While tying the knot isn’t a guarantee for lifelong marital bliss, many couples have found the secret sauce to staying happy. Some couples nail it on the first go, while others struggle to find spousal chemistry right off the gate. The latter is one of the main contributors to an unhappy marriage because there can’t be happiness without harmony in the home. Soulmate seeking aside, other factors can negatively affect a marriage, including:
- One or both partners suffering from depression.
- Unmet expectations, some of which are too lofty, to begin with.
- Pride and ego.
- Poor communication leading to arguments.
- Too much unnecessary tension.
If your marriage has any of these elements, chances are you’re already feeling the weight of unhappiness. It’s not all doom and gloom though, because adversity can also strengthen your union. You can work together as the team you are meant to be and prevent all this friction from ruining your marriage.
“It’s Not You. It’s Me.”
In any marriage, there’s one party that fails to realize he/she is the main reason for all the tension in the relationship. There are five types of people that contribute to an unhappy marriage. Before moving on to prevention, it’s time for some introspection. Ask yourself if you fall under one of the categories below.
Personality Types That Ruin Marriages:
● The Blaminator
Blames everyone else because it’s never his/her fault. Blaminators are also always angry.
● The Puppet Master
Uses emotional manipulation like blackmail and guilt-trips to control the other person.
● The Naggerling
Someone who never stops nagging and making his/her spouse feel small by using hurtful words.
● The Starter
Always happy to nitpick at everything and start needless arguments over nothing.
● The Sufferer
Someone who always assumes the role of the victim, even when it’s not the case.
If any of these personally ring a bell, take steps to tone it down to mitigate further damage to your marriage. To help you out, below are 5 proven steps to help you prevent an unhappy marriage.
Five Steps to Prevent an Unhappy Marriage
The key to a lifelong relationship with your spouse is not letting unhappiness gain a foothold in your marriage. Here are a few proven steps to stay happy in your marriage.
1. Know Your Spouse Inside and Out
The Disney hit movie “Frozen” can teach us a thing or two about marrying someone you just met (that day). There are a lot of “what ifs” floating around if you don’t honestly know the person you’ve committed to spending your whole life with. The key to a happy marriage is simple: start it right and get to know each other well.
You have to know everything about the person you plan on sharing forever. Every single hair on his/her head, favourite food, music, movies, friends, history – the works. The last thing you need is to get married to a psycho.
2. Practice Active Listening and Open Communication
Miscommunication happens when one spouse keeps talking while the other doesn’t know how to listen. Communication must be open. Talk and share feelings and listen to what the other person is saying. Have a conversation so you can understand what each other wants or needs at that moment. Hearing what your spouse said is way different than listening and understanding the meaning of the message.
Most couple’s arguments start as a minor miscommunication that leads to a significant misunderstanding. Avoid falling into this trap and practice the art of active listening. Also, never assume that your significant other “gets it” or knows precisely what’s going on in your head or what you want. Remember, no one can read minds, and it’s unfair to your spouse if you expect him/her to know what you’re thinking or feeling. Express your expectations and needs clearly, to avoid confusion and blame.
3. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
If you think you or your spouse is suffering from depression, talk it over, and seek professional help. Don’t hesitate for even a minute, because depression is a serious condition that can affect your life and marriage. If a doctor is out of reach at the moment, you can always talk to your spouse, parents, siblings, or friends. The critical thing is that you have someone to talk to anytime that cares about your well-being.
4. Don’t Be a Downer
Bringing negative emotions to a marriage can sink it quickly because there’s a limit to how much bad vibes a person can take daily. Anger, insecurity, and trust issues are some of the downers that can put a dent on your marriage. Nobody wants to wake up each day only to realize that he/she is married to someone who is perpetually angry.
The trick to staying happily married is to nip negative emotions in the bud before they sprout and grow roots that can lead to resentment.
5. Bury Your Pride and Put Your Ego in a Box
Pride and ego have ruined countless marriages. When everybody’s always right, nobody is. There is no need to be right every single time. The urge to be superior or to dominate can lead to guilt and resentment. Make it a point to remain objective and try not to win every argument. There are no winners and losers when couples fight, only bruised egos and trampled pride.
Practice the art of “give and take.” Learn when to give in and when to be firm. Have a conversation about why both of you must accept the outcome.
Conclusion: Turn that Couples Frown Upside Down
Unhappy marriages are preventable as long as you spot the signs early and take the needed steps to prevent things from spiralling out of control. Remember, it takes two to tango: you and your significant other need to put in the time and effort to make things work. Always keep communication lines open, talk it over, and work together to bring happiness and joy back into your marriage.