Why You Should Not Be Married...

6 Reasons Not to Stay Married (found on Project Happily Ever After website)

1.    The kids. If you are in a hopelessly miserable marriage, you’ll do more harm to your children by staying put than you will by getting out. By enduring misery, you teach your children, “I don’t deserve to be happy.” By putting up with abuse, you teach your children, “Never rock the boat. Take crap from others at all costs.” By staying in a hopeless situation, you also teach them how not to communicate, how not to have healthy relationships, and how not to be assertive. Is this what you want to teach your children?

2.    You feel obligated. I have news for you: you don’t have to do anything. There are no “have tos” in life. None. You don’t have to go to work. You don’t have to get out of bed in the morning. You don’t have to stay in your marriage. Every single thing you do or don’t do in life is a choice-and it’s your choice. Take control of your life by owning your choices. No one is forcing you stay in a miserable marriage. You have the choice to get out. Which choice will you make?

3.    You don’t want to be alone. Being scared of singlehood is similar to a kid who is scared of the dark. You’re scared of it because you don’t know it. You can get used to being alone. You can even come to enjoy it. By being alone, you just might find yourself. You’ll grow into a stronger, more complete person.

4.    You made a promise. You’ve probably made many promises to yourself that you’ve eventually broken. Think back to any number of New Year’s Resolutions. Why should this one be so different? The most important promise for you to keep is this one: I promise to do what I need to do in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

5.    You’d rather have the misery you know than the misery you don’t know. Misery is misery. More important, life is one big problem. The sooner you start solving your problems and making the necessary changes in your life, the less miserable you will become. Misery happens when you stand still and do nothing. If you embrace change, you’ll also embrace happiness.

6.    You’re afraid of what will happen to your spouse if you leave. You are not responsible for your spouse. You are responsible for your self. By staying with your spouse, you are enabling your spouse’s dysfunction. If your spouse has an addiction, an anger problem, a drinking problem, or depression and refuses to seek help, the best thing you can do is remove yourself as a crutch. Once your spouse is forced to walk on his or her own two feet-as all grownups should-he or she might just grow up and seek treatment.

In the end, you should stay in your marriage because you want to, not because you think you have to. You stay in your marriage because you believe it has potential. You stay in your marriage because, most of the time, you still love your spouse. You stay in your marriage because, by being with your spouse, you see yourself growing into a stronger, happier person.

You stay in your marriage because you’ve made the choice to do so.

You get out of a marriage because you’ve made the choice to do so, too. Not every marriage can be saved. Try everything to improve your marriage. If your spouse refuses to change or you see not one ounce of improvement after several months of hard work, it’s time to think about getting a divorce and start thinking about living the rest of your life.

No one can tell you the right thing to do. It’s your decision. It’s your choice. It’s your life. It’s your happiness.

imathinkin imathinkin
51-55, F
43 Responses May 22, 2010

I love this post! This is so succinct - and relatively older too. I'm commenting in hopes of reviving it to fresh eyes (like I see Bazzar did in 2012). This one sums it up REALLY WELL.

Ok there is a lot of advice here so I thought let me throw in and see what kind of good and bad advice I get. So here's my story. I knew my wife was brought up in sexually repressed religious family. Sex was a martial duty, marriage did not change her upbringing. However she was by far the most supportive, loving, devoted, wife and mother. Sex was rare and performed within limits. In 2003 sex stopped but family life and work filled the hours then in 2006 Our eldest child was killed in a road rage accident. I snapped and attacked the 51 yr. old driver of the other car and ended up going to prison. My wife had every reason to leave me to rot, I told her to do just that, but she fought on and stood by me. Still no physical relationship but found that frequent ************ allowed me to focus on the untouchables of marriage. In January she had a devastating stroke, she is totally dependent on me and as I type this she is napping 10 feet away. I cannot deny my sexual desires altogether. I can't ask someone to stay with her so I can go find someone. Then worry and feel guilty. There are days I wish death would take me away from this hell. Then feel guilty for wishing for that. Now anyone have something that might help...

