13 reasons to believe in a bad marriage

Ten years ago Friday, I married my husband. Three years ago Mother’s Day, I gave him an ultimatum: if things don’t get better around here soon, I’m outta here. Three days ago, I sat across from my husband at one of the most expensive restaurants in the Lehigh Valley in celebration of our 10th anniversary.

I can say with conviction that I’m glad I stayed and worked things out. I’m not here to tell you that every marriage can be saved. Some marriages just can’t. Some marriages suffer from irreparable problems, with the biggest being this: only one spouse out of two wants to make things better.

It only takes one person to have a bad marriage, but it definitely takes two to have a good one.

If you are currently mired in a bad place and both of you are willing to work on things, I’d like to give you some hope.

Here are 13 key differences between a bad marriage and a good one:

1.    When your marriage is bad, your spouse will continually break promises, and you will stop trusting him as a result. For instance, my husband promised to wake up early and make me breakfast I don’t know how many times when we had a bad marriage. He never actually did it. So, when, Thursday night, he said, “I’m going to get up early and make you breakfast tomorrow,” I said, “uh huh.” I didn’t believe him. The next morning? He got up early and made French toast and bacon. I almost cried.

2.    When your marriage is bad, you will henpeck your spouse into doing any number of things, ranging from folding the laundry correctly to buying the right brand of milk at the grocery store. Your spouse will make a sport out of not doing the things you ask, because he doesn’t see the point. He’s not going to get laid anyway. Why bother? When your marriage is good, your spouse will surprise you by folding the laundry the way you like it folded. He won’t expect to be rewarded with sex, but you will give him that reward, because you know it just might get him to replace the toilet paper roll every once in a while… And because you like having sex with him. Bet you never thought that would happen!

3.    When you are in a bad marriage, you will take your spouse’s silences personally. After you’ve worked on your marriage, you will know him better, so you will understand that him being silent just means, “I had a bad day. I don’t want to talk about it, but thank God you are in my life.”

4.    When your marriage is bad, you will do all sorts of things to get your spouse to appreciate you and stop taking you for granted. You will refuse to buy his favorite foods at the grocery store and you will stop folding his underwear. Once you’ve worked on your marriage, you will just say, “I feel taken advantage of,” you’ll talk about it, and you’ll grow even closer.

5.    When your marriage is bad, you will try to communicate your needs through telepathy, and you will constantly feel unloved because your spouse doesn’t take the time to listen to your silent thoughts. Once you’ve worked on your marriage, you will no longer feel unloved. When he doesn’t listen to your thoughts, you will remember to talk out loud.

6.    When your marriage is bad, you will do everything possible to avoid sex. When your marriage is good, you will schedule it, because you know it’s important.

7.    When your marriage is bad, you will see and comment on all of your spouse’s faults. When your marriage is good, you will learn to appreciate everything your spouse does right.

8.    When your marriage is bad, you will let yourself go. When your marriage is good, you will take pride in your health and your appearance, just as you did when you were dating.

9.    When your marriage is bad, you will see your spouse as the cause of your unhappiness. When your marriage is good, you will see your self as the cause of your unhappiness.

10.    When your marriage is bad, you will blame your spouse for your bad marriage. When your marriage is good, you will blame the chemistry between you and your spouse for your problems.

11.    When your marriage is bad, you will believe your spouse is there to take care of you. When your marriage is good, you will realize that you need to take care of yourself, and your spouse is there to support you in your quest to do so.

12.    When your marriage is bad, you will complain to your friends about your spouse. When your marriage is good, you will complain to your spouse about your friends.

13.    When your marriage is bad, you will see your spouse as wrong and yourself as right. When your marriage is good, you will agree to disagree.

To help you go from a bad marriage to a good one, I wrote Project: Happily Ever After’s Relationship Rules, which details some of the techniques I used to save my marriage. It’s yours for free when when you subscribe to this blog by email. Just type your email address into the “subscribe by email” box in the upper right column. I will never sell your email, and I will never spam you.

77 comments… add one

  • vijay January 18, 2013, 12:34 pm

    pretty old thread i guess, but a good one. i am about to marry my love of life in a couple of days. since we both are from different caste,we are having a rough time convincing our parents. but i do hope that some day they will appreciate me for selecting this lady as my soul mate,
    anyway i just want is there any body who went through similar situation. i just mean did any of you marry against your parents wishes? and later how did you manage it? sorry i am really overwhelmed by all these reactions, i just need few good words to make me feel good.

