Having a frank and honest discussion about one’s marital unhappiness with your spouse is the first step in getting that marriage back on track. You need open and honest communication. This is why most women want to know how to talk to your husband about being unhappy.
That difficult conversation. You know you need to have it but honestly, the dread behind your husband’s reaction makes you hesitant.
You don’t want to hurt him or offend him but you want to be honest about what is bothering you. Your marriage feels flat lately. It’s not one big thing.
Or, maybe it is a big thing and you need to get it off your chest. It could be a combination of multiple things.
You sense you’re drifting from one another. Busyness with work, extracurricular activities, and church responsibilities keep you passing each other in the hallway.
With little time to reconnect and enjoy each other as you used to you start feeling troubled by the disconnect.When you disconnect you feel divided from your spouse which will eventually lead you to a place of being unhappy. Click To Tweet
When you disconnect you feel divided from your spouse which will eventually lead you to a place of being unhappy.
3 Conversation Starters To Help You Discuss Your Needs
Here are 3 areas that are conversation starters to discuss with your husband about being unhappy
1) Talk About What You Need
It’s unfair to place unrealistic demands on your husband for your happiness. Happiness is so fickle. It’s emotional and can come and go. Striving for connectedness and happiness will be the by-product of being connected with your spouse.
Different seasons of life and the stages of your marriage vary. Some seasons you are on the mountain top, other seasons you’re walking through valleys.
Individually and maritally. We are responsible for our own happiness. Ask yourself what makes you happy?
Our spouse can certainly contribute to that and sadly, contribute to our unhappiness, especially if our marriage is going through a hiccup or even a crisis.
Recognize the difference and discern what your real need is? Is it a marital issue or a personal need that your spouse can’t meet?
This doesn’t mean we don’t have any expectations on them when it comes to contributing to the marriage. It means a husband can’t give you the part of happiness you’re personally responsible for.
Know what you want. Be still. Introspectively examine what’s going on in your heart. Is it a need your spouse should meet?
What is the root of your unhappiness? Is it solely because of where your relationship is with your spouse? Are there underlying disappointments that are contributing to your unhappiness?When you can state what you need instead of what you're not getting, you keep the conversation from getting accusatory. Click To Tweet
When you can state what you need instead of what you’re not getting, you keep the conversation from getting accusatory. Using “I” statements rather than “you” statements can keep the conversation from getting defensive.
When we are being proactive we take personal responsibility for our happiness and not placing that pressure on our spouse to “make us happy”.
2) Communication, money, and sex can be a point of dissatisfaction in marriage.
How much time do you spend talking with your spouse? Are you communicating well? Are you both practicing active listening?
Do you feel free to share your feelings with your spouse? Do you feel like those feelings are validated when you do?
If you feel like your feelings or concerns are dismissed you won’t feel heard or validated leading to more unhappiness.
Is your husband fully present when you are talking with him or is he distracted by his phone?
If you feel as if you have the undivided attention of your spouse without interruption you will feel like a priority and what you are saying to him matters.
Are you having significant money issues?
According to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity.
Money matters in marriage. For a woman it represents security. This doesn’t mean she’s preoccupied with it or fixated with greed.
She’s innately wired to seek security. Like wisdom is, money also is a shelter. It represents to a woman that her future is intact. Things happen. Businesses fail.
Risks are taken at times but she needs to know she can trust her husband in the area of finances.
Do you need to have a hard conversation with your husband about finances because you are afraid about your future?
Are you a planner and love the security of a plan but He is a free spirit who throws caution to the wind and hopes everything will work out?
Has this caused you anxiety and stress? Do you believe no plan is a plan and you’re stressed because this is your husband’s approach to your financial future?
Are you worried because you are uncertain of your financial future but fear you will discourage him in his pursuits? Finances are big issues in a marriage. Discussing them frequently will keep you and your spouse from avoiding the issue even when it’s uncomfortable.
Do you have a good sex life?
Is the area of your sex life a concern for you? Are there underlying things troubling you and you’re having difficulty with sex?
Is your sex life satisfying and fulfilling? Do you wish you had more frequent sex or less sex? Can you openly talk with your spouse about it?
Maybe you feel unhappy because the only time you feel connected to your husband is during sex. And yet, you feel used physically because of the lack of emotional connection.
Being married and yet battling loneliness in your marriage can take a toll.
If sex is constant with your spouse and yet you feel disconnected emotionally, something is missing.
Women, for the most part, are stimulated sexually when they feel connected emotionally.
Are there pornography issues your husband is dealing with and it’s affecting your marriage?
It’s uncomfortable and you don’t want to bring it up, but it troubles you and repulses you.
If your husband is struggling with pornography it’s hard to have a healthy sex life. It’s an image he is drawn to which is fantasy.
It’s a breach of trust and infidelity. It is demoralizing to you as a wife… It makes you feel insecure and “less than” as a wife.
Ignoring or disregarding this as an issue will be like pouring gasoline on a fire. It won’t put itself out until it’s addressed.
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A healthy, thriving sex life is a gift in marriage. Finding out what you are unhappy about in your sex life can help you address the issues that are contributing to some disappointment.A healthy, thriving sex life is a gift in marriage. Finding out what you are unhappy about in your sex life can help you address the issues that are contributing to some disappointment. Click To Tweet
Working through them will help your marriage become healthier.
3) Feeling Taken For Granted
You work a lot. Outside the home and inside the home. You try to keep things running like a machine. You plan meals. You get the groceries. You keep the kids organized. Your life is busy. Too busy. It seems expected.
