110+ Unhappy Marriage Quotes & Sayings

All couples face issues in a marriage, but the question is, when do you know if it will be a temporary or permanently traumatizing issue that will likely remain unresolved and anguished? So here are some unhappy marriage quotes that you will be able to relate to if your marriage has become traumatic. Not every match is chosen by God and made in heaven, so some couples have to work on their relationship a little harder to mold themselves into becoming each other’s soulmates. However, a joyless marriage leads to emotional and wretched mental trauma that should be addressed at the earliest to avoid unnecessary bitterness in the couple’s life. Delve into this post for some quotes about dejected marriage that will help you introspect your marital life and redress the cheerless issues with your spouse.

In This Article

111 Unhappy Marriage Quotes

  1. “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
  2. “The collapse of what once was had been comprised of dozens of gestures, scores of things left unsaid, and hundreds of resentments spread over the thousand days that all stacked up to create millions of tiny moments of muffled misery.” —Benjamin Myers
  3. “Her husband seemed to her now like a person whom she had married without love as an excuse.” —Kate Chopin
  4. “When one of you wanted one life, and the other wanted something completely different, there was a technical term for that: irreconcilable.”—Anna Quindlen
  5. “They weren’t happy memories because your father and I were never happy together. Even if we had been briefly and occasionally happy, everything got sullied, ripped up, and destroyed. But people don’t love each other only for happy memories. At a certain point in life, you realize that you just love the memories.” —Natalia Ginzburg
  6. “If we must lose wife or husband when we live to our highest right, we lose an unhappy marriage as well, and we gain ourselves. But if a marriage is born between two already self-discovered, what a lovely adventure begins, hurricanes and all.” —Richard Bach
  7. “Bad marriages don’t cause infidelity; infidelity causes bad marriages.” —Frank Pittman
  8. “In an ideal world, marriage vows would be entirely rewritten.”—Alain de Botton
  1. “More marriages might survive if the partners realize that sometimes, the better comes after the worse.”—Doug Larson
Sometimes, the better comes after the worse

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  1. “Nothing is as bad as a marriage that is a hopeless failure.” —D. H. Lawrence
  2. “Couples spend year after year trying to change each other’s mind—but it can’t be done. This is because most of their disagreements are rooted in fundamental differences in lifestyle, personality, or values. By fighting over these differences, all they succeed in doing is wasting their time and harming their marriage.” —John M. Gottam
  3. “People always fall in lovewith the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. “An unhappy marriage is neither your business nor your concern.”―Anthony Riches
  5. “Sometimes, I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”―Katharine Hepburn
  6. “When you’re unhappy in your marriage, your children are the ones who suffer.” —Christina Aguilera
  7. “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”—Louis. C. K
  8. “Don’t spend too much time beating on a wall, hoping it will transform into a door.”―Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  9. “If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he creates expectations for you and then doesn’t follow through on little things, he will do the same for big things. Be aware of this and realize that he’s okay with disappointing you. Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do. If he’s choosing not to make a simple effort that would put you at ease and bring harmony to a recurring fight, then he doesn’t respect your feelingsand needs.” ―Greg Behrendt
  10. “Over just a few years, the old Amy, the girl of the big laugh and the easy ways, literally shed herself, a pile of skin and soul on the floor, and out stepped this new, brittle, bitter Amy. My wife was no longer my wife, but a razor-wire knot daring me to unloop her.” —Gillian Flynn
  11. “It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.” —Coco Chanel
  12. “There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family.”―C. JoyBell C.
  13. “I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my lifewith someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.” ―Mary Ann Shaffer
  14. “Marriage is like a series of opposing reflections, inverse images getting ever smaller like nesting dolls, each one of you trying to squeeze yourself smaller to fit inside the hopes of the other, until one of you cracks or stops existing.” —Jacob M. Appel
  15. “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.” —Oscar Wilde
  16. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”—Deborah Reber
  1. “You know it’s never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It’s always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.”―Jodi Picoult, Mercy
The effort put into marriage is never split half way

