3 months ago

How An Unhealthy Marriage Can Harm Your Mental Health & How To Cope

Sumedha Tripathi
Sumedha Tripathi
Updated on Apr 04, 2023, 19:06 IST- 5 min read

While we may have been seeing a lot of divorce cases, we Indians are still very old school when it comes to marriage. In our society, getting married is a permanent bond that needs to be the top priority no matter how bad it may be. Even now the idea of separation or divorce is looked down upon in our society and the idea of suffering in an unhappy marriage is something that is pushed upon couples. 

Reasons for an unhappy marriage

Many would have heard their relatives and friends say how they should try and 'fix things' in the marriage despite being unhappy in it. However, some issues just can't be fixable and the only way out is the way out of the marriage. There are several reasons why a marriage can make one stressed and unhappy. 

divorce-breakups Unsplash

Lack of companionship

Customs such as arranged marriage can lead to this on a big level. Here, where someone else is deciding on two people spending their lives together can lead to a lot of problems. After all, these two people will be spending their entire lives with each other. There can be several differences in thoughts, opinions and even upbringing that can make it difficult to find a common ground. 

Abuse or harassment

If one or both partners in the marriage mentally abuse each other or harass one another for things, it can lead to a lot of discomfort. If this goes on on regular basis then it can not only make the parties uncomfortable but also suffocated. 

Third-party interference

As opposed to Western cultures, the idea of a joint family is still very much intact in India. While this may be great in most cases, for some couples, this can be suffocating. A lot of times, the daughter-in-law has to deal with strict rules, regulations and customs of the new family and the in-laws which can make things hard for her. This is even more frustrating if there is too much involvement of relatives or friends in private matters. 

breakups-for men and women69f54 Unsplash

How does an unhealthy marriage affect one's mental health?

An unhealthy marriage can lead one to have deteriorating mental health. The stress of a sour relationship can not only make one feel stressed but can also make one feel anxious, emotionally depleted or even depressed. As per a 2018 research titled "Changes in Spousal Relationships Over the Marital Life Course", it was noted that it’s common for happiness to decline in the initial years of marriage. 

Here are some instances of an unhealthy marriage that can lead to bad mental health:

Conflicts and arguments

Some arguments are required in a healthy relationship. But constant arguments and conflicts can get extremely stressful. Also, the negative emotions associated with conflict can make it difficult to relax and can even disrupt sleep patterns. 

As per a 2017 review by the National Library of Medicine titled "The impact of stress on body function: A review", it was noted that stress can lead to several problems including digestion, bad immune and heart health. 

No emotional support

A healthy marriage is one where both partners provide a healthy level of emotional support to each other. When this support is not provided and is absent, it can leave you feeling alone and isolated, which can lead to depression.

breakup unsplash

Constant fear and insecurity

Feeling insecure in any relationship, especially in a marriage can leave one feeling really mentally exhausted. If the marriage is not healthy, you may constantly worry about your partner leaving or cheating on you, which can lead to a constant state of fear and insecurity.

Low self-esteem

Constant criticism and negativity from a partner can make someone feel unloved and not worthy of love. This can also lead to a negative self-image and make one have low self-esteem. This was noted in a 2021 review titled "Transactions between self-esteem and perceived conflict in romantic relationships: A 5-year longitudinal study."

divorce Pexels

Things to do to cope when the marriage is unhealthy

If you are constantly dealing with stress and anxiety due to an unhealthy marriage, here are some things you can do to cope with it:

Take support

Thanks to what has been told to us over and over again, talking about problems is not something that one should do. But when things get too much to handle alone then talking about those problems with friends and loved ones can help take the load off. Not just that, they may also give you solutions that may just work to make things better. 

Communicate with your partner

That is definitely the most important aspect. Talking and communication is the most important aspect of handling any sort of miscommunication. Try to have open and honest communication with your partner about your feelings and concerns. 

Focus on your self-care

If an unhealthy relationship is depleting your mental health, take charge of your well-being and focus on self-care. Make sure to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make sure you're eating well, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.

Consider moving on

If all the above things don't work and things don't seem to at all work out, consider separating from your partner to preserve your mental peace. This can be a difficult decision, but it may ultimately be the best thing for your mental health. 

You can consider separation when you feel like there is nothing you can give to the relationship or can get out of it. When the partner seems to not compromise on any account despite several requests. When there is no emotional attachment or proper indifference towards the partner. 

divorce Pexels

It is very important to remember that mental peace is more important than anything else. An unhappy may not only deplete your mental health but can make things worse for people around you as well, especially the children.