The price of an unhappy marriage
With Waithera Otieno
Are you in an unhappy marriage? By unhappy, I don’t mean you fought about misplaced socks and you haven’t spoken to each other since morning. I mean the kind of unhappiness where there is an absence of love and friendship for years. Even if your relationship is dead, you tell yourself that things will get better.
You try all sorts of tricks to get back your friend, lover and companion, but all you get is frustrations. You stay because of the years you have been together, the children, what other people will say or simply because you do not want to be alone. You do not know how to start afresh and you cannot pay bills on your income. You often feel depressed, hopeless, anxious and have a low sense of self-worth.
What is the cost of staying in an unhappy union? The constant fights, tension, neglect and anxiety leads to chronic stress. Chronic stress leads to a weakened immune system and a higher risk of illness. Because stress affects your body functions, you may also get diabetes and heart disease.
The stress caused by lack of harmony in the family affects the children. They may become insecure, anxious and confused. They may become rebellious as a way of coping with their own stress. When the parents are at war, the children feel exposed to bad experiences. This may influence how they relate to their spouses in future. The decision to divorce is even more stressful for the whole family. Children of divorced parents are more likely to experience problematic marriages themselves.
What is the best way forward? Both partners should do their best to ensure a happy and healthy marriage and a peaceful home environment. You deserve to enjoy a happy marriage.