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How to Survive an Unhappy Marriage

Survive an unhappy marriage by keeping up your end of the bargain, accepting that even the best relationships experience rough seas.


  • Step 1: Communicate your feelings to your partner in a positive way, detailing what you miss or have lost in your relationship. Find ways to compromise on contentious issues. Even if this fails, you have done your best to be honest and salvage the marriage.
  • Step 2: Get a break once in a while. Seek and nurture outside friendships to sustain you -- though not other romantic or sexual relationships. You need support and clarity, not confusion and guilt.
  • FACT: According the United States Census Bureau, 72 percent of American men and women aged 30 to 34 have been married. Of those 65 and over, the number was 96 percent.
  • TIP: Seek marriage counseling or separate for a while. Meet periodically to discuss your differences in a neutral atmosphere.
  • Step 3: Don't imagine that someone else has the power to deny you contentment or has to provide it for you. Refuse to judge your spouse, and instead try to understand their feelings.
  • Step 4: Accept your unhappy marriage where it is right now and consider that problems are just tests for improving it. Don't compare your situation with other couples'.
  • TIP: There's no such thing as a perfect marriage or perfect people. There are only unhappy people in the marriage.
  • Step 5: Address your boredom or impatience with the relationship by asking yourself what you are doing to make it better. It takes two, who must humbly reject the premise that they alone can define the secret to lasting happiness.
  • Step 6: Keep your promise and commitment to stay the course, in sickness and in health. Identify problems and address them. Visit a counselor if things aren't getting better.

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