Deep down you know your marriage is doomed. The nagging feelings that you aren’t happy seem to linger longer and longer day by day. You often find yourself thinking about divorce, and have moments in your life where you are filled with regret about your choice in a partner. Yet, despite the way you feel on the inside - actually filing for and seeking a divorce feels like you have failed at something – and you shy away out of pride or embarrassment (or both) worried about how the rest of the world would feel about the little game of charades you have been playing for several years now. If you are prolonging a doomed marriage – you should find solace in the fact that you are not alone.
In today’s romantic climate, it is very rare for a couple to get married and stay married. In fact, more than half of all couples who say ‘I do,” find themselves taking back these two simple (yet meaningful) words within the first 10 years of marriages.
Psychologists believe that as divorce in general becomes more widely accepted, more and more people will escape unhappy marriages. According to a study performed by Psychology Today magazine, around 71% of the population believes that divorce is an acceptable remedy for an unhappy marriage. Several decades ago, divorce was seen as a sin, and people often hid their marital unhappiness from the outside world and stayed together regardless of the personal cost. As the children from the new generation of married couples are being taught and shown by example that not only is marriage NOT necessarily forever – but that personal happiness is extremely important in life- the institute of marriage as we know it will quickly begin to fade out.
Still, there are a lot of people that are prolonging doomed marriages. Most people stay, teetering from feelings of resentment and anger – for various reasons. Things might be terribly bad one week, and then okay the next. You may look at your neighbour’s marriage and realize that yours really isn’t that bad after all.
The most common reason that people stay in a bad marriage is because of the children. The second is because of financial resources. The key word here in this article is PROLONGING. Essentially, your actions of putting up with an unhappy marriage are not a means for an end. And according to statistics, if you are seriously unhappy – your marriage will end eventually. The phase of hanging on and waiting for that moment where you are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the marriage is over, may be a phase that is all for not. In other words, if things are getting better – and the two of you cannot work out your problems and you don’t love your partner anymore (or they don’t love you) then all you are doing is prolonging the inevitable. Why? Read on!
Prolonging a Doomed Marriage for the Kids?
There has been quite a bit of research about whether it is the right thing for parents to stay together for the kids. Parents fear court custody battles and joint custody agreements. Parents stay because they couldn’t imagine their child not having a singular household to call their own. Yet, in the end – research and studies indicate that children are the ones that suffer when parents stay together for the kids. Whether you realize it or not, the kids notice that you aren’t happy. And your unhappiness leads to YOU being less of a parent than you would be if you were happy. Additionally, for many couples the marital routine involves a great deal of arguing and negative emotional outbursts that happen in front of the children, which can impact their lives negatively.
It is important to consider one thing. If your child was unhappy, would you want them to stay? If there was abuse evident in their lives, would you hope they would get away from it? Kids, learn from example – from YOU. They are learning about marriage and relationships, problem solving and happiness from YOU. By watching you, and seeing how you interact with your spouse, they are setting the footprint from which their own life will be patterned. Truth is, you won’t get a medal for staying in an unhappy marriage. Your children won’t grow up and respect you for the sacrifices that you made. In fact, they may be more likely to resent you for raising them in a home with such muggy climate of stress and unhappiness.
The best advice that you can be given when you are living in an unhappy marriage – is to take some time to sit down and truly think about your life. Are you living life to your full potential? Is there any way for you and your partner to rectify the relationship, make things better? Is there potential for happiness? Are both of you willing to see relationship counselling? Do you believe down deep, in that place where your intuition and true self lie, that you can ever be happy in the marriage again? If the answer is NO to any or all of these questions – you might simply be caught wasting time by not taking actions.
Marriage IS supposed to be forever. Marriage is NOT easy. Every couple will face ups and downs. But if you are simply prolonging the inevitable, you may want to make some changes in your life for yourself. Sometimes the worst thing you can do in life, is NOTHING.