What's your question?

What would you do if you were in my situation?

Like the post said: "No one can tell you the right thing to do. It’s your decision. It’s your choice. It’s your life. It’s your happiness."

In your case, seeing a therapist or counselor would help, because you can work out the separate issues and a plan to deal with them. The point of it is to reach a coherence with the choices you have made, or make choices which make you happier, which requires some time to harmonize logic with emotions (since they are not automatically in tune).

Again, make your own decisions, but if you need emotionally support to resolve what decision to make, it helps to have someone professional to deal with that. Other people come here already making the decision and just wanting a pat on the back to encourage them, but in your case, you seem to need more practice in that. No worries, everyone has different skill levels and you can learn as well.

But, again, it is your decision and happiness. Nobody else can (or should) tell you what to do. That would rob you of the one freedom we always (should) have: freedom to think and choose, within, what to direct our minds towards.

This is all true, and I think #1 especially reflects on how adults who live in a dishonest world are surprised when kids reflect it -- that is only to be expected. You have governments bullying individuals, but are then surprised when kids form gangs to do the same thing they see adults do.

Good stuff.. Many just drag in a bad marriage like a disease and ruin themselves and the future.

Very informative ,and truly much to consider..Thank you !

Great post!

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. As I keep reminding myself; no decision is a decision.

Excellent post. Thanks for the bump Baz. Bump Bump.

I just stumbled across this gem of a post. Have just put this comment on in the hope of reviving it for others to have a look at.

Your posts are well written and admirable.<br />
I have, however...not over come my own relationship problems.<br />
:(<br />
I hope one day I can deal with the sexual needs I cannot seem to provide.<br />
I know in my heart...in my soul...that I am worthy, but the problems lay deeper within myself.<br />
You are truly inspirational.<br />
I hope you find condolence within your path

I did stay for my children.. I felt they needed protection from their crazy (narcissist) mother. Texas courts would have, as a matter of course, given them to her. I did want them to realize that 'good' marriages were not like ours; and I love them.. <br />
<br />
Now I am out of the marriage, they are adults and I hope, have a chance of having normal, loving, caring relationships..

Wish the best for you theaterlover.

Excellent post... I agree with all points.

Honestly the whole kid variable is a toss up. I know certain people who poison their children's mind about their partners, and if the other parent doesnt know. They cant defend themselves and whatever is said is validated.

so don't poisin the kid's mind...just move on

2 years,today i left my husband of 33 years the last 10+ years there was no sex because he was a workaholic and most times i didnt like is aproach ,things like go tidy yourself up woman, or do you fancy a bit etc...i lost interest. my grown up daughters could not understand why i stayed with him .we also had very little in common but he was always a good provider but i also worked my entire lif in our own business .I married him when i just turned 18 and was only the second person id slept with bar my first time that was only once anyway...So friends convinced me to leave him find some <br />
one that loves to go out,someonethat would love me and appreciate the effort i make and love me the same way i love them..Now i am living with a man that loves me to death adores me says i am his solemate his heartbeat.... he was quite the super stud in is younger days im lead to belive.we are both only 53 and i am very young in may ways and looks and he is a looker.also.He suffers depression and has a long time back injury..we made love the first night i met him and have only just done it again after 2 years..in he hardly patisipated at all i felt like i hade raped him and beg him for something perfectly natural..He alawy has a reason not to ...when we move house when my stress drops when im not in pain he says he gets Huge pain in his groin and back...but he will dig holes work on cars and lift heavy stuff and suffer for days .why wont he prioritise what he will suffer pain for.I stay up till early hours in the morning hoping and praying tonight will be the night and it never is.i make my self attractive everynight.I dont push him and only gently coax him them cry myself to sleep..I have had my entire womanhood robbed from me..Im denighed my oppertunities to dress sexy for him like the women in his past and if he loves me more than anyone he ever has why does he give me less the the others...I am heartbroken.... depressed taking pills to get me tr<br />
through he is very hugg and kissie but never intimite and has not touched my ladybits in 2 years not even outside my underwear. he has never run his hands over my breasts and he is a breast man.he just wants to hold me and hug in bed. there is so much more i would like to ask advise on but this already is long so ill leave it at this point....xxxx

I agree with the first. I can't stand my dad anymore.

