I’m Stuck in an Unhappy Marriage and Want a Divorce! I Think I Want a Divorce? Or Do I??…..


Nothing is worse than being stuck in an unhappy marriage. You are a participant in an aggressive game of the what ifs. Should I hang in there and try to make it work? One more thing is said, and that is it I am leaving! But will you get up and leave?

Truth is, you don’t want a divorce.

However, you do not want to live the way that you have been either. In your head you have gone over and over this a thousand times but yet you can not decide.

You are stuck.

Being Stuck Sucks  

Being stuck is a lousy place to be. One minute you are ready to get a divorce. You are done! You are leaving and never coming back! Your marriage is killing you and you know it.

Then your mind goes to the next step, realizing what the divorce means.  In addition, you think about your kids and wonder if you are able to make it on your own financially. You think about having to spend the rest of your life alone. Suddenly, leaving your spouse doesn’t seem like such a fabulous idea.

As a result you stay.  Still not happy, but you stayed. You want to leave but you do not. The price of a divorce seems to high as much as you may want one. Yet the intangible price of staying married and miserable is costing you more.

Why people get stuck in an unhappy marriage 

There are many different reasons that we become unhappy in our marriages. However, the main reason people get stuck in their marriage is their beliefs. They want to do one thing, in this case leave but their beliefs tell them to stay.

The most common beliefs that will keep you stuck in an unhappy marriage:

1. Marriage is supposed to be forever.

Leaving my marriage would make me a liar, a quitter, a failure and a fraud.

2. No marriage is perfect.

I should just tough it out even though my spouse is an alcoholic, gambler, drug addict and or an adulterer.

3. Staying married is best for the kids.

It is better to continue to fight in front of them, than to make them come from a broken family.

4. I made vows years ago and I am sticking to those words.

I may have been naïve and made a mistake, or things changed and the marriage is toxic, I am not leaving. Ever. Those words mean something!

5. Divorce is against my religion.

No matter how miserable, unhealthy, and dangerous not only to me but to my children the marriage has become, I must stay married because God said so.

6. If I work harder, everything will be okay.

Even though I may have been working on fixing my marriage for years I will try harder. I will do more than ever before and everything will work out.

7. If I get divorced what will people think?

Everyone thinks we are the perfect couple. I can not disappoint them!

8. I don’t know if I can survive on my own.

We are not millionaires! If we get divorced I need to find a better job, or live on less income. Not sure I can do that.

9. If we get divorced I will not see my kids every day.

Sure, the kids are in school. They have activities. Don’t forget I work too. I don’t see them 100% of the time anyways but I don’t want to give up any time with them!

10. I can make this work!

My spouse checked out of the marriage years ago, not a big deal! I will fix this by really wearing her down to fix it. This is the year we will fix it and make it work!

How to Get Unstuck 

If you believe any of the above, than getting divorced is not going to seem possible for you. This is why you feel stuck. Violating your beliefs doesn’t look like an option for you.

If you firmly believe that marriage should last forever under any and all circumstances, you are going to have a hard time wrapping your head around the idea of getting a divorce.

The key to freeing yourself from an impossible marital situation is to change the way you are thinking about it. In other words, you have to change your beliefs.

The Truth About Your Beliefs 

Your beliefs, my beliefs and your friend’s beliefs, we were not born with them. They are a byproduct of our environment (parents & family) and we were told what to believe. What is right and wrong. Therefore, when they spoke and told us what is right, we believed them without question.

This gave us our moral compass to live by. It made sense. And as we grew older, life changed. Society changed. We changed.

Those beliefs? They stayed exactly the same.

As revolutionary as it may sound, now may be the time to open your mind. For example, if your old beliefs are keeping you stuck, now may be a good time to revisit them.

How do you do that? Ask yourself, “Is this belief true? Is it absolutely true 100% of the time? Or is true in some situation and not so much with others?”

How to Decide if You Want a Divorce

Deciding whether you truly want a divorce or not is a monumental decision to make. Examining your belief system will be the first of many steps in your decision making process. You will examine more than just your beliefs before you make the decision to stay in your marriage or not. However, reexamining your beliefs may give you power and a little wiggle room to get yourself unstuck and decide on the best course on moving forward.

Nikki Boxler