Married Attached And Miserable
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Most often it happens without warning. The thrill of infatuation gives way to the regularity of daily routine. That is normal. But then gradually a combination of work, family obligations, children, finances and the ups-and-downs of daily life conspire to drain a relationship of its vitality.


Posted May 13, Reviewed by Matt Huston. I don't know where we went wrong. But, the feeling's gone and I just can't get it back. When couples marry, it's usually with the intention of remaining lifelong lovers and partners. The allure of romantic love lies in the intimacy it creates.

The Magic of Intimacy: Intimacy brings lovers together and renders us vulnerable. Intimacy evokes a powerful mix of emotions—we feel vulnerable, yet valued and embraced.

8 strategies you can use to fix your unhappy marriage relationship

When you experience intimacy, it acts like a field in the world of physics, where all the rules of regular relationships change. Your beloved can make you feel special in a way no one else can. The promise of marriage is in its ability to mend our wounds. Marriage encourages us to expose ourselves to our partners and lay bare our weaknesses. The Dark Magic of Intimacy: The very vulnerability that makes intimacy intensely special can be its greatest undoing.

The pain induced by a partner can be unbearable. When the people we most care about become destructive and hurtful, we react. The very intimacy that can heal early life injuries can invoke those injuries once again. When attacked, some become defensive, while others attack.

Does your partner, for instance, retreat and disengage emotionally?

Others simply check out. Others will endure an unhappy marriage for the sake of commitment and to honor vows that they made. Unhappiness and Its Choices: When an intimate relationship is no longer healthy, should you jump ship and abandon it, continue to fight for it even though you may be fighting a losing battle, or hold onto the understanding that marriages are imperfect and go through rough patches, but sooner or later things may settle down and improve?

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut path to follow that will lead to the right outcome. How you resolve this dilemma will depend on your personal circumstances and the conclusions you reach through a lot of thought.

But, you can go forward with conviction. A Marriage Repaired: You can take on your marriage, improve yourselfdeal with your children ; or look realistically at divorce.

Why do we stay in relationships that make us unhappy?

There is dignity in making it work. Take a look at Harville Hendrix or John Gottman's work on rehabilitating a marriage. For many, it can be done. Take an active role. For some, Married attached and miserable is necessary. But, for most, it should only be considered when all other options have been explored and exhausted. Have you done the work?

The Clear-Headed Divorce: The decision to divorce should be made with a sober mindset, understanding that it will be a difficult process. A neutral therapist or kind ear can help. It's a big fork in the road. Just know that like many things, divorce has a beginning, middle and end. Know that although divorce entails pain and griefit often eases up over time. Understand that a divorce can leave casualties behind. You need to make sure that your kids are okay because divorce can undermine their sense of stability and security. You also need to allow yourself to mourn appropriatelybecause you too have lost something precious.

Take-Home Message: If you're in an impossible marriage with kids: consider therapy. How did your relationship lose its specialness? Remember, the Field of Intimacy can do tricky things. What issues did you bring to the marriage?

How about her? Perhaps you stopped communicating, leaving each other filled with resentment? Then, breathe deeply and ask yourself if there's a bit of goodwill to work with. If so, you may want to throw down the gauntlet and demand change.

Is divorce necessary?

You never know. I remember one woman who threatened to leave; it led to over 20 years of sobriety for her husband. Most successful cases are less dramatic.

Couples get into therapy, start to enjoy each other again and begin to let go of past hurts. Yet, some hurts are irrevocable. If divorce has to happen, grieve the loss, tend to your children with sensitivity and deal with your ex with dignity. Look realistically at everyone around you—including yourself.

Despite divorce, your ex will likely continue to be an important relationship in your life, especially if you have children. He or she may be depressedself-centered or even narcissistic. And, sometimes, there's a need to protect yourself. You don't want to overreact or underreact to an ex-spouse. Both are hazards. Good psychological counseling can help keep you in a centered place. Finally, for many, a spiritual practice and good friends can really help. You didn't consciously choose to be in an unhappy marriage.

But, you can choose to deal with it with dignity and intelligence. No one can tell you what to do. It may be a lonely place, but it's your place.

Mark Banschick, M. The pursuit of calm can itself become a major stressor, especially if you've already tried the standard prescriptions. But there is a path through this conundrum. Mark Banschick M. The Intelligent Divorce. Marriage Essential Re. About the Author. Read Next. Back Psychology Today.

Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting.

View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine. May The High Cost of Calm The pursuit of calm can itself become a major stressor, especially if you've already tried the standard prescriptions. Back Today. Essential Re.

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At some point in our lives, we may find ourselves in a romantic relationship that makes us unhappy, yet we still choose to stick it out.


Posted May 21, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan.