How to make an unhappy marriage, happy again?
Changing a despondent marriage to a more happy one, does require a lot of work together, but the fruits are worth it!
Living in an unhappy marriage impacts your entire life. The sadness that pervades your home life isn’t something you leave behind when you go off to work in the morning. It’s something you carry with you 24/7/365.
The weight of your misery saps your energy. It decreases your creativity and sucks the joy right out of your life. It can cause you to start wondering, “Is my marriage over?” And your unhappiness can even make you more vulnerable to having an affair.
Allowing yourself to continue just existing in an unhappy marriage is heartbreaking. It’s not what you truly want, much less deserve. You deserve to have an incredible marriage – one that brings you tremendous joy just like yours did in the beginning.
All marriages have rough spots. Rough spots don’t have to mean you’re doomed to spending a miserable life together or that you’re headed for a divorce. The rough spots are just warnings that the two of you don’t pull together as much as necessary to more easily manage them. And because you don’t turn strongly enough toward each other to resolve the challenges you face; the result is that you’re unhappily married.
The path forward to learning how to make an unhappy marriage happy again isn’t necessarily a short one.
It will require that you and your spouse make a daily commitment to changing things – for the rest of your lives. But isn’t that why you got married in the first place – to live together happily ever after?
Changing your despondent marriage into a more joyful one will require that you each embrace and practice these 4 tips:
1. Practice compassion.
Compassion may not be the first emotion you’re able to adopt when you’ve been so unhappy, but it’s a critical one.
Being compassionate for yourself and your spouse means that you’re able to accept that you’ve both been doing your absolute best given your knowledge and the circumstances at the time. This doesn’t mean that either of you has been perfect. It just means that you’re now willing to start increasing your knowledge and becoming more conscious of the circumstances.
“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” Jack Kornfield
Practicing compassion also makes it easier to forgive past hurts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to approve of the past hurts or that it was OK that it happened. Forgiveness means that you’re not going to continue stewing on the pain and perpetuating the misery that’s contributing to your unhappy marriage.
Once you’re regularly able to feel compassion for your spouse (and yourself), you’ll find that it’s much easier to pull together to resolve the rough spots. And when the rough spots aren’t quite so bad, your marriage will start feeling a whole lot happier.
2. Take care of yourself.
Feeling a bit depressed is a pretty natural response to an unhappy marriage. The depression can create an inertia that’s difficult to overcome and that prevents you from putting in the effort to care for yourself. But it’s time to change that now.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”–Deborah Day
Beyond the obvious of taking care of your health and appearance, taking care of yourself also means doing things that make you happy. It’s much, much easier to have the energy and drive to work on making your marriage more satisfying if you’re feeling better in general.
3. Invest in honest conversations with your spouse.
Regularly spend time together to honestly, compassionately and responsibly talk about how you’re each feeling. Ask each other what you would like to have more of in your relationship and then work together to make it easy to achieve. Also, spend time talking about what isn’t working so well and be committed to fixing those things.
“Honesty in a marriage is so important. You can’t build a strong relationship with half-truth and half-lies. Be honest at all times.”
Having these conversations might be difficult at times. If you can amp up the compassion during the difficulties, then you’ll have an easier time with them. But sometimes things are a bit too difficult to do on your own…