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How To Survive In An Unhappy Marriage (13 Workable Tips)

Are you struggling within your marriage?

Are you looking for ways to bring back the happier times?

Marriage has ups and downs - and there plenty of couples who have got through rocky periods. 

I am going to use the experiences of married couples that I know to create this blog post. 

It features 13 workable tips for surviving and improving unhappy marriages.

However, before we start, I want to recommend a useful online tool to help you get over any feelings of paranoia that may be occurring in your marriage.

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Married But Unhappy

If you are in an unhappy marriage you may be wondering how to survive it without having to file for divorce. What do you do if you are not happy in your relationship with your husband but you don’t want to have to resort to separate with him. It can be an impossible situation but it is not always without its own solutions. 

You might think that your married life is hard because the relationship takes so much effort. This is especially true if you find yourself in an unhappy marriage. No matter what you do, you are not happy together and you spend all of your days arguing with each other and you can no longer remember why you married this guy, so what do you do now?

It is normal that not all couples’ marriages work out, but what can you do to get it on the road to recovery and happiness again. It will take a lot of patience but it is possible to regain the happiness and love that you once shared together. Keep reading to find out how to survive in an unhappy marriage with your husband and avoid needing to file for a divorce. 

Surviving In An Unhappy Marriage

You might have started to think that saving your marriage is impossible because you have been unhappy together for ages. It can feel as if you can do nothing right and also that your partner is never happy with you. Sometimes it may feel like there is nothing positive left in your marriage anymore and you and your spouse cannot survive a day without arguing with each other. 

Some days your marriage can feel like it is over because it takes too much effort out of you to even think about making things right. However, if you really care about your spouse and your marriage you will be willing to put in the effort to make it work, even if it is going to be hard. Remember that it is possible to find a way to succeed and void needing a divorce. 

Marriages can go wrong, but it is normal in every relationship to have its ups and downs. It can seem as if your problems and issues just keep piling up but it is important to remember that there are things that you can do about it and also that there have been people in your situation before that have found a way out of this difficult period of your marriage. 

1. Enjoy Some Time Apart

Enjoy Some Time Apart

If you are unhappy in your marriage and things are just not working out between you but you both want to avoid ending your relationship just now, it may be helpful to think about spending some time apart so that you can gain some head-space and detach from one another for a while. This will help you to gain moments to think and figure out what you really want in life. 

Some small amount of separation will allow you to find yourself again if you have become swept up in your marriage and may have forgotten who you are. It will help you to regain some independence from each other and alleviate any tendency to try to control each other and your lives. It will give you some headspace and some perspective on your situation together. 

If your marriage has been unhappy for a while, it can be helpful to gain some perspective through some distance from each other. You will manage to enjoy some distance and reduce the amount of time together so that you don’t get overly annoyed by aspects of each other’s behavior. Give each other room to be who you are. 

2. Don’t Try To Change Your Spouse

It is often the case when you have been with someone for a long while that you begin to try and change then and try to alter their life to suit you better. However, this can be hugely detrimental to both of you and your relationship together. If you are wondering how to survive in an unhappy marriage make sure that you never try to change your spouse.

Rather, if you are experiencing issues in an unhappy marriage then it may be necessary that you focus on yourself instead and your own personal issues rather than those of your partner. If you feel the need to control your spouse’s life it is time that you begin to detach yourself from him somewhat. Spending some time apart will help with this. 

You may have noticed yourself scolding or telling of your partner for normal things and things that you know shouldn’t annoy you. If you find yourself acting in this way, consider spending some time apart or even go into the other room. Stop trying to fix or change him and remember the reasons that made you want to marry him. 

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3. Treat Each Other Nicely

Gaining some perspective and distance from each other may help you to realize how to treat each other nicely again. It can be easy to slip into bad habits and forget how you should be treating each other. You speak to him in nasty ways and in ways that you would speak to no other person. Recognize how you treat him and consider how you can change this habit. 

Treat your spouse as you would any other person if you wouldn’t shout at your parents for slightly annoying you then don’t shout at your spouse either. Stop telling him off and giving him advice like he is a child. Stop commenting on every little thing about him that annoys you and stop insulting him for things that are unique about him. 

If this is normal in your marriage, it is likely that you both don’t even realize that it is happening anymore. Try to be more aware of the way that you act when you are around him and also notice whether you would like to be treated by someone in this way in return. He will likely respond positively and start treating you better in return too. 

4. Take Care Of Yourself First

Take Care Of Yourself First

There is no way that you can look after or treat someone else properly if you are unable to be kind to yourself. Take some time to really look after and care for your own needs. It can be easy to become swept up by the business of life and forget about the things that really matter to you and make you happy. Focusing on yourself will make your marriage happier in return. 

