There are many people who live in a bad marriage. A bad marriage is defined as a marriage that does not bring happiness or fulfillment. The marriage produces stress, unhappiness, burdens, and a sense of loneliness or hopelessness. A bad marriage is the antithesis of a happy marriage and is something that no couple wants. However, what should you do if you find or are forced to admit to yourself that you are in a bad marriage? I am going to provide some insight and things that you can do if you find yourself in a bad marriage. Some of the things may not be pleasant, however, like anything else in life, we may have to go through pain in order to arrive at our goals.
The Path to a Bad Marriage
Many people have high hopes on their wedding day. They believe that their union will bring about happiness forever after. However, shortly after that glorious day, reality kicks in and you begin to see cracks in the fairytale that you so much want to believe and achieve. You start to realize that your spouse is not your queen or your knight in shining armor. Problems begin to develop, and you experience a side of your beloved that you never knew existed.
Years pass and all your efforts to get the marriage back on track hasn’t had much effect. Instead, things seem to be getting worse. You and your spouse are drifting farther apart each year and you don’t quite understand why. You’ve educated yourself on how to have a happy marriage using many resources, but things seem to continue to get worse. Your spouse doesn’t seem to be interested in purposely achieving a happy marriage as you do.
More years pass and you come to realize that you and your spouse don’t do much together. You don’t even have sex anymore and this situation seems to be ok with your spouse. You are roommates instead of soulmates. You are in a bad marriage that is getting worse. The path that your marriage is on won’t take you to happiness, but pain and loneliness, and of course. Separation. What is disturbing to you now is that separation is beginning to be a viable solution for you to obtain your own happiness.
What You Can Do
Let me provide some things that you can do if you are in a bad marriage getting worse. The first objective is to mend the marriage so that it can get on a path to happiness. However, secondarily, it is important that you ensure your own happiness regardless of the state of your marriage.
Don’t Blame Your Spouse or Yourself
Never blame your spouse or yourself for the state of your marriage even if it clearly seems to be his or her fault. What you must remember is that humans respond to what others do to them. The bad behavior of your spouse could be caused by his or her response to what you are doing. A lot of what happens between people is due to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Not blaming your spouse sets a stage where the source of the problems can be discovered and subsequently give you both something to work on.
Remember Why You Both Got Married
You might sit down together and go over the wedding pictures. This may spark the emotions that you both had on that wedding day. This could, in turn, provide a very good segue into discussing any issues that exist between the two of you.
Continue to Love Your Spouse
It may be very hard to consider loving someone that you have grown to dislike or is a source of pain and unhappiness. However, remember that God loves us even when we were in rebellion, and he demonstrated that love by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins. This doesn’t mean romantic love, even though you should always leave room for that possibility. I am speaking here of the type of love that God has for all of us. Care for your spouse and be dedicated to their well-being even if there is no romance or togetherness.
Use resources to learn more about marriage and how to obtain a happy one. This includes books, videos, courses, etc. Educating yourself may help you resolve or at least identify various issues that are well within your control. The important thing is to learn about marriage and related topics so that you can do what you can to better your marriage.
Talk To Someone
It may help you to talk to someone that you feel can help you get your marriage on track. This could be a pastor, minister, friend, family member, etc. It should be someone that you trust and who you feel can help you improve your marriage. You are not looking for someone to complain to or to bash your spouse.
Tell your spouse how you feel in a non-confrontational and non-condemning manner. If your spouse really cares, then he or she will be concerned about your unhappiness even if they don’t perceive any problems in the marriage. Be sensitive to your spouse’s response because a person with a timid spirit, pride, or wrong motive for marrying in the first place, will not take kindly to your attempts to improve things. They may take what you say as an attack on them and lash out at you. Use wisdom when expressing your concerns about a bad marriage to your spouse.
Pray For Your Marriage and Spouse
Always pray for your marriage and your spouse regardless of how bad you think your marriage is. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and for those that use us (See Matthew 5:43-48). Therefore, continue to pray for your spouse and your marriage, especially since the ultimate goal is for the two of you to be together as one happy union.
Remain Committed and Keep Trying
Don’t stop trying to get your marriage on a path to happiness. Don’t stop trying to get your spouse to buy into a happy marriage. Keep educating yourself and trying different things to help get your marriage on track. You can’t change your spouse, but you can change yourself. Don’t give up. Remain committed and keep working at improving your marriage.
Be Open To Correction
I said earlier that you should not blame your spouse nor yourself, because both of you have in one way or another, contributed to the state of the marriage. However, you must remain open to correction because you can definitely change you. If you change, then your spouse’s response to you will also change, thus possibly causing a change in the marriage relationship. Always be open to practice the things you learn for the benefit of your marriage.
Ensure Your Own Happiness
If a marriage is bad and there is only one trying to make it better, then that single spouse is like a caregiver to a dying marriage. The caregiver needs support in the same way a caregiver for a sick loved one needs support. Therefore, don’t forget to take care of yourself and to ensure your own happiness. Since your marriage is not a source of happiness now, find happiness in other areas. What do you like to do? What do you enjoy? Do them so that you have enjoyment in life and can better deal with your marriage situation.
Don’t Beat a Dead Horse
Ideally, a happy marriage is obtained when the couple works hard to achieve it. However, there are instances where the husband or the wife really isn’t interested in a mutually happy marriage. He or she may have obtained what they intended to get from marriage. Perhaps the husband simply wants someone to cook his food, have his babies, clean the house, and provide sexual services. Perhaps the wife simply wanted to be a mother in a Christian environment (i.e., being married), financial support, protection, someone to fix things, etc. If your spouse has proven to be indifferent to the idea of working to obtain a mutual happy marriage, then you would waste a lot of time trying to obtain it.
Use Marriage Restoration Resources
There are many resources that are available to help you repair your marriage. Some don’t require both to participate. In any case, it is highly advised that you take advantage of the many marriage restoration resources that are available online. You may even use the services of a marriage counselor. You may also start with an online resource where you can work on you and your spouse responds. Eventually, it will take two to tangle, but only one is required to get things going.