Image: IStock

  1. “When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
  2. “Almost every problem people face in their careers and other aspects of their lives – such as failed diets, marriages, and financial problems – are all the result of not taking enough action.” —Grant Cardone
  3. “When you look back and realize that you do not remember anything good about your lackluster relationship, then it means things aren’t the way they are supposed to be. Talk it out before it becomes sorrowful and futile.”
  4. “So many pleasing episodes of one’s life are spoiled by shouting. You never heard of an unhappy marriage unless the neighbors have heard it first.”―Lillian Russell
  5. “A bad marriage is worse than no marriage at all.” —Neil Clark Warren
  6. “So many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect.” —Ellen DeGeneres
  7. “I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.”―Martha Gellhorn
  8. “You kids were all in college, and I suddenly saw that I was stuck alone with a man who, all those years later, was still wanting me to be someone I wasn’t.”―Barbara Delinsky
  9. Relationshipsare like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.” ―D. Love
  10. “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.” —Cher
  11. “It takes two to make a marriage a success and only one to make it a failure.” —Herbert Samuel
  12. “I’ve often thought if I didn’t make my marriage work, I would have failed at my one true shot at happiness.” —Bethenny Frankel
  13. “When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.”―George Bernard Shaw
  14. “There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” ―Shannon L. Alder
  15. “If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”―Shannon L. Alder
  16. “I used to hope that you’d bring me flowers. Now I plant my own.” —Rachel Wolchin
  17. “When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they ‘don’t understand’ one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to.” —Helen Rowland
  18. “For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.” —Gary Chapman
  19. “Marriage is imperfect. We start with a desire for oneness, and then we discover our differences. Our fears are aroused by the prospect of all the things we’re never going to have.” —Esther Perel
  1. “Sometimes, you can be more than enough for someone, but they choose not to be in your life.”―Shannon L. Alder
Sometimes, you can be more than enough but they don't choose you

Image: IStock

  1. “If he can’t handle you at your worst, then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead seeing a person’s soul.”―Shannon L. Alder
  2. “You married him because he promised to love, honor, and cherish you. When all of those promises are broken time and again, you are left with a broken heart.” ―Barrie Davenport
  3. “In a bad marriage, friends are the invisible glue. If we have enough friends, we may go on for years, intending to leave, talking about leaving -instead of actually getting up and leaving.” —Erica Jong
  1. “Oh, Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection.”―Jane Austen
  2. “Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question– ‘Is this all?”―Betty Friedan
  3. “When marriage fails, it is not increasing conflict that is the cause. It is decreasing affection and emotional responsiveness. (…) The lack of emotional responsiveness rather than the level of conflict is the best predictor of how solid a marriage will be.”—Sue Johnson
  4. “Nothing can cost you someone you love. The only thing that can cost you your husband is if you believe a thought. That’s how you move away from him. That’s how the marriage ends. You are one with your husband until you believe the thought that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there you have lost your marriage.” —Byron Katie
  5. “A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.” —Charlie Munger
  6. “Never stay in a bad marriage, and don’t hang around with psycho coke fiends.” —Joe Rogan
  7. “As a bride, it had been she who had “dragged” Benjamin to dances and dinners – now conditions were reversed. She went out socially with him, but without enthusiasm, devoured already by that eternal inertia which comes to live with each of us one day and stays with us to the end.”―F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. “And how can you say a man had a good mind when he couldn’t even bother to do anything when the best-hearted, most beautiful woman in the world, his own wife, was dying for lack of love and understanding…”―Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  9. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”―J.K. Rowling
  10. “There is no loneliness like that of a failed marriage.” —Alexander Theroux
  11. “At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not your life.” —Sandi Lynn
  12. “Having your heart broken by the one you love the most can be like a thousand paper cuts or one massive and decisive blow. Either way, the pain is profound.” —Barrie Davenport
  13. “I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.”―Haruki Murakami
  14. “Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.” —Gary Chapman
  15. “It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible, and entirely ignored.” —David Levithan
  16. “What kills love? Only this: neglect.” —Jeanette Winterson
  17. “Even the most intense feelings cease when neglected and taken for granted.” —Anupama Garg
  18. “Sometimes I get real lonely sleeping with you.”―Haruki Murakami
  19. “When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.”―Deepak Chopra
When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself.