By spending some time apart you can use the time to really look after yourself and make yourself feel good. If you return to your partner in a more positive and happy mindset, he is likely to respond positively in return and your marriage will be a lot happier as a result. Go for a spa day, spend time with your friends, or take an afternoon to read your favorite novel. 

By allowing yourself to be yourself and do the things that you love the most, you will be able to return to your partner in a much happier and more positive mindset. You will likely notice that he will become happier and more fun to be around if you give him the space to look after himself too. Look after yourself if you are wondering how to survive in an unhappy marriage. 

5. Let Go Of Any Expectations

Expectations and comparisons can ruin any relationship or marriage. If you are hoping for your partner to be someone that he is not or someone that he is never been, you will likely never be happy with him. If you want to get out of this unhappy stage in your marriage it is important to let go of any expectations that you have for your marriage or your life together. 

By spending some time apart you can begin to detach your thoughts from any expectations you have about who you want your partner to be. You will allow him to find out who he is and regain the confidence that he used to have in himself. Stop feeling the need to change your spouse to be the person you want him to be. Accept him for who he is. 

Finding a way to accept your spouse for who he really is will give you a lot of freedom and space in your marriage. If you are unable to do this you will likely never be happy. Accept all of the positives and all of the flaws in your spouse and you will see your love for each other blossoming and any negatives in your marriage will significantly reduce. 

6. Take Time To Calm Down

It can be easy to say things in the heat of the moment that you will later come to regret and wish you never said. It is easier to avoid these types of situations if you take the time to calm down rather than arguing with your spouse when you are really annoyed at each other. Finding perspective and calming down will make things a lot easier to deal with. 

If you take a step back in the heat of the moment and choose to sit and think about how you really feel rather than blowing up and arguing with your partner immediately, things are likely going to be much less frustrating. Take the time to calm yourself down, gather your thoughts, and rationalize what you are feeling before you speak to your partner. 

Your relationship is likely to be much less tense if you handle arguments in this mature and calm way. There is no point arguing in the heat of the moment when you are likely to say something to your partner that you will later regret and only make the situation worse between you. Take a moment to think and calm yourself before you have a mature and rational conversation with him. 

7. Stop Obsessing On His Behavior

Notice whether you have begun to obsessively focus on your spouse’s behavior. If this is the case you may also notice that you have lost sight of your own feelings and personality in the process. Controlling and obsessing over the behavior of someone else is tiring and emotionally draining, whenever you begin to obsess over something you can’t control, you are losing yourself. 

While there are likely to be some behavioral aspects of your partner that you don’t love or necessarily agree with, it is important to remember that everybody has their faults and your partner does too. While you can have an open and honest conversation with him about possibly changing some aspects of his behavior, you can’t force him to be a different person completely. 

You cannot, in any relationship expect anyone to be perfect or you are never going to be happy because your expectations are never going to be met. Rather than focusing on the bad aspects of his behavior, focus, and appreciate the good ones. Place some distance between you and show gratitude when he does nice acts for you rather than obsessing on the bad parts. 

8. Be Polite

If you have found yourself unhappy in marriage, notice whether you and your spouse are polite to each other or not. Don’t forget about being nice and polite to your partner just because you are married. Remember to say please and thank you to him when he does something nice for you or he offers to help you with a household chore.

This type of behavior will set a new happy and relaxed standard in your household and your spouse will be likely to return your favors too. Rather than insulting or getting annoyed at each other over something, show how much you appreciate having them around. It is important to remember to be polite and respectful no matter how long you have been together. 

This is especially true if you have children with your partner as it will also set a good standard of behavior for them to follow too. If you want your children to be polite and properly mannered then you have to exhibit this behavior yourself first, as children follow by example. Try this if you are unhappy in a marriage, be more polite to your spouse, and see how he responds. 

9. Connect And Communicate Again

Connect And Communicate Again

When you are unhappy with marriage it is likely that you have lost the communication and strong emotional connection that you used to share with your spouse when you first started dating. It can seem hard to even have a simple conversation with him anymore without it turning into an argument. You lack any kind of connection or communication with each other. 

If you feel that this is true for your situation it is time to focus on connecting and communicating with each other again. Make an effort to take time with each other to regain this emotional connection that you lost. Choose a neutral location when you are dealing with such issues, pick somewhere that you will both be comfortable in sharing your feelings with each other. 

Choose a moment that is suitable to have this conversation that allows you both to be completely honest, open, and vulnerable. Avoid having this type of conversation over the phone or while other people around as it may hinder your ability to be completely vulnerable and open with each other as if you did it in a more neutral and peaceful environment.

Since this is easier said than done, the best option is to reach out to a professional couples therapist. Working as a mediator, the counselor can help you start a conversation and really listen to each other. If you have ever had a situation of lost communication, you know how hard it is to start a productive discussion and avoid arguments.

For some spouses, it is even hard to look into each other's eyes and talk about anything, not to mention serious problems that they need to overcome. Reaching out to a professional therapist will always help bridge the gap.


