Does Being Married Make You Happier?


For many people, one of the main goals in life is to meet that special someone, settle down, and build a life together. However, like most things in life, being married comes with challenges, and it doesn’t always necessarily mean you are going to be the happiest version of yourself, sharing your life with someone.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the latest data surrounding marriage in the UK, explore the potential downsides of an unhappy marriage and offer advice to people who may be concerned that their marriage may not be working for them.

Recent data for marriage rates in the UK

According to the Office for National Statistics, marriage rates in England and Wales have been steadily declining. In 2021, there were 192,999 marriages, the lowest number since 1895. This trend could reflect a societal shift towards later marriages and a rise in cohabitation.

While some might see this as a decline in commitment, it could also indicate a growing focus on finding the right partner before getting married. After all, a happy marriage might be more about who you marry than the act of marriage itself.

How can an unhappy marriage affect you?

There are many wonderful reasons couples choose to get married, and for many people, marriage is a commitment to each other that stands the test of time. The joy of sharing your life with someone cannot be understated, but being married does not necessarily mean you will be happy throughout your relationship.

We know that being in an unhappy marriage can have a significant negative impact on your well-being. Couples who find themselves in a relationship where one or both parties are not entirely happy could be more likely to experience depression, anxiety and loneliness. Chronic stress from marital conflict can also weaken your immune system and increase your risk of developing health problems.

Suppose you feel like you and your partner are struggling with marital life. In that case, you should consider sitting down and having an honest, open conversation about how you have been feeling and the steps you would like to take to try and navigate this tough period in your relationship.

Signs you may be in an unhappy marriage

Constant arguments, a lack of intimacy and a feeling of emotional disconnection are all classic signs that your marriage might be struggling. You may also experience some of the following:

  • Contempt: This is often the most destructive behaviour in a relationship. It involves putting your partner down, using sarcasm or belittling their feelings.
  • Defensiveness: If you constantly feel the need to defend yourself, it can be a sign that communication is breaking down and trust is eroding.
  • Stonewalling: This is when you shut down emotionally and refuse to talk to your partner. It creates a sense of distance and makes it impossible to resolve problems.
  • Feeling more like friends: Do you share a space but not much else? A loveless marriage can feel more like a practical arrangement than a romantic partnership.


We know that happy marriages take work. If you’re recognising some of these signs in your own relationship, you could consider you and your partner taking part in couple’s counselling. Talking to a therapist can provide you with tools to improve communication and rebuild your connection.

However, marriage is not for everyone, and if you and your partner feel that your differences are irreconcilable, a separation may be the best solution for both of you. If you and your partner would like guidance as you contemplate a separation, you could seek advice from specialist divorce solicitors. They’ll understand the difficult situation you are attempting to navigate together and will handle your case carefully.



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