Defining a bad marriage can be tricky. For one person it might mean experiencing an unhappy marriage. For another person, it could be a distant marriage or generally problematic marriage. And for somebody else, it could mean a toxic or dangerous marriage.
Regardless of the meaning if you are questioning whether you are experiencing a bad marriage, then there’s likely to be something that needs to be addressed in your marriage and quickly.
Figure out what type of bad marriage you are experiencing
If you can figure out what type of bad marriage you are experiencing, then it will be easier for you to decide upon what you can do to resolve the situation appropriately. For example; if your bad marriage is an unhappy marriage which has been caused by years of drifting apart and forgetting how to relate to each other it is possible that you might be able to work together to salvage your relationship together and turn it back into a happy marriage.
However, if your bad marriage is toxic, or dangerous, then you’ll know that it’s time to move on. A toxic relationship is not going to bring out the best in you and will be damaging to yours, and your spouse’s health and psyche. A dangerous marriage needs no explanation. It’s dangerous – you need to get out!
Here are some signs that you can look out for to help you recognize each type of bad marriage
Some people might argue that an unhappy marriage is not necessarily a bad marriage. But instead is a sign of patterns, expectations, and behaviors that might need to be adjusted to create a happy marriage. If you are both committed to each other but have found yourselves unhappy, then with a little bit of help you have the chance to turn this type of bad marriage around.
Some of the signs of an unhappy marriage are;
● No arguments, no complaints, and no joy either – just general apathy.
● Too many arguments over nothing.
● Emotional affairs.
● Lack of intimacy
● Lack of communication
● Unfulfilled needs.
● Living separate lives or taking your lives in different directions
● Unrealistic expectations and comparisons
● Feeling let down
It’s worth considering hiring a marriage expert, or to go to couples counseling to help you both find a way to improve your communication and to help you navigate your way to happiness.
A distant marriage
In some cases, some people might consider a distant marriage to be an unhappy marriage, after all, a distance between you and your spouse won’t be making you jump for joy. But there are subtle differences.
The main difference being that it’s possible that there was a time when you were perfectly happy as a couple, but now, perhaps out of habit, you’ve forgotten how to relate to each other and may have lost yourself in the process.
● You and your partner stop sharing your problems and worries.
● Disinterest from your spouse when you are talking (and vice versa).
● Apathy toward each others emotions or conflict.
● Lack of intimacy.
● No effort to meet each other’s needs or to make each other happy.
● Lack of affection.
● No more ‘I love you’s’.
● Shutting down when trying to discuss important issues.
This is a bad marriage that can be resolved – particularly if you both love each other and have just lost your way. Making an effort to have a frank talk with your spouse and determine whether you are both still committed to loving each other and making the marriage work will help you identify the state of your marriage.
Then making a plan to try new things together, to have date nights, and even try some romantic games to get the conversation going will all help to relight the spark. It wouldn’t hurt to participate in some couples counseling either!
A toxic marriage
If you identify with the signs of a toxic marriage, you are walking on the unsteady ground. This type of bad marriage is one that rings alarm bells. Unless you can both commit to change and work on yourselves as well as your relationship this is one type of marriage that is not going to result in a happy ending.
Here are some of the typical signs of a toxic marriage;
● All take and no give
● Mind games
● Feeling Insecure
● High drama frequently
This is not a marriage-style that anybody aspires to.
It’s advisable to consider leaving the relationship, especially if this has been occurring from the beginning of your relationship and has never shown any sign of changing.
If however, you are not sure whether you are ready to leave, it’s worth considering taking some expert advice via couples counseling or through personal therapy. There is a slight possibility that if you are both committed to working through the cause of the toxic relationship (particularly if there is trauma linked to your behaviors from the past) that you might have a chance of changing this pattern.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to remember that a toxic relationship is toxic and anything toxic is dangerous to your health and wellbeing. So something needs to change fast.
An abusive or dangerous relationship
This is the worst kind of bad marriage, and for your safety, if you are experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to get out and move to safety. You’ll never manage to change an abusive spouse, and you will end up living in warranted constant fear.
● Extreme possessiveness
● Disregarding boundaries
● Controlling behavior
● Physical or sexual aggression
● Secretive Behaviour
● Unpredictable mood swings
In this situation, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get out, but it’s important to make sure you do so safely. Take the time to assess and research your options and make sure you get all of the support you need whether that be from family, therapy or a charity that supports victims of emotional abuse in your state.