The answer to how to be happy again might not include divorce
Are you caught in a thought loop where you can’t stop thinking that your marriage has ruined your life? Take a moment to seriously consider the question. Is your marriage to your spouse the reason that your life is unfulfilling, and is your marriage the reason your life will never be fulfilling? If you feel as though your marriage is the reason you’re miserable, it’s important to make sure there are no additional underlying causes for your lack of fulfillment in life. Depending on the circumstances, it can be hard to pinpoint where your unhappiness is stemming from, and, as many people have found, a marriage can be a convenient scapegoat.
Where Is Your Spouse Failing?
Get out a pen and paper; on one side, list the expectations you have for your spouse. On the other side of the paper, list the expectations you have that your spouse isn’t meeting and detail out what ways they aren’t meeting your expectations. For example, if you expect your spouse to make time for you and your family, make sure you detail specific examples of when you feel this didn’t happen. Perhaps they work too late, too often. Or, maybe, they don’t put enough effort into planning family outings. Whatever the reasons are, make sure that there are indeed examples of your spouse failing to meet your expectations.
Review Your Expectations
Now it’s time to review your expectations. Consider the following questions: Are all of your expectations 100% realistic? Are there any expectations that you could live without? Or, are there any expectations that you could relax a little? If there are expectations you’re willing to change, or compromise on, you may be able to work with your spouse toward a happier marriage. It’s also possible that your expectations are too high, or unrealistic. When we set unreasonably high expectations, we make it easy for those around us to disappoint us.
Review Your Spouse
We’ve also got a list of questions for when you’re reviewing your spouse and their short-comings. Have you told your spouse they aren’t meeting your expectations? And, if you have, is your spouse working on making changes? If your spouse was magically able to meet the expectations you’ve listed, would that fix your unhappiness? A lot of times, married people will blame their spouse when they aren’t satisfied with life. If your spouse suddenly meeting your expectations would not fix your unhappiness, it may be a sign that your unhappiness isn’t stemming from the marriage itself.
When Your Spouse Is the Problem
If you know your expectations are reasonable and you have clearly communicated those to your spouse, and your spouse still cannot meet them, or will not even try to meet them, your marriage may be holding you back from happiness. With most expectations, there’s room for compromise. However, every person has things that they refuse to compromise on, and shouldn’t compromise on. A person should very reasonably be able to expect that their spouse will not physically or emotionally abuse them. If this is an expectation your spouse is unwilling to meet, you need to leave now.
When You’re Unfulfilled
If you are beginning to feel as though you’re unhappy, not because of your marriage but because you feel unfulfilled in life, we have good news for you. Finding fulfillment in life is often much easier than going through a divorce. When was the last time you did something that would make you happy? It may be that it’s been too long since you’ve done something that you enjoy. A lot of people struggle with finding their happiness. If you’re currently struggling, now is not a time to avoid speaking with a professional. A licensed therapist may be able to help you work through whatever is causing your lack of fulfillment, and help you figure out how to be happy again.
Is Your Marriage Over?
Knowing whether or not your marriage is really over is something a lot of people struggle with. In No One Dies from Divorce, the first two chapters are dedicated to helping people decide when to save their marriage and when to leave their marriage. The rest of the book is about how to be happy again after divorce. If you know your marriage is over, CoilLaw is here for you. Our attorneys are committed to helping you start over and begin your life again. If you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life, contact CoilLaw today.