It can be quite tricky to definewhat it means to be unhappy. When it comes to relationships, ‘unhappy marriage’ could mean a lot of different things.
For example, in a loveless marriage, she’s not satisfied with how the spouse is treating her in public, or he doesn’t like the way the spouse talks to his friends or family, or this, or that…. we could go on for hours.
We might not know what unhappy marriage exactly means, but we can surely feel it.
We all had at least one relationship that made us unhappy, yet we found it hard to end it, and we might have stayed in that “unhappy, loveless state” for months, years, decades, or maybe we still are in such a relationship.
So, do you tend to frequently question yourself- is my marriage over?
How does it happen that you are stuck in an unhappy marriage but can’t leave? If you see signs your marriage is over, why do you still stay back?
We all have our reasons, like being afraid of loneliness, being bored, or we might think sex is good, or maybe we got used to that person, etc.
No matter how extraordinary the couple’s reason for being in an unhappy relationship is, some pretty ordinary characteristics make one unhappy relationship resemble the other.
Let’s consider some of the shared traits of an unhappy marriage.
1. They are settling for less than they deserve
In the beginning, married couples try to ignore, forget, or put under the carpet all the minor things that create tension between them that eventually lead to a state of unhappiness.
That is how the couple gets stuck in something that makes partners feel less valued, not appreciated, insulted, or very often scared of what their partner could do next to disappoint or hurt them.
However, for some of us, these unhappy marriage signs are not enough to exit or radically improve the relationship.
Deep inside, we operate from a subconscious belief that we aren’t valuable, aren’t necessary, that we don’t deserve attention and appreciation. That is how we end up tolerating the “status quo” of our unhappy relationship.
2. They use waiting and hoping as a coping mechanism
With time passing by, marriage problems signs, without proper intervention and resolution, usually become more severe and complicated.
In the end, the couple goes through periods of negative mood, depression, feelings of guilt, rumination, isolation, etc., if they happen to ignore the glaring signs of a failing marriage.
Instead of being accountable and taking significant steps toward therecovery of a struggling relationship, unhappy couples usually stay passive thinking that their lack of satisfaction isn’t their fault and that in time the situation will somehow change and things will be as they were before (when the couple was still deeply in love).
3. They don’t take personal responsibility for their happiness
It wouldn’t be fair, or correct, to say that unhappy couples are making themselves miserable on purpose. Nobody would like to deliberately choose to be ‘not happy in marriage’, or suffer the consequences of a failing marriage.
It is more likely they didn’t, just yet, understand that the aim of being in a relationship isn’t to make one another happy but to exchange the individual happiness that each partner already possesses.
Partners must be able to love, care for, appreciate, honor, and respect themselves before they can offer unconditional love to their partner.
4. They focus on the negative aspects of their situation
It is easy to get stuck in thinking mostly about the adverse effects of an unhappy relationship and forget all about the valuable life lessons it offers. The signs of a failing relationship are a fantastic opportunity for self-development and personal growth.
Successful couples are often the ones who managed to switch their point of view and reframe their love life from being an obstacle to their happiness to being a source of skills to bring more joy in life.
This way they could appreciate the struggles too and could make the best out of the worst times together.
5. They make a lot of excuses
Instead of admitting they made a mistake, lied or withheld something from one another, partners in an unhappy marriage usually turn to make excuses. They conveniently ignore the signs marriage is in trouble, or the marriage is dead.
This “habit” limits the capacity for the development of trust and mutual understating in the long term and causes couples to stay unhappy and disconnected in their relationship.
Being open and honest takes a lot of courage and no wonder that so many people are not ready to be vulnerable and admit to their shortcomings and imperfections in character.
Many of us lack honesty when it comes to crucial conversations with our loved ones so we hide behind justifications, stories, explanations, or even empty apologies.
There will be times in any relationship in which couples engage in habits and behaviors that are hurting the relationship and bringing doubt and challenges. No love story is free from struggle.
Watch this video to help you identify the top six reasons why your marriage is falling apart. This video can help you identify the signs of a broken marriage and take the necessary steps for reviving your relationship.
The key to moving forward and overcoming “the tough times in love” is to admit you are unhappy in marriage or that your relationship is getting boring. Recognize the signs your marriage is failing, and what you are doing to create that unhappiness.
Once you are able to identify the signs marriage is over, then do something completely different than what you have been doing. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result will never help your relationship grow and thrive the way you want it to.
Unhappy marriage need not be a permanent problem. If you act upon immediately after coming across the signs of a bad marriage, you can revive your unhappy marriage and reignite the spark in your relationship.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.