10. Connect In Other Ways Too

If you are unhappy in your relationship you may have stopped doing and enjoying little activities together. Thus, try focusing on regaining your connection in other ways too. Go to your child’s swimming lessons together or go to their parent’s evening as a couple rather than alone. Enjoy cooking and eating a meal together like you used to do. 

Plan a movie night, discuss the topics that you used to always talk about before you started experiencing issues in your marriage. Try a new hobby together or join a new class and attend it together. Make time for conversations over breakfast or over coffee when you get home from work. While these ideas won’t fix anything overnight, your connection will begin to grow again soon. 

It is important to remember that there is no way to fix such issues in a short amount of time and it is going to take effort from both sides to make this survive and avoid divorce, however, it will happen it if you can find a way to reconcile your emotional connection with each other and save your marriage from ending in divorce. 

11. Take Small Steps Toward Change

While you may be facing many issues in your marriage it is important to take small steps toward change and focus on one thing at a time. Choosing to try to tackle all of your issues at once can be overwhelming and futile. You may be experiencing issues relating to chores, children, finances, and other problems, but it is not feasible to fix them all at once. 

If you bring up all of the issues at one time, there is no way that you can deal with them properly and it is rather likely to only make your relationship issues worse. If you try to take on too many issues at the same time you will begin to feel overwhelmed and become bitter toward your spouse for making you feel this way. Remember not to overload yourself at once. 

Try instead to deal with your issues separately rather than all at once, choose the first issue by identifying the one that is of the biggest priority to fix. Perhaps you are most concerned by your financial problems and you want to have a conversation with your spouse about this now as this is causing your unhappy marriage. Try to communicate in a mature and calm way. 

12. Work On Your Feelings 

Feeling negative is normal in couples who have been experiencing issues for a long while. If you have been married for a long while but your relationship has changed for the worse in recent times, you may have many negative even resentful feelings toward your partner. Relationships are hard and this does not necessarily mean the end, but it will take effort if you want to stay with each other. 

However, it is important that you don’t avoid these feelings as they are only going to keep building up and cause further issues in your relationship. If you want to stay with each other and get your marriage back on track it is important to keep these feelings to a minimum. Many people keep their feelings hidden and avoid dealing with them and ultimately stay unhappy. 

Many relationships end because people refuse to admit that they need to get help. One of the most common causes of the end of relationships is the refusal to seek help from people outside of the relationship. Make sure that you deal with any negative feelings that you have toward your partner no matter how long you have been together. 

13. Avoid Further Issues

Avoid Further Issues

If you are married and are worried that your relationship is coming to an end, it is important that you avoid creating further issues. In many relationships, issues build up and create further resentment and unhappiness. Even though it may be hard if you are unhappy, try to avoid arguing or creating more problems. 

While it may feel that there is no end to your issues right now, it is important to remember that this is an opportunity to grow and learn something about yourself and your relationships. Focus on your own personal issues and happiness and your life and relationship will grow and become happier too. 


Is it OK to stay in an unhappy marriage?

It is okay to stay in an unhappy marriage provided that you and your partner have agreed and are ready to work on your issues. However, if you have been in an unhappy marriage for a long period and there are no signs of anything changing anytime soon it may be necessary to start thinking about walking away, filing for divorce, and finding happiness elsewhere. 

How do you survive a bad marriage without divorce?

There are ways to survive an unhappy marriage without having to file for divorce. First try distancing yourself somewhat from your spouse and your relationship issues for a while so that you can gather your thoughts, calm down, and figure out what you can do to help resolve the situation. Then, work on your communication and your emotional connection. 

How does an unhappy marriage affect you?

An unhappy marriage can be frustrating and emotionally draining, especially if it exists in this way for a long while. No relationship is fun if it is unhappy and perhaps even more so if you are married and expected to spend the rest of your life with this person. Try to focus on rebuilding your emotional connection and your communication and see if anything changes for the better. 

Is divorce better than an unhappy marriage?

If you have tried to solve your issues in your unhappy marriage and you have been unsuccessful, it may be better to start thinking about filing for divorce rather than being miserable. If you have exhausted all of your options and you have sought professional help, it may be necessary to move on and find someone that will make you happy. 

When to call it quits in a marriage?

If you have been unhappy in your marriage for a long while and you have tried everything that you could think of to solve your issues or your partner is unwilling to work on your problems, it may be necessary to think about calling it quits as your marriage is not likely to survive in this case. There is no point in staying with this person if they are not making you happy.

To Sum Up…

Relationships can be hard and it is normal to go through ups and downs when you are with someone for such a long while. However, what can you do to survive an unhappy marriage? Try focusing on yourself for a while, gathering your thoughts, and then trying to rebuild your communication and your emotional connection in order to revive your relationship. 

Let us know what you thought in the comments and don’t forget to share this article!

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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