Loneliness is one of the most horrible emotions a person can feel within what is supposed to be an intimate, fulfilling relationship. It is very hard to spend your life doing things for someone when you do not feel in any way appreciated. This can breed resentment which, of itself, may start off as a series of fairly minor issues but in time can create a massive gulf in your marriage. This can be particularly emphasized when you have two very different roles – for example, if your partner has a demanding and stressful job, and you are tasked with looking after the children and running the household.
While these are the traditional roles, they can often breed resentment. As each spouse works in entirely separate ways, it can mean that you function apart from one another. You expect your spouse to arrive home and want to spend time with you and the rest of the family; while your spouse may wonder what it is that you do all day. Needless to say if both parties are employed, this can often create tensions between who does what around the home.
One partner may have numerous interests outside the home, such as socialising with friends, sports, and other hobbies. If you are more of a homely-type person, you may resent the time your partner chooses to spend away from you rather than sharing it with you. In reality though, loneliness in a marriage is not just about your partner not spending their free time with you. It is about not feeling appreciated, not feeling as though you can share your problems, and a lack of communication.
How to Resolve Loneliness in Your Marriage
There are two steps to solving the problem of loneliness in your marriage. Firstly, you need to work on yourself. This means developing and maintaining your own identity. You need to be more than just your partner’s spouse. If you also have your own interests, it will be easier for you to find things to talk to your partner about.
The second step is to communicate with your spouse. So often people feel lonely because they do not feel that they are able to discuss things that matter to them with their spouse on a meaningful level. If you are able to communicate freely and effectively, you will be able to confront problems together. That is not to say that your communications should only be about bad things or potential problems – but that you should develop the habit of talking with your spouse openly, honestly and in a relaxed way.
Tips For Success
If this feels artificial to you, you should try to share experiences together in your free time. This means going out for a walk together, play a board game, or watch a film together. Ensure that during this time, your partner is your sole focus. Switch off your mobile and unplug the landline, if you’re staying at home. You will find, in time, that devoting some time to your partner will enable you to speak to him or her on a more equal footing. Whatever you do, try to be gentle and kind in your approach to communication. Take some time to think about who you are and what you expect from your partner. Are you being realistic? Have you changed? Have they? Remember you can only change your own attitude, and your partner will only change if they want to. If your needs have changed, try sitting down with your spouse and discussing this with them. Sometimes, we assume our partners must psychically know what we need without us telling them – and all it takes is a bit of open communication!
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Mickey. I could have written that with the exception that We met at 17 are now both 53. I so miss the lady I married. Communication does not work when you are talking to someone with a victim complex, because whatever you talk about or say its about them and only them and how they feel hurt you even feel the way you do. I get no love no emotions no caring. it takes two to talk and to change things I think my dear wife that I love so much has gone forever, it is sad. When we were 22 and getting married I never thought it could be this bad, if we were fighting at least we would be spending time together. I think its getting close to us going our different ways. I cant be more lonely than I am now. Mike
mike - 11-Jun-14 @ 4:25 AM
Same here. So sad tonight. I feel like a single parent co habiting with the father of my children. I'm so afraid of his moods and reactions, I simply don't talk about anything of importance. I'm a passenger on his life tip toeing around a sleeping lion. I still care, I can't hurt him. I just haven't felt a friend or a connection for so long. I'm 38 and I feel it's too late now there are young children and I don't earn enough to support us. I hope I can be happy and alone.
I understand. X
Alex - 21-May-14 @ 11:03 PM
Re: your comments "How to Resolve Loneliness in Your Marriage".
There are several flaws in your suggestions:
1. "If you also have your own interests, it will be easier for you to find things to talk to your partner about."
Tried it: doesn't work. Why? Because my wife has no interest at all in my hobbies and pastimes; she thinks that what I do makes me a nerd!
2. "The second step is to communicate with your spouse."
Tried that too: doesn't work. Why? Because (a) she interrupts me constantly; (b) she walks away when I try; (c) her command of the English language is totally abysmal; (d) complains that I want to talk about MY problems all the time when what I am trying to do is discuss how we can communicate better - if at all!
3. "If this feels artificial to you, you should try to share experiences together in your free time."
Doesn't work: the things she likes to do I find boring at best, irritating at worst. And the same thing applies, her to me.
4. "Switch off your mobile and unplug the landline, if you’re staying at home".
Her sister phones her frequently. If we're watching a program on TV together (and that's a rarity), and the 'phone rings and it's her sister, the TV gets muted; I lose out ~ again. Your suggestion to solving this little problem then, please!
5. "Take some time to think about who you are and what you expect from your partner".
I know who I am and what I want from her: I want her to be my friend - even a loving, caring wife would be nice! (But I mustn't get too greedy, eh?) One that hasn't filled up every room in the house with her stuff (read: junk); moans if I leave the tiniest item on the hall floor; never puts anything away (so I have to run after her all the time); makes sarcastic comments about me to her friends in front of me - especially about my age: 63; she's 49; controls all the money, etc. etc.
I will settle for living in a 'dead marriage' - but is it worth it? (Since that will keep a roof over my head, at least) And if so, how do I get there from here?
Yours truthfully & sincerely,