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A Step-by-step Guide To Changing An Unhappy Marriage To A Happy One

Happiness is very subjective and complicated by nature.So, when you find yourself in an unhappy marriage, it won’t necessarily be for the same reason for both people involved. Though these marriages are more common than you may think, they can sneak up on you and leave you lonely and confused when they do strike. It is natural to feel that way, considering the relationship that you invested so much of your time into is now stalling or falling apart altogether.

couple disagreement

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Everyone, more or less, has been unhappy at some point in their marriage. It is bound to happen. There are many common causes: a cheating spouse, lack of physical intimacy, or even something as mundane as long distance, or too much time and energy spend at work. This experience may cause you to jump to thoughts of separation or divorce, but that should only be an option once you’ve tried making it work in every other possible way. The whole point of marrying each other is to stand by each other in both the good and the tough times, isn’t it?

Suggested read: 20 surprising things to expect during the first year of marriage

Don’t let the signs of an unhappy marriage get to you. Instead, try following these steps to give your marriage the chance it deserves:

1. Find your balance

couple talking

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It’s a marriage. If you’re considering divorce after every small fight you have, you’re not going to get anywhere. There are going to be different opinions even in the smallest of matters. You just need to learn how to respect each other’s opinions and agree to disagree on certain things. There are couples who are the complete opposite of each other and still manage to live their lives relatively peacefully. All you have to do is balance each other out instead of arguing who is right and who is not. Playing the blame game isn’t the right way to go if you want to survive the marriage.

2. Accept each other

couple talking

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Of course, this is not the easiest thing in the world. It could be just about getting dirty feet on the bed or leaving the lights on, but when you live with someone else, even the smallest things count. A happy marriage calls for small compromises where you accept each other and learn to live with each other. That way, you’ll know you can rely on each other and get through the bad times together. Once the small differences are out of the way, the big ones will be easier to deal with. All you have to do is stick it out with each other during those times. It will only make your marriage stronger.

3. Talk it out

couple holding hands

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Lack of communication is one of the biggest signs of an unhappy marriage. Is there something you don’t like about your relationship or something that’s making you unhappy? Then, talk about it! Maybe you need help with household chores or maybe you’re not getting enough satisfaction from your sex life; whatever it is, just put it out in the open. You don’t have to yell about it because anger can give rise to tensions or miscommunications. Instead, try to sit and talk about things in a calm and rational manner.

4.Let them talk too

couple talking

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Don’t only talk, but also listen. Maybe your partner is not comfortable with something you do or maybe it’s just something they are personally going through. You just need to get the conversation started and then listen at least as much as you talk. Express to each other how you feel about the marriage and what your needs are like. You’ve decided to spend your lives together after all. If you can’t talk to each other about your problems, then who are you going to talk to? Once you’ve got that sorted out, you can sit and figure out all your problems – together.

5. Sex it up

couple in bed

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If you don’t know it already, lack of sex is one of the main reasons for couples parting ways. Obviously this is not a solution, but it is a very important part of marriage and it’s not something that you should allow to die out. If you can connect at a physical level, your romance will flourish under renewed intimacy and attraction. Sex by itself will not work, of course, but the lack of physical intimacy will only make your unhappy marriage even worse.

6. Talk to friends


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Generally, it is best if friends stay out of your relationship matters, but they can also help by offering support during the difficult time of deal with an unhappy marriage. When you feel emotionally drained or confused, call in the support system. Talk to them and ask them for whatever fresh perspective that you need to get through this. It could be babysitting help, a financial loan, or even just a shoulder to cry on. Whatever it is, just ask.

Suggested read: 10 rules you NEED to break to have a happy marriage

7. Don’t isolate yourself

woman thinking21

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You need your own trusted confidante who can listen to you, guide you, and not judge you. It could be a friend, parent, or sibling, but it should be someone that you can talk to about what’s going on. You might feel that no one cares because everyone is so busy with their own lives, but it is crucial that you reach out to a loved one for help. They love you and that’s why they’ll do anything to help you get through your unhappy marriage.

8. Keep busy

woman working

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Step out and take that vacation you’ve always wanted to go on because there is no better time for a happiness boost. Stay healthy and keep your mind busy. And idle mind is definitely the devil’s workshop. If you’re doing nothing, you’re going to think of things and maybe even over-think them, only adding to the already complicated situation.

9. Seek help

couple talking to a therapist

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If you’re having problems talking to each other on your own, it may be wise to get help from a couples’ therapist or a trained counsellor. This will be challenging at first, since you’ll be sitting there with each other trying to tackle your issues head on. You’ll probably feel like the counsellor is siding with your partner or that the world is against you.

But after a few sessions, you realize that you’re closing in on the root cause of all your problems and that there might be a chance for this to work. You’ll learn a lot about both yourself and your partner, and you’ll be surprised on how simple the problem was.

10. Trial separation

couple disagreement

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Now, you’ve been working on your marriage for months. You’ve tried everything from talking to counselling, but things are just not looking good. You still feel disconnected from your partner and you are starting to get tired of trying to stay together. Now is the time for a break.

Suggested read: Marriage advice – the comprehensive guide

I’m not telling you to part ways indefinitely. Instead, try a trial separation to give each other time and personal space to decide on what you each want to do with your marriage. This can be incredibly useful, but can also be harmful if people lose sight of the goal and start new relationships.

Set some ground rules for your trial separation

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If you’re staying away, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. First, remember that you’re doing this to survive the unhappy marriage and to make things work. It is not your license to a new life because you’re still married to each other, so set a time frame and some ground rules. You’ll have to decide how often you’ll meet with or without the counselling, and if sex is off the table or not. Don’t let the time period drag on and make sure you talk finances beforehand.

If you know that getting intimate is going to cloud your judgment, not to mention complicate matters, then you probably should keep the physical contact to a minimum. As long as you treat this as a clear break to sort out differences and not like you’re single again, it has the chance of work.

Don’t lose sight of what’s important

couple holding hands (10)

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In the middle of an unhappy marriage, you need to remember that every relationship has its ups and downs. The only difference is that some of them make it work and some of them don’t. Decide how much longer you want to work on the unhappy marriage before you accept that it’s time to move on.

Of course, if you’ve tried everything and you still can’t find happiness from your marriage, then divorce might be your only option. Don’t stay with each other only because of what your friends might say or because you have children. Getting a divorce doesn’t make you a failure, you need to realize that divorce is not easy. That it has its own set of challenges that you’ll have to tackle before you’re through with the process.

Suggested read: 10 ways to build intimacy in your marriage

Before it gets to that point, though, keep these tips in mind in order to turn the tide and make your marriage a happy one again. There is always hope when you’re fighting for something you believe in, for your own happiness and the happiness of someone that you love. Ultimately, you are in control of your marriage and your life, so do what makes you happy.

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Article Name
10 Steps To Find Happiness In An Unhappy Marriage
All's not lost when you are trapped in an unhappy marriage. There's something you can do to dispel the gloomy clouds and bring out the happy sun.
Deepika Singhania

Deepika Singhania

A Literature and Media post graduate, Deepika Singhania is a freelance writer, editor and a hardcore feminist. She is an avid reader and a football enthusiast, who loves cooking and traveling along with having a strong affinity for chocolates, Harry Potter, and Bangalore rains.