Who Is Unhappier

Ah! THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION!!!! Ideally, only some want to ask a married couple. Who is happier!!!

For the simple reason that some of us don’t want to admit that it is indeed an ‘Unhappy’ marriage. Somehow when it comes to a marriage, we want to be the quintessential Ostrich burying our heads underground and pretending IT’S NOT HAPPENING; or at least not to Us. Even if it means ignoring the elephant in the room, we don’t want to acknowledge or even suggest to the couple the ‘unhappiness’ in the union.

Nevertheless, not all marriages are fairy-tale, and no matter how much we want to pretend that all is well in our paradise, we know it is not. What makes it worse is when one partner reports being unhappy while the other is happily oblivious to anything going wrong in the relationship. Then, the dreaded question pops back: ‘Who is unhappier – The Wife or the Husband?

Many personal and individual factors, expectations, and aspirations drive the satiety you may report from a relationship. Your gender, too, plays a significant role in your expectations of a relationship. So let’s check that out in the marital context.

‘Wife’ Protests:

• “He does not help with the chores.”

• “His family dominates every decision”

• “Eats unhealthy/not mindful of health/drinks too much.”

• “Spends too much money/time with his friends.”

• “Has become insecure/changed after marriage.”

• “It’s either sex or nothing at all when it comes to ‘love’”

‘Husband’ Protests:

• “She keeps complaining all the time.”

• “Isn’t always ready for/happy with sex.”

• “Does not give space/me time.”

• “Is always suspicious/dominating/micro-managing.”

• “Doesn’t dress up/parties as she used to before marriage.”

• “She has changed a lot/isn’t as cool as she was before.”

So, what looked like a ‘perfect partnership,’ ‘a divine union,’ ‘the perfect match, and ‘the happily ever after relationship suddenly turned into a disappointing, lustreless, rote, and mechanical arrangement that hardly excites anyone. What goes wrong here?

Let’s look at what are the everyday stressors that force this question:

1. Libido Mismatch

As much as we want to push this topic under the carpet, this is the most common factor of Marital discord. Of course, no two individuals will have the same appetite for sex, at least not at the same time. Still, the most significant driving factor is the inability to acknowledge and address this carnal desire. While the man is commonly believed to have a higher libido than his spouse, the converse may also be accurate and a reason for the partner with the higher drive to report unhappiness.

2. Finances

The Second most significant problem is mismanaged finances. It is not earning more or less, blowing whatever you make as a household. Again, the wife and the husband may have different ideas on what issues need priority status. If a consensus is not reached early in marriage, it can be a significant cause of reported unhappiness.

3. Work/ Career Pressures

Marital discord is inevitable in a modern-day society where both partners want to pursue their respective careers and do not want to slow down or settle down for domestic demands on one’s time. No matter how much you want to believe ‘you can have it all,’ it is a myth. The more high-pressure your job is, the more unhappiness you and your partner are designed to report.

4. Household Chores’ Division

Well, this needs no introduction. An unfair division of chores is bound to result in rifts and discord, especially if it’s combined with balancing a career and home!

5. Sharing Rearing Children

Having and bringing up children puts a lot of demands and pressure on a relationship mentally and financially. Suppose there are unreal expectations, unclear work division, or unwillingness to accept the changes. In that case, this can have disastrous effects on a marriage, thereby reporting more stress and unhappiness in the union.

6. Family Interference

Believe it or not, the support you have (or don’t have) from your family is instrumental in your happiness experience quotient. Marriage requires a lot of effort, and a little bit of support goes a long way in restoring the wear and tear of the relationship: the more support, the more happiness.

7. Peer pressure And Society pleasing

The demands on a relationship are abundant, and if any of you happens to be a people-pleaser, then peer pressure can bog you down. The more you give into this pressure of ‘looking picture perfect family, the more discontent you will report.

According to research by Population Reference Bureau, and Harvard Health Publishing, statistics suggest that married men report better health, life longevity, and happiness than their unmarried counterparts. In contrast, married women report worse health, inadequate mental health, and depression from unhappy marriages. They also form a significant chunk in writing a marriage as ‘Unhappy.’ So, if you believe statistics (not me), the ‘Wife’ wins the argument of being the ‘Unhappier’ one in a marriage!

And why does the wifey seem unhappier, you ask? It is pretty interesting to explore…What is common in both the Man and the Wife’s complaints is that ‘the other person is not what they thought/promised to be!’ 

The Man

Before Marriage, sees a girl who loves partying just like he does. But she doesn’t bother about the nitty-gritty, loves to dress up, gives freedom, and lives life like there’s no tomorrow! 

He thinks this is what he gets, and

The Woman

Before Marriage, sees a man who wants to protect her, chase her, care about her, follow her, lets her be who she is, compliments her, isn’t insecure, and loves her individuality. He isn’t the perfect Man yet, but he promises to be her brighter-than-sunshine Tomorrow!

She thinks he is not quite there but has the potential, and HE WILL CHANGE AFTER MARRIAGE.

Then Marriage happens ……

Everything around the woman changes – her surroundings, place, family, people, friends, and expectations of her…. And to keep up with the new reality, SHE CHANGES!!!

Everything around the Man does NOT change – same surroundings, same place, same family, same friends, expectations of him… And with no requirement to change, HE DOES NOT CHANGE!!!

Now that’s a perfect recipe for disaster called ‘MARRIAGE.’

Recently, I came across a social media post where a couple wished each other ‘Happy 2nd Marriage Unnecessary’ (Anniversary)!! …Well, I think they may be blessed with the divine knowledge of the Cosmos! 

Follow Veena Gupta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s