Is your marriage is too good to leave, too bad to stay? This help for a rocky marriage is based on a reader’s questions – she’s a wife in an unhappy marriage. She doesn’t know if she should save or leave her marriage…
“My husband and I have been married for 10 months, and almost as soon as the ring was on my finger – our relationship changed,” writes Sarah in Is My Marriage Over? 7 Ways to Tell if Your Spouse is Ending the Relationship.
Many readers say the same thing: their partners change after marriage. This doesn’t necessarily mean the marriage is bad or over – which is what makes everything more confusing!
If you can’t decide whether to save or leave your marriage, read Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship. And, here are four questions to consider if you think your marriage might be over…
Is Your Husband Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay?
I can’t tell you if you should leave or save your marriage, but I can give you four questions to think about.
1. Is your husband willing to work on his issues? “I knew going in that he was jealous,” Sarah says, “but I was sure it would be something I could live with. He wasn’t over the top, but then that’s exactly what it became.” Her husband is now controlling, insecure, and suspicious. This isn’t the only marriage problem Sarah and her husband have, but a step towards saving their marriage is for him to talk to a counselor about his jealousy. Why is he so jealous — what is he afraid of? Is he willing to grow, change, and become a better husband? Then yes, the marriage may be too good to leave.
2. Are you both committed to staying married and working on your marriage? “Through our marriage, he kept his own place,” says Sarah. “He had taken the set of keys he had given me at our wedding and didn’t return them to me.” Being 100% committed to your marriage – saving your marriage – means you’re both willing to do what it takes to rebuild your relationship. I’m not sure having a second home is a 100% commitment to marriage! Your marriage isn’t too bad to stay in if you’re both willing to compromise, and put your spouse’s needs before your own. And, different couples have different types of compromise. For Sarah and her husband, it could mean giving up the second home.
3. Are you too tired, drained, frustrated, or empty to continue in a failing marriage? Sarah asked, “How do you know when it’s truly over?” There is no easy answer to that – it’s different for each person. But perhaps you know your failing marriage is over when you just can’t keep fighting to save it. Maybe your marriage is too bad to stay in when your children are stuck in the middle, or when you don’t want to role model a bad marriage for your kids. Maybe your marriage is over when couples counseling doesn’t work. If you don’t know where to start, you might find 10 Warning Signs of Bad Relationships helpful.
4. Are you in touch with your true self? I think the key to knowing if your marriage is over is knowing yourself: your life goals, your personality, your hopes for the future. The more in tune with your authentic self you are, the easier it may be to discern if your marriage is too good to leave, or too bad to stay. And remember: leaving a marriage – no matter how bad it is – will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. That doesn’t mean ending the relationship is the wrong choice! Separation and divorce is heartbreaking, even if the marriage was always too bad to stay in.
For more help for failing marriages, read Thinking About Divorce? 4 Options for Unhappy Married Couples.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.