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

marriage that does not work

c. You don’t want to disappoint or let your extended family down. “My family will never speak to me again if I divorce. They all love him.”

It’s painful to consider divorce, and sometimes it is easier to just accept the way things are. But how long will that work?

7. The Way Things Are Isn’t All That Bad.

a. You are comfortable with the familiar, even if it is problematic. “Yes, he gets enraged, but he always calms down eventually.” “It is okay most of the time, and only awful some of the time.” “I guess I am just used to the way things are.”

b. You tell yourself you can look elsewhere to get your needs met. “As long as I can see my friends and flirt a bit with other people, I can deal with the problems at home.”

c. You don’t want to “upset the apple cart.” “Even though we argue, I have been learning to just withdraw and not engage with her when she is angry.” “We seem okay just as friends, with no romance, but I guess it is enough for me.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you? I have written previously about finding the clarity to decide to divorce.

Related: 8 Warning Signs You Are Stuck In A Loveless Marriage

Many people who choose to stay in unhappy marriages have good reasons. This is a decision arrived at thoughtfully. It is possible to make a clear decision to divorce. If you feel stuck, remind yourself that you always have a choice. If you choose to stay, try to do whatever you can to make things better or try to accept that this is the marriage you have chosen.

If you do choose to leave your relationship, be sure that you have made a well-thought-through decision. And then consider an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation or Collaborative DIvorce to have the healthiest divorce you can.

© 2020 Ann Buscho, Ph.D.

Ann Buscho, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in divorce-related issues and the author of The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting, A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce. See more at www.drannbuscho.com


Written By Ann Gold Buscho
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
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7 Reasons People Stay In A Marriage That Doesn't Work
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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