust, respect or other crucial components for a satisfying connection.
As women are by nature more connected to their emotions, they are often the ones who sense this first and get more influenced by the sense of unhappiness. This is why many women try to control their partners, worry excessively or engage in certain self-sabotaging behaviour to over-compensate for this.
What works, what doesn’t work and what can you do differently?
Even though co-dependency can play a big role in creating unhappy and incomplete marriages it is not necessary to be co-dependent to get to a point where you struggle in your relationship. Wives all over the world who are secure and confident in themselves also turn to desperate measures, thinking that this is going to fix their marital issues.
Such measures often consist of women becoming super sexual in order to re-seduce their partner, putting additional pressure on their spouse, being more demanding than usual, pleading, introducing endless conversations about emotions, etc.
Unfortunately, such measures rarely work and in fact, all they do is generate a negative effect on the marriage.
What works better is to take a moment and reflect upon the part you are playing as a wife in an unhappy marriage and to recognize what you can do about it. Even though it seems like a paradox at first, every negative life situation has some benefits to offer to us and that is why, more often than not, we choose to stay stuck in a stressful, frustrating relationship.
Becoming aware of what is that subconscious benefit we are holding on to and understanding the price we are paying for being an unhappy married woman can be a great source of motivation to significantly change our mindset.
Here are 3 do’s and don’ts along with their potential benefits. if applied to your mindset and behaviour,this can have a meaningful impact in improving the quality of your marriage and life in general.
DO: Overcome the need to outsource your self-worth
When you were a child, if the adults in your life didn’t have the capacity or the opportunity to provide you with a warm, loving, accepting environment with lots of attention and support then you are likely to choose a partner who is inattentive or inconsistent in the way he loves you. This puts you in a position where you constantly try to please and impress your husband in order to get validated and feel better about yourself.
You need to regain your personal power and value yourself directly without needing anyone’s else’s approval or attention.
DON’T: Put your self-worth in the hands of your husband
One benefit of staying with an inattentive partner even when you are feeling unhappy is that you get to re-experience your childhood conditions to make you feel familiar and “normal”. Another one is that you don’t need to be responsible for loving and valuing yourself, you can leave that up to your partner.
The price you are likely paying for this is quite high. It can contain anger, isolation, low-self-esteem, powerlessness, anxiety and more serious conditions like depression or similar mental health issues. This price is really not worth the benefit.
DO: Let go of expectations
Letting go of marriage expectations can set you free from tension and frustration that may be the cause of your issues in the first place.
As humans, we have the tendency to form expectations around every possible thing in life. But the expectations that lead to most disappointments are the ones we attach to the people closest to us- our spouses. We simply need to let them all go.
DON’T: Focus on the outcome
When we control and manipulate others what we are really doing is trying to make them behave and think the way we want them to. You may gain a false sense of control, certainty and power, but the price is huge.
By controlling and manipulating, we are deeply damaging the relationship, limiting our partner, creating distance and rejection. We appear as takers, we become selfish and self-centered, thinking about what we want to get and not what we can give.
DO: Cultivate gratitude
Your marriage is unhappy and chances are that you are blaming your husband for many things that led you towards this sad situation. If this is the case it might seem unreasonable to ask you to find and express daily gratitude towards your husband. Yet, this is what you must do in order to make a significant shift in the overall “atmosphere” of your marriage.
DON’T: Take your partner for granted
We all get caught up in our sense of entitlement or tend to see only the shortcomings and mistakes of our partners. The benefit of such outlook on our significant others is that we feel like we are the innocent one and they are guilty, that we are right and they are wrong, we might feel like we are protecting ourselves from being hurt and we have a chance to be the victim of our marital setup.
The price we pay for this is loneliness, misery, guilt and unhappiness.
If we see our struggling marriage as an opportunity for self-development instead of an unfortunate event in our life, we will have a chance to grow as women and become empowered to live a fuller and more satisfying life within or without our marriage.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.