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Struggling marriage? Quotes to inspire and encourage

These struggling marriage quotes serve to remind you that love isn’t always simple and easy, but nothing simple and easy was ever worth much anyway!

An unhappy couple going through their struggling marriage, looking away at each other

You’d be hard pressed to find any couple who have been together a decent chunk of time who haven’t experienced a struggling marriage season or two.

Whether it’s because you’re dealing with waning appreciation born from simply knowing each other too well, or those character traits that seemed so charming when you first met now seem like glaring flaws, your marriage can go through times when it’s much more pain than pleasure.

But for the vast majority of us, these times a short. And if we’re honest, more often they’re reflective of where we’re at than any major falling out of love.

So here’s a collection of quotes about getting through hard times in a relationship that will inspire you, encourage you, and remind you of the joy that comes through overcoming those relationship problems.

These quotes can remind you about the true nature of marriage – and are all the more inspirational for being rooted in reality.

After all, more than anything else, love is a choice we make and an action we take.

Inspiring marriage quotes for when times are hard

A couple laughing together with an overlay of troubled marriage quotes by Pearl Buck.

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.― Pearl Buck

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body.
No … don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!
―Louis de Bernieres

A black couple holding each other with a marriage is hard quotes overlay by Cassandra Clare.

But they love each other. Isn’t that what love means? That you’re supposed to be there for the other person to turn to, no matter what? ― Cassandra Clare

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.― Khalil Gibran

Struggling marriage quotes overlay. The background image is of the backs of a couple who are sitting looking over the water together.

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.― Antoine de Saint-Exupery

People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
― Elizabeth Gilbert

Text of one of the getting through hard times in marriage quotes by Katharine Hepburn The background image is of a  couple standing in a field with their backs to the camera and soft light all around.

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything.― Katharine Hepburn

Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody—so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?― Elizabeth Gilbert

Helen Hollick marriage problems quote. Background image of a black couple holding each other and smiling.

Two people can only live as one when each is prepared to give and receive trust and understanding. Above that lies respect. Without respect for how the other feels, no marriage is worthwhile.― Helen Hollick

I believe in love. I believe in hard times and love winning. I believe marriage is hard. I believe people make mistakes. I believe people can want two things at once. I believe people are selfish and generous at the same time. I believe very few people want to hurt others. I believe that you can be surprised by life. I believe in happy endings.― Isabel Gillies

A couple spinning around holding hands at the beach at sunset with a marriage struggle quote by Stephen Kendrick

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.― Stephen Kendrick

The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.Gordon B. Hinckley

Black couple dancing in kitchen in the background with the text of an Ursula K L Guin troubled marriage quotes

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.Ursula K. Le Guin

A good marriage is where both people feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal.― Anne Lamott

A bride and groom behind a Mignon McLaughlin quote about troubled marriages.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times – always with the same person.Mignon McLaughlin

It was finally becoming clear to her that love wasn’t about finding someone perfect to marry. Love was about seeing through to the truth of a person, and accepting all their shades of light and dark. Love was an ability.― Lisa Kleypas

Couple's hands in autumn.

A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences. Dave Meurer

Until now, you have always lived your life alone. Every decision you’ve made has been for you and you alone. Now, and for the rest of your days, your life will be tied to another’s. Every decision you make will be for both of you. What one does affects the other. You are a family, a team … inseparable and unbreakable.― Richelle Mead

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A Friedrich Nietzche quote about troubled marriage

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.― Friedrich Nietzsche

In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love.
So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful.
And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings. This is what can happen if you decide to love
.― Timothy Keller

Jodi Picoult quote about marriage

You don’t love someone because they’re perfect; you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not. ― Jodi Picoult

Maybe you expected marriage to be perfect – I guess that’s where you and I are different. See, I thought it would be all about making mistakes, but doing it with someone who’s there to remind you what you learned along the way.Jodi Picoult

Swedish proverb about marriage.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it. ― Swedish proverb

When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourselves) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.― M. Scott Peck

Nicholas Spark quote about marriage being hard work with a background image of a couple.

Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to. Nicholas Sparks

And everyone is always saying that marriage is really hard and takes a lot of work. But the thing is, when you know that you love someone, those things don’t matter. You have to push all the everyday things and the outside world away, and just enjoy knowing that this is the man who has the chest your head is meant to lie on.― Erin McCarthy

Nicholas Spark quote about marriage with a background image of a couple.