Image: IStock

  1. “Gottman has found, in fact, that the presence of contempt in a marriage can even predict such things as how many colds a husband or wife gets; in other words, having someone you love express contempt toward you is so stressful that it begins to affect the functioning of your immune system.” —Malcolm Gladwell
  2. “Thinking of Father’s scheme to marry me off, I said, “Sometimes people are forced into wedlock. If they must marry, perhaps it’s better if they must love.” —Gail Carson Levine
  3. “It is better to be unhappy in love than unhappy in marriage, but some people manage to be both.”—Guy de Maupassant
  4. “There is no going back to a time when most women will feel compelled to enter or stay in a bad marriage just for economic security or social respectability. So today, the best way to get women once more interested in getting married and having children is for men to accept women’s new insistence on equality. This is, I think, why educated women in America, are now more pro – marriage and more disapproving of divorce than other groups of women who have less experience with egalitarian partners or less clout in getting their needs met in relationships.” —Stephanie Coontz
  5. “There is nothing lonelier than being in a marriage and feeling unseen by your husband. You feel like a ghost in your own home.” —Barrie Davenport
  6. “I used to think that the worst feeling in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” —Robin Williams
  7. “I would rather a romantic relationship turn into contempt than turn into apathy. The passion in the extremities makes it appear as though it once meant something. We grow from hot or cold, but lukewarm is the biggest insult.”―Criss Jami
  8. “Why don’t we break up? I guess I stay with her because she stays with me. And that’s not an easy thing to do.” ―John Green
  9. Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love.” Jennifer Weiner
  10. “All of us blossom when we feel loved and wither when we do not feel loved.” —Gary Chapman
  11. “You cannot really get married by mistake. You can only marry the wrong person.” ―Mokokoma Mokhonoana
  12. “Only a man who doesn’t love himself mistreats the woman who loves him.” ―R. H. Sin
  13. “We are not very much to blame for our bad marriages. We live amid hallucinations, and especial trap is laid to trip up our feet with, and all are tripped up first or last. But the mighty mother, who had been so sly with us, as if she felt she owed us some indemnity, insinuates into the Pandora box of marriage some deep and serious benefits, and some great joys.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. “Without the will, marriage is a mockery; without emotion, it is a drudgery. You need both.” —Ravi Zacharias
  15. “The Amateur Marriage grew out of the reflection that of all the opportunities to show differences in character, surely an unhappy marriage must be the richest.” ―Anne Tyler
  16. “I had not quite fixed whether to make him end in Hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not knowing which would be the severest.” ―Lord Byron
  17. “It’s far better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone — so far.”―Marilyn Monroe
  18. “I couldn’t think of anything worse than being in an unhappy marriage. It worries me because I’ve seen it destroy people.”―Simon Cowell
  19. “To say the truth women are, in general, too familiar with each other, which leads to that gross degree of familiarity that so frequently renders the marriage state unhappy.” —Mary Wollstonecraft
  20. “Nothing will undermine your effectiveness as a leader faster than a bad marriage.”—Michael Hyatt
  21. “Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.” —Stephen King
  22. “I find to my astonishment that an unhappy marriage goes on being unhappy when it is over.”―Rebecca West
  23. “For every quarrel a man and wife have before others, they have a hundred when alone.”―E. W. Howe
  24. “If I know anything about women, I know they’re not going to accept infidelity any way you serve it up. I don’t care what they say. No one wants the one they love running around on ’em.”―Jack Dancer
  25. “The demise of marriages begins with a growing absence of responsive intimate interactions. The conflict comes later.” ―Sue Johnson
The demise of marriages begins with the absence of responsive intimate interactions

