My husband’s great. Why am I not happy?
Photo of Carol Fare in conversation

You’ve got a perfect husband.   He’s a great dad and caring and attentive to you.  You’ve got everything which should mean you’re happily married.

But you’re not

You’re starting to ask ‘is this it?’ and can’t imagine staying together for the rest of your life. 

You don’t know if this is the way it’s supposed to be, or whether you’d be happier if you left

You feel guilty even thinking this way and can’t talk to your husband about it

And you can’t talk to friends and family either.  Because they all think your husband’s great and wouldn’t understand why you’re feeling this way.

And neither do you

It makes no sense, when to the outside world you’ve got a perfect life and marriage.  But it doesn’t feel that way to you on the inside.  And you don’t know what to do.

Why do I feel this way?

To figure out why this is happening, it’s helpful to look back and think about all that’s changed

When you got together, you had a clear plan what you wanted your life to look like.  You were setting up home together, starting a family, pursuing your careers.  You were focused on creating your life and family.  And life was very busy.

Which meant there wasn’t much time for you as a couple.  There was always something else more important to do, so your relationship got pushed onto the backburner – something you do when you get time.

So that a few years down the line, you look up and wonder how you got here.  You’ve got everything you wanted when you got together (home, family and careers).  But you’ve stopped feeling like a couple.  And more like two people who happen to live together whilst raising a family.

Your husband is still the great man you married.  And is what you would wish for in a husband and dad to your kids.  But you’ve got out of the habit of being a couple.  Leaving married life feeling a bit dull and that it’s all work and no play.

Why date nights aren’t enough

The way many couples respond to this is to arrange date nights or nights away whilst the kids stay with grandparents.  And this helps to a point (before a pandemic disrupted our social lives).  But it means that you are waiting for at best a once a week, and probably more like once a month, opportunity to spend time together.   And then if something crops up (like a sick child) that scuppers your plan, and you’re then waiting weeks or longer before you can try again.

So whilst date nights are great, they don’t give your marriage the regular attention it needs.  And your marriage needs regular attention

Spend time together every day

What I suggest to the mums I work with is a different approach, which is to commit to finding 10 minutes together each day.   And in those 10 minutes to simply have a conversation and catch up.  About your day, what’s happened to you, or what’s made you smile or you’ve enjoyed.

This is not the time to talk about your children or your to-do list – there are other times you can do.  But simply to chat as a couple, like you probably did when you first got together.

Even in the busiest of days, it’s possible to find 10 minutes together.    And it works well if you combine with another activity, such as having a brew together, or taking the dog for a walk.  Something that you’re already doing and you’re adding the commitment to the conversation on top. 

This will help you to have some time each day being a couple again, rather than all the other roles you juggle in the rest of your life.  So you can reconnect, be a couple again and enjoy each other’s company.