There could be a number of ways to answer this question, but I think that the bottom line is this: most people sort of expect happiness in marriage to just “happen” or to “work out”, but they don’t realize that they need to work hard on it. Hence, they don’t do what it takes to make a marriage successful. – Anna Laureano
Splurjj: When I pose this question on Quora I just knew so many men would agree on why they were unhappily married but I was totally mistaken. I received answers to this question from life practitioners, lawyers, marriage counselors and men and women in marriages themselves. The answers are abroad and some very honest about their own unhappy marriage lives. Just like the following answer, that some may or may not relate to.
My answer is personal to my situation, of course, but maybe others can relate:
- My wife doesn’t need me, and I know it. She makes way more money than I do. I could just as easily not work, and we would be fine. The most critical thing I do in our relationship is drive the kids to the places they need to be every day. Men need to feel needed, and as more and more men become second incomes to their wives (like me), that part of the necessity of a husband as breadwinner erodes.
- Constant reminders of the types of wives we don’t have. I’m not just talking about physical appearance here, but also attitudes. Everywhere I look, I see wives who seem eager to please their husbands. But then I get home to my wife, and she doesn’t seem to care if I’m happy or not. She considers it a favor to me if she ignores me for the night, instead of her usual criticizing me all night.
- Boredom. The last significant change in my life was three years ago, with the birth of our third and final child. Think about that… three whole years of pretty much the same thing every single day. I’ve been with my wife for 15 years. Fifteen years of “exploring the same territory”, so to speak, and you’ve pretty much seen it all and aren’t excited by it anymore.
- The sense of obligation destroys the romance. Children, a mortgage, retirement plans, my career, etc… There is very little I do every day that isn’t out of some since of obligation or responsibility. There’s a very small time each day – about 30 minutes right before bed – where the kids are asleep, the chores are done, the dog has been walked, and I have nothing that I am obligated to do for the rest of that day. That’s the dangerous time for me. The time when I start to think about how unhappy I am in my marriage, and then I realize how stuck I am, and how this is my life now. – Anonymous
For some or even many of the same reasons women are unhappy in their marriage. More than likely, the relationship has simply run its course. Many of us live well into our 80s now, and we go through too many fundamental changes to make staying with the same partner feasible. Because people grow in different directions.
Some of my male friends have cited lack of sex in the marriage as a reason for their unhappiness—as in, a complete and total absence of it. One male friend described his utility in his former marriage as a “walking, breathing ATM machine.” He was useful only as a money provider for the household. Some marriages become completely child-centrism, and only exist because of the presence of offspring.
Bottom line, though? Men, and people, are in unhappy marriages because they choose to stay in them out of obligation. Even though, according to a recent Pew report, some 70 percent of Americans do not believe that divorce is a moral failing. “Real men” don’t run away from unhappiness; they are expected to just suck it up, lest they be labeled “cowards” or “whiners”.
Because a small segment of society says they must. – Melissa Myer, Author of letters for signature by important men
Splurjj: I found the following answer simple but true.
As long as delusions rule our lives — such as ignorance, desire and aversion — we are unhappy. When being alone, we want to find a partner. Having a partner, we want to be alone. Desire and aversion push us, ignorance doesn’t let us see what happens. – Alex Zendo, Buddhist teacher, life practitioner
M.Anand, says: For the simple reason
Unfortunately it’s the ‘companionship out of bindings & obligations’ which is holding the marriage rather than what it should really be ‘Love’. In most of the marriages, after initial attraction of probing, curiosity about spouse is over after the honeymoon, thus limiting the sacred relationship to only physical ‘bodily’ level and not connecting to higher levels of emotions at heart.
In the first place, can love be made to happen between husband & wife or is it that Love just happens? It’s the genuine caring, concern for each other, longing to be with each other, connecting at soul level, sharing ones intimate thoughts, respecting each other, which over a period of time develops into Love. Most of the marriages are devoid of these and hence many are unhappy. It’s not just the men who are unhappy in their marriages but women also equally are unhappy. It’s just that men are more vocal about it and women suffer silently blaming on their karma.
If following factors are holding the marriage, rather than Love, it’s evident, unhappiness has to rule.
-If I divorce, what people/society will say!!
-Now that children are growing, what’s the point to mess the marriage!
-Who will take care of my elderly parents at home!
-how will I find financial security (for women)?
-Now that I am above forty, let’s compromise & live!
If one analyzes the root cause of any unhappy marriage, it has to be only and only the three letter word ‘EGO’. But then that’s the human psyche about which nothing can be done unless as Jidda Krishnamurti says ‘One needs to understand oneself first in terms of why one thinks/ acts the way he does’ and then only one will be able to understand the other.
Is that true?
Evidence show that the happiest people are married men, second; single women, third are the single guys and forth, yes, in the bottom you find married women.
