When Should You Leave Your Unhappy Marriage?

When do you KNOW it is time to leave your unhappy marriage? This is a question that bothers a lot of people. Everyone’s situation is different, but there are some key questions you can ask yourself to figure out if you are ready to leave, end the relationship, or, if you are married, file for divorce.

Not everyone who is married is happy. When things do not go as planned, people feel down and wonder why they got married in the first place.

As soon as you walked down the aisle, in front of witnesses, you promised them that you would love them and be there for them through good and bad times. But as time goes on, you might start to notice things about her that make you question that commitment. 

At this point, it is important to remember that people are not their actions, and that many of us act in strange and unpredictable ways when we are under stress.

Try not to forget that the woman you love and find interesting is still inside her. She may just be going through some deep personal questions that are making her question who she is and what she wants next in life. And that’s fine and very common. 

So, how can you tell the difference between a marriage that is just going through a rough patch and one that has serious problems that will cause it to end? 

Signs of an Unhappy Marriage

Many unhappy marriages are created through years of ignoring or not knowing how to handle moments when you feel unloved, uncared for, and that you are not a priority to her.

This kind of breakdown in feeling loved and cared for is actually very repairable.

What’s much more difficult to repair is a relationship where the lack of care and consideration has reached a point where you constantly think of and treat each other with contempt, spite, bitterness, and meanness.

Below are some signs that you may recognise if you’re living in an unhappy marriage: 

  • You feel constantly criticised and attacked
  • There’s a lack of any physical intimacy
  • You regularly contemplate leaving the relationship
  • You are seeing regular lying and dishonesty 
  • There has been infidelity, especially when it’s unacknowledged or unrepented
  • You’re being hurt by things like out-of-control shouting, throwing things, calling you names, putting you down, giving you the silent treatment, etc. 
  • When you ask to discuss issues with her, she is never willing
  • She gaslights you when you explain your experience
  • She threatens to divorce you or restrict your access to your children 
  • She tries to control your choices, opinions, and behaviour.

Can You Successfully Resolve Your Unhappy Marriage?

leave your unhappy marriage

Every marriage goes through difficult periods. So, what is the difference between a marriage that stays unhappy and eventually ends and one that changes and gets better?

The key is for you to be sure of yourself so that you can stay connected with her while being honest about what you’re going through and not making any assumptions about what she’s going through. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Most people haven’t learned how to understand and talk about their own experiences without blaming and criticising the other person. This makes things hard.

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Then resentment builds; you both start to feel unsafe speaking honestly and openly about your concerns, fears, and desires without being attacked or ignored. Maintaining contact with her is critical if you want to feel safe enough to tell her what you require from her to help you feel happy in your marriage again.

So how do you learn how to stay connected and communicate honestly when you don’t feel safe doing so?

You do it first with another man who has been through the same experience you are going through. This practice will help you grow stronger in your ability to know yourself, know what you are struggling with, and know what you want to be different. It will also give you the confidence and communication skills you need to lead the conversation in a way that is proactive, productive, and calm and kind.

Where do you find the kind of men who can help you with this?

Contact me for a free 60-minute coaching call and I will explain how and what to expect from working with a men’s coach or joining a men’s support group.

It sounds scary and uncomfortable, I know, but it’s the opposite of whatever negative experience you may be imagining right now. 

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan. I've been a men’s coach for over 10 years with Goodguys2Greatmen, mentoring and coaching men to get clear on what they want and creating practical and actionable plans to make it happen. I’ve experienced many of the same challenges you're going through right now. I’m here to challenge you and help you understand what's holding you back so that you can step into the confident, successful man you were meant to be.