How to cope with an unhappy marriage: 17 no bullsh*t tips

A happy marriage can be wonderful and fulfilling.

But an unhappy marriage can feel like hell on earth.

Here’s how to make it less bad.

How to cope with an unhappy marriage: 17 no bullsh*t tips

1) Get to know them again

If I asked you how well you know your spouse, you’d probably say that you know them well.

But how recently have you really talked to them and found out how their life is going these days?

In the time that you’ve settled into your marriage, far more may have changed than your partner’s favorite food or types of films they like.

They might be way different than you imagine because you both are replaying old roles for each other and ignoring the person in front of you.

Try to break through the rust from the time you’ve been together and get to know your spouse again.

If they treat you like crap, that’s no excuse that you’ve grown apart. But getting to know them again can be a big step forward.

As Sylvia Smith writes:

“If you want to escape your unhappy marriage you need to take the initiative to get to know one another again. Act as though you just met.

“Ask your spouse about their favorite things, their hobbies, dreams, and goals.

“You may be surprised at what you learn and how much you actually like this ‘new’ person.”

2) Is anything working?

Next up, think about your marriage and how it’s been going.

Ask yourself honestly: is anything working?

For example, maybe your spouse ignores you and has a bad temper, is lazy and forgets key dates.

They never take you out and overlook your opinion, flirting with others and watching porn.

However, you have to admit that they look after your kids with care and love.

Or, perhaps, you must acknowledge that they are an amazing cook who occasionally is very thoughtful about making breakfast and washing the dishes afterwards.

Even if it’s just one small thing, find one thing in your marriage that’s working.

It can be the potential basis to rebuild.

3) Uncover his inner hero

If you’re a wife dealing with a husband who’s switched off, then one of the best things you can do is uncover his inner hero.

It may sound overly simplistic to improve an unhappy marriage, but sometimes making your man feel like a man can really be the key to turning things around.

You see, for guys, it’s all about triggering their inner hero.

I learned about this from the hero instinct. Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.

And it’s something most women don’t know anything about.

Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it.

Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys really need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?

Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel in distress or buy your man a cape.

The truth is, it comes at no cost or sacrifice to you. With only a few small changes in how you approach him, you’ll tap into a part of him no woman has tapped into before.

The easiest thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12-word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.

Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.

It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you.

Click here to watch the free video.

4) Help her fall back in love

If you’re dealing with a wife who is ignoring you or has tapped out of the marriage, the recommended approach is a bit different.

Helping her fall back in love is all about becoming the kind of man she fell in love with before.

This isn’t about “earning back” her love or anything like that.

It’s more about becoming less dependent on outcomes.

Honing your skills and pursuing your dreams and passions is worth doing regardless of whether it brings your wife closer to you.

It’s worth doing for your own sake.

At the very least, it will get you focused off an unhappy marriage that you feel you can’t get out of.

5) A bad day vs. a bad marriage

All marriages go through rough patches.

That doesn’t mean you’re not suffering or having an unhappy marriage.

But it is definitely possible to have a long rough patch that you grow accustomed to and come to regard as your whole marriage.

I’m not saying there will magically be brighter days ahead. But there could be.

And small improvements can go a long way.

Which is why you should make sure to look at your marriage from the big picture.

What issues are currently tripping up your marriage and is there a way to resolve them?

How long have they been going on?

As Brie Schwartz explains:

“We all get cranky. (Hello, would it kill you to choose the restaurant for once?)

“But you need to determine if your frustration is stemming from an actual lack of respect for your plus one, or if you’re just having a bad day.”

6) Find out if your spouse is cheating

I’m not a fan of couples snooping on each other, and I think it erodes trust and the foundations of a marriage.

Nonetheless, if you are trapped in an unhappy marriage that’s crushing your soul, I believe you have a right to some basic snooping on your partner.

I’m talking about very basic things here:

  • Looking through their pockets
  • Peeking over their shoulder while they text now and then
  • Asking them what they were doing late at work and gauging their reaction
  • Watching for sudden changes to their schedule, sexual appetite, mood or work “responsibilities”

Yes, I realize all of these could be considered toxic or paranoid.

But the truth is that if you’re in an unhappy marriage you deserve the right to know if you’re one and only isn’t being true to you.

7) Make him infatuated

If you’re still trying to make this marriage work, there are some tools at your disposal.

If you’re dealing with a reluctant or absent husband, the hero instinct can be overemphasized.

But another very effective strategy you can try is the infatuation script.

This series of verbal cues actually stimulates men to rediscover their deepest desires for you and stop treating you like an afterthought.

As dating and relationship coach Clayton Max says, “It’s not about checking all the boxes on a man’s list of what makes his ‘perfect girl’. A woman can’t “convince” a man to want to be with her”.

Instead, men choose women who they are infatuated with. These women stir up a sense of excitement and desire to chase them by what they say in their texts.

Want a few simple tips to be this woman?

Then watch Clayton Max’s quick video here where he shows you how to make a man infatuated with you (it’s easier than you probably think).

Infatuation is triggered by a primal drive deep within the male brain. And although it sounds crazy, there are a combination of words you can say to generate feelings of red-hot passion for you.