But unhappiness in marriage in general starts with disconnect, from self and the other. That brings bad communication and then it is down from there. – Galitta Tassa, Voice artist, Sound Healer and Guide, Founder of Happy Goddess
Partha Sadhukhan, Expert in marriage issues.
Worldwide divorce laws are anti male. So on divorce men lose their children, money, property etc and hence they don’t want divorce and carry on unhappy marriages.
A marriage can sustain only on mutual sacrifice and not on demands. Since our lives are becoming more stressful and demanding from each partner for their sustenance people are generally getting averse to marriages. In a married relationship it is more likely to point to the partner.
In Indian context as we see, women’s responsibilities are not defined but their rights are more than defined. That creates more problem as women try to take upper hand in relations without any contribution. That is why men are unhappy but have no option but to stick to their marriages.
If women are happy at all, (as some have pointed out) that is because they don’t know where to stop their demands. When everything is given to them without asking anything in return they are set to be more demanding and all responsibilities will come to men. Eventually making men unhappy.
Splurjj: The following question I received back was a bit more interesting and happens to be a true story of a married couple that struggles with companionship, blame and control. Which tends to be the number one blame in most marriages. A man or woman being too obsessed with control.
I know a wife who’s unhappy. He husband is killing himself holding a high powered job to support the family, and she’s mad that on weekends he’s like burnt toast. She wanted more kids than he does and also likes to spend money. She complained that he’s boring so he decided to take flying lessons and so now she complains about him doing something away from the family. She complains he doesn’t do sweet things for her, but when he does she thinks it’s manipulation. She’s totally bored but doesn’t go make her own activities. They’ve agreed on parenting strategies but she doesn’t enforce them, so now the kids are a discipline nightmare causing massive stress and mutual blame.
I’m not blaming this wife or husband, but using them as an extreme example of what trends to happen. Our expectations are often unrealistic and uncontrolled as to which of the mutually incompatible outcomes we want. We also tend to be ignorant of these self dynamics and blame something external such as the spouse or marriage. We tend to think marriage helps provide an escape from the human condition, whereas it tends to be an amplifier of certain aspects. Many bad habits develop in marriage that would not be acceptable to use on someone else. Nobody can have realistic expectations about marriage or raising a family since you just don’t know.
There’s a saying that intention is karma and expectations are suffering. If a couple doesn’t keep an eye on the true North of having a strong relationship, then the unmet expectations and daily grind can take over. If a couple don’t actively focus on maintaining love or togetherness, then natural decay can destroy. If the problems of being human aren’t actively acknowledged, then blame games rip things apart. If mutually agreed strategies are not respected, then the whole doesn’t function.
In my case, the husband is happy, because of a decision to support the wife even when she lashes out, because i can understand the deep causes. He’s not expecting to be happy, and so he is. This couple has invested in relationship. yearly we get away on vacations without kids, mini honeymoons, so we can remember ourselves as a couple, not just a family caught in a grinder of feeding little mouths and paying for college.
Are divorced people more happy in divorce our did they just reconcile with themselves because there’s nothing and nobody to blame? If the relationship were maintained, would it have decayed? Are remarriages happier? I’m sure sometimes divorce is a good strategy for situation. We’re all half crazy and the wrong kind of crazy don’t mix well. But does divorce solve the underlying problem?
Simple: they don’t understand discipline, duty and being true to the fundamental values of human nature, all of which is in the bible, and which is the cornerstone of happiness. What must be ignored in all this is basal urges, temptations and immediate gratification, the ego, the MOI: because an action FEELS good doesn’t mean it has value, unless it’s in the context of bettering yourself and your wife in your relationship, a relationship of family, raising children (whether or not your own), community, and finding common values with your neighbors, being responsible for a nation. As Dr. Laura once said, when asked “Where do I find my true love?”; “It’s the one you end up with.” IE, you gotta HANG IN THERE AND WORK THROUGH THINGS, not cut and run when things aren’t going the way YOU want.
Why am I so smart? I walked from two beautiful ladies, after exchanging vows. My poor excuse: no children involved. Could I have worked things through? Yes, it would have been very tough, I think could have done so had I made the effort. – Philip Clock
Splurjj: I’d like to thank everyone for contributing , wisdom, stats and mere honesty to make such a great topic on, why are there so many men unhappily married?
Subsequent to understanding this article, you’ll see that it simply isn’t just us men who are miserable. Ladies are miserable noiselessly while men are a great deal more verbal and stand up boisterous to change the circumstance. A lady will wretchedly stay in an unevenly yolked marriage that crushes her over the long haul, which she then censures her better half for. We as a whole need to find what it is precisely that we need in our lives. On the off chance that it’s not marriage stand up emphatically and inquire as to whether it’s not what you want. Wretchedness will frame and you will kick the bucket since you are not becoming profoundly inside. Discovering intimate romance is vital, so don’t squander your time or another person time unless you genuinely anticipate advancing the push to change the circumstances to better the situation. – Splurjj