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Reasons Why People Stay in an Unhappy Marriage

Updated on November 26, 2017
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It is wonderful to investigate, gain knowledge and know how before making major decisions in life. Knowledge is power.

There are other reasons besides the children for two people to honor the promise made to each other..

The old saying life is to short to be unhappy has a touch of truth in it. Why remain miserable if you have a choice to be something else?
The old saying life is to short to be unhappy has a touch of truth in it. Why remain miserable if you have a choice to be something else?

Couples marry and make the vow to remain faithful and in love with the other for life in thousands of languages and at nearly any age. There is an honest promise to do so when saying yes to the act of tying the knot. Neither party is looking into the future with any intention of breaking the vow when standing before one another.

This is generally one of the happiest times of a relationship. Through thick and thin, better or worse is the mantra. Helping one another when in need it is all part of the package. For countless couples the feelings are too complicated to be expressed by the common intonation, so personal or unique vows are written. What happens when the dream is no longer there? The belief in the mantra holds no meaning?

What happened to the magic?

There are things later down the road of life no one ever sees coming. Unforeseeable circumstances come along which no one predicted while walking down the isle hand in hand. These are events, occurrences, dealings, incidents and occurrences which change everything when it comes to marriage.

Couples don’t say “I do” with the expectation to say “I do not” later on. Divorce does take place every day of the month and year. Though, for more than a few make the choice to stay in unhappy marriages. What motivates individuals to do so?


Happiness is a feeling anyone enjoys. If the relationship gets in the way of this feeling, make a change. Why not simply call it quits and end things? Divorce is a negative word. Though, how the world views those getting one has evolved over the years.

Historically it was something of a scarlet letter, especially for women. There was an assumption of a flaw in a person in this situation. There are countries who permit it only inside of a list of necessary requirements and religions who absolutely forbid it.

The jury is still out on the evolution of the act. Has the negative connotation been eliminated with time and is it more acceptable? There are no easy answers to this question. When a couple rejects calling it quits and remain with one another, what are the reasons?

For the children

Some couples stay together for the sake of the kids. Simply waiting until the little ones leave home puts things on hold. When offspring are old enough to understand mom and dad divorcing is an option makes it okay. Nearly all children admit understanding something is fishy or wrong with the parent relationship before an explanation or action is taken.

There are people on both sides of the fence as to whether this is a healthy dynamic for the family unit. Countless people and more important doctors believe it is not. In fact, a more healthy atmosphere exists without both parents in the same house.

The full picture of the home life is far from what anyone imagines. The plan is to keep everything the same. No change until the offspring has all gone out of the house is not always possible.

What is strategically planned is not necessarily what takes place. A couple of years sounds easy. It is typically easier said than done.

Negative emotions during this time period

Going through life, even a few years in this state of affairs is a great sacrifice for a person. The emotions felt living under this cloud are exhausting. There are those folks who describe it as going uphill and then down again and repeating the process.When positive feelings are not possible, more negative ones creep in.

Generally mom and dad remain faithful to one another during this time. Affairs and ugly confrontations are avoided. This is the norm, but there are exceptions. Unfaithful husbands and wives create feelings of mistrust.

The most commonly identified are loneliness along with depression. Both have the potential to impact the very same kids staying in the home was designed to save. The cure has the potential to become worse than the disease.

Miss out on life

Time is measured differently depending on what is taking place. For instance, it seems as if getting to the vacation spot takes twice as long as going home. In reality the same distance is traveled. The only change is the outlook or perspective of going to a fun place or coming back from a fun spot. There is a similar feel in this setting.

A constant look toward the future holds the possibility of missing out on what is going on now. This is a terrible tragedy for the entire family. There is typically drugs, alcohol and other remedies to make it through the time. Depression and anxiety run rampant for everyone. Life is passing the entire family by waiting for tomorrow.

Thinking everything positive is poised to happen after the divorce makes for a habit of overlooking all of those special moments taking place now.

Kids are more secure when parents are as well. It is a fact there are minors misusing drugs or being in trouble coming from broken homes. There are also those with a higher rate of being in trouble with both parents in the home, but with the same characteristics of a broken one.


Money makes the world go around and countless times it is the glue holding together two people when the love is gone. People remain for this state of affairs more times than imaginable. Sometimes it is cheaper to remain with one another than taking it to the next level.

