7 Reasons People Stay In A Marriage That Doesn’t Work

marriage that does not work

c. If you have not worked during the marriage, you may need to return to work to contribute to the support of the family. This is especially hard for full-time, stay-at-home parents. “We agreed when we got married that I could stop working and stay home to raise the kids. Why does that have to change?”

4. Your Religion Or Culture Does Not Support Divorce.

a. In some religions, women need the permission of the husband to divorce. “My husband will never grant me the divorce, and my community will shun me.”

b. Some religions strictly forbid divorce. “I believe that divorce is a sin.”

c. In some cultures, the man assumes custody of the children. “I am afraid he will take the children back to his country, and I will never see them again.”

d. Some cultures (especially collectivist cultures) make it difficult to divorce or lay blame on one of the spouses. This could be an issue of family honor. “My parents told me that it is my job to keep my marriage together, no matter how mean he is to me.”

Related: 7 Things To Remember If You Want To Escape A Miserable Marriage

5. You Hope Things Will Get Better.

a. You hope if you are just a better person, things will change. “I am in therapy, I go to a self-help group, and I read everything I can find to make me a better wife.”

b. You hope your spouse will change, get sober, or become a more successful provider, or a more involved parent. “I just trust that he could get sober if he would just go to AA.” “I am trying to motivate him to work harder for promotions so we can pay off our debts.” “She doesn’t seem to care about rules and discipline, so our house is in a permanent state of chaos. But I try to compensate for that by being more strict.”

c. You try to ignore the problems: “I’m not totally miserable, I can just ignore the issues and have a good time with the other parts of my life.”

d. You make a deal with the devil: “If you don’t ask me about my drinking, I won’t ask you about the weight you have gained.”

e. You believe that once the kids are grown you and your spouse will be able to fix your relationship. “We can just wait to deal with our problems. We can just focus on the kids, and later we will focus on us.”

f. Despite all your fruitless efforts and marital therapy, you still hope for change. “I think we are both trying hard to get along, and even though it has been years, maybe we have made a little progress?” “Everyone tells me it will get better.”

Staying in an unhappy marriage
Staying in an unhappy marriage

6. You Feel A Sense Of Obligation To Your Spouse And/Or Your Family.

a. You took your marital vows seriously and promised never to divorce, no matter what.

b. Your spouse is dependent on you emotionally or physically. “I can’t leave her when she is so depressed. ”I can’t abandon him with all his chronic health issues.”

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Ann Gold Buscho Ph.D.

Dr. Buscho is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in family issues and issues related to divorce, parenting, parenting planning, and co-parenting counseling. She has professional and personal experience in nesting, co-parenting, step-parenting, and single-parenting issues. She has presented widely at the state and national conferences for attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals on collaborative divorce, forgiveness practices, nesting during divorce, and consensual dispute resolution. Dr. Buscho is also a co-founder of a residential treatment program for traumatized emergency responders and their families at which she volunteers regularly.View Author posts