20 Important Reasons To Stay Married When You Are Unhappy

Discover 20 compelling reasons to stay married, even during challenging times. Explore the keys to enduring happiness and fulfillment in your marriage journey.

reasons to stay married cover photo

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Navigating the complexities of marriage requires a unique blend of patience, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to growth. In the face of unhappiness, the inclination to seek immediate escape may seem tempting, but as the saying goes, “the grass is not always greener on the other side.”

I firmly advocate for staying married because transformation is a journey, not a destination. A marriage can emerge stronger when confronted with adversity.

This blog post explores 20 important reasons why weathering the storm is not only worthwhile but essential for the enduring strength of your marital bond.

20 reasons to stay married when you are unhappy


Marriage provides you with a lifelong companion that will always be there. You can share everything with your spouse.

Emotional support

Your spouse is there for you emotionally. You will always have someone to turn to when you need support.


A committed marriage is also a stable one. It provides a solid foundation for your family and makes your children feel safe.

Financial security

Alone, you have to worry about finances more. There’s no one to back you up if you lose your job.

In marriage, you can be there for each other. If one of you loses your job, the other can help out (either by already having a job or getting one themselves).


Parenting is hard. I can’t imagine raising my kids without my husband, Josh. You can give each other breaks and lean on each other when things get difficult.

If you need extra help with this, read these 2 blog posts:

couple realizing that there are a lot of reasons to stay married

Shared history

You and your spouse have a lot of shared history together. Don’t start from scratch by ending your marriage.

Use your shared history to reminisce with each other. What has been the best season of your relationship? What do you wish you could do more of? These memories might just help inspire you to take action and make some changes for the better.


Your spouse is your partner, your teammate. You each have your strengths and you likely each use your strengths in your daily lives together.

Is your husband good at fixing the sink? Is your wife better at clipping coupons to save a little extra money? Focus on what each of you brings to the table.


When you got married, you made a commitment to each other: for better or for worse. Honor that commitment and stick through the “worse”. You’ll get to the “better” with some dedication.

Health benefits

Did you know that being married comes with health benefits such as lower depression and anxiety? Sure, marriage comes with its difficulties. But the shared experiences and companionship that come with your spouse outweigh the loneliness of divorce.

Intimacy and companionship

Physical and emotional intimacy is so much more special with your spouse. Your spouse is the one person who truly knows you. And that makes intimacy even better.

Lifelong learning

There is always something to learn about your spouse, no matter how long you’ve been together. People change over the years and you can use this to motivate you to continue to learn about your spouse.

reasons to stay married quote

Shared responsibilities

Your spouse has your back. You do not have to take care of every single thing.

Does it sometimes feel like you’re the one pulling all the weight? Stop to think about what your spouse contributes to the family. What extra things would be on your plate if your spouse wasn’t there to help?

Personal development

Personal growth in a relationship is actually a good thing. You can motivate each other to grow and become better people. Find out how to grow as individuals without growing apart.

It’s possible to fall in love again

Have you ever thought about the idea of falling back in love with your spouse? Take the same mindset you had when you were dating and date your spouse again.

Be a role model for your children

Do you want your children to give up on something when it gets hard? Or do you want your kids to persevere and keep going? When your child has dedicated themself to piano practices, do you let them quit when they are struggling to get better?

Be mindful of the fact that your kids are always watching you. They will emulate the same behaviors you do, even if you don’t want them to. If you stick through the rough times in your marriage, you’ll teach your kids how to keep your head up and keep going through adversity.

Someone will always have your back

It’s a comfort to know that your spouse is there for you. When you’re sick, your spouse can help pick up some slack. If you have to work late, your spouse can put the kids to bed.

A partner to help you during challenges

It can be hard to face challenges alone. Your spouse is there to walk through challenges with you. The fact that you are not alone can be a very comforting feeling.

Shared values

You and your spouse were drawn to each other for a multitude of reasons. I’m willing to be shared values was one of them. Your spouse sees the world as you do (for the most part) and is there to make you feel heard in your values.

Celebration of milestones

The longer you’re together, the more milestones you’ll experience. Milestones are so much more special when you are able to share them with your spouse.

