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You’re Not Happy Married, But Unsure About Divorce

Here are several things to consider when you’re confused about your marriage – you’re not happy married, but not sure if divorce is the right decision.

Not Happy Married Unsure DivorceThe Four Factors: Should You Stay, Go or Improve Your Relationship? by Ron Gentile is one of several good books on Amazon about whether or not you should stay married. When you’re not happy married, you need to get in touch with what you want and need from your marriage, then find ways to get it.

Here’s what one reader says: “My husband and I have been married for almost six years, together for eight,” says A. on How to Decide if You Should Stay or Go. “We’ve been through a lot over the past year and almost divorced, he then changed his mind and wanted to stay. It was all a sudden surprise, and since then it has been a struggle. He loved me and doesn’t want to leave me but he wants to be with other women and can’t decide. I can’t trust him any more. Our sex life doesn’t exist. I can’t take the going back and forth about what he wants. It’s crushing me. What should I do?”


If you’re unhappy in your marriage, you need to figure out what YOU want, not what HE wants. You need to put yourself first – and you need to find a way past your fears, doubts, insecurities, and isolation. If your marriage can’t provide what you want (and need!), then you need to think about taking the next step.

You’re Not Happy Married, But Not Sure About Divorce

Here’s what another reader said, on the same article:

“I have been married for almost 6 years now and we have 2 beautiful children,” says H. “He has a 17 year old daughter from a previous marriage who hates my guts. I am not too fond of her, either. My husband and I have lost all sexual intimacy. I am a law student and a stay at home mom. He wants me to quit school and not work and he also doesn’t like ANY of my friends or relatives. I have no social life and have lost my sense of self…I feel very alone and like he is trying to trap me. He hangs out with his friends secretively or comes home reeking of alcohol, he breaks every promise he makes to our kids and me. I don’t want to give up any more of myself and I shouldn’t have to. I want to stay together for our kids and because I think I still love him. I am very lonely, and this makes me scared to leave him because I don’t know if I can do this by myself. I also don’t want to take away the only father figure my kids have just because I’m lonely – I don’t want to punish them for my feelings…help!”

These women are alike in so many ways, and seem to be wrestling with confusion, uncertainty, and unhappiness. I can’t tell them if divorce is the answer, but I can give them (and you!) a few things to think about. And be sure to read 8 Reasons  Why You Are So Unhappy. It’s possible that your marriage is not the source of your unhappiness.

Remember that feelings of love and intimacy come and go

Happy marriages take work. Sometimes you love your husband with all your heart; other times you want to wring his big fat neck. This is normal – and so is not feeling loving and gushy all the time. Real marriage isn’t like the movies, my friends.

One of the pastors of my church is also a part-time marriage therapist; he often talks about how unhappy he and his wife were before they went to counseling. Even therapists need help creating happy marriages! Why? Not because they’re hard to be married to, or they’re high maintenance people…but because being happily married is hard work.

Just because you’re not happy married doesn’t mean divorce is the answer. It means you have to figure out if you can be happy in your marriage, or if you need to set yourself free. Also – make sure you haven’t bought into the most common myths about happy marriages.

Ask yourself: is your husband willing to work on your marriage?

It’s one thing for him to want to stay married, but it’s a whole different ballgame to actually work at being happily married.


unhappily married divorce

You’re Not Happy Married, But Unsure About Divorce

Is he willing to meet you halfway by reading relationship books, going to marriage counseling, connecting with you physically and emotionally, and being there for your kids? If not, then you need to decide if that’s the type of marriage you want to live in.

I always hesitate to suggest marriage counseling because it’s such a pat answer, but it can be so effective! An objective professional therapist can help you. He or she can point out what you may be missing, help you get on track, and give you tools to rebuild a happy marriage. A counselor can also help you see if divorce is the answer to your current unhappiness.

Learning how to survive an unhappy marriage may be your best option, if you are sure that divorce is not an option.

Consider a trial separation

Sometimes we need to take a step away from our relationships in order to see them more clearly. When we’re in the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life and marriage, we barely have time to take a breath – much less figure out if divorce is the answer!

If you feel confused and trapped, consider asking your husband to move out for three months. The time apart may give you both time to think, and may help you figure out if you can be happy married to each other. You might also want to read How to Know if Your Marriage is Over.

Are you unhappy being married, but don’t know if divorce is the answer? Your comments are welcome below…I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience and express your feelings.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.