To learn exactly what these texts are, watch Clayton’s excellent video now.

8) Let your spouse see that you’ve still ‘got it’

I firmly agree with Clayton that you shouldn’t try to force your man (or woman) to love you. It won’t work anyway.

But there’s nothing wrong with showing them that you’ve still “got it.”

Think of this as strutting your stuff on the catwalk at a fashion show, except it’s all being done for your own benefit.

The primary purpose isn’t to look hot, flirt with others or get attention from your spouse: think of that as a secondary effect.

If they dig your hot new style and haircut, that’s cool. If not, you still feel like a million bucks.

And if you choose to chat up a handsome or sexy stranger while you’re out with your spouse at a local park?

Let the jealousy fly.

You’ve still got it and you know it. And that can go a long way.

9) Work on your most important relationship

If you’re stuck in an unhappy marriage, it’s like having a headache that never stops.

It’s not just that you’re out of love with your partner, dealing with abusive behavior or neglect and more.

It’s that it can do so much damage to your relationships with your family, friends and work colleagues.


An unhappy marriage is like a lead weight that sinks everything around you, including yourself.

This needs to be dealt with if you want to resolve the crisis you’re in.

The truth is, most of us overlook an incredibly important element in our lives:

The relationship we have with ourselves.

I learned about this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. In his genuine, free video on cultivating healthy relationships, he gives you the tools to plant yourself at the center of your world.

He covers some of the major mistakes most of us make in our relationships, such as codependency habits and unhealthy expectations. Mistakes most of us make without even realizing it.

So why am I recommending Rudá’s life-changing advice?

Well, he uses techniques derived from ancient shamanic teachings, but he puts his own modern-day twist on them. He may be a shaman, but his experiences in love weren’t much different to yours and mine.

Until he found a way to overcome these common issues. And that’s what he wants to share with you.

So if you’re ready to make that change today and cultivate healthy, loving relationships, relationships you know you deserve, check out his simple, genuine advice.

Click here to watch the free video.

10) Reconnect with friends

In addition to being a very stressful times, unhappy marriages can be extremely lonely.

While this is a painful burden, it can also be a chance to build or rebuild other connections.

Get in touch with friends and reconnect.

This can be your time to go on weekend camping trips with your old buddies or hang out with your old gal pals who you haven’t seen in a decade.

These days with social media, many people are only one Facebook search away, as long as you know what they changed their maiden name to or some basic details to find them with.

This time of your unhappy marriage can be a time to find your feet again socially.

There is a lot of value in friendship and it can be an amazing salve for loneliness and feeling estranged from your spouse.

Sometimes a friend can even just be a shoulder to cry on in very hard times.

And that’s sometimes all you need.

11) Find some fun again

If your marriage is unhappy, try to find one or two activities that you and your partner can engage in and actually have fun.

This could be trying out some bedroom games, or it could be going mini-golfing like you did on your first dates.

Maybe you just want to go to a restaurant for their all you can eat taco night and see how many margaritas it takes to actually have a good time with your spouse again.

If you’re not having fun by margarita ten then the marriage is probably over.

But seriously…

Try to have at least one night or day a week when you do something with your loved one.

Don’t worry about the romantic aspect at this point, try to become friends with them again.

Enjoy each other’s company at least on a platonic level for now. If it once again becomes more then that’s great, but don’t hinge your hopes on that.

Plus, even if you do split up, it’s nice to have at least some more recent fond memories to fall back on for an amicable separation instead of a bitter blow-up.

“With all the run-of-the-mill disagreements and compromises that come with marriage, it’s important for couples to find the lightness when things get heavy,” notes Aryelle Siclait at Women’s Health.

12) Face the anxious-avoidant aspect

Anxious avoidant relationships are a plague on humanity and they are surprisingly – and unfortunately – common.

The basic issue of an anxious-avoidant relationship is one person who is scared of intimacy and closeness and one who is overly craving of validation and attention.

The result is a toxic cycle of codependency and unmet needs where both partners aren’t giving each other what they need and feel bitter and sad about it.

The problem with anxious-avoidant relationships is that they’re not really relationships.

They are two broken people trying to get someone else to satisfy the feeling of incompletion and fear they hold inside themselves.

The result is a codependent nightmare of two broken people.

Now don’t get me wrong:

We can’t wait for the day when we’re “perfect” or feel fully complete to have a relationship or marry.

We are all works in progress.

But if you search outside yourself for completion and to feel like you’re satisfied, you’ll be chasing mirages for the rest of your life.

That’s why it’s such a lifesaving advice to focus on the relationship with yourself, as this free relationship video explains.

13) Demand more of your ma

Part of tapping into his hero instinct if you’re a woman in an unhappy marriage with a man is to demand more of your man.

This does not mean to be needy and shrill.

What it means is to recognize and see his potential in masculine ways that allow him to express a protective and strong aspect of himself.

It may be physically or it may be more in his behavior and asking him for crucial advice or guidance.

The point is to tap into his instinct for being relevant, needed and necessary.

