Unhappy Marriage? How to Build Hope to Restore Your Relationship

unhappy marriage

My Husband and My Unhappy Marriage

My husband was living in an unhappy marriage. The worst part was as his wife, I was unaware until one late night.

“I am unhappy and feel that you don’t love me.”

“I am filing for divorce.”

“I love you but I don’t like you.”

These are the types of phrases I heard from my husband over the past year and a half. These words are emotionally crippling. They welled up a frantic feeling that caused me to make even more mistakes in our unhappy marriage. I never expected my husband to be unhappy with me and I decided I had to do everything I could to save my marriage.

Steps to Fixing an Unhappy Marriage

John, my husband, had given up, but I was crying out to God to restore my marriage. I was desperate to change. I swore that I would fix the things he didn’t like about me. I tried, really, I did. However, trying to change a behavior that has been embedded in your soul from a young age is impossible to change on your own.

Looking for a change in your life…allow God to make your daily decisions.

I faced many hard times in my life but this was truly the hardest. Not only did I have myself to try and fix, I wondered if he would do anything to work on the marriage. That is what makes relationships so difficult. You can work as hard as you want but it doesn’t mean anything will change for the better. That didn’t matter, I needed to go down this path because I loved him, I wasn’t a quitter, and I wanted a better life for myself.

I decided that even if we didn’t stay married, I would set myself up to have a healthier relationship no matter where my future took me. These are the three things I did that gave me peace with my unhappy marriage and the possibility to try and save my marriage.

1. Continue Showing Love When Its Hard

The most difficult thing to do for someone is to give your love and allow yourself to be vulnerable when you know they won’t reciprocate. My situation, I was a stepmom to his 3 children but only two were young enough to live at home. Anytime I was mad at my husband, I found my heart turning cold towards the kids. That was difficult but I had to show them love even if I felt their father wasn’t showing me any. So, I swallowed my pride and continued to take care of my responsibilities around the house and then took it to a new level of cleaning up after everyone else WITHOUT complaining. That was a big key too. You may do the right thing but if your heart is in the wrong place it cancels out your good work.

Keep your heart pure by forgiving quickly! Click To Tweet

When you continue to show love through your actions and you suffer through not receiving any appreciation in return. It can help soften your spouse’s heart. You may also see a turnaround in their behavior if you remain CONSISTENT in your changes. Also, I could look myself in the mirror and know deep down that I was making the best decision and giving everything I had to try and save the marriage. It feels good when you are proud of yourself and following through even when it is hard! When you do the right thing, it is planting a seed in your marriage and God is in the business of growing seeds.

2. Allow God to Change Your Heart

An unhappy marriage will end or head down the path of divorce because couples think they can’t get along and believe that the problem is the other person and not them. In many cases that couldn’t be more incorrect. First, I am not talking about being in a verbally abusive or physically abusive relationship. I am simply talking about those couples that believe they aren’t compatible. There isn’t a couple in the world that became compatible without working at it for years.

The spouses that want to take the easy way out by getting a divorce or separating because they fight too much or don’t understand each other are runners. I am talking about those spouses that can’t remain committed and look for a way out just because they are unhappy. Those people put too much pressure on the other spouse to make them happy when they need to be happy with themselves first.

If you are in a situation where you fight all the time and you feel that your spouse needs to change; then you can only do one thing that can work. Stop trying to change them and pray that if God feels they need to be changed in that area that he changes them. Then be brave enough to ask God to open your eyes and change your heart in the areas you need to so your relationship can be restored and improve. It does take two people to improve a marriage. You can’t be responsible or worry about what your spouse is doing or not doing; so be responsible for your part of the relationship.

To improve your marriage, allow God to change your heart and stop focusing on changing your spouse. Only God can change someone!

3. Pray and Pour Out Your Soul for Healing

My heart aches if you and your spouse are in an unhappy marriage. I know what it feels like. If you are suffering, feeling frustrated, and don’t know what to do, then start an old-school habit. Journal! Yes, it really helps. You can write whatever you want and get out all your negative feelings. Just be sure that you write down any prayers in your journal so you can see God at work in your life.

Also, remain positive and track any positive changes you see in your spouse. Hold on to those. On those disappointing days, hold on tightly to that glimpse of hope you saw last week. Don’t head down the path saying “they will never change”. That only sets your progress in reverse. When we are unhappy, we forget to open our eyes to see that God is working. He may be taking his time, but focus on him and he will get you through and can help restore any broken area in your relationship.

For a healthier relationship, focus on what you can do instead of how you can change them! Click To Tweet

Always Put God First

One day the light bulb went on…I could learn to live without my husband but not without Jesus. My heart didn’t celebrate the fact that I may have to live without him; it was extremely painful to consider. However, it did put into perspective that I was trying to put my spouse first instead of putting God first. When I started to focus on God first, then my behaviors towards my husband fell in line. My priorities began to work them self out.

No matter how bad your situation, God can still give you joy if you focus on him first! Click To Tweet

When you focus on God first, no matter how bad your relationship is, God can install joy in your heart. You may still be hurting and suffering but you won’t be completely miserable. You will have more moments of laughter and peace that you cannot find without God present in your life.

Living All In…JOY,


About The Author


Cheryl is a blogger and online trainer that her closest girlfriends describe as the "strongest woman I know". She has experienced big losses in life and learned that being a perfectionist is exhausting and a joy killer. She wants to help other Christian women to learn from her mistakes by trusting God and staying determined to believe in limitless possibilities in life & career!