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13 thoughts on “You’re Not Happy Married, But Unsure About Divorce”

  1. I am a stay at home mom of 3 energetic kids 5,7,9… with a husband of 10 years. We are from very diffrent family styles and beliefs. Relgion has never been an issue for me and i am willing to keep my promises the the church. My husband and i have turned each other into unrecognizable beasts. I am sad to see the man i fell for turn into someone i dont know and dont want to know. His actions and choices with drugs and porn addiction… and an old school thought path that women should be gratfull for everything they have…
    I am nothing like the person i was. I am angry and sad and full of guilt all the time. I am sad that my children dont have much of a chance to know me as the happy life loving person i am ..somewhere jnside. This marriage has broken us both. My husband blames his work for everything. No time no energy no interrest.
    I can see my emotions are deiving him to act in ways he never had before. I am so confussed about doing the christian thing or “right thing” and stay together for the children but this was my chilhood. To angry parents who could stand each other. I do not want that for mine. But i think maybe he is still the man i married and just needs time. But i have no energy to wait any longer i am not going to be helpfull… we have so much going on in our lives with sick parents and a home renovation that has lasted 8 years off and on for diffrentt reasons. It is so over whelming. A therapist i seen said i have un rightious anger. Our issues do not seem to be the ground reasons for most. Distrust and adultry ours pale in comparisson. But to me this marriage os breaking my soul and his also.

  2. I’ve known my husband for 8 years but we haven’t been married a year, his very distant, no physical contact, no kind words. He just lays on his fone whole day and don’t give me any attention whatsoever. I had a stillborn baby a few weeks back but my husband didn’t even ask if I’m ok or how I’m feeling and hasn’t given me any support in coming to terms with my childs death. The day I came out of hospital he told me he wants a divorce but doesn’t tell me why, I don’t want to leave cos I love him but I don’t wana be in a loveless marriage either. I’m so confused

  3. Marriage counseling isn’t always the best solution when you’re not happy married, but not sure about getting a divorce – especially if your spouse doesn’t want to go!

    If I were in your shoes, I’d go for counseling on my own. I’d figure out what I need to make me happy, and I’d pursue that. I’ve been reading a variety of “Should I Leave or Should I Stay Married?” books, and the advice I like best is to find ways to get as emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy as possible.

    When you’re healthy, centered, and grounded, you’re in a better position to make a decision about your marriage. One of the best books I’ve read so far is The Heart of the Fight by Wright and Wright.

    I’d also try to find out why my spouse doesn’t want to go to marriage counseling. I remember when my sister refused to go to back to a couples therapist after one session with her husband, because all my sister could do was cry throughout their hour together. Sometimes there are issues that are deep-seated that need to be worked through – and it’s not a simple as going to marriage counseling.

    There are no easy answers, but the best thing you can do is take time to look upwards and inwards. Figure out what you really want out of the short life you’ve been blessed with, and pursue that. Listen to that still small voice, and reach for your Higher Power – whatever you might conceive Him to be.

  4. 30 years of marriage and a handful of kids I work hard to bring in the money we need. But our marriage has slowly eroded away over the last 5 years or so. I’m so confused over what to do, there’s little communication somedays, hardly ever any intimacy let alone sex. Hard to think you can be so lonely in a house so full of people! I’ve fallen heavily for a colleague at work which doesn’t help, they have expressed the same feelings for me. So far we have resisted but they have now split from their spouse.
    Just don’t know what to do or where to turn, asked about marriage counsellor but the answers no. We’ve spoken about our marriage many times over the last year or so, it gets better for s while then drifts back into unloved apathy. Don’t know what to do for the best ? Btw I’m the husband in this case, so very very sad by all of this. Lead me to paths & thoughts I thought I’d never go to.

    1. Its so hard. Sometimes.its best to just walk away. My marriage went a similar way. But i took the extra step and had the fling. Only lasted 2 months then he chanhed his mind . Left me so confused. I am at decree nisi and at this point me and soon to be ex hunny getting along . Its so nice not to fight. He has asked me.to try again but i am single in mindset. I.am.afraid of the good for a while then turns bad again. I find the old life so boring yet crave the security of it. And scaresdof being alone. Be careful , if you leave for the flings sake, make sure your marraige completly dead first.

