1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Does the Bad Outweigh the Good in Your Marriage?


Have you spent years investing time, effort and energy in your marriage? Is the only return you’ve gotten on your investment ambivalance? Does it seem that no matter what you do, the bad outweighs the good in your marriage?

It may sound cynical but you may need to make a list of pros and cons and decide whether your marriage is worth anymore investment from you. If there are a few good things about your marriage but they are overshadow by negatives it is time to decide whether to let go and move on with your life.

I received an email from a woman whose marriage was a mess. She conveyed to me that her husband yelled and screamed constantly. That she kept secrets from him out of fear of his reaction. She walked on eggshells and measured every word out of fear of his verbal abuse.

Add to that the drinking, cheating, controlling all the money and the fact that he was now verbally abusing their 15-year-old son and I had to wonder why this woman was choosing to stay instead of leave and protect herself and her son.

I’m fully aware that women will stay in a bad marriage for the financial security. It is not easy to leave if you don’t know where you will go or how you will live. I know that men stay in bad marriages for the sake of their relationship with their children.

In other words, people stay stuck in a bad marriage due to fear of what will happen if they leave. None of us marry with the goal of living the rest of our lives in an unhappy marriage. Yet, many of us allow fear to keep us from taking the steps we need to to find happiness, either within our marriage or on our own.

So, I challenge you to sit down and make a list of pros and cons. One that list is done if the cons outweigh the pros do something other than live with the idea that you are stuck. That may mean getting you and your spouse into intensive marital counseling. If that doesn’t work it may mean filing for a divorce and rebuilding and living a more fulfilling life.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.