Image: IStock

  1. “It is lack of communication that leads to unhappy marriage.”―Lailah Gifty Akita
  2. “Everyone will get hurt by someone. Getting hurt is a part of life. Expect to get hurt, but don’t change into someone you’re not because of it.” —Sonya Parker
  3. “I like marriage, family life and I wish to get married again. But opting out of an unhappy marriage was a duty toward myself and my future.”—Rossana Condoleo
  4. “There is no worse parent than an unhappy parent!”—Rossana Condoleo
  5. “Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.”―Khalil Gibran
  6. “After marriage, a woman’s sight becomes so keen that she can see right through her husband without looking at him, and a man’s so dull that he can look right through his wife without seeing her.” ―Helen Rowland
  7. “Neither of us is happy but neither of us wants to leave. So we keep breaking one another and calling it love.”―Rupi Kaur
  8. “I am not a hotel room. i am home; i am not the whiskey you want, i am the water you need; don’t come here with expectations and try to make a vacation out of me.” ―Rupi Kaur
  9. “You and I both know that love is for children. We’re adults. Compatibility is for adults,” he said. “Compatibility is for my Bluetooth and my car,” Teresa replied. “Only they get along just fine, and my car never makes my bluetooth feel like shit.” ―Maggie Stiefvater
  10. “I have learned, being alone is not the same as loneliness. And there is nothing quite as lonely as a lonely marriage.” —Sara Stansberry
  11. “Suddenly she felt guilty for not working harder to forgive him and repair the damage, but he hadn’t either. They had been two lost people, treading water for seven years, after the ship went down.”―Danielle Steel
  12. “And the worst thing she had heard were the words he hadn’t said, the fact that he hadn’t loved her.”―Danielle Steel
  13. “Sometimes I wonder that one missing sock after doing laundry, is the smart one. After being unhappy for so long, it finally walks away from a frayed, worn-out relationship.”―Anthony Liccione
  14. “Marriage is just a piece of paper if it’s not a happy one.”―Phil Lester
  15. “We ruined each other by being together. We destroyed each other’s dreams.”―Kate Chisman
  16. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” —Marc and Angel
  17. “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”―Groucho Marx
  18. “There is no challenge strong enough to destroy your marriage as long as you are both willing to stop fighting against each other, and start fighting for each other.”– Dave Willis
unhappy marriage quotes_illustration

Image: Dalle E/MomJunction Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it normal to feel unhappy in a marriage?

Yes, it is natural to be dispirited and unhappy in a woeful marriage at times. Every relationship goes through ups and downs. However, if you are constantly disheartened in your marriage, you may consider taking a break or divorce.

2. What is the reason for an unhappy marriage?

Misunderstandings, lack of communication, unrealistic expectations, domestic abuse, financial issues, and many other dismal factors can all contribute to a despondent marriage.

3. Is it better to divorce or remain unhappy in a marriage?

If you’re unhappily married, try to resolve your indifferences and disagreements on your own or with professional help. Your unsatisfying marriage may go through a distressing bad patch, and you can get it back on track with sincere efforts. However, you may opt for divorce if you’re in a despairing marriage or still unhappy despite the effort to fix issues.

In this context, Harry, a husband and father of two girls, shares how, after eight years of marriage, his wife Kate expressed that she was unhappy with their relationship. He writes, “Kate told me she was hopelessly unhappy because I wasn’t the friend she’d hoped and needed me to be. If I didn’t get my act together, our marriage would be over within a year.” However, for the sake of their children, they didn’t go for divorce or separation. He adds, “I made some important changes that radically transformed our marriage. Here we are twenty years later, still married, deeply secure and content in our future together, and what most people would describe as ‘happily married’ (i).”

4. What does an unhealthy marriage look like?

An unhealthy marriage is when spouses live together but feel heartbroken and forlorn, do not spend quality time together, and constantly engage in arguments and fights.

Turbulence may occur in any relationship. But it may sometimes be difficult to realize if the relationship is worth the struggles and the fights. An unhappy relationship may take a toll on your grieving mental health with seemingly endless melancholy. Hence, it is sometimes better to identify the bitter truth and act accordingly. These gloomy marriage quotes could help you understand how your relationship is navigating. If you can relate to most of the above quotes, perhaps it is time for you to rethink the tragic marriage and take action to save it. Also, communicate with your partner and express your concerns if he is not balked by your suggestions. You may even try couples therapy to resolve the issues.

Infographic: Some More Unhappy Marriage Quotes

Being in an unhappy marriage can be a challenging experience for a person. But being able to express how you feel while being a part of this relationship can be difficult. So, to help you express your feelings better, we have prepared this list of additional unhappy marriage quotes that you may be able to relate to. So give the following infographic a read and save it for the times you might need to return to it later.

unhappy marriage quotes (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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