  5. Hi My Name is Stephanie,

    I’ve been with my now husband and I’m 21 years old . He’s a great guy other than the fact that we have no physical relationship hardly . we haven’t for two years and I’ve been unhappy with him for quite sometime. I’ve done something really stupid and have been unfaithful to him and I’ve never done that before so I’m having a hard time coping with it myself. and I’m unsure whether or not I want to stay married. I love him so much but I’m not happy and I cant force myself to be . Every time I do I end up back where I began. He thinks the idea of buying me flowers is stupid and he hasn’t taken me to movies in the three years we’ve been together. We are totally different people but yet a lot like at the same time. He’s so wonderful sometimes and I feel like he deserves so much more than what I can give him and he cant give me what I need and I don’t want to live the rest of my life regretting anything or being without him should I discover he is what I want. What should I do ?

  6. I’m sorry I haven’t been here to respond to you. I can’t give advice about being unhappy married but unsure about divorce, but I should have at least acknowledged your comments! That was wrong – I’m sorry I wasn’t here for you.

    I hope you are happier now, and have made a decision about your marriage.

    In peace,
    Laurie

  7. IM a mess. I’ve read a few of these and can relate. Specifically to the control from my husband. Why would it matter finding out who is to blame for the end of a certain aspects in a relationship. Like trust or support or caring. Just fix it. I guess if i dont do the work to find out where it all came crashing down then it might happen again? I cheated on him but only after feeling (blank) . It is my fault that we didnt fix that original problem.Wait no, its not totally my problem. I made the appointments to go to counselling. Which we went to 3 and stopped. Then I found what i need in other Men. It sucks knowing sex is better somewhere else. But i did learn you cant compair the sex you have thats taboo to what you have with your husband. More often you try harder to make it good …..geez.when i stopped cheating the sex at home got better. The emotions returned again also. He still controls me. I dont want to give my husband another chance to control my life. My relationship with him has changed the way i interact with other people. Im a mess. Weve been married 15 yrs. wow… ignorance is bliss

  8. we have been together for 16 years. I recently found out he’s been having an affair for around 2.5 years with a friend. He says he broke it off, and he’d been trying to end it for months. We’d had troubles a few years ago when it started, but have since improved dramatically and that’s why he was trying to stop. He’s now cut off all ties with the friend, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the lies, or whether I’ll ever trust him again. he’s given me all his passwords and such so I can feel better about knowing what he’s up to, but it takes 2 seconds to start a new email address. I recently found a cache of his old chats with her, and realize he lied more than i ever knew, and there are still things he hasn’t told me. I do love him, and we’ve been good again lately. His love for me I don’t doubt, but there is no longer any trust….we also have 3 kids…what do I do?

  9. Kathy,

    I am in the same boat. I’ve been married for almost 12 years & I have a great (almost too perfect) husband. He would NEVER cheat, he’s in the ministry, he can fix anything, is good at any sport, impresses me left and right – the only problem is that he’s sexually dysfunctional and so am I… but in different ways. He grew up exposed to porn & perverse friends & lifestyle before (almost)completely burying that side of him… i was sexually abused and find that his “Godly” protective biblical controlling ways PLUS his sexual desire for me – always touching me and cracking crude innuendo type jokes makes me feel like an abused prisoner – and I havent really had a desire for him sexually since the day we were married (he wouldnt sleep with me beforehand). The problem is that I dont WANT to be faithful to him, I want to find someone who I am sexually attracted too and can be intimate with, but I also dont want to lose the best person I have have ever met because I know 85% of him is better than any guy out there. I dont want to hurt him or our child either – i am just so unhappy and constantly looking for happiness thru men who will give me attention and pleasure and yet arent close enough to me to control me or criticize me (which my H does a lot)… anyways, not sure what I am going to do – looking at apartments today just for the heck of it.

  10. Ive been married for 10 years all together we ve been together 21 years.Im not happy and havent been for a while.I did have an affair for12 years and the sex was soo much better.I think this affair made me realize i didnt really love my husband i think i may have gotton married to soon.I really enjoyed being with this guy and sex was so great but my husband started catching on to what i was doing.I ended the affair,i still see him once and a while when im out but thats it.A few years goes by and i met another guy who is just a doll,we would talk and text but nothing happened,my husband found out i was talking to him and became furious,he busted my cell phone and tried to jump on the guy,i just got another cell phone and we still talk and last week we went out to eat and had a few drinks,im so turned on by this guy hes all i can think about my husband doesnt even enter my mind when im with him id like to date this guy but its all the drama from divorce and my husband jumping on him that keeps me in this marriage any advice would be helpful

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