Nothing turns men off more than feeling like they’re just another person and that their masculine skills aren’t really needed or recognized.

This relates back to the unique concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct.

When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to become the kind of loving partner that every woman dreams of.

And the best part is, triggering his hero instinct can be as simple as knowing the right thing to say over a text.

You can learn exactly what to do by watching this simple and genuine video by James Bauer.

14) Try to find a spark in the bedroom again

If the spark in the bedroom has died out, it can be hard to find.

If you’re a man dealing with a wife who’s no longer interested in sex, here are a few helpful suggestions:

  • Find out if something has changed for her emotionally in your relationship
  • Take a look at her work and friendships
  • Is she going through physical or mental changes lately that could explain her change in behavior?
  • What does she say when you ask her about why she’s no longer into sex

If you’re a woman dealing with a husband who’s no longer interested in sex, here are a few helpful suggestions:

  • If he’s suffering erectile dysfunction, find out if something’s changed for him emotionally or psychologically lately
  • Barring that, find out if he is also having physical health concerns
  • If your husband isn’t interested in sex anymore ask him why; also consider the possibility he’s cheating and try to find out
  • If he’s just not turned on by you anymore, ask him what would make sex exciting for him again.

15) Consider more than just your situation

If you’re married with kids, there’s another crucial factor to weigh in.

Any article about surviving an unhappy marriage would be dishonest and incomplete if it didn’t include this very important factor.

Here’s the harsh truth:

Divorce is very hard on children.

Does that mean you should stay with a husband who beats you?

Does that mean you should stay with a wife who cheats on you?

Of course not.

But it does mean that before you pull the plug on your marriage, do a damage assessment of everyone else who’s going to be impacted, particularly your kids.

As the pop punk band Blink 182 sing in their hit 2001 song “Stay Together For The Kids:”

“Their anger hurts my ears

Been running strong for seven years

Rather than fix the problems

They never solve them, it makes no sense at all.”

Try your best not to hurt your kids if you can avoid it.

Try to work through your problems with your spouse if at all possible.

In the worst-of-worst cases, consider opening up your marriage to new partners discreetly if that’s what it takes not to rip your home apart for the youngsters.

Divorce does real damage to your kids. It also breaks up shared friendships and leads to all sorts of expenses as you move out and change your life.

Be sure about it before you do so.

16) Find your purpose

Part of empowering yourself and finding your feet in an unhappy marriage is learning to find your true purpose.

This is something crucial that’s taught the renowned Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandê who I mentioned earlier.

In a world of sleazy self-help gurus and “enlightened masters,” Rudá doesn’t claim to be anything of the sort.

Yes, he’s a real shaman who’s studied with indigenous tribes and works on a spiritual level. But he’s also very down to earth.

As Ideapod founder Justin Brown found out in a life-changing moment, once we find our purpose everything else begins to fall into place.

The hardships become fuel for the journey, the alienation becomes a chance to fulfill our special mission, and our creativity gets unleashed as we truly embrace the power and potential we have to be our unique self.

Finding your purpose is not about trying to improve yourself.

In fact, trying to become a “better version of yourself” and similar tactics can actually be highly counterproductive and harmful.

As Justin Brown explains in this masterclass on the hidden trap of trying to improve yourself, there is a completely different way to change your life by finding your purpose.

If you’re stuck in an unhappy marriage you may feel drained and overwhelmed.

The single best way to start turning that around is to find your purpose.

17) Know when to draw the line

As hard as divorce and separation is, I’m not advising you to never consider it.

Even if you do have kids, sometimes things have become so bad that divorce really is the only tenable solution.

Here is a way to know if it’s time for divorce:

  • You’ve already tried getting through to your partner for years with absolutely no success. In fact they’ve closed down even more due to your efforts.
  • You’ve attended couples therapy, sought advice, scraped the absolute bottom of the barrel for solutions. And you’ve come up with nothing.
  • Your partner psychologically, verbally, sexually or physically abuses you.
  • Your partner psychologically, verbally, sexually or physically abuses your children.
  • Your spouse has committed crimes against you such as fraud, robbery or using your identity to commit crimes.

If any of these things are going on, then you have a very good reason to divorce.

There are certainly situations where staying together with an abusive and hurtful spouse can be a form of self-abuse.

Can your marriage still be saved?

At this point, the main question is whether your marriage can still be saved.

As I’ve pointed out, there’s not always a solution to an unhappy marriage.

But whenever possible, you should seek out a solution and be open to it.

The truth is this:

Marriage is hard work and even a partner who you have deep feelings for can leave you deflated and depressed at times.

By now you should have a better idea of why some men switch off in a marriage and what can get them restarted.

So the key now is getting through to your man in a way that empowers both him and you.

I mentioned the concept of the hero instinct earlier — by appealing directly to his primal instincts, you won’t only solve this issue, but you’ll take your relationship further than ever before.

And since this free video reveals exactly how to trigger your man’s hero instinct, you could make this change from as early as today.

With James Bauer’s incredible concept, he’ll see you as the only woman for him. So if you’re ready to take that plunge, before sure to check out the video now.

Here’s a link to his excellent free video again.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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