How To Make An Unhappy Marriage Happy Again

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How To Be Happy In An Unhappy Marriage

Being in an unhappy marriage can seem like a miserable situation. Just like every other relationship, marriages also need effort, a lot actually. Making some effort to change your day-to-day life in your marriage can help you to answer the most common question that appears in your mind daily “how to be happy in an unhappy marriage?”

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 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?

How To Survive In An Unhappy Marriage?

How to be Happy in an Unhappy Marriage

Changing your despondent marriage into a more joyful one will require that you each embrace it. Practice these 4 tips and ways to improve your marriage.

1. Practice compassion.

Compassion may not be the first emotion you’re able to adapt 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.

Read: The Long Term Impact Of A Bad Marriage On Our Physical and Mental Health

2. Take care of yourself.

Feeling a bit depressed is a pretty natural response to an unhappy marriage. 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…

4. Ask for help.

How To Save An Unhappy Marriage: How To Fix An Unhappy Marriage

Talk about your situation with people you trust. You probably know a happily married couple who seems to weather the storms in their marriage easily. Ask them how they do it. Be a sponge and soak up all the wisdom you can. Then, use their best suggestions in your marriage.

“State what you want, and go for it, don’t refuse yourself a request you did not make.”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana

If your marriage needs a little more support, you might consider talking with a helping professional – either on your own or with your spouse. The helping professional can assist you in gaining insight into what’s at the root of the unhappiness you’re experiencing together. And once you understand the source of the discontent and discomfort, you’ll be able to focus more intently on what you can each do to fix it.

These 4 tips are pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to follow or that your spouse will immediately agree to start working on them. But all that’s OK.

If you have difficulty with actually implementing any of these tips, it’s just because they’re new to you. Be compassionate with yourself (yes, that is the first tip) as you learn how to make your unhappy marriage happier. The more calm and easy you are about the process, the more quickly you’ll be able to shift your marriage to a happier place.

Read: How You Can Rebuild, Realign and Save An Unhappy Marriage

And if your spouse isn’t immediately on board with these suggestions for how to make an unhappy marriage happy again, don’t worry. There’s plenty of evidence to show that people who have started to repair their marriage on their own are successful because as they put in the effort and change, their spouse naturally did too.

Choosing to make a daily commitment to make your marriage happier will change your entire life. As your marriage becomes happier, you’ll find that you’ve got more energy, creativity, and joy which will spill over into all areas of your life. After all, joy is a whole lot easier to carry around with you than sadness is when you leave the house in the morning.

Yes, it might seem like a challenging prospect when you think about trying out so many things, without knowing whether they will work or not. But, think about how much you have invested in your marriage, and how devastated you will feel if you go for a divorce. After all, everything deserves a second chance. So, why not apply the same to your marriage?

If you want to know more about this, check out this video below:

How To Have A Happy Marriage: How To Improve Your Marriage

Written By Dr. Karen Finn
Originally Appeared In drkarenfinn.com

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. If you would like additional help healing after a divorce or breakup, I can help. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more information about healing after a divorce or breakup? Check out the other articles in Healing After Divorce.

How To Survive In An Unhappy Marriage
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