Forget Marriage Envy: Call off the Divorce And Learn How to Replicate the Joy Everybody Else Has in Your Own Marriage

“Marriage envy is a very common phenomenon but you can choose to let it inspire you into avoiding divorce rather than eating yourself up with envy. Because happiness is a decision.” Bob Sumner

Do you have marriage envy?

Do you envy other people’s marriages while at the same time you find yourself on the verge of divorce? Indeed, are you miserable as hell and can’t take another day of the misery? At the same time, do all your married friends seem happy as clams? Are you feeling marriage envy? And you want to know how to replicate that joy in your own marriage and save your relationship from becoming another divorce statistic? Then read on. I am going to be your marriage guru today and I am going to give you 6 key tips for saving your marriage from divorce.

First key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

Do the very opposite of everything you have been doing. Really. THE TOTAL OPPOSITE. Why? It’s simple. Because what you have been doing is not working and has not worked. If it had worked you and your spouse would not be miserable as hell and can’t take it anymore, you would not be getting a divorce and you would be one of those happy people in those sickeningly happy marriages that you have come to envy and despise. Don’t despise them! Be inspired by them! What makes them so happy? Probably doing the opposite of whatever it is you have been doing in your marriage. You see, the thing is, happiness is an abstract, subjective thing. You can be happy individually or you can be happy as a couple. What have you been doing in your marriage? Are you focusing on doing things that make the couple happy and healthy or have you been focused on your own selfish happiness? The key to a happy coupling is doing what makes the couple happy and feel good. So that implies a two way compromise. It can’t be just one person compromising. But compromise means compromise. There is a two-ness implied in that word. There is a “together.” If you are miserable together then you are not doing what the other wants and needs; so do THE TOTAL OPPOSITE. You both have to decide to do the opposite of what you both have been doing and this is how you will be happy as a couple. It is so simple. What you are currently doing makes your couple unhappy. Just do the opposite!

Some examples:

  • Speak in the opposite tone or pitch (especially effective is going softer, lower and slower)
  • Don’t discuss politics (if you regularly do and it devolves into fights)
  • Play less mind games and more board games (unless its monopoly and you tend to become vicious with that)
  • Go out less or go out more (so long as it is the opposite of what you have been doing)
  • Spend less money
  • Be less religious or consider becoming more spiritual
  • Hang out with friends more or less (ditto for family)
  • Have more or less sex (or different kinds and at different times)
  • Don’t shit with the bathroom door open
  • Work less or work more (so long as it is the opposite)
  • Apologize with deeds and not with words (show don’t tell)
  • Start totally different past times
  • Spend more or less time together
  • Be sexier
  • Laugh more

Second key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

2. Figure out to a science what makes your spouse happy. Do you really know what makes your spouse happy? Spend some hours thinking about this one question and nailing down an answer After you have your answer, device a strategy for contibuting to at least 50 percent of their daily happiness. That could mean just leaving them alone more BUT NOT TOO MUCH. It could mean agreeing to move to a new location. It could mean putting off having kids. It could mean listening more. It could be a combination of things. You have to figure out what makes your spouse happy and help them achieve that. If your spouse is clinically depressed and can’t get to the point of happiness, it is understood that you can take the horse to water but can’t make them drink but at least, get them to the water and say “drink.”  And see what happens. And, yea, you need to figure out what makes you happy too. You have to be happy before you can make someone else happy. Or  can’t you? This is kind of chicken vs egg. What I do know is that happiness is contagious. And you can fake it till you really feel it.  So first, get happy in your own heart then make your spouse feel happy and this will save your marriage – just. like. that.

Third key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

3. Ask for a redo

The idea here is to start over, re-launch and re-boot your marriage. You can just say “you know what, we are at the crossroads in this relationship and we have two choices: stay together or get divorced. I choose the first option but that is going to mean we reboot this thing. Are you game?” Do you risk hearing “no”? Yes, you do. And you can’t reboot the marriage by yourself. Sometimes by the time you are even thinking about a reboot it is already too late and the other person has already checked out of the marriage. But where possible, just ask for a chance to re-launch.

Fourth key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

4. Become a better version of yourself overnight. just let your inner butterfly come out and show your spouse that you really are the person that he or she married after all. It is not a one size fits all band aid. How this plays out will depend on your personal situation. But the basic idea is to be a busier, kinder, happier, sexier and more likeable version of yourself. Play up your wow factor. Accentuate the positives in yourself and your spouse. Ask forgiveness and be willing to forgive. Mellow out and be at peace. This will have a positive impact on your relationship – guaranteed.

Fifth key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

5. Go the separation route and buy time.

It is true that most people who separate don’t get back together. The statistics seem to bear this out. But some people do.  In fact, some people are so skilled at it that they are separated by they still continue to live together and nobody even knows they are separated. If you are in the situation where a separation could make sense for you, try it but do it strategically. It’s like a time out when the game is already in overtime. Not a lot of margin for error. But during this time, try out the steps outlined above.

Finally, the sixth key to saving your marriage and getting rid of marriage envy is:

6. Let yourself be inspired by other happy couples. There is no reason to resent other happy couples. Rather, let yourself be inspired by them. Emulate their habits. Try out their moves and techniques in your own relationship. Talk to them. Listen to what they say about what makes their couple so happy and with a few tweaks, incorporate their tips into your own relationship.

 

Marriage envy image credit

Author: Chrissie Zempuanova

My name is Chrissie. I am a married woman in my forties. I chose the pen name "Zempuanova" to protect my identity. I mostly write about marriage issues. But I have many other interests as well. I live in Santa Monica, California.