For Better or For Worse, the Worst Can Be Truly Awful. The Downsides of Married Life

We all dream of our happily ever after. We hope to find a partner who will complete us, enhance our lives, and be present for both the good and the bad. 

Marriage is the ultimate goal. Our marriage vows say we’ll stay together through thick and thin, through the ups and downs, and through everything life throws our way. 

Though we speak the words, we don’t always understand what we’re getting into. Marriage can help us soar to unimaginable heights, but the opposite is also true. When things get bad, they can get ugly. 

While scrolling through the popular R/askreddit community, I discovered a question asking users to share the worst aspects of marriage. 

The answers range from silly to horrifying to heartbreaking, but when you tie your life to someone, you choose to accept all the bad and the good. 

Awful In-Laws

When we marry someone, they become our family, and as a result, their family also becomes our family. It’s beautiful joining families when everyone is friendly, but that’s not always the case. 

Sometimes you look at your partner, then at their parents, and wonder how such a wonderful person came from these spiteful humans. 

Redditors shared stories of narcissistic mothers-in-law, abusive fathers-in-law, and people you must make a second party for because they’ll ruin the actual party. Unfortunately, you must deal with these folks when you marry into the family. 

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Health Issues

One Redditor mentioned how bad the “for worse” part can be. Sometimes the person you married develops a chronic illness, mental health issues, or substance abuse. 

You have committed to be there for at least a reasonable effort in carrying through it together,” they shared, adding, “That can be taxing beyond belief.”

Many shared stories of trying to help a spouse through depression or substance abuse. The ill spouse often refuses to take responsibility for their own health, leaving their partner trapped in an endless cycle of despair. 

A harsh lesson about marriage and life, in general, is that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. Sometimes you must end the relationship so you don’t get sucked down by them. Too many people stay because of their vows, but one Redditor had the perfect response. 

“The commitment of “for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part” is made under the condition that both partners will actively try to make things “better” for one another, not “worse,” they shared. 

The person who refuses to help make things better is the one breaking the vow. The one who leaves is just protecting themself. 

You Will Eventually Part

Even the best marriages end in heartache. One partner will likely leave this plane before the other. 

How do you move on when the person you built your life with can no longer share it with you?

“The absolute best case outcome of a marriage is that one of you is left terribly alone without your greatest friend, partner, supporter who was by your side through all of it for decades. And that sucks,” commented one user. 

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Early on in marriage, we do everything we can to love and support our spouses, to make their life as easy as possible. 

As the years pass, we forget that making our partner a priority is vital to a happy marriage, and we slowly stop doing all the nice things we used to do. 

“You start slacking on the little things that matter to each other. No one likes to have to remind their partner to do things they used to do automatically,” said one Redditor. 

In-Law In Fighting

Even great in-laws create challenges. Some try to keep score of which in-law family does more, while others obsess over time with the grandkids while expecting you to do all the work. 

“Having to split the holidays between the in-laws and always having someone mad because you can’t be at two places at once!” exclaimed one exasperated user. 

When families merge with marriage, in-laws need to accept that there’s another set of grandparents. They must make an effort if they want more time with the family. 

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Even Normal In-Law Stuff

Even regular in-law stuff can be taxing. Not only do you have to learn and accept your new partners’ quirks and flaws, but you have to accept their inlaws as well. 

In addition, you also have to be open to the possibility that the inlaws will need assistance at some point in the future. 

One user pointed out how challenging navigating life with in-laws can be. “This starts out as an irritating inconvenience but grows into something that defines whether a relationship can last. Annoying in-laws grow into medically dependent joint-care responsibilities. Irresponsible nieces or cousins can turn into late-night phone calls from jail,” they shared. 

Financial Differences

They say that the majority of marriages end due to financial problems. Marrying a spender when you’re a saver can have horrible impacts on the relationship and your life in general. 

Most Redditors agree that learning your partner’s financial habits before tying the knot is vital. Others said they avoid the issue by not joining finances and letting each partner handle their own money while contributing their fair share to the household. That strategy can have many problems when considering having kids, buying a home, health issues, and divorce. 

However you approach money in a relationship, both parties must be on the same page before the wedding. 

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Unexpected Invites

One user said the worst thing about his marriage is that his wife randomly invites friends and family to stay the night without warning. 

It may seem like a small thing, but it adds up. Another user shared that their friends divorced over a similar issue. The husband constantly invited friends over, and the wife wanted alone time. He got upset that she wasn’t friendly, and she was upset because she couldn’t relax in her own home. 

Others said it gets worse when it comes to helping family. Many people find it hard to turn down relatives who fall upon hard times, opening their homes for unspecified periods that turn into years. Even the best marriages can crumble when faced with an unexpected long-term guest. 

Dishwasher Rules

Apparently, some folks obsess over the right way to load a dishwater. There will always be one partner who meticulously stacks every item for the perfect balance and another who throws everything in however it will fit. 

Another said towel folding could lead to an equal amount of arguments. 

For a healthy marriage, stop worrying about how your partner accomplishes tasks and be happy they did them. Some things, like how a towel is folded, don’t really matter in the long run. 

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Having to Share the Leftovers

You put half that delicious chocolate cake in the refrigerator. The next day, dreaming about the creamy filling is the only thing that gets you through work. You get home, excited to taste the rich chocolate, opening the fridge in mouthwatering anticipation only to find it’s gone. 

Your spouse ate it. 

Learning your partner ate the leftovers and realizing that’s just part of married life is a tough challenge of marriage. However, it’s one most healthy partnerships can navigate with a bit of communication.

Start asking, “are you going to eat that?” before assuming everything in the fridge is fair game. 

Marriage Has Ups and Downs, but Worth it

It’s not easy for two people to join their lives. Everyone has different hopes and dreams, strengths and weaknesses, mannerisms and standards. 

When you get married, you must work together to compromise and find solutions that both parties agree with. As this thread highlights, it’s not always easy.

However,  the pros usually far outweigh the cons. You may not be able to watch your favorite show every night, but you get a partner who will support you through thick and thin, someone to lean on and to navigate life with.

That’s a treasure worth compromising for, don’t you think?