Marriage Does Not Create Happiness

Reader’s Question:

I have been married for 16 years. My husband and I have two children, ages 10 and 15. I want a divorce. It’s not that I don’t love him, but I am not happy. We fight constantly and honestly I’m not sure if we even know each other anymore. No one has cheated, no one has lied. We have a good marriage, but we fight a lot. We are very different people and only seem to be getting more distant. We spend most of our time together or with our children and it’s usually quality time. I’ve tried to feel in love with him for years, but I just cannot, too much past has brought us to this point. Is it best to stay together until the kids leave for college or is it more harmful to them to hear us argue and know that we are just staying together for them?

Well, the truth is, I just do not know.

I’m sure on an individual basis there are right and wrong answers, but without much more information, I just cannot know. You see, we are all different and we want and need different things in life. So do our children. Obviously, it is not good to have the kids hear you fighting and it is not good for them to think they are the only reason you are together. Children are very impressionable. They watch how you react to every situation. Not all the time, but often. You are their life guide as they work their way to adulthood. You should remember it’s not always about you or your partner, sometimes the kids have to come first. Their needs, not their wants.

From the wording of your question, I can tell this has been going on for some time.

Marriage is hard. Marriage does not create happiness. It is not up to your marriage to make you happy. 

I hear you say everything is fine. Fine being acceptable. You are not head over heels in love. You are not in lust. You are not…well anything but a body doing the motions and that just sucks. Have you just given up or are you still willing to fight? Sixteen years of marriage is nothing to throw away for no reason.

So, what is the reason?

If you take away happiness- because that is on YOU, not your marriage or your partner or anybody but YOU- then what is the reason you want a divorce? You met this man and fell in love enough to stay married for 16 years and have two children.

You must discover why you aren’t happy! 

Step one should be figuring out the source of your unhappiness and why you believe it is your marriages fault. I have found that someone in your situation can often lift their spirits by simply doing more for themselves. What have you done to make yourself happy lately? It is very hard to find a partner to love and trust unconditionally, especially when children are involved. So, you need to make sure that your marriage is actually stopping you from being happy. You need to make sure that your own attitude and perspective isn’t the cause…and if it is, how can you fix that?

What made you fall in love? And why can’t you get back there?

Is neither of you willing to fight for this foundation that you created? Readers – it is important to understand that sometimes in a marriage, when nothing is “wrong,” but nothing is “right,” YOU might have to start the fight to keep the marriage or relationship alive.

YOU may have to go it alone to begin, that is what being a good partner is all about, right?

When they are down, you pick them up. When they have no fight left, you fight hard enough for both of you! Someday they will do the same for you, it’s just how marriage works. There are ups, there are downs, and there are even sideways and backward, but you have to fight and try and try harder. There are those who walk away and those who dig their heels in even deeper. You have to decide which you are.

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