Think about the milestones you have yet to experience together and get excited to share more memories with your spouse.

couple realizing that there are a lot of reasons to stay married

Staying married but living separate lives

The longer you live with unhappiness in your marriage, the longer it festers. You can begin to feel like you’re roommates.

This is definitely something you want to avoid. Work on your marriage so that you do not get to this point. But if you’re already there, don’t worry. Keep reading for lots of ideas to help you strengthen your marriage.

How to stay married

There are so many things you can do to strengthen your marriage. Here are great places to start. The best part is that most of these can be worked on with small efforts that are done every single day.

My advice is to choose one area to focus on at a time.

Work on your communication

Communication is a big part of marriage. You need to be able to talk to each other about anything.

Here’s how to tell if you and your spouse have poor communication.

Work on your emotional intimacy

You need to be able to talk to your spouse and be vulerable. Here are signs your emotional intimacy needs some work. And here are ways to help you build a stronger emotional intimacy in your marriage.

Work on your conflict resolution

Argurments in a marriage aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s how you handle those arguments that makes a difference.

Work on your conflict resolution with your spouse. Use each fight as a learning opportunity to grow your relationship.

Be honest with each other

Honesty is an important part of marriage. If you’re not honest with each other, it’ll become very hard to trust.

reasons to stay married quote

Forgive each other

You both have made mistakes in your marriage. Learn to forgive each other.

Think about it, wouldn’t you want to be forgiven when you make a mistake? Give your spouse the same courtesy.

Spend time together

What do you do when the kids go to bed? Do you and your spouse go your separate ways? Or do you sit down and spend time with each other?

When our kids go to bed, Josh and I almost always spend time together. Most of the time, we’re too tired to do anything more than watch tv. But the point is that we do it together.

Go on dates

Regular date nights are so important for a marriage. But that doesn’t mean you need to have a big fancy date every time.

Date nights at home are a great way to fit in some dedicated bonding time with your spouse. Here are 60 ideas you can try! I’d also like to suggest trying a date box subscription. Here are my favorites:

  • DateBox Club
  • Crated with Love
  • Datebox, by Happily

A note about counseling

If you’re not quite ready to go to couples therapy in person, try checking out HeyRitual. It’s entirely online and most of the program is self paced. You meet with a counselor for short sessions to help you with the program.

Check them out! The great thing is that you can do the programs even without your spouse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to divorce or to stay unhappily married?

The answer to this varies based on your personal opinion. Here’s mine: I believe that couples should “stay unhappily married” while working to change their relationship.

We all go through rough seasons. If we give up instead of working through them, we’ll never truly grow. Your marriage will be so much stronger if you ride out the unhappy times in your marriage.

But don’t just wait for things to change. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Apply that to your marriage.

What do you wish would change in your marriage? Start by implementing those changes yourself.

Is it worth fixing a broken marriage?

It is absolutely worth fixing a broken marriage! Your children will come to respect you for working hard to keep your family together.

Once you and your spouse are on the other side and have fixed broken pieces of your marriage, you’ll both be so much stronger for it.

Can a really bad marriage be saved?

Any marriage can be saved, even really bad ones. What makes a marriage “bad” anyway? Is it that neither spouse puts in any effort? Or neither spouse takes care of the other?

Any marriage can be saved. It takes small steps that you implement every single day. Turn those small efforts into habits and you’ll start to see changes in your marriage.

I want to note that a marriage suffering from abuse is a whole other category.

reasons to stay married quote

What are the signs of an unhappy marriage?

Here are some signs of an unhappy marriage:

  • A lack of communication
  • Constant criticism
  • Emotional distance
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Frequent arguments that are not constructive
  • Resentment
  • Keeping secrets
  • A feeling of disconnection
  • A lack of quality time together
  • Infidelity

Can you repair an unhappy marriage?

As long as both partners are willing to put in the work, an unhappy marriage can definitely be repaired.

If both partners aren’t willing, the work one spouse puts in can still make a difference. Think of it this way: if one spouse begins to make changes and starts treating their spouse better, don’t you think the other would notice? Little by little, this will inspire the “non-dedicated” spouse to make changes themselves.

