• Jan 21, 2023

How an Unhappy Marriage Affects Your Mental Health

How an Unhappy Marriage Affects Your Mental Health

Marriage can bring immense joy to one’s life. Having a loving and trusting relationship can be one of the best things in life. However, marriage is not always free from life’s difficulties and challenges. The sad part is that these problems can cause significant strain on the marriage and lead to depression and anxiety. Many of these couples turn to marriage counseling to help them figure out what is wrong with their union. 

While marriage is generally associated with positive effects on well-being, troubled relationships can have a significant negative impact on a couple’s physical and mental health. Unhappy relationships do not benefit from the positive health effects that a healthy marriage would provide. Constant arguments and conflicts can cause harmful responses in the body that worsen the health of couples.

What are the negative effects of a bad and unhappy marriage on your mental health?

An unhappy marriage affects your mental health. It can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. People are highly influenced by the attitudes and actions of their romantic partners. When those attitudes and actions make you feel unloved and worthless, it can negatively impact your mind. This  needs to be addressed right away through marriage counseling. 

Increased Anxiety and Depression

Studies show that our brains are programmed to depend on the person we form a bond with to manage our emotions. When experiencing fear, sadness, or anxiety, we rely on the person we love to show empathy and understanding. If our emotional needs are met with indifference, rejection, or anger, it can lead to issues with anxiety and depression.

If you are prone to anxiety, it is important for your partner to provide reassurance of their love. Be honest to them when they dismiss you during moments of stress. Telling someone who is anxious that they are overreacting emotionally only increases their anxiety.

In addition, feeling sad and depressed may be your way of dealing with an unhappy marriage. It leads to a withdrawal from the world and a loss of interest in enjoyable activities. As depression worsens, it can also cause issues with sleep, focus, weight changes, and a lack of energy.

Low Self-esteem

Children with strong, secure identities are those whose parents are emotionally available to them, both during happy and difficult times. These parents provide encouragement and support for their children to confront their fears, and remind them that it’s normal to feel hurt, fail, or be mistreated. This kind of support forms the foundation for a healthy sense of self. 

However, any issues with identity that may have developed during childhood can carry over into adulthood and affect one’s marriage. These struggles can put strain on the relationship and make existing identity and confidence problems worse. 

When a person does not have the support and validation of their partner as an adult, it can be difficult for them to feel secure and confident in themselves. Individuals who stay in unhappy marriages tend to have lower self-esteem, overall health, happiness, and life satisfaction. They are also at risk of higher levels of psychological distress.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is commonly associated with traumatic events such as car accidents, but it can also be caused by the betrayal of a trusted loved one. This kind of betrayal can be incredibly psychologically devastating. It causes the body to enter a heightened state of alert to protect itself from emotional harm. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and a lack of control, making the individual feel as if they are going insane. They  live in constant fear of being betrayed again. It is possible that certain reminders of the betrayal can trigger a paralyzing fear response.

Traumatic events can happen in marriage. Abused spouses are susceptible to developing emotional and psychological trauma symptoms. Unless the couples go to marriage counseling, it will be difficult to bring back the sense of trust and security within the marriage. 

What happens if you are in an unhappy marriage?

A bad marriage goes beyond just being unhealthy. There is a strong connection between your body and the state of your marriage. When a couple does not receive the proper care and attention they need, it can lead to physical deterioration. It puts one’s overall well-being at high risk of developing health issues,

Bad and unhappy marriages increase stress and can lead to higher levels of cortisol, which can negatively impact the immune system, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar. A study revealed that individuals who exhibit more hostile and contemptuous behavior towards their partners have higher levels of stress hormones and weaker immune systems. 

Every married couple strives to have a happy, healthy, and lasting marriage. But problems occur, and they can be pretty overwhelming and difficult to process. A bad marriage can indicate that the relationship has reached a point where everything seems hopeless and pointless. 

However, if both partners are willing to put in the effort, there may still be hope for improvement. The result may depend on the specific issues present and the willingness of all parties to make the effort to change and fix any problems. Achieving perfection is not a feasible goal in relationships. Couples must be fully committed to improving their marriage and seeking marriage counseling. 

If you are having a hard time surviving in your marriage, Mindshift Psychological Services can help you. Visit our website to learn more about our marriage counseling and psychotherapy for couples sessions. You may also contact us at (714) 584-9700