As a Counsellor and Therapist specialising in working with Mothers I often find myself having deep and meaningful conversations about a client’s most intimate relationships, often we will discuss their marriage and the fact that my client has generally been unhappy for many years.

In fact, many of my female clients have been unhappily married 5 years or more prior to even verbalising the fact to ANYONE!

Their unhappiness has been hidden so well, buried so deeply that they haven’t even discussed it with their closest friends.

What Can You Do To Make A Change?

What, if anything, can you do to make a change if you have become used to being unhappy in your marriage? What do you do if you have become the master of hiding your hurt, of putting up a front for the rest of the world to see?

Tried This? RATE IT Now…

Image of Nando’s Mild PERinaise 265g
Nando’s Mild PERinaise 265g

Submitting your rating…

Do you simply turn around one day and say to everyone “Fooled you! I’ve actually been miserable for years so I am out of here! Surprise!”?

Maybe you do but perhaps there is a middle point, something else to try first and this is an exercise I ask my clients to complete before they decide to divide their family:

Step 1 – Go to your favourite secluded spot, somewhere that you won’t be bothered, let everyone know you just need a couple of hours to yourself and that you will be back but you plan to turn off your phone for a couple of hours (Take a pillow and rug so that you can enjoy some comfort if it’s in nature).

Step 2 – Sit and relax, breathe deeply and calmly and get back in touch with nature.

Step 3 – Take off your wedding ring and place it safely in your pocket.

Step 4 – Consider yourself divorced, that’s it! It has been done. You now have no husband to consider, you are free and you can stay here as long as you like. This can sound pretty appetising after being unhappily married for so long. Take a while just to be in this moment.

Step 5 – Be divorced.

So many of my clients believe they WANT a divorce but then we talk about what it means to BE divorced, what does it look like exactly?

Well, sometimes it can look like this:

  • Sometimes it’s your weekend but sometimes it’s not, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes it’s your Christmas but sometimes it’s not, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes you can throw the children a birthday party but sometimes it’s just not going to be your time, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your ex-husband is going to fall in love with someone else, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children are going to fall in love with their new step mother, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children are going to dislike their new step mother but will have to spend time with her anyway, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your ex-husband and his new wife might have a new family, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children will cry because they don’t want to go to Dad’s house OR because they do want to go to Dad’s house, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes you will say goodbye to the friends and family that were important to you as a couple, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Try it out, see how it fits and feel the feelings that come with your new divorce. Say “Yes” to everything on this list, how does it feel? Is there any part of you that say’s “No”, this isn’t what I want after all! I think we can work on this together, I think I can forgive the little things that drive me crazy, I think I can be happier here.

Step 6 – Get re-married or not, you have looked at the future, you have felt some of the feelings that will come with that future, it’s certainly your future to keep if you choose it but maybe, just maybe, you will want to slip those rings back on your finger and give it one more chance.

Can you relate to this? Please SHARE your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • It’s some good points to Assist in working out your feelings and what you want.


  • Good article – the best point it makes is sitting down and thinking- unless you nut things out in your own head and decide what you really want, you have no chance of talking it through with your partner – which is definitely what is needed regardless of the outcome.


  • I threw my wedding ring out of the car window, and listened to it tink tink tink on the asphalt before I took off!


  • Why is there so much lack of communication in marriages?? Lose you phones, computers and TVs and make time to talk and be together. If there is children that decisions are affected because they don’t agree on what the kids are allowed to do, or where they are allowed to go—–don’t let the kids play you off against each other. One trick some play is they ask one parent a question, then later they ask the other one. The last person is told.”…..told me I could”. I have witnessed this in a few families. Then the parents start arguing over it. Sometimes the kids think it is funny.


  • could be a good exercise to do if things are not going so well.


  • That is a pretty good exercise to do if you are unhappy with your marriage. Really sit down and think through everything. Even if you end up thinking no I don’t want a divorce after that exercise, I still think the couple should be talking about all the issues they may have. Just not wanting a divorce doesn’t really fix the problem why you may be unhappy. Communication is vital.


  • There are a lot of factors that keep people in unhappy marriages – sometimes it’s children, sometimes finances, sometimes religious or cultural beliefs, sometimes it’s a pros and cons list with the pros winning out. It’s a very personal decision, and what keeps one person in a marriage may not necessarily be reasons that would keep another person in a marriage.


  • A very interesting article to read.


  • This can be quite a confronting situation. A number of major life changes certainly challenged my relationship with my husband. Self reflection and contemplation has been a game changer for us.


  • That happens here already, our unhappiness is caused by too many ppl interfering with our family and how we would like to run it. I live with my in laws on a dairy farm, I have my own career off the farm. They still like to tell us when I can go and see my family.


  • No, I can’t relate to this but this sure makes sense. My neighbour split up with her partner after 20+ years being together and having 5 kids. They both have new partners and her ex has a new baby girl born recently, but they’re still the best of friends and they are raising their kids “together”.


  • Very good advice here – and amazingly, it’s often the second time around that turns out to be the love of your life.


  • Although I can’t relate to this, I imagine these will be really great tips and thought provokers for some.


  • Interesting article. Thank you for your thoughts Amanda.


  • This is all real. I know a lady who divorced three years ago, after her husband had an affair with her friend. Her youngest boy, who was three year old then, was clearly depressed and withdrawn. But now I can see him living with his father more often, than with mother. She also lost her friends.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating