A lot of people believe that once they marry that special person, they’re set for life. They assume being with their best friend means “No more lonely nights.” Sadly, that’s not necessarily so. Loneliness in marriage affects millions of couples around the globe. It is where at least one partner, typically the woman, feels emotionally abandoned.
Marriage and loneliness are two words that we believe shouldn’t exist in one sentence, yet, it’s the reality for some married couples.
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5 Reasons Why You Feel Lonely in Your Marriage
Let’s take a closer look at some of the variables that cause loneliness to creep into a marriage.
1. Fear of Your Spouse
If unfortunately, you are married to someone who is emotionally and psychologically abusive, there’s no doubt that you are experiencing long bouts of loneliness. If you fear your spouse—their aggressive behavior and verbal beatings—you probably spend a great deal of time avoiding them or walking on eggshells to circumvent any type of conflict. This leads to a trap called loneliness. Getting out of it takes resolution and courage.
2. Hectic Schedules
When you prioritize your career and or your children over your partner, the solidity of your relationship can become highly untenable. Of course, both careers and children need attention, but not at the risk of losing your marriage. There has to be a balance in all aspects of your life.
3. Lack of Emotional Support
Things happen! Unfortunate situations show up at your doorstep when you least expect them. When such a situation occurs, you expect your partner to be there for you—to support and lift you up when you’re down. If time and again you don’t feel emotionally supported, it creates distance and loneliness in the relationship. Sometimes resentment starts building.
4. No Sexual Intimacy
How often are you sexually intimate with your spouse? In marriages where one or both partners are lonely, rarely do the couples make love or take time to bond. Furthermore, the little displays of affection that may have occurred regularly when you first got together, such as a good morning kiss, a caress on the shoulder, a pinch on the behind, etc., may have disappeared altogether.
Those displays of affection may seem insignificant, but they’re not. They are the precursor to sexual intimacy. If you are experiencing none of those, then chances are that you may be feeling lonely.
5. Absence of Quality Time
If you and your spouse see each other 20 minutes a week in-between taking the kids to soccer and ballet and a grueling work schedule, loneliness rigor mortis can set in. Being absent is one of the ways in which couples lose touch with each other.
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5 Things You Can Do to Avoid Feeling Lonely in Your Marriage
Loneliness doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Here are some things you can do to avoid feeling lonely in your marriage and make your relationship better.
1. Set Up Weekly Dates
A marriage in which couples do something fun with each other weekly doesn’t leave much room for feeling lonely in that marriage. The connection remains strong. They’re constantly updated on what’s going on in each others’ lives, and they have something to look forward to every week. So, go and plan that date!
2. Talk, Talk, Talk!
One of the biggest problems in relationships where one or both parties feel lonely is lack of communication. The couple has stopped talking. They’re too busy living their individual and important lives and have neglected their relationship thinking it’s going to tend to itself. Deep conversations are necessary to keep the relationship active and healthy.
Talk to your partner. Talk about everything—your work, your expectations, your disappointments, your joy, your fears, your passions. Always strive to learn more about them.
3. Take Up a Hobby Together
If you and your partner spend time doing something you both love, there’s no way you will feel lonely.
To illustrate, work out together or find a hobby that you can both enjoy. It might be putting a big puzzle together, playing a board game, or maybe it’s taking long bike rides on the weekends, hiking a scenic trail, watching favorite movies or shows together, then talking about it, going for walks, and sharing the highlights of your day. These are all fun ways of tending to your marriage.
4. It’s the Little Things…
When you think about doing something to improve your marriage to stop feeling lonely, you might imagine that it has to be some grand gesture. That is not the case. Consistently doing small little things for each other shows that you care for each other.
For instance, filling up their water bottle, setting out a cup of coffee for them, turning down the bed, making the bed, and so forth are little things that show love. Those acts of service add up to big signs of love.
5. Show Understanding, Compassion, and Respect
In a marriage where each partner shows understanding, compassion, and respect, there is unity. When there is unity, how can loneliness exist in that marriage? It can’t.
Treat your spouse like you would treat your best friend. Spend time, and show love. Respect who they are as people. Do things to show you love them—regularly, not just on Valentine’s Day or their birthday. Every day is a good day to work on your marriage. And if you do, loneliness won’t be able to catch its breath.
Adrienne Daniels has been counseling couples for more than a decade. She resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her family and fur babies.