Is it Better to Divorce or Stay Unhappily Married?

Is it Better to Divorce or Stay Unhappily Married?
It may be better to divorce rather than stay unhappily married, because a miserable marriage can:

  1. Adversely impact health
  2. Psychologically impact children
  3. Create a toxic atmosphere that leads to a communication breakdown
  4. Deprive a spouse of an opportunity of meeting a compatible partner
  5. Create a hopeless situation
  6. Make both spouses create a fake-reality

According to the 2020 survey by Happiness Index, 82% of couples were happy in their relationship even though they disagreed on some issues 50% of the time. Nonetheless, some 18% of the surveyed couples continued to stay unhappily married rather than divorcing.

Whatever may be the reason for unhappiness in a marriage, some psychologists and researchers opine that it might be better to divorce than stay unhappily married. And here are the possible reasons why:

An Unhappy Marriage Adversely Impacts Health

Researchers at the universities of Nevada and Michigan investigated whether an unhappy marriage can harm health. They found that chronically unhappy couples were plagued by health issues such as changes in appetite, inflammation, secretion of excessive stress hormones, nervousness, lower immunity levels, disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, and even heart problems.

High-Conflict Unhappy Marriages Impact Children Psychologically

Children, no matter how young they are, can easily sense trouble brewing at home and get very disturbed at the sight of their parents quarreling. Now, quarreling is a normal part of marriage, but when the quarreling turns into constant fighting and conflict, the tension can impact children’s mental health and make them feel troubled and anxious, at home as well as outside. The psychological scars left from the fighting and tension between the parents can continue to devastate them even in their adult life.

Children from homes in which there is significant, ongoing parental conflict  can grow into aggressive, angry, or emotionally immature adults with a negative attitude. Moreover, they may not trust others and have very low self-esteem. They may even resort to substance abuse at a young age in these circumstances.

Communication Breakdown in a Toxic Atmosphere

Spouses often criticize each other and even get abusive in an unhappy marriage. They indulge in more negativity than positivity. Aggressive defense, sharp criticism, verbal (or physical) attacks that irritate or hurt, fiery arguments, and more such unpleasant behaviors lead to a very toxic and unfriendly atmosphere at home.

Over time, such couples grow distant and stop (or limit) communicating with each other because they know the outcome will be unpleasant and negative. They seek an exit and feel happier when they are alone.

Inability to Find Someone Compatible

Staying put in a toxic marriage deprives the spouse of meeting a better partner for life. They stay cooped up and hemmed in, play victim, sulk all the time, and generally waste away a life that could be happier and productive if they end the current relationship and find their Ms/Mr. Right.

Starting a new life may appear daunting, but it is sometimes better than staying in a bad marriage.

An Unhappy Marriage Causes Hopelessness

People expect good things out of a marriage – compatibility, happy family with children playing around, a sense of security, family time, hopes for a bright future, happiness, and growing old together.

A toxic marriage delivers just the opposite and leads to a hopeless situation and a feeling of despair. When hopelessness gets extreme, it can trigger even suicidal thoughts.

Faking It

Many couples fake it and stretch out a bad marriage, maybe because rather than their own happiness they care more about what society, their friends, and relations may think of them if they break the marriage. The reality, however, is quite different – neighbors and distant relations hardly care about what may be going on in anyone else’s life. In fact, they may actually be chipping in to make matters worse by spreading scandalous gossip in the couple’s social circle. As far as close relations and friends are concerned, what matters to them is the happiness of their loved ones at any cost.

So, it doesn’t make any sense to continue living an unhappy life and pretend life for the sake of others.

A successful divorce ends conflicts and can bring hope and happiness to both the spouses and their children. Divorce is always a difficult decision, but sometimes it is worth going for one rather than hanging around in an unhappy marriage.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
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Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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