Staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you do

From this article.

New Marriage Foundation research reveals the majority of couples who are unhappy when their first child is born are happy ten years later if they stay together.

Of parents who are unhappy at the time of the birth of their first child, seven in ten stay together and of these the majority (68 per cent) are happy ten years later.

Twenty seven per cent of unhappy parents who stay together end up ‘extremely happy,’ rating happiness with their relationship a top mark of seven out of seven.

With rates of family breakdown at record levels in the UK, the research suggests too many couples are giving up on their marriages before they have given them a chance to succeed.

Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation, commented: “Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do.

“Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.

It should come as no surprise that those couples that can work through their unhappiness and conflict will bond closer together and usually come out happy on the other side. However, we have a culture that says to quit on marriage when you’re unhappy or your feelings are telling you otherwise.

The most interesting point from reading the study is that:

The parents most likely to split up during the subsequent ten years were those who reported they were neither happy nor unhappy when their child was born. The same was true for couples who suspected they were ‘on the brink’. The parents most likely to split up were those who were unsure if their relationship was on the brink or not.

So there was a bell shaped curve where unhappy and happy had the lowest rates of divorce, but those who were neither unhappy or happy had the highest rates of divorce.

This too makes some sense with some critical thinking. At least someone who is unhappy in their situation cares about their situation. If someone is not unhappy or happy they tend to be more apathetic, which is a death knell for relationships. If any spouse just doesn’t care anymore (has checked out), that’s more likely to signal the end than unhappiness.

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8 Responses to Staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you do

  1. Investment/Skin In The Game, applies to practically everything, in the end.

  2. purge187 says:

    The fact that a relationship gets rocky right around the time that kids enter the picture should come as no surprise. Your sleep, sex lives and free time are all disjointed. It’s stressful as hell, which is why I don’t intend to do it myself.

  3. That Brotha Pedat says:

    Interesting article.

    DS, my apologies for being slightly off topic…but – children aside – a couple where one person is Dismissive/Avoidant and the other is Anxious/Attached is merely going to be hell. A bitter pill to swallow.

    What should a person do if the guy/gal they married simply does not have the time, interest, or ability to bond with their spouse in a loving way?

    Suck it up is what our standard response would be.

    But unfortunately, all the Anxious/Attached people that I know who were told (or heard) by people in the Red Pill manosphere or by some traditionalists that they should stay in their marriages and suck it up are either now addicted to drugs, food, depressed, or have simply lost their faith.

    It’s easy to tell someone to remain in their marriage when the person you’re married to would step over you if you were lying in a pool or blood – or tears…when you haven’t been there.

    The Bible tells me to dwell with my wife in an understanding way. If my wife couldn’t give two fucks about my desire to obey the command to love, protect, cover, wash, dwell, and sacrifice, she can get the fuck out.

    If my daughter was married to a man who couldn’t give two fucks about the command to love, protect, cover, wash, dwell, and sacrifice, I’m going to tell her to do the same; separate – with the understanding that marriage is no longer going to be a part of her journey. If she’s good to separate and be single for the rest of her life – then it’s all good. If not, then she’s going to have to suffer and use whatever method to cope with such a husband the best she can.

    Or she can make him a special pound cake. LOL

    Which is why I won’t be getting married.

    DS, I have an idea of a post for you.

    I don’t know how much you know about Attachment Theory, but I’d be interested to see your take on how understanding such things might be a good arrow in the quiver for how RP Christian men can vet women for marriage, as well as how they can help their offspring vet partners for marriage.

  4. Novaseeker says:

    The best way to approach the newborn/young children phase of a marriage is to be aware that it is going to be extremely challenging, to plan around that in advance, and to be generous with each other during that time. Most people don’t do this because they are caught up in the busy-ness and emotion of the moment, and that is where problems shoot up like weeds.

  5. @ That Brotha Pedat

    It’s easy to tell someone to remain in their marriage when the person you’re married to would step over you if you were lying in a pool or blood – or tears…when you haven’t been there.
    The Bible tells me to dwell with my wife in an understanding way. If my wife couldn’t give two fucks about my desire to obey the command to love, protect, cover, wash, dwell, and sacrifice, she can get the fuck out.
    If my daughter was married to a man who couldn’t give two fucks about the command to love, protect, cover, wash, dwell, and sacrifice, I’m going to tell her to do the same; separate – with the understanding that marriage is no longer going to be a part of her journey. If she’s good to separate and be single for the rest of her life – then it’s all good. If not, then she’s going to have to suffer and use whatever method to cope with such a husband the best she can.

    Which is why I won’t be getting married.

    Well, that’s the hard part about the Christian marital roles and responsibilities. They’re unconditional.

    God can certainly give you the grace, peace, and joy to walk through it, but you gotta want to honor God over man.

    I don’t know how much you know about Attachment Theory, but I’d be interested to see your take on how understanding such things might be a good arrow in the quiver for how RP Christian men can vet women for marriage, as well as how they can help their offspring vet partners for marriage.

    Do you have a link for this ‘Attachment theory’?

  6. That Brotha Pedat says:

    DS,

    Take your pick…LOL

    https://goo.gl/fT4v3b

    How adults bond is impacted primarily by how their relationships were with their parents. In the RP Manosphere, we do cover certain questions about how a woman related to her Father and Mother and the other people around her in her upbringing, but not in a scientific way, you dig?

    https://www.verywellmind.com/attachment-styles-2795344
    https://thepowermoves.com/attachment-styles-with-examples/

    As I said before, all of the Christian couples I know where one partner is Avoidant/Dismissive and the other is Anxious/Attached are DOOMED. Doomed. I’m bordering on blasphemy here, but no amount of prayer or sacrifice can sanctify someone who is averse to any sort of lasting intimacy with their partner.

    And this may go against the grain, but I think that this is what some women and men mean when they say their partners can’t relate or connect with them. It’s not about his or her FEELZ, it’s about the fact that their partner’s soul and spirit has been damaged by life or by their upbringing to the point where there is a hard stop at a certain level of intimacy.

    Not to be tangential, but how can I dwell with my wife according to knowledge when being vulnerable/intimate enough to be loved and led according to the scriptural mandate is agonizing to her soul.

    This is why vetting is important…boundaries too.

    The men I work with have desired to love their wives to the letter, and their relationship started and has been running off the momentum of his love and sacrifice, and they woke up one day and realized that’s all they had. A secure man and a fearful/avoidant woman is probably what RP brothers are going to call a captain-save-a-ho situation. Except she’s not a ho…she’s broken – if not damn near shattered. Do you love her more – or less. Who wants to live like that – trying to convince a woman day and night that “it’s all good…”?

    I know..us RP men don’t care about broken people…but Christ does. Doesn’t mean I need to marry one though.

  7. Jack says:

    I started a study of attachment theory, but it quickly became complicated, and so got relegated to the “to do later” folder. The basic ideas are here.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory

  8. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Happiness is not the telos of marriage. I repeat happiness is not the end or purpose of marriage. The covenant of marriage exists for holiness, modeling the Gospel, producing a godly seed and taking dominion. Happiness may happen but sometimes people do not get the for better but receive for worse, yet the until death do you part is still in effect. Thus staying in a happy marriage is easier, but staying in an unhappy marriage is a demonstration of covenant faithfulness that is tested and tried. To be Christlike is to remain faithful to the covenant even if it means being mocked tortured and killed.

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