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The difference between contentment and complacency

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Divorce, Gray Divorce |

Contentment is being genuinely happy with what you have and your current position while you continue to work towards achieving goals to strengthen and protect it. By contrast, complacency is settling with what you have and convincing yourself you are happy with it to avoid conflict or unnecessary hardship.

Complacency is one of the reasons people stay in unhealthy relationships. It is also one of the reasons they delay getting a divorce.

How do you know if you are content in your marriage?

If you are truly content with your marriage, you experience mental and emotional satisfaction from being with your spouse. There is constant communication and affection. You probably would not even have to ask whether you are content or not because you would know. Although contentment is subjective, here are signs you may not be content in your marriage:

  • You find yourself constantly making excuses for your spouse’s behavior.
  • You feel indifferent towards your spouse.
  • You stay together for financial reasons.
  • You daydream about divorce and being single.
  • You are staying with your spouse for the kids.
  • You are actively finding ways to avoid sex or intimacy.
  • You are more concerned about what others may think than your actual relationship.
  • You feel like you are walking on eggshells around your spouse.
  • You or your spouse cheated.
  • You avoid talking to your spouse to keep the peace.

Marriage is challenging, but every obstacle should present an opportunity for growth and improvement, thereby strengthening the foundations of your relationship. When something is wrong, you work together to fix it. Once your relationship feels more like an effort to avoid each other than to work together, it might no longer be healthy for either of you.

The fear of the unknown

Another reason people remain complacent in their marriage is that they think they are too old or have been married for too long that they would not know what to do after a divorce. However, the divorce rate for couples over 50 has doubled from 1990 to 2010. Regardless of age, people are finding contentment in their new lives.

The fear of the unknown after leaving your spouse should not prevent you from pursuing a divorce. Complacency can prevent you from achieving contentment and fulfillment in your life.