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Attention: The information provided in this forum is intended for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Includes Expert Content
WHY are sooo many marriages unhappy???
LUVishere posted:
seriously? me and 4 of my friends or family members are miserable. We feel as though we settled for our spouses, and NOW wham, we are sick and tired of trying and now fed up with being lonely and miserable. 3 of us have been the ideal spouses and done everything for our spouses, men and women, BUT these spouses have not done their part.. they are slackers, unaffectionate, unloving, not helpful, etc.. is it because we simply chose the wrong person? too unequally matched? diferent ideas? or what?? these 3 cpiples that i speak of have explained for several yrs to their SO, but they are unwilling to change, its just the way they are.. or it seems too little too late..
gd9900 responded:
Honestly I think life is just too demanding in so many other areas that end up taking away from time needed to maintain a healthy relationship. That and the sad fact that we live in a society where pointing a finger no longer requires acknowledging the three that are pointing back at you. Instead, throw blame and walk away without offering a solution. Call it what you want, settling, fed up, incompatible, or what have you. I know when I married it wasn't just for love, there was a commitment on my end. I did my part but he wasn't happy - it's not my place to make him happy. So, my suggestion is if you aren't happy either find happiness in yourself, or get divorced and do it all over again.
dfromspencer responded:
First of all, you must know, you cannot change someone, they are who you married. Whats changed now? You hopfully knew them prior to marrying them, didn't you? Well, you cannot change the stripes on a tiger! If they are slackers, they need to motivate themselves. Unaffectionate? Try being more affectionate yourself, and maybe??? Unloving? How is that possible? Have they told you they hate you? Come on, that dog don't hunt! Try being more loving yourself, maybe it will rub off on them? Not helpful? You must be talking about men, or a man in particular? I know us men can be that way, I was in my first marriage. I let my wife do most everything inside herself, and I did the outside myself, till she came out and mowed the lawn. That was when I realized I had to help inside as well.

You all need COUNSELLING!!! Get a neutral third party involved, and they can help your problem spouse see where you are coming from! Hopefully, that is all you need? Someone to wake up the other one?

I wish you all the best!!!

rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
Agreed that a neutral third party is a good idea. Besides, the "good spouse" might have issues they are unaware of or not be meeting their partners needs in a way that causes resentment. I should know, I thought I was the "good spouse." Turns out I have a lot of toxic habits that I need to learn to recognize as they are happening, because they are so ingrained that I don't even notice them. And here I thought I was being the NICE one! Sometimes we aren't capable of seeing ourselves in a fair, balanced, non biased light. Hence the third party.

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
In a marriage, each partner must do their part, and then they need to also coordinate their efforts. Each of these elements is complicated, so there are a lot of things that can got wrong. Throw in a culture that doesn't always support good marriage habits; and you have many unhappy marriages.

However, it is also important to realize that there are many happy marriages, too. They don't tend to 'make the headlines.' Rather, they go along quietly. But, they are not perfect relationships either, so those on the outside might choose to see the problems or discount those relationships in some way. Still, the people in them see their marriages as good ones and are basically happy in them. Keep a lookout for these marriages - they can be an inspiration.
Mamihlapinatapai responded:
I would like to play the devil's advocate for the moment. There's no such thing as the "perfect spouse," so in a sense we've all "settled." Unfortunately, feelings of loneliness and being taken for granted are all too common in marriages. This is the Listless 21st Century after all. Also, don't be so quick to call yourself the "ideal" spouse. None of us is ideal. I often feel like I'm bending over backwards to make my wife happy, and she doesn't notice. Does it make me mad? Sure as hell does. But I keep going, which means flowers delivered to her office by me the next day.

You need to keep going. It will be painful and frustrating. Somehow you'll get through to he/she.
j5dc2 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
There are happy marriages not perfect ones. I completely agree, the couples who are happily married usually don't make a lot of noise they quietly live their lives. I have many example of happy marriages in my community that I admire, but I am sure they don't think of themselves as being perfect because there is no such a perfect marriage.

Perhaps there should be a forum here for happy married couple to come and talk about their "secret" for a happy marriage. We could learn a lot.
jimblack responded:
You can't change a person, it's either you like what he/she represents or you don't. Many marriages fail because one or both partners fail to communicate or adapt to the new lifestyle.

I wish you the best!
An_251298 responded:
"done everything for our spouses"

I would focus less on my spouse and more on myself. It's amazing when you stop doing for people, they start doing for themselves and stop taking you for granted.

There's a quote "Don't make someone a priority that makes you an option." It applies in marriage also.
fcl replied to An_251298's response:
I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I think that a lot of people are so absorbed in "being married" that they forget who they really are, that they are a person and not just a bit of a couple.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.

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