Being In A Roommate Marriage Doesn’t Have To Be Miserable

The key is finding meaning in other sources.

Roommate marriage Astarot | Canva

Looking back on my marriage, I wonder when we went stale. It happened progressively, and it started pretty early on. We are roommates, managers of the house, and managers of our bank accounts, but the days when we were lovers are long gone. That is ancient history. We have slept in different bedrooms for years. I also don’t feel that way about him; I see him more like an acquaintance.

He is not a bad guy, and he’s far from it. We work well together for the most part, even though we are incredibly incompatible. But, the intimacy factor is a distant memory. We are incompatible, and there is too much water under the bridge to rebuild anything. In other words, damage is done.


What went wrong?

It is easy to trace back when things started going wrong. Firstly both of us suck at communication, and as I said, we faced problems early on that were never rectified. I am trying to be better at it, but he shuts down as he is an avoider. However, when my monster-in-law was around, she caused trouble, and my husband failed to stand up for me. His excuse was that he felt like he was being pulled in two different directions. Since I was a people-pleaser (and he is too to this day, which drives me bananas), I did not tell my mother to back off when I should have. They both meddled where it did not belong. I went wrong there, too.


Also, let’s face it. Special needs parenting can make or break a marriage. I was bearing the brunt of my son’s care, and that only caused the weeds of resentment towards my husband to grow and fester. I understand he was the primary breadwinner, but he also placed too much responsibility on me when he could have pitched in. Unfortunately, that caused permanent damage.

I ended up downright hating him for years. I don’t feel that way now, as he has done some things to compensate for it. I started softening up towards that after my son left. Don’t get me wrong. I am far from perfect. I realize I have done hurtful things to my husband and take responsibility for that. The point is that we both failed at this marriage. Whenever I tell people about the state of the marriage, they always say, “You only live once, so why are you still together?”

RELATED: What Nobody Tells You About The 'Roommate Phase' Of Marriage


Why am I agreeing to stay in a roommate marriage?

I have wanted to leave many times, but I have given up. Firstly, he will not make it easy for me as he has severe abandonment issues (going back to his monster-in-law as, looking back, she was a textbook narcissist). I have threatened, and he would go white, shake uncontrollably, go on his knees, and beg with tears, “Don’t ever leave me.”

It is sickening, but the truth is that I am also a practical individual who likes her comfort. My Taurus Moon is to blame for that. It is impossible to live in Canada as a single person (Thanks, Trudeau). My income is not stable. I would rather stay in a roommate marriage where my husband respects my space and privacy and where we mostly get along as long as we don’t rub each other the wrong way than have to live in a shelter. That is what would happen if we did split. I love and value my comfort too much. Besides, my daughter is a priority, and neither of us can ever help her financially when she is ready to move on if we split.

If it were an abusive and disrespectful marriage, that would be different. I would have no other choice. But that is thankfully not the case. Here is the question: How can I agree to stay in a roommate marriage and not be miserable? Since the marriage is not abusive, and my husband gives me the space and privacy I need, I make the most of that.

I focus on the things I enjoy. If my husband begged me to hang with him all the time, then it would be a problem. However, he is content to watch his programs alone with the dog. Meanwhile, I can focus on the things I enjoy, such as my tarot, writing on Medium, and taking advantage of finding other creative pursuits. If I can do that, I can see a sense of fulfillment and not focus on how stale my marriage is because that would make me miserable. If I am not working, I can go wherever I please. I can walk alone or stay in my room and watch videos while he does his thing. If I can focus on that, then life is not that bad.


RELATED: How To Fix A Stale Relationship

I am busy with networking. I am not into “peopling,” but I understand the need for local networking to get more business and make more connections. Therefore, as long as I can go, I go when an event happens. Thus, focusing on my networking is a good distraction from the boredom and dissatisfaction of being in a roommate marriage. Even though friends have burned me, I understand the importance of connecting with like-minded individuals. I am not looking to become best friends with anyone. However, I enjoy making new connections with those I find interesting and with whom I share things.

I prioritize self-care. Because I am in a roommate marriage and I suffer from depression while processing years of trauma, I must take care of myself. And my two previous tips for surviving a roommate marriage fall into the self-care category. Self-care is doing what I enjoy and networking with those who want to network with me. Therefore, I am not doing what I “want” to do; I am doing what I “need” to do. 

When I can do the things I need to do for my mental health, my physical, emotional, and spiritual health benefit. Sure, the Ozempic helped me think differently about food in a positive way. I don’t use it as an emotional crutch anymore. However, if I were miserable and stuck with burdens that were beyond my ability to cope with, then that would be a disaster. In that case, I may end up falling back to emotional eating despite being on Ozempic, and that could be a disaster for my health. Besides, self-care helps me control my depression.


RELATED: 25 Tiny Tips for Practicing Radical Self-Care

I am sure I would be singing a different tune if I was in love with someone else

Here is the thing. I have spent most of my life bending backward for others, so I am not interested in being in a relationship because I need to focus on myself. Add to that, I am nearing menopause. Therefore, the idea of being romantically involved with anyone is not a thing for me. 

However, if I did connect with someone I fell in love with, that would be a problem. I would say something differently because you also cannot help how you feel. Thankfully, that is not an issue, and I never foresee it becoming an issue. I still have a lot of work to do to figure myself out. I am getting there, but since I have lost myself for years, it will still take me a while to get to know myself. Therefore, I am confident I will not fall in love with anyone.


I wrote this post in response to my tarot writing prompt schedule. Since I am sticking to the lifestyle/self-care niche, today’s prompt was from the Four of Cups. The Four of Cups represents apathy, boredom, and dissatisfaction, but it is also a card that represents introspection and exploring anything related to emotional fulfillment. Therefore, writing about my roommate marriage and how I am finding meaning in life despite being in one was the perfect topic for this prompt.

Even though you will not find devotion in a roommate marriage, as long as your partner is not getting in the way of learning more about yourself, you have to do that. If you are in an abusive marriage where you don’t have freedom, then you cannot stay. But, if that is not the case, especially if you would be financially in dire straights if you had left, it is best to find the things you enjoy doing for yourself, taking care of yourself while being comfortable otherwise. 

However, if you are in a roommate marriage and feel the pros of splitting outweigh the cons after evaluating them thoroughly, you must go with that. You always have to do what is best for you. That is not the case for me now, so I am not doing anything. However, time will tell. Things may be different regarding that in years to come.


RELATED: 4 Subtle Signs You're Falling Into A Loveless Marriage

Miriam Rachel is a writer, podcaster, and tarot reader. She has had many articles featured in Medium, AskAstrology, and Calmoura, among more.