It is too expensive process

Getting one costs money people don’t always have available. The process isn’t free no matter where a person lives. Some are certainly cheaper than others. Yet, a couple of thousand dollars is possibly the difference in someone finding themselves in a home or homeless. The rich have issues with money and divorce for different reasons.

Marrying for financial gain

Married for financial reasons occurs with rich as well as poor husbands and wives. The wealthy refuse to share millions (or billions) as a consequence of freedom from matrimony. The poor simply are unable to get the extra dollars needed to separate from an undesirable bride or bridegroom.


Tradition isn’t a long standing anti-divorce tactic in America as much as it was years ago. However, in some countries it is not an option because of tradition or tradition dictates no matter what remain married.


For some religions and beliefs it is never discussed or considered. Divorce is a word as foreign as killing the spouse to get out. The belief a husband is to always the provider keeps a wife from working even though she desires it. Others have a wife beaten or degraded by a husband because of the belief he is able to do anything.


For instance, a bride or bridegroom was chosen by family members and a contract ensued before the ceremony. Money and/or property is sometimes exchanged which cannot be replaced or reimbursed.

Health insurance

Believe it or not some endure an unhappy marriage for health insurance benefits. This is a situation that possibly measures up against money and decide which one comes out on top. Families and individuals have filed bankruptcy and lost in the world because of unpaid medical bills for a chronic or catastrophic illness.

Bankrupt a family

Without health insurance getting sick is a scary situation. If a spouse has health care coverage for an expensive, chronic condition the unhealthy spouse stays. Some sicknesses costs millions to treat over a number of years or possibly bankrupt a family before the patient is even cured or well enough to go home.

The frightening truth of bankruptcy and losing a life savings, retirement or a home is enough to remain in an unhappy marriage for numerous folks.


A lot of religions in no way permit divorce. Divorce is accepted as a great sin and jeopardizes the immortal soul. Accepting a situation for what it is and the fact nothing is possible to change it makes the ride a little smoother.

There are some exceptions

Married for religious beliefs is a very large reason why countless couples find themselves still together staying in an unhappy marriage that would otherwise be divorced. Under no circumstance is this action possible for lots of religions. Though, some make an exception depending on a set of specific circumstances. Typically both couples have to agree to the decision a church makes about the request. In the end they have the power of yes or no.

The conviction coming with religion as the angle is widespread throughout different followings. No one religion has a stronghold on the anti-divorce option.


Loneliness or being alone is a real threat for more than a few. This is found a lot among those couples in the golden years of the relationship. This is later in life when the kids have gone and the grandchildren even have their own lives now.

Couples stay together rather than the option of being alone by divorcing. They are devoted to one another, even when the feelings of love and commitment are long gone. Being alone is a strong motivator for people to stay in an unhappy marriage.

There are certainly worse things, but for some there really isn't. They know the habits and routines of this other half of the whole and are able to live with it rather than on their own.

What are your personal thoughts? Please share them with me

Do you think people should stay in an unhappy marriage if they do not have to?

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Arranged marriages hardly ever end in divorce

Married in name only

Staying married when you no longer want to be does have a work around. Remain with one another in name only. Married in name only is self-explanatory. Each one is free to make decisions as they pertain to each person alone.This circumstance is not actually being a couple together. The tie to one another is by a piece of paper only. There is no commitment to share any parts of an individual's life with this other person.

Freedom to do whatever

Each individuals does whatever they desire without regards for another. Some live alone with their own things, home or lifestyle. With this sort of freedom, what is the point of getting a divorce? Countless couples live on different sides of town, in distinct cities or even on different continents all the while both remain married to each other.

Both agree to the deal

These are folks who make the decision to live separate lives without a divorce. They typically bypass sharing the holidays and family activities as a couple. There are excuses for people unaware of the situation about their spouse. It simply understood each one is single in everything but name.

Social status

Social status and peer pressure exist for a few even well into their adult life. There are some people who feel a need to climb the social ladder. Without it the assumption is falling from an invisible perch by leaving unhappy marriage thru divorce.

Not enough strength

Instead of being strong enough to oppose whatever social climbing status they have achieved with their marriage by getting a divorce, these are a few that remain together instead.

Arranged marriages

There are still couples coming to the alter through arranged marriages. These are husband and wife betrothed to each other even at the age of seven or eight. This happens in countries around the world, even America.