Have you ever been in a bad mood and someone did or said something nice to you? Did it change your mood? That’s exactly what you can do with your spouse to help repair an unhappy marriage.

My husband doesn’t know if he wants to stay married.

If your husband is contemplating divorce, have a discussion with him. Truly hear him out. Try not to get defensive. His opinions matter.

If you get defensive easily, don’t let yourself talk. Just listen. Then take some time to reflect on what your husband said.

How can you make changes? What can you do to help your husband feel loved again?

If all else fails, counseling is a great place to start. Even if your husband isn’t willing to go to counseling, you can begin by going alone. Like I mentioned in the section above, you can begin to make changes that will hopefully help change your husband’s mind.

Is marriage hard for everyone?

Marriage is hard work for everyone. I’m willing to bet if you talk to the happiest couple, you’ll still learn that they’ve had their fair share of struggles.

Happiness in marriage doesn’t come from a lack of work. It stems from an ability to work through the struggles together.

reasons to stay married quote

100 reasons to stay married

If you’re looking for an extensive list of 100 reasons to stay married, look no further! I’ve provded every possible reason you can think of to keep going and stay in your marriage.

I suggest you read through the list below and choose 5 to really focus on. It might just help you get through some hard times!

  • Companionship
  • Emotional Support
  • Stability
  • Financial Security
  • Parenting
  • Shared History
  • Teamwork
  • Social Support
  • Health Benefits
  • Intimacy and Companionship
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Shared Responsibilities
  • Emotional Intimacy
  • Cultural and Social Norms
  • Personal Development
  • Complementary Strengths
  • Extended Family Connections
  • Cohesion during Challenges
  • Shared Values
  • Emotional and Physical Well-being
  • Trust
  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Common Goals
  • Creating a Home Together
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Laughter and Joy
  • Security in Aging Together
  • Building a Legacy
  • Consistency
  • Team Parenting
  • Building and Maintaining Trust
  • Fostering Forgiveness
  • Life Partnership
  • Creating Traditions
  • Interdependence
  • Shared Dreams
  • Emotional Resilience
  • Shared Friendships
  • Increased Happiness
  • Adventure Together
  • Sense of Pride
  • Weathering Life’s Storms Together
  • Creating a Supportive Environment
  • Joint Decision-making
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional Safety
  • Shared Achievements
  • Growing Together
  • Learning from Each Other
  • Acceptance
  • Rituals and Routines
  • Shared Faith or Spirituality
  • Facing Challenges Head-on
  • Stability for Children
  • Respect
  • Relationship Maturity
  • Constructive Conflict Resolution
  • Emotional Connection
  • Appreciation for Differences
  • Nurturing Romance
  • Team Financial Planning
  • Maintaining Independence within Unity
  • Shared Hobbies and Interests
  • Adaptability
  • Unconditional Love
  • Acts of Kindness
  • Mental and Emotional Resilience
  • Shared Accomplishments
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Comfort in Silence
  • Emotional Availability
  • Cultural Connection
  • Physical Affection
  • Learning from Mistakes Together
  • Mutual Growth
  • Celebration of Milestones
  • Weathering Life’s Uncertainties
  • Sense of Identity as a Couple
  • Joint Problem-solving
  • Building and Maintaining Attraction
  • Emotional Fulfillment
  • Respect for Personal Space
  • Shared Humor
  • Creating a Unified Front
  • Shared Social Circle
  • Financial Planning for the Future
  • Building a Shared Vision
  • Mutual Respect for Differences
  • Fostering Gratitude
  • Collective Memories
  • Commitment
  • Cultivating Patience
  • Support during Personal Challenges
  • Emotional Nourishment
  • Stability for Extended Family
  • Emotional Comfort
  • Demonstrating Love to Children
  • Partnership in Daily Life
  • Love that Stands the Test of Time

Final thoughts on reasons to stay married

You can do this. If you are unhappy in your marriage, know that you have the strength to make changes. You have the strength to get through this.

Did I miss any reasons to stay married? Let me know in the comments below! I love to hear what my readers think.

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