I am back with my husband following an affair. The list at the start gives most of the reasons that I came back. The most important being my teenage son! I couldnt bear the thought of not being his mother 24/7. As I was the perpetrator I felt I had to leave the marital home so he could move on, understandable. I came back to my home after a few days away, alone, to think things through! He wanted me back! My husbands emotions towards me are overwhelming at a time when I don't want him near me!! What is the future now? I don't love my husband, miss the other man and his emotional input. But that relationship I had to end to fully commit to my husband again, or try to. Would like to live independantly but can't afford to live on my own as I have to and want to support my son in the house he lives with his Dad! I feel hopeless! I feel depressed. Good to share this though.

@WUIT. Could not have said it better. I am right there with you.

Same as you Juana...he FINALLY agreed to counseling as soon as I asked him how he wanted to distribute the joint property. I don't even want to go anymore, but I will, and with an open heart and mind.<br />
<br />
I know what you mean about the income. Leaving the workforce a while back really hurt me. I would have a three-digit income right now, and would have probably left 10 years ago. But, I am willing to leave with cozy life with only my meager current salary, not much to live on.<br />
<br />
Selfish, maybe, but I gave it a good try for many years. If not now, then when SHOULD I look after my "self"?

@jhellifish<br />
You left after 27 years? Please tell me your story. I have been married 26 in a sexless marriage for the last 20, my husband just doesn't touch me and isn't intimate with me, rejects all my advances and attempts. We have 3 children and cannot afford life w/o his income, but for many years I have contemplated leaving. About 4 years ago we both wanted a divorce, then decided to give it 1 more try. Same story different dates. I want to stay married but with intimacy. He is a wonderful father, helps around the house and is a great roommate, just a non-existant spouse.

Good Luck!

This has really given me some insight with my current marriage of 20+ years. All of those reasons are reasons I am staying. (Not so much #3,and#4) . I wouldn't say I'm miserable, but I'm not content and no longer in love with my H. I'm printing this so I can refer to it. Thanks for sharing!

I am so sorry kellen that you feel devastated. I am still married too, trying to find a way out of my marriage. I am also a senior I suppose (not seeing myself as such), but I am optomistic. If I was 90, I would still be optomistic and still be solution-oriented. It is only hopeless if you choose to see it that way.

Thank you for your comment.

Very interesting post - enjoyed all the different views.

I am not saying one should not get married, but to make better choices when considering such a commitment. One should not get married just to be married either.

Thanks for the encouragement.

darlinsam, this is why I haven't completely given up on my situation yet, it's similar to yours as well. At times we have harmony and we all have good times as a family, but the romance and affection, love and sex just doesn't happen for us.

I keep coming back to your story - it is very accurate and well thought out piece. Well done.

common, you are assuming (unfairly judging?) that at least some here are not going with God. If anyone "falls out of love", that indicates that a problem exists. Sure, you can stay together and "save" your marriage out of a sense of duty or honor...that is the life I have now. <br />
<br />
Also, I did not post this story to encourage divorce; I am just showing why it's difficult to leave a bad marriage, and it certainly is not as easy to to resolve as you put it. I love God; He loves me. He cares about my happiness. There are consequences for actions, it's God's law. We have free will, ability to make good choices or bad ones, and are left with the result of our decisions.

commongroundseekr, <br />
<br />
SO, were you the refuser or was he??? If all is well and good, why are you here? Waiting with baited breath for you response. Best CC

People change over time the secret to a long lasting marriage is that no two people fell out of love at the same time. i have loved my husband when he was unlovable i put into practice all that my christian faith had shown me to do. when all else failed i cried out to god that night and in the bl<x>ink of an eye my husband was saved and our marriage was saved never mind what the world teaches you go with god

i agree

A fairytale wedding lasts for maybe three hours. A fairytale marriage?...now that's another matter.

