When you feel stuck in an unhappy marriage, is there any hope for you? The answer is yes! God sees your situation and cares about your feelings. He will provide help and perspective through his Word, and you can also find help through Christian counseling.
An unhappy marriage can feel like a heavy burden. No one gets married and expects to be disappointed. But the pressures of life come down on every marriage. If you have unhealed places within, the pressure can bring your marriage to a breaking point.
Unhappiness saps your energy and motivation. It can cause you to see everything from a negative viewpoint. You may have doubts about whether change is possible in your marriage. But don’t give up hope; God can guide you in new ways.
You don’t have to be unhappy forever in your marriage. As you work on getting healthier and happier, it’s good to meditate on the truths in God’s Word to get you back on track.
Bible verses to encourage you in an unhappy marriage.
The principles in these Bible verses can help you choose to follow God no matter how unhappy you may feel in your marriage. When you choose to obey God despite your circumstances, you can find peace and hope to carry you through.
Remember that God provides for your true needs as a husband or wife.
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. – Isaiah 54:5
No spouse can meet all our needs. We are imperfect human beings, and even at our best, we cannot perfectly fulfill every need of our spouses. You likely have unmet needs in your marriage, and so does your spouse.
However, this is not terrible news. God is waiting to fill your needs perfectly as your heavenly spouse. He created you, and he knows exactly what you need. When you go to him in prayer, asking him to fulfill your needs, he will provide for you through his loving presence and spiritual comfort. You can seek Him for the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
Renew your commitment to your spouse.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:23-24
God designed marriage to last for life, a strong commitment that reflects God’s master design. His will for you is to stay married unless there is ongoing and unrepentant abuse or infidelity. You must renew your commitment to your spouse, even if you feel that you have an unhappy marriage.
Gary Thomas, the author of Sacred Marriage, has shown research that most couples who say they are unhappy in their marriages are much happier five years later if they commit to staying married. So, there is hope for you if you make that commitment to your spouse to be one flesh for life.
Remember that spiritual battles are ongoing.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11
You have a spiritual enemy, Satan, who is doing everything he can to destroy your marriage. He will plant seeds of discontent, grumbling, criticism, and more to disrupt the unity between you and your spouse. These seeds will sprout into ongoing spiritual battles that on the surface just look like arguments or withdrawal between you and your spouse.
But you can fight back with the principles in Ephesians 6:11-18. When you feel unhappiness creeping into your marriage, turn to this passage and ask God for help. He will give you these spiritual tools to fight back and reclaim the commitment to your marriage.
You must your heart against temptation.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23
In an unhappy marriage, Satan will tempt you to go astray with many things. You may be drawn to other people who attract you. Romance novels, movies, music, or pornography may even entice you to think other situations would be better for you. These are common dynamics when couples are unhappy.
However, you have the responsibility to guard your heart. When you constantly focus on the unhappiness in your marriage, your heart will be discouraged and more open to temptation. But you can identify your weak spots and cover them with prayer and practical tips. A Christian counselor can also advise you on how to guard your heart in an unhappy marriage.
Make prayer a high priority.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12
You can turn to God in prayer every time you feel unhappy with your marriage. Pour out all your feelings because he can handle all of them. He will affirm you and strengthen you even when you are struggling.
You can ask him to guide your thoughts, words, and actions toward your spouse. You can also choose to rejoice in the confident hope that God is available to help you at all times of the day. Ask God to give you patience in the troubles of your marriage, and don’t stop praying no matter how you feel.
Choose to be loving.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:7
It only takes one person to change an unhappy marriage. You can be loving toward your spouse no matter how they treat you. Your commitment, faith, hope, and endurance will serve as a good example, and your spouse may return the loving feelings when they see you showing them.
Put on an attitude of gratitude.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
God doesn’t require you to be thankful for your unhappy feelings. But he does want you to have an attitude of gratitude within all circumstances, even in an unhappy marriage. Your gratitude can be based on God’s unchanging character, which is an anchor for your thoughts and feelings.
You can keep a gratitude journal of a few things every day for which you are thankful. This practice has been proven to uplift your attitude, so why not try it?
Take responsibility for your part.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! – Psalm 139:23-24
All of us have made mistakes in our marriage that added to the unhappiness. You can ask God to search you and test you, and to point out anything offensive to him in your marriage. He will gently correct you, showing you where you need to take responsibility for your part. You may need to confess your sins to your spouse, which can bring healing and wholeness to your marriage. God will reward you for having a humble, teachable spirit.
Make forgiveness a regular rhythm.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. – Matthew 18:21-22
Your unhappiness may be linked to unforgiveness. When you choose to forgive your spouse not just once, but over and over, your feelings will change. Forgiveness is trusting God to handle the problem better than you can. It’s an act of surrender and trust to God. It also softens your heart toward your spouse and will help you show greater compassion and love.
Christian marriage counseling.
When you feel stuck in an unhappy marriage, you may need outside help to get unstuck. A compassionate Christian counselor can help you choose a different outlook while you take practical steps to renew your marriage. Contact us today to learn how Christian counseling can relieve the unhappiness in your marriage.
“Reluctant Partners”, Courtesy of Andrik Langfield, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Heartbreak”, Courtesy of Marah Bashir, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Couple Relaxing”, Courtesy of Shawnee D, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Eating on the Bed”, Courtesy of Toa Heftiba, Unsplash.com, CC0 License