Am I depressed or unhappy in my marriage?

This can be a very challenging thing to figure out on your own. You might find having someone properly trained in these things, like a therapist, to be a very helpful resource.

They can help you organize and understand your feelings and thoughts. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s best first to untangle your emotions and ground yourself before making any big decisions or major changes. 

Can an unhappy marriage cause depression? 

Absolutely. Feeling disconnected, unseen, misunderstood, confused, drained, and empty are feelings some may feel in an unhappy marriage. The longer these feelings last, the heavier they feel, and the more you feel alone. 

Over time, this may become physically and emotionally exhausting. But, it is important to make sure you do the work first. People are sometimes too quick to find someone or something to blame. There are many other reasons someone might be depressed. Marriage could be part of that equation, but it’s best to examine all parts of your life to see what’s triggering the symptoms and emotions.

What does depression look like in a marriage?

It’s kind of like eating leftovers. The food is still technically good, and it tasted amazing the night it was first made, but after the third day of eating it, the flavors have faded, the colors aren’t as vibrant, and it can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving for something more. 

You may feel disconnected and start to distance yourself. Many do this by avoiding the situation and the uncomfortable feelings of being in an unhappy marriage. Here are some ways people avoid their feelings: having a long to-do list, overthinking, over-eating, substance abuse, avoiding your partner and/or certain topics, staying at work longer, etc.

Can a high-conflict relationship be a factor?

Sure, in high-stress situations, your body releases a stress hormone known as cortisol. As a result, you may see a spike in your heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, it boosts your energy supplies. If the body does not have time to recharge itself and the mind doesn’t have an opportunity to reboot, you will start to exhibit what is called chronic stress.

This becomes extremely draining and can cause many debilitating symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, sleeping problems, anxiety, and depression. Just like a phone needs to be charged to continue to work, a person needs the same to continue operating at an optimal level and to prevent it from burning out physically and emotionally. 

What’s your message of hope for our readers? 

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. We all bring past wounds into our relationship, and we must never stop working on ourselves. Too often, we focus on our partner’s problems to deflect from our problems, and we rely on our partner’s happiness to make us happy. Though they may serve as temporary solutions, they don’t provide permanent results in the long run. And quite often, we start playing the blame game and think it’s our marriage’s problem.

This is a big problem in many relationships, and I’ve seen many couples overcome their challenges. Keep trying. Effort, love, and commitment go a long way. 

However, if you’ve done the personal work and think you’ve done everything possible, sometimes we outgrow our partners. And if this is the case, then walking away from a relationship that no longer serves us or is preventing us from growing and identifying with our true selves is the healthiest thing we can do for our well-being.

Friends and family may or may not approve f your decision, whether that be to stay in a relationship or to leave it, but whatever you decide to do, make sure you feel like it’s the best thing for you because you are the one who has to live in the relationship.

Find a Therapist

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Written by Kasia Ciszewski, LPC on

Kasia is a licensed professional counselor servicing the Charleston area. She helps individuals heal, better understand their emotions, energize & become more aware of their inner strength. She specializes in helping teens, adults and seniors and has been able to regularly achieve impressive results for her clients throughout South Carolina. Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Twitter - Linkedin

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