What? Marriage is about copulation and love. I am going to forget all of that and have me a platinum wedding and invite all my wealthy friends. Now that's LIVING!!!! :)

I love it and I agree 100%. Let's put it in stone!!!!!

I like num 5. Good stuff.

I stayed for all these reasons... I finally had the courage to leave, to rescue myself. I hope any who can, will. We all deserve better.<br />
<br />
Princess Feelingsofter

I really feel for you dads married to sexless idiot refusers. The thought of the kids staying in such an emotional vacuum must drive you crazy.<br />
<br />
But...getting out would provide them a different model of living. They may spend 80% of their time in the refuser model, but they would get 20% in an emotionally healthier environment. <br />
<br />
There are books about divorce that talk about insulating the kids. From what I read before I left, kids do okay if the non-residential parent stays involved with them. On the whole, kids do better if they live with dad that if they live with mom, and researchers think it's because the non-residential moms tend to stay involved on a daily or almost-daily basis. <br />
<br />
My daughter was 2 when I left, and she has done amazingly well. She is an extremely happy child, full of love and laughter. Granted, I have not done anything to alienate her from her father, but HE sure has...and despite the increasing amount of time between their contact, she talks ABOUT him all the time and excitedly runs to him whenever he visits. <br />
<br />
Oh, one other thing, it would be very hard for her to move out of your state with the kids. Generally custody judges want to see kids lives remain stable and if one spouse wants to move, they have to have a compelling reason to do so and/or give up custody. I wanted to move home to my parents with my daughter (we had no family or even good friends in the town where we were living) and that was very difficult to accomplish. Well, not too difficult...he was willing to make the deal in exchange for getting the house, keeping all of his 401k, and paying no alimony.

this is the best story and exchange of ideas i have seen on here ever. wakingup, i hear all of your points and understand them can i ask you something? there are times when it all works aren't there. that's how it is here. we have times when we are a great team and i know our kids see that too. it's just a lack of affection between us that is the problem for me. for sure there is no one solution for everyone but i love it that we can come here and exchange ideas and hopes and dreams!

there are lots of hopes and dreams...as long as you are both working toward ALL of them...seems like a good thing...just be grounded in reality

I her a lot about number 6 from other people. They sometimes think it's cold when I say that I don't know what's going to happen to my ex-wife. But, the whole point of the divorce was that she was not willing to be part of an "us", and therefore the consequence is that she has to be responsible for herself. I'm not angry (or try not to be), and prefer to view that aspect with detachment.<br />
<br />
As for WUIT, I did end up with custody of my one still-minor son. Do you know whether your wife would seek custody? Mine turned out to be pretty happy with the idea that I was ready and able to be the full-time parent.

This really demonstrates how children change the whole thing don't they - and I'd wholeheartedly applaud anyone for putting them first. But there's also a line isn't there - if you're that miserable it's not going to be good for your kids is it? But perhaps you can carry on functioning successfully as parents if not as a couple? It's a dilemma, for sure. But thanks for number six especially - need to really start believing this one - but it's hard.

imathinkin, thank you so much for posting this story. It puts everything I try to say to people who are "sticking it out", more accurately and succinctly.

Imathinkin, I totally agree with your list. I do realise that others see this differently, and I do not believe that there is a single right or wrong answer - but for me, the reasons here resonate with truth.<br />
<br />
WUIT, could you have custody of your chiuldren in the event of a divorce? It does seem as if you are the more committed, caring and responsible parent in your children's lives.

i told my legal aged son it was time to move out...he stayed with his dad but saw reality and landed a great job. as for my young daughter i presented it as a win win...she didnt have to choose...she has THREE homes now (mine, dads and she is going on vacation to hang out with her brother) ...she seems happier to me