It’s true when marrying for the first time; dreams swirl about the endless conjoined possibilities for the future and what life as partners will mean.
Most everyone’s idyllic scenario includes the lovely home, some with the hope of children (some not), and of course a family fur baby with a union where troubles are few and far between.
Still, discussions iron things out to a completely satisfactory resolution for each mate when there are issues. That’s how it works, or it’s supposed to in a perfect world.
Then reality sets in with a crushing blow. Partners eventually question whether divorce would be a better solution than staying in an unhappy marriage.
The problem is if you stay just a bit longer, will the picture of what you imagined come to fruition? How long is too long? Some of us waited a couple of decades before realizing hoping will never make it so.
When is it better to divorce than stay married
Divorce is not an answer many of us come to even if we are unhappy – I can speak for myself. The dreams carry a strong influence over thoughts of breaking up with a partner and sound much more appealing than the notion of leaving.
How do you consider walking away from a situation that genuinely isn’t so awful? There are no abuses, no loud, disrespectful fights; some people have it so much worse.
Yes, they do, and it wouldn’t be impossible to trudge along in a partnership that brings you no inspiration or personal fulfillment. Is that indeed a better option than a mutually satisfying divorce?
No! As a matter of fact, staying in a marriage devoid of happiness and joy is worse than seeking to separate your lives and progress forward healthfully.
When there are cracks in the marital foundation, it can lead to mental unwellness and poor physical health, not to mention stunting your evolution into an individual who chases their own personal goals and dreams.
When a marriage begins to affect who you are, who you once were, divorce is the better alternative to staying and allowing yourself to become someone you don’t recognize anymore.
Should you stay in an unhappy marriage for children?
The little ones in a family unit pay close attention to what’s happening with the adults in the group. They already know when there’s discord, even if there are no open displays of unrest.
Unfortunately, when you believe there are no signs you could possibly be giving off, a child can see that twitch that is perhaps unnoticeable to anyone else’s naked eye.
You cannot hide unhappiness from small people; they know the truth. Many studies exist on how divorce can negatively impact children. They don’t share just how many studies exist showing the relation to an unhappy marriage and the long-term impact this has on kids.
Suppose you demonstrate to a little person that it’s better to internalize feelings and stick with an unfulfilling, sad situation. In that case, this child will grow into someone who believes divorce is wrong and that they too should sacrifice their happiness by enduring joyless partnerships.
Suppose you, however, allow them to see that divorce can be a positive experience when it is mutual, respectful, and kind.
In that case, the kids will take those lessons and put them to use if and when the time comes that they find themselves in a situation to choose between staying in an unsatisfying partnership or moving forward with divorce and remaining friendly.
In essence, you will be allowing your kids to experience the true nature of what love is about.
Consequences of staying in that unhappy marriage
Numerous factors can lead to an unhappy marriage and eventual divorce. Often the reasons relate to the partnership not meeting expectations that one or both mates had when initially deciding to get engaged and get married.
At the height of what many call the honeymoon phase, there’s much excitement, and a lot of planning mates contribute for the future together. Often, with every intention of making these a reality.
Unfortunately, it can throw spouses off track when life happens, leading to disappointments and unfulfilled dreams.
It can be challenging to put those wheels back in motion, with some couples giving up on what could have been, leaving each person unhappy with what the marriage has become.
You can either stay in that continual state of feeling no joy with the relationship, trying to make it work, or choose to make things better by divorcing.
If you opt to try to stick it out, there can be physical and mental consequences for your well-being. Let’s look at some of the potential consequences.
Physical side effects
When a couple chooses to stay in a relationship where they’re unfulfilled, it can create much stress and pressure resulting in physical unwellness. Stress can cause plenty of general health concerns, including high blood pressure, heart issues, difficulties sleeping, and so much more.
Mental and emotional reactions
Depression and anxiety are common issues people deal with in our society. These can be exacerbated when you’re dealing with a lack of joy in your home life.
You can further develop fatigue, frustration and become irritable when dealing with what feels like an impossible situation.
Effects on personal and professional life
Once you start to have conflict and see the other person as a source of contempt, someone with whom there are only complaints and criticism, not only are you affected personally but being productive and efficient with your career can start to downslide.
Not to mention interacting in your social circles and holding up appearances with family.
When lines of communication appear to be broken, mates will begin to seek solace and advice from those outside the partnership. That will mean third parties are influencing how you view each other. Often this can make the situation worse instead of better.
Energy weighs you down
The negativity you feel when you’re in the home environment causes you to feel a continuous weight on your shoulders. That energy sticks with you and affects how you treat other people both in your private life and in the workplace.
How to survive your unhappy marriage
If a marriage is unhealthy for you, that’s a bit different from being unhappy. Unhealthiness can imply toxicity, and these are often not situations that you want to repair, especially if there are any abuses, control issues, or jealousies.
These behaviors don’t tend to get better even if there is a counselor involved. But indeed, the partner with these issues needs to apply themselves in counseling regardless.
On the other hand, when you discuss unhappiness, there are things you can do to help you resolve perhaps what were expectations that didn’t work out in the way you thought they might since that’s usually the culprit in these situations.
It will take both individuals putting forth a great deal of time, effort, and energy to resolve the circumstances for the betterment of the couplehood. Some things you will need to try:
Recognize the issue
It’s vital to determine what it is that’s causing the lack of fulfillment and displacement of joy. If these are deal-breakers, divorce might be the only alternative to staying in this unhappy marriage.
Still, there would need to be dire circumstances that would create a deal-breaker after you agree to marry. Likely you’ve already discussed life situations and goals. If you did not, and these differ significantly, it probably will be a major issue.
Consider whether the partnership is something you want to salvage
The two of you need to consider whether the union is something worth putting your time and energy into trying to save it. If you’ve already been pouring effort into the relationship, hoping it would eventually meet the dreams you had for it, say that, be honest, and expect the same from your mate. Perhaps there’s a possibility.
Open, honest and vulnerable communication
When you speak vulnerably and let go of all complaining, criticizing, and finger-pointing, a mate will likely become open and honest as well. It would be best to express what needs correcting in the relationship and how you intend to make those changes.
One element is to show appreciation to each other regularly. That will open the door to having more vulnerable conversations.
Look for mutual solutions
Each of you expresses that you want to resolve the issues and find common ground to make things work between you. That speaks to the fact that problems will be faced together as an aligned couple hoping to destroy the issue instead of allowing the consequence to divide you as you have previously.
Sometimes the only recourse is to take some space from each other to look at the situation in a different light. Perhaps you’ll find that being separated is not the correct answer, or you’ll see that maybe divorce is the best answer as opposed to trying to work through the unhappiness.
You won’t know unless you try. It will least of all allow you to see how your life can be should you choose that path instead of simply going ahead with a divorce that might not have been the correct answer.
When we’re unhappy in a marriage, that’s all we can see and think about. It consumes our brain, disallowing considerations for a possible resolution to the issue leading to divorce in many circumstances.
An excellent option before taking that step is to break away from the situation for time to contemplate what life would be like apart.
Individual counseling is also imperative. A professional can guide you through your feelings, taking you into a thought process you might not have otherwise considered – perhaps taking divorce out of the equation.