How could your life have changed so radically?
It wasn’t that long ago you were enjoying dreams of happily ever after. And somehow now, after such a beautiful time to together, you’re wondering about simply surviving an unhappy marriage.
When you are surviving there is no pleasure or joy so and not a lot of physical intimacy.
Somewhere between then and now you’ve lost the shared dreams along with the ones that were just yours.
The love that once kept both of you bathed in feel-good hormones that made everything OK and helped you work together to find solutions to every challenge has disappeared. And now you’re unhappy – really, dreadfully unhappy.
There are so many reasons why you may be unhappy in your marriage. Gaining clarity on what they are is a great place to start and knowing the personal cost to you.
1. Lost Intimacy: emotional and physical intimacy are crucial for a long-term marriage.
Personal cost: Feeling isolation, sadness, low self-esteem and confidence, rejection, low self-worth, resentment, worry, anxiety to name a few.
2. Infidelity: Regardless if it’s physical or emotional there’s been a betrayal and if it’s unhealed it continues to cause pain.
Personal cost: Feeling rage, resentment, contempt, anger, distrust, low self-esteem and confidence, not good enough, stress, anxiety, depression and more.
3. Abuse: Emotional, physical, sexual and mental. It’s impossible to be happily married and to feel safe.
Personal cost: Feeling powerless, hopeless, worthless, unsafe, exhaustion, hyper-vigilant (always on guard) masked, caged, guarded, lonely, nervous, terrified, depressed and so much more.
4. Anger Issues: Very difficult for both individuals as the person with the anger finds it difficult to control their rage and fury, and the person on the receiving end lives on eggshells and can begin to shut down.
Personal cost to the individual on the receiving end: tense, hurt, miserable, resentful, torn, weary, lonely, uneasy, restless, insecure and more.
Personal cost to the individual with the anger: unhappy, ashamed, confused, guilty, hostile, regretful, insecure, anxious, numb, removed and more.
5. Unimportant: When one or both partners feel as if they are unimportant to the one person who committed to love them no matter what, hurt is the natural result. Living with this pain saps the joy.
Personal Cost: Feeling gloomy, depressed, hopeless, unhappy, nostalgic, distant, detached, bored, weary, restless and more.
6. Control: When one partner consistently tries to control or dominate the other, there’s a feeling of one partner being superior to the other.
Personal Cost: Withdrawn, dread, worry, annoyed, resentful, nervous, restless, uneasy. In time the loss of identity leading to low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
More can include:
- Growing apart
- Unmet needs
- Criticism and stonewalling
- Not wanting to work on the marriage (we all need to at some time)
- Dreaming about not being with your partner
- Not discussing or caring anymore
- Financial strain and issues.
There is a very long list of why a marriage is unhappy and I’ve only included the main ones. The idea is to gain clarity on why you are unhappy and recognising the cost to you. Your partner is not doing this to you. You are allowing this by staying and hoping it will change.
People show you who they are. Again, and again. Believe them the first time. We live in the hope and potential that someone will change. Understanding the personal cost to you is crucial. It can lead to illness, stress, depression and anxiety and more. Developing your own self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth will in time help you recognise the cost to you.
Working with a therapist can be very helpful for you both to gain clarity as to what is happening in the marriage and what changes need to happen moving forward. Podcast 12 I talk about what to expect from a marriage counselling session.
Ultimately individuals need to decide if they want to change and what they are going to do about it. Understanding the personal cost and when it’s too high.
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This week’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth. Personal cost of an unhappy marriage – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/