Each recognized the fact that real commitment could be proven only through the passage of time.― Nicholas Sparks

No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time.
I’ve learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won’t stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown.
The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.
― Madeleine L’Engle

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Peter Ustinov difficult marriage quotes.

Love is an act of endless forgiveness; a tender look which becomes a habit.― Peter Ustinov

When marriage is hard, it can be tempting to let yourself indulge in negative thinking. 

These struggling marriage quotes serve to remind you that love isn’t always simple and easy, but not much simple and easy was ever worth much anyway!

The art to real love is to keep showing up. Keep acting in a loving manner.

As the final quote by Mary Chapin Carpenter says, grow old with me, the best is yet to be!

What was your favorite of all the struggling marriage quotes? Let me know in the comments!

Love these and want more? Check out my collection of love quotes and messages.

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Thursday 17th of August 2023

My husband is very good by nature and is very loving to me. But he is very much attention seeker specially in a gathering , among people. In last 19 yrs of our marriage, he has sort of done microcheating (if i can call it as..) three times. He never talks to female in questions, but shows the gestures that he likes them ( physical appearance may be the only factor).... when i noticed all three times, i felt really sick, bad, hurt... i can not stand even his glance to those females, but that glancing used to happen in front of me or at times when i am away ,but still noticing from a distance.... he is otherwise good in everything that i actually have no other issues with him. he loves me unconditionally.... how can i sort this issue as third time it is happening right now. I have talked to him all three times including this time ( talked last week). he says-nothing is there & he is very loyal, but i find difficult to trust him as it happened repeatedly.... any suggestions please...


Thursday 17th of August 2023

Hi Dyna, firstly I am not a marriage therapist so I am not qualified to give you advice. However, what I'm reading is that over 19 years, you feel your husband has been attracted to three other women. Even though he has not acted on that attraction, and loves you unconditionally, it still hurts and you feel he is not being honest when you talk to him about it. So what story are you telling yourself about his behavior and what is it that you want?


Friday 14th of July 2023

I was looking for encouraging quotes for marriage to send to my husband, to encourage and hoping I can help strengthen our marriage, then I saw this website. It's perfect and very touching and it does make sense. I think our marriage is struggling right now. I am trying to save my marriage. Married in 2017. Living my dream man, so happy together. We were overseas then because he works overseas. Before the pandemic hits, we decided I come back home (US) then the pandemic got worst. I cannot go back to be with him. He changed! and he still is to this day. I am very concerned.

Thank you for these wonderful quotes.


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

Hi Beth, so sorry to hear of your struggles over the last few years in your marriage. I am glad these quotes could offer you some comfort.

Souheir Amin

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

This is pretty inspiring. Although I'm not married, I always find it interesting to see how people view marriage. Where I live, it is only a matter of completing your life. Just a task. It became redundant, and worse, people marry without love. And love and respect are one word in my opinion. Thank you for writing this.


Friday 16th of September 2022

Thank you for your perspective, Souheir. To me a strong marriage provides friendship and passion. It gives you someone to do life with - as a team. My marriage is super important to me and I love being married to Ben.

Kevin Viola

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

Ok so my fiance feels that it's ok to still associate with her ex's and not tell me especially when I'm not around she feels it's ok to go stop by and the only way i find out is if I ask the right questions otherwise she said it's not living and why would she say anything if I don't ask am i wrong for feeling hurt and pissed off? I have already given her the options before that it's either them or me and i don't associate with any of my ex's because i don't want to cause their ex's for a reason and also mainly for the respect of her and feel that i should be getting the same common curdesy and respect i give her


Wednesday 17th of August 2022

Hey Kevin, I'm sorry for this situation. It sounds like she knows what she is doing is hurtful to you and yet she chooses to do it anyway and lie (by omission) to you about this. I can't speak to what you should do, but this sounds like something that needs to be worked through - whatever that looks like -before you get married. All the best.

Sebastian Sola

Monday 9th of March 2020

i have marriage problem for 20 years and struggling with 6 boys & 1 girl. the mother just left us with no words. this quotes is really meaning full.


Monday 9th of March 2020

Hi Sebastian. I am so sorry to hear about your marriage. I hope that you are able to work things out with your wife. I am glad that these words gave you some sense of comfort. Take care.

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