My client, Mark, recently shared with me the details of his struggling marriage. He and his wife of 20 plus years don’t talk much and when they do, he feels like she always puts him down. He feels like his input does not matter and that she simply does not care.
He said he’s been going through the motions of his life for a long time, telling himself he should just be happy. They have a good lifestyle, a good family, and do not really argue. He said there is no us in the relationship and he feels alone.
He said things are fine. They aren’t great, they aren’t bad, they are fine.
I see this every day.
He longs for more in their relationship and wonders if it’s ever going to get any better…
He looks at the positives and tells himself that he should just learn to be happy…
But that is not happening.
He isn’t happy. He knows this. But he is “ok” and things are “fine”.
Although feeling unhappy never feels comfortable to anyone, ever…There is a certain comfort remaining in the pain that we know.
We know how to do this kind of pain…we’ve been doing it for a long time. This is what keeps us stuck in painful situations year after year after year.
The pain we know feels less frightening than the pain or fear of the unknown.
The unknown of making changes…
The unknown of learning how to engage differently…
The unknown of walking out the door if it doesn’t work and moving our lives forward.
Too many people are living life feeling fine…they’ve gotten used to unhappiness as a way of being. And they remain stuck there, telling themselves there are no other options…that this is all there is…. That it isn’t that bad.
Have you gotten a bit too comfortable with your own unhappiness?