Most everybody who’s married knows that the ‘perfect’ marriage doesn’t exist.
A marriage is like any other relationship that people get involved in, being that marriage involves occasional conflicts, compromises, and work.
That said, it’s not uncommon for couples to experience more than the occasional conflict or negative situation that leaves one or both partners feeling unhappy and isolated.
When you’re feeling unhappy in your marriage, it may feel like you’re in a situation that you cannot possibly resolve.
You might be unsure of how to approach your spouse in order to discuss the issues on your mind, or you might be wondering about potential solutions that apply to your unique needs.
Fortunately, you are not alone.
Many couples, especially couples who have been together for a significant length of time, experience unhappiness within their marriage.
Let’s explore the common issues many couples face, as well as solutions that will help address the unhappiness you’re experiencing.
Common Marriage Conflicts
Every couple is unique, and as such, every conflict and reason behind marital unhappiness is unique as well.
However, there are common grounds to find among the myriad of issues couples experience together.
Some of the most common marriage conflicts or underlying causes of marital unhappiness include variations of the following:
- Stressful life events. Whether something has happened in your career, health, or family, a stressful life event can put a lot of strain on a marriage.
- Money issues. Struggling and arguing about money can make tempers very short, which could lead to frequent fights.
- Frequent arguments. When people have been together for a while, it can be easy to take small issues out on one another, which can cause small arguments to get out of hand.
- Unsatisfactory sex-life. When one person’s libido doesn’t match with their partner’s needs, it can leave one partner feeling pressured and another craving intimacy.
- Unresolved mental health issues. When you or your spouse is experiencing issues involving the ‘self,’ the unresolved traumas may manifest as relationship stresses.
- Not enough/too much time together. Couples need to spend time together in order to bond, as well as spending a healthy amount of time apart.
When this together/apart balance is not kept, couples can feel at odds with each other.
What Can I Do When I’m Unhappy?
Whether the issues impacting your marriage stem from one of the above-mentioned situations or you feel your circumstances are more serious, you’re likely looking for a solution.
Despite the unhappiness you’re experiencing, you’re still seeking solutions which means that you’re willing to try salvaging your relationship with your spouse.
Fortunately, in many cases, a resolution is possible and divorce/separation is not the only option for unhappy couples.
If you’d like to take steps toward repairing your relationship with your spouse, try the following strategies.
- Talk to someone. We all need someone to talk to other than our spouses, especially if we’d just like to vent our frustrations. Try talking to a trusted friend or family member about some of the issues you’re concerned about.
- Work on yourself. It’s not uncommon to feel unhappy in a marriage simply because we are unhappy with ourselves. Examine your method of self-care and start focusing on ways to improve your sense of wellbeing in addition to working on your marriage.
- Communicate with your spouse. This is one of the most important parts of overcoming unhappiness in your marriage. Have open, honest, constructive conversations with your spouse about how you’re feeling and what you’re currently experiencing in your relationship with this person. Your partner may be experiencing the same issues, and because you’ve opened the floor to discussion, the two of you may be able to work together.
- Seek a licensed therapist. You may feel that couple’s counseling isn’t yet necessary, but it’s important to understand that counseling can benefit ANY couple. Even if you don’t feel that your marriage is hanging by a thread yet, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a licensed couples counselor to help you communicate with each other and work on improving your relationship.
It’s important to recognize that all marriages have their conflicts, even if you don’t notice them when interacting with your married friends and family members.
The honeymoon phase does not last forever, and because two people are living and growing together, staying happy with each other is going to take work.
Your unhappiness does not mean that your marriage is doomed, that you’ve married the wrong person, or that there is no way to work through the issues that have come up.
Every couple experiences hardships at some point, and if you’re looking for a path toward making your marriage work, help is available.
If you’d like support in working through your relationship concerns, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many struggling couples and we would be honored to help you, too.
Please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of our licensed therapists if you know who you would like to work with, or you can book a consult call with our center’s clinical intake coordinator who will match you to the best-fitting therapist for your clinical and logistical needs.