Slowly, in the busyness, you feel the familiar creeping of disappointment you keep brushing away. The gnawing feeling of being taken for granted keeps surfacing. You are unhappy and tired.
As much as you want to do things for your family, you struggle, knowing your husband can help out more.
Add to it, the lack of acknowledging what you have done and doing it all single-handedly. It doesn’t get done if you don’t do it.
Keeping everything running smoothly for everyone else has left you ragged. You feel spent and empty. Somehow, you feel in danger of losing yourself because everything you do is for everyone else.
You want to tell your husband how unappreciated you feel but don’t want to complain or have another argument. You know if you don’t bring it up, eventually resentment will start building up again.
It has been discussed in the past. Having the same conversations multiple times over seems ineffective because nothing seems to change.
She talks about feeling unappreciated. He appears to be listening but she senses it goes in one ear and out the other. And the cycle continues. She knows she has to talk to her husband about being unhappy. It’s not going away.
Laying things out in honesty, without it escalating to an argument is the goal. To present it from what you need rather than what you’re not getting will carry you further.
It will create a space of openness for your husband to speak to you as a couple but to speak up about where He is as a husband.
Problem-solving should be a normal way of life for married couples. No one has arrived with a perfect marriage.
The goal is a healthy marriage built on the foundation of trust. I hope these three conversation starters can help you dig deeper as a married couple.
Related Questions About Happiness
Here are a few questions we hear often about marital happiness.
Do All Marriages End Up Being Unhappy After A While?
No. While studies show there are a number of factors that determine marriage happiness (religion, education, finances, children, etc), most marriages increase in marital satisfaction over time.
The graph would look like a U-shape meaning it decreases in the beginning and increases after some time (according to Karney, B. R., and Bradbury, T. N. )
It is also important to keep in mind that marital satisfaction and happiness have a direct correlation to personal happiness. In other words, people in happy marriages are people who are generally happy people. (Source)
In other words, if you are a happy person, chances are you will have (or do have) a happy relationship.
What Are The Signs Of An Unhappy Marriage?
According to PositivePsychology.com, there are four components of a positive, happy life.
While there are many signs and indicators of an unfulfilling relationship, this shortlist of four components will help you evaluate areas where you feel unhappy.Positive Psychology
1. Life satisfaction.
- How satisfied are you with life in general?
- Having a sense of purpose in life.
- What is your work about, and do you find it fulfilling? Are you doing the things that make you happy? Your job might be a passion for the salary and the opportunity to do work that means something to others or society.
- How often do you enjoy a positive emotional experience?
- Do you see life as a positive or negative experience?
2. Satisfaction with important aspects of one’s life (for example work, relationships, health).
- Satisfaction with one’s life as a whole: how satisfied are you with the way your life is going?
- Social connections (exposure to other people).
The extent to which we have close relationships, such as friendships and family relationships.
- Mobility. How free are you to choose where to live? How free are you to change employers or universities? Women tend to be less satisfied with their work lives, compared with men.
- Relationships. The quality of our relationships: how satisfied are we with our friendships, relationships, and marriage? Our level of intimacy and closeness in those relationships.
3. The presence of positive affect.
- Positive feelings. How often do we experience positive emotions?
- Positive thoughts. Are you thinking about the good things in life?
- Goal-directed behavior. The ability to engage in goal-directed behavior that is congruent with one’s values and preferences.
- Autonomous. Autonomy and independence (lack of controlling relationships).
4. Low levels of negative affect.
- How often do you experience negative emotions?
- Are you thinking about the bad things in life?
Negative self-concept (poor self-esteem). Do you think of yourself in a positive or negative way?
It makes sense to increase the things that make you feel joy, love, and fulfillment. And decrease the things that make you feel empty, alone, and unloved.
What Can I Say To My Husband To Reconnect?
This is difficult to answer because everyone is different. We each respond to different verbal cues. That said, the one common thread for successful communication is respect.
If you respect yourself, and your spouse, you will gain ground when you communicate. If respect is lacking, nothing you say will be heard with openness.
The best policy is honestly seasoned with grace and respect.
Be clear in what you desire, need, and want. If you do this with love and respect, you stand a better chance of being heard.
What Do You Do When Your Husband Ignores You?
It is best to practice positive communication when you feel overlooked or ignored. Here’s what I mean:
Nagging, griping, and complaining rarely work when your relationship is already strained. Clear communication is important.
You may have to seek the right opportunity, but find a time to talk openly with your spouse about how you feel and what you need. Don’t try to have a serious conversation when he is distracted or preoccupied.
Related Article: My Husband Doesn’t Listen To My Needs
How To Tell Your Huband Things Need To Change?
I am assuming this question implies your relationship is at a crossroads. While it is important to be clear you are hurting and can’t stay in the current situation, laying out an ultimatum can backfire. Especially if it is not done in the right attitude.
We recommend getting professional help at this stage.
Counseling may be a good start, but our first recommendation is to follow a proven communication plan designed to help you identify where you are in your marriage crisis, AND give you the right tools to know what to do at that stage.
Dr. Lee Baucom’s program, ‘Save the Marriage System‘ is an excellent place to start. You can read more about here.
Final Thoughts On How To Talk To Your Husband About Being Unhappy
No one wants to have a bad marriage. Unfortunately, relationships get off track at times. Knowing how to communicate effectively is essential to get your marriage back on track.
In this article, we discussed three conversation starters to help you communicate your needs to your spouse.
We also answered a few questions we get from readers related to communication in difficult times.
Recap of what we covered.
- 3 Conversation Starters To Help You Discuss Your Needs
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