    • Jonathan Scott October 3, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Hi Vijay,

      Congrats on your marriage. I hope it has been working out well. My Husband and I hail from very different castes, in fact, we hail from two different parts of the country. Being an Indian I can relate to the differences and obstacles. One thing I can say tough, is make sure that you communicate well in your relationship, and keep the sex alive. If your parents fail to accept the marriage, then you will only have each other to rely on, and no support from them. Loss of Sex is one of the mail reasons why marriages fall apart, and why mine is about to as well. Make sure you keep the flame alive, and you guys will live a happy life together.

  • Amy March 30, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Our marriage is beyond bad, if there is such a thing. Our marriage turned sour the day after our marriage. We had sex one time that was my first, last and only time. That all happened over 40 years ago. The feelings he had for marriage were beyond belief. First he hated sex and intimacy. He believe that sex was gross, pointless, meaningless and mindless and doing some thing so gross to another human was disgusting there fore it wasn’t going to happen again. Also he told me point blank that he married me for a tax write off. What a selfish idiot !!! So we stayed married but have lived apart, the only time we see each other is at the tax ladies office once a year. And even then its hi and good bye see you next year. A lot more to the story !!!!!

  • Bee May 1, 2013, 3:56 pm

    This is gona be fun!

  • gabriela May 26, 2013, 12:48 am

    the biggest bullshit I ever read

  • yushimimi June 22, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Its really true about the marriage being bad… but one thing is that sometimes husbands should know that they have take the responsibilities and they should abide by this. Its not only wives who should work on the marriage….

    Some husbands are very dominating….. But there is law for this…. Just because we are woman doesnt mean its us who should always work to have a good marriage….. Husbands also should have common sense

  • Rachel June 27, 2013, 9:52 am

    Amy, you have just told my story. NO sex-he hated it from the start. So much for stereotypes about men and women! He Married me for the tax write off and also so he would stop being attacked in the small town community for being homosexual. fun life ive had. more to the story…..

  • jenny September 22, 2013, 10:15 pm

    The trouble is my husband is unable to see that he is wrong in any way. He likes to control me in lots of ways and yet he is very good as to where I go and whom I’m with. No problem there. It’s just on day to day things that he has his ideas and you can’t change his view at all no matter how ridiculous they are. He is obsessive in his behaviour at times and is very selfish in what he wants to do and how it’s done. It’s pushing me further and further away. I am no longer able to talk to him on these matters as he only gets very angry sand slams his fist on the bench and also hits his head with his fist. I am not able to give my views on certain subjects as he says I am negative. I explain that I am only discussing the subject and looking at it from both sides. I am a non angry person that never looses my temper and I would say that is the only reason we are still together. How do I get thru to him.

    • Peaches October 15, 2013, 8:42 am

      Well is it possible your husband may be a control freak? If you are confused about his reaction towards you, then you need to be aware of his personality disorder. Hopefully his anger is not causing verbal or physical abuse towards you.

  • Elisa April 4, 2014, 7:45 pm

    I am in fact pleased to read this web site posts
    which includes lots of valuable information, thanks for
    providing these statistics.

  • randi June 19, 2014, 12:26 am

    This was nice thank you

  • JOE UMUNNA December 25, 2015, 8:00 am

    kindly send a copy of your happily ever after relationship rules. Thanks

  • Nikita January 31, 2016, 7:51 pm

    kindly send a copy of your happily ever after relationship rules.


  • tina February 3, 2016, 5:30 pm

    My husband constantly breaks promises like it’s no big deal and then he turns it around to be my fault! Why so then the promises that he does make he will say I won’t make that promise again

  • Trigger Point Foam February 25, 2016, 11:50 am

    After going over a number of the blog posts on your web page, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog.
    I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking
    back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me how you feel.
    Trigger Point Foam´s last blog post ..Trigger Point Foam

  • Revboosts.Net May 18, 2016, 1:29 pm

    Great info. Luck me I recentyly fund your website by chance (stumbleupon).

    I’ve saved it for later!
    Revboosts.Net´s last blog post ..Revboosts.Net

  • River city quận 7 May 21, 2016, 9:52 pm

    Definitely consider that which you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the
    net the simplest thing to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get
    annoyed while folks think about issues that they just don’t realize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects
    , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.
    River city quận 7´s last blog post ..River city quận 7

  • The coaching connector June 13, 2016, 11:02 am

    Great, I so appreciate every word shared in this article. Work on your internal world first and gradually, these changes will begin to reflect in your external world too. Thank you for this.

  • Anonymous August 8, 2016, 12:21 pm

    I am truly grateful to the holder of this website
    who has shared this enormous post at at this place.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge