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Life can sometimes present challenges which can lead a married couple to feel “unhappily married”

However, there are many times when couples suffer unnecessarily due to their thoughts, opinions and behaviors which make things look far darker than what they truly are.

To address these “gloom and doom” expanding actions and behaviors, this article addresses 5 common negative habits of unhappily married couples.

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It also features guidelines on how you can counter these negative habits so they no longer present a problem.

1. Unhappily married couples compare their lives and their marriage to others around them.

In today’s “Facebook” world where we are all constantly surrounded with “Photoshopped picture perfect” images and portrayals of the family lives of everyone around, it is very easy to fall victim to “believing a fantasy life.”

The all too common habit of comparing their lives to the “Joneses” next door, can cause a couple to suffer unnecessarily,.

Add to this the constant push of marketing messages telling people which car they should drive, what clothes to wear, where they should live and all of a sudden, a perfectly happily married couple feels their marriage is dull and no match for what their “perfect life” should be like. Even more ironic is that the illusion of a perfect life which they are working so hard and struggling to try and achieve is just that – an illusion which is not based on reality.

How to counter this negative habit:

  • Focus on your marriage and on the steps you can take to make it better. By focusing on your marriage and your own lives, you will become closer as a couple and will be actively working together on how to build a stronger, happier marriage. There is nothing more satisfying than basing oneself on reality and taking active steps towards


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2. Unhappily married couples constantly focus on what’s going wrong in their marriage.

You may be familiar with “The Secret” and “The Law of Attraction” which states that you tend to attract what you think about. This “Secret” is actually not something new, and it has been a key insight in psychology and self improvement teachings for many, many years. Earl Nightingale stated it very clearly when he wrote in his 1956 book “The Strangest Secret”, “you become what you think about all day long.”

Understanding this, when a couple keeps focusing on what is going wrong in their marriage, all the bad and non-working aspects of their lives expand and become even more prevalent. Another way of looking at what’s going on is that “they are becoming more of all the things that are going wrong in their marriage.”

How to counter this negative habit:

  • Start asking yourselves and thinking about all the things that are going well in your marriage. By focusing on the positive aspects, life immediately becomes more pleasant and it’s easier to be happy when you’re not constantly thinking about all the things that are going wrong. As an additional benefit, by focusing on the positive, you will be more likely to “attract more good things” into your life instead of pushing them away.


3. Unhappily married couples surround themselves with negative influences.

Just as the previous negative habit I presented, when you surround yourself with negative people and negative influences, you are multiplying the negative not only attract more of the bad things that may be going on in your life, but you also take on the negativity of others.

How to counter this negative habit:

  • Make sure you keep your thoughts on the positive things that are going on in your life. Whenever you find yourself in the company of someone who is starting to “bring you down” by spouting negative thoughts and “bad energy”, politely tell them to stop contaminating you with their negativity. Although it may sound harsh, if you find that they continue with their negative ramblings even though you have politely asked them to stop, you may want to consider if it may make sense to end contact with that person until they lighten up. Your life and marriage is far too valuable to let these negative influences tarnish your existence.


4. Unhappily married couples think more about the past and the future than the present.

Everyone has a past which they’ve lived through and dreams about what a perfect imaginary future should look like. However, by thinking about the past and imagining the future, unhappily married couples sometimes miss the present which is where their lives are actually going on.

Life is composed of moments which all take place in the now and that is where a couple’s attention should be placed at. By thinking too much about the past they’ve lived or all the different possible future outcomes, people put themselves through unnecessary stress about things you cannot change in their past and future events that quite possibly may never happen.

How to counter this negative habit:

  • Make it a point to live in the present moment. Focus on taking in life as it is taking place and experience it fully rather than letting your mind wonder to past events or imagine things that could possibly take place in the future. To fully achieve this, whenever you find your mind wandering to another time in the past or in the future, simply tell yourself “Be Here Now.“ This is a powerful exercise conceived Yogi Ram Das and which is a key tenet from his teachings on Yoga, Spirituality and Meditation.


5. Unhappily married couples do not regularly express gratitude to one another.

With the pressures of daily life and the challenges that life presents to a married couple, it is unfortunate yet common for spouses to forget to say thank you for the things each other does for one another. With marriage and the fact that a couple spends so much time together, there is the inherent risk for each partner to forget that being married does not mean that they can read each other’s minds and they can also take each other for granted.

How to counter this negative habit:

  • Make it a habit to thank your spouse whenever he or she does something for you. It doesn’t have to be only big things, thank them for the little things as well. Also, make sure your thank you is genuine and not merely saying the words as saying a fake thank you can be even worse than not saying anything.

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Image credit: Ed Yourdon

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