“By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”- Socrates.
The cool morning air and the evergreen words of Socrates resonate with me as I contemplate the issue of unhappy marriages and divorces in our times.
It is a sad situation, but you don’t need me to tell you this because we all know what the statistics say.
The fact is we have a lot of “philosophers” in our times, both male and female, according to the words of Socrates.
The chances of ending up in a lasting marriage can be divined by just a simple head or tail coin toss.
This low probability describes the deplorable state of the marriage institution in our times.
However deplorable the situation may seem, we haven’t even considered people presently in an unhappy “lasting” marriage.
Add this to the statistics, and you may have a bleak view of marriage.
The saddest point is that some people in unhappy marriages don’t even know they are in unhappy marriages.
The fact that many blatant signs of an unhappy and tumultuous marriage are absent doesn’t mean your marriage is happy.
You may just be experiencing some subtler forms of an unhappy marriage.
The kind that can make people in society think you have a great marriage while you are actually going through a lot of sadness in the union.
Here are some of the subtle and not-so-subtle signs that you are in an unhappy marriage;
9 Signs You Are In An Unhappy Marriage
1. Constant fights
Conflicts are to be expected in marriage.
However, the method of resolving the conflict is what makes the relationship healthy and successful.
Couples should ideally come together to discuss and find a suitable resolution when things go wrong.
After resolving the conflict, both partners learn from the past conflicts and ensure that the same thing never occurs.
In an unhappy marriage, everything your partner does gets under your skin.
The fact that you get irritated so easily by your partner makes it difficult to come together to resolve conflicts.
If you find yourself arguing and fighting with your partner over the same things repeatedly, it’s a sign that your relationship is unhealthy.
2. Superficial conversations
Really, one of the perks of a happy marriage is the intimacy it comes with.
Happily married couples find it easy to communicate with each other, especially when they are sharing confidential information.
It is natural to feel safe in a healthy relationship, and if you don’t feel that way, it may indicate that your marriage has taken a hit and is sinking deeper into unhappiness.
You may lack a deep connection with your partner in an unhappy marriage.
Having a proper conversation with your partner isn’t an option because it almost always ends in tears.
If you can’t share deep and significant matters with your partner, there will always be a lack of understanding, proving that your relationship may be a dead end.
3. Lack of trust
This is another undeniable sign of an unhappy marriage.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship.
Couples can’t live in peace if they do not trust each other.
Lack of trust in a relationship results in several other issues that further affect the relationship and drive partners apart.
If you discover that you feel uneasy whenever your partner is not with you, especially when your partner is hanging out with the opposite sex, it’s a sign that you are in an unhappy marriage.
You shouldn’t need to monitor your partner in a happy marriage constantly.
This is possibly the worst point a marriage can get to before it crashes apart totally.
I think quarreling, and fighting is a far better sign than indifference because it shows that you and your partner still care about things.
If you start feeling indifferent about your partner, it is a sign that you have lost all hope of getting things back to how they used to be.
Indifference is a sign that you would rather not waste your effort on trying to save your marriage, and at this point, the marriage settles into a routine.
There is an outward sign of peace that may make outsiders use your marriage as a model for a successful marriage, but deep within, you know it is not.
A couple in my community had been married for a long time, and during that period, there had never been a sign of any conflict between them.
They had this outward appearance of a peaceful marriage, and many couples aspired to be like them.
Until one day, the woman opened up to a few people.
It was all a façade.
Her husband was a cheat and a manipulator.
She had been a victim of several betrayals of trust over the years.
At first, she fought hard to no avail.
Then, at some point, she realized that she didn’t care about whatever he did anymore.
She stopped fighting and protesting and just accepted whatever he did.
This was the reason for the outward appearance of peace in the marriage.
There are so many marriages like this with one or both partners already indifferent to each other.
It is a subtle sign of an unhappy marriage that people can mistake for being the hallmark of a peaceful union.
This is a very subtle sign and is mainly overlooked because what’s the essence of manipulation if the manipulated knows what’s going on?
Manipulation thrives when the manipulated doesn’t realize what is happening; this is one significant sign of relationship toxicity.
If you are in a relationship with a partner who never seems wrong, you may feel unhappy in the relationship.
Sometimes, it may involve gaslighting.
This is a subtle way of making a person doubt or question their self-worth and mental health.
If your partner’s invariable response to you when you are upset or unhappy is that you overreact, that’s a clear sign of gaslighting in a relationship.
This is also a sign of an unhappy marriage.
6. Holding grudges
When conflicts occur in happy marriages, couples learn from past mistakes and forgive each other.
Suppose you always gather “ammo” over a long period to wage war on your partner.
In that case, it is a sign that you are in an unhappy marriage because holding grudges is another toxic behavior to have in a relationship.
If there are several incidents of revenge in your marriage, then it may be easier to picture a warzone that is even happier than your marriage.
An unhappy marriage can constantly be in a state of conflict, with both partners holding grudges and gathering ammo for reprisal attacks on each other.
7. Perpetual Criticism
Constructive criticism is good for a relationship.
It helps partners to discover areas in which they need to improve.
However, one of the major signs of an unhappy marriage is constant criticism.
If you find that you or your partner never have anything good to say about each other, it is a sign that you are in an unhappy marriage.
Nothing you do for your partner seems right or appreciated.
If your partner constantly makes you feel unworthy of love, you are in an unhappy marriage.
Happy marriages are meant to make you feel loved and appreciated.
8. Lack of quality time
The major sign of a working relationship is the willingness of partners to spend quality time together despite their busy schedules and other pressing matters.
If you discover that you and your partner hardly see each other, it is a sign that something is wrong with your relationship.
It may be because you can no longer stand each other.
After all, who really wants to spend time with someone who makes them unhappy?
If you discover that most of your attempts at spending quality time with your partner end in a fiasco, it is a sign that you are in an unhappy marriage.
9. Lack of sexual intimacy
The prolific author Chinua Achebe’s quote rings so true; “So long as the bed shakes regularly, the home is at peace”.
Sex in marriage helps couples become intimate; when this is lacking, all is not well.
When there is a reduction in sexual intimacy or an abrupt stop, it can affect the mood of the marriage.
Don’t be surprised if it makes you cry more or angrier or affects your self-esteem.
It is a sign that you are in an unhappy marriage.
Here you have it: the signs you are in an unhappy marriage.
And if you are wondering if an unhappy marriage can be revived, the answer is yes!
Pulling it off requires a lot of dedication and determination, but in the end, you will be glad for it.
In this case, one person can’t point fingers and play the blame game because, really, it takes two to tango.
If both of you are willing to work at salvaging your marriage, then it is a marriage worth saving!
You should also consider engaging the services of a professional marriage counselor to help you navigate things.
All the best!