Arranged marriages generally have no divorce option because it is possibly costly not only to the couple, but to extended families and their families livelihood. The ripple effect is tremendous for most of these. They not only have their own lives to consider, but the lives of all involved in the process.

In conclusion

These are reasons couples find themselves in an unhappy marriage and contemplating a divorce, but not taking the next step to make it happen. When you are unhappy in marriage and deliberating about a divorce you generally take into account what your next actions will be.

Tons of emotions come into play. Most reflect on actions and decisions throughout the relationship. They remember, judge and think long and hard weighing all of the consequences and outcomes prior to making a final decision. It is not something decided over a lunch hour.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment for most. Though, there are times when things simply don’t work out. For these folks there are reasons they will stay in an unhappy marriage even when things don’t seem to work out for the best in their personal situation.

Counseling to save the relationship is always a consideration. Find out more about it.

A back tattoo is not the way to go dude. What if the answer is no.
A back tattoo is not the way to go dude. What if the answer is no.
He could not wait for her to come out of the restroom before asking for her hand. Scarier still is who filmed this in there with the happy couple? Is this really the story to tell the kids about how daddy asked mommy?
He could not wait for her to come out of the restroom before asking for her hand. Scarier still is who filmed this in there with the happy couple? Is this really the story to tell the kids about how daddy asked mommy?

Weird but true proposals

There are some crazy ways to ask him or her to say yes. Everyone has heard the one about the enormous monitor at a professional football, baseball or basketball game. Though, more unique ones exist which did not get the same amount of press. These are a few;

a. Sitting on Santa's lap at the mall. She is on the big guy in the red suit's knee when the future hubby is bent on one knee in front of both with ring in hand. Did she ask the big man for a great husband for Christmas?

b. The courtesy counter at Walmart. He said he was just standing around and thinking about it and thought what the heck. Nothing to do but wait in line to check out so to save time or kill two birds with one stone he did it. There is the idea he simply was not a romance type of kind. Practicality was the strong suit.

c. With a back tattoo. This is a little scary. What if she said no. Would the guy cross off the old fiancee and put the new one in over the top for the next try at marriage?

These are all weird and almost preposterous, but all true. Getting the deed done is not as romantic as most imagine. Could it be it is not the journey, but the destination which is important?

Questions surround motives for taking the plunge to undo one of the most important decisions in life

There are those people who marry, divorce and remarry the same spouse. Others take the same route, but select a different person to try again. How about men or women who try a third, fourth or even fifth time.

The second time around a true soul mate was found. The second go around held for life. Contentment is sustained. There is a question as to what happened with time. Did the original person making the commitment change or did the spouse?

Studies show the longer two individuals stay married the less likely they are to divorce. Are better decisions made with age? Most admit to an assumption of age and reason.

Others admit it possibly something more. Youth does yield inexperience, but the fear of being alone all of the time outweighs being unhappy some of the time.

© 2011 smcopywrite


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    • profile image

      Angela 3 years ago

      Is it selfish to stay married but live separately and move back to one's own country?

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      Sometimes the LORD tells to Stay: THERE ARE REASONS FOR BEING THERE--NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT US. SOMETIMES THEIR SOUL IS AT STAKE--in a very difficult situation. One can check and double-check WITH THE LORD: Nope--I WANT YOU THERE. He sent--Hagar back to submit to HARSH treatment. Yet he had the power to free Sarah from abduction by the king. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO DO WITH THE LORD. Everything else is our own WILL--selfish. THE WILL--OF GOD IS LOOKING OUT FOR THE GOOD OF ALL. SOMETIMES IN THIS FALLEN WORLD ARE FALLEN SITUATIONS THAT NEED OUR PRESENCE: THERE IS MORE AT STAKE THAN US--WE WANT THE WHOLE WORLD SAVED!HEART-CROSS

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      brian this is so true. it was scary to pick out your major for college. what do you want to do for the rest of your a young adult any question about the rest of your life is a big darn deal.

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 6 years ago

      Great points. It occurred to me during the doubts of my first marriage that when I made the commitment, I was a kid with no idea about what that meant or what I was getting into. Over decades we change and life changes, it's pretty unreasonable to expect a 20 year old to know what partner they want for the rest of their lives. For me, that is just insanity.

    • NotSoPerfect profile image

      NotSoPerfect 6 years ago from United States

      Great input. Voting up, useful and interesting!