Advertising
Advertising

Published on April 9, 2021

Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It

Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It

When you take the plunge, marry “the One”—your life partner—you might think you’re set for life, that you’ve married your best friend, right? “No more lonely nights” as the Paul McCartney song says. But sadly, that’s not necessarily so. Loneliness in marriage affects millions of couples around the globe. And this is where at least one partner, typically the woman, feels emotionally abandoned.

Marriage and loneliness don’t seem like two words that should go hand in hand. Yet, that’s often the case. Loneliness is real for many couples. At this point, you might be wondering why that’s the case—why you and/or your partner may be experiencing loneliness in your marriage—the marriage you imagined would be your safe haven.

Perhaps, the connection you once had has vanished or at least dimmed so much that it’s barely noticeable. Maybe, over the years, your communication has become openly argumentative and hostile. What started as constant little flare-ups, in time, evolved into major blow-ups. And to avoid those destructive interactions, you stop talking altogether.

Lack of emotional intimacy—which, in some cases, can lead to extra-marital affairs—is yet another reason why you might feel lonely in your marriage. Here’s a short video on preventing and surviving infidelity.

Also, you may feel unsupported by your spouse. During times of high duress, your partner may not show enough empathy for your feelings, compelling you to pull away and further cause a slow erosion of your emotional connection.

6 Reasons Why You Feel Lonely in Your Marriage

Let’s take a closer look at some of the variables that can 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.

To further complicate matters, during the early years of your marriage, your partner may have isolated you from your family and/or friends, causing you to feel like you have no one to turn to.

If you want to read more on feeling lonely in an abusive relationship, check out the article The Loneliness of the Emotionally Abusive Relationship.[1] This is a very serious cause of being lonely in marriage and one that needs to be addressed. Living in terror is no way to live.

2. Frenetic Schedules

You and your partner may be like ships crossing in the night. Perhaps, one of you comes home after the other one is asleep or leaves before the other one is awake. If so, chances are you’re not going to connect much. This can cause you to lose touch with one another—to cease sharing all the little daily happenings. Eventually, this creates a rip in the fabric of your relationship that feels too big to patch.

Advertising

According to 5 Hacks for Making It Work When You Have Opposite Shifts As Your Spouse by Drew Hendricks, incompatible schedules “can wreak havoc on your relationship, but only if you let it. In every relationship compromises are necessary, and this might be a big one. However, don’t let it come down to comparing which job is more “important” or “stressful” because nobody’s going to win. Every job is important, stressful, and has pros and cons.”[2]

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 together.

Schedules need to be discussed, both around work and children (if you have them), keeping in mind the importance of what’s at stake—your marriage!

3. Lack of Emotional Support

Things happen! Unfortunate situations show up at your doorstep when you least expect them. At that time, 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, that can—and usually does—create distance and loneliness in the relationship.

For example, let’s say your 90-year-old father dies. You’re devastated because you were very close. But your partner doesn’t say much, and when they do, it’s, “Well, he lived a long life. He’s in a better place.” You don’t want to hear common clichés. You want to feel like you have an anchor in your time of grief.

If that emotional support has been missing from your marriage and your partner has failed to consistently exhibit much compassion or empathy, you can clearly see how that would impair the relationship and germinate seeds of loneliness in your marriage.

In the article What If There Is No Emotional Support In A Relationship? by Lori Jean Glass, she mentions that “in meaningful relationships, emotional support is offered from both individuals and brings them closer to each other. It also helps you establish a foundation for your future together. Additionally, the practice of offering emotional support provides a foundation for being able to resolve conflict kindly, see your partner from a place of reality, and attach securely to one another.”[3]

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.

“Simple moments of touch between spouses are invitations to remember the gift of a shared life. A kiss. A hug. A squeeze on the shoulder forces us to slow down, even for a few seconds. They allow us to notice and be noticed. These PDA moments both ground us and fuel us,” says Jenny Leboffe, in her article Public Displays of Affection are Good for your Marriage and Family.[4]

Advertising

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.

Why is quality time important? According to Jane Ohm, “it is because, no matter how much you know each other, with time, there will be something new to discover, including their changing interests, passion, aspirations and even friends or enemies. Effective communication and quality time together thus plays a major role in sustaining a relationship, preventing it from becoming boring.”[5]

It’s not necessary to block out large chunks of time for each other, although that would be nice. But it is important that the time you share is meaningful. This allows you to stay actively tuned-in to each others’ lives. All the little things add up to the big stuff. They create a life!

6. Old Wounds That Never Healed

In some instances, rifts exist due to prior unhealed wounds that occurred early in the marriage.

I treat a couple who has been married for six years and currently experiencing this precise situation. Early on in their marriage, the young man’s mother meddled and intervened, upsetting the wife and causing a separation that went on for months. Finally, the mother-in-law apologized, and now things seem to be on the mend, but the old scars remain.

The young man feels stuck in the middle between his wife’s and mother’s relationship. He’s constantly feeling like he needs to take sides. This adds to his feelings of loneliness in the marriage because he doesn’t feel like he can talk to either his wife or mother about his emotions without stirring up a hornet’s nest.

Old wounds need to heal for partners to move forward in marriage. Past hurts need to be resolved and kept where they belong—in the past!

If you are married and feeling lonely and neglected, what can you do to make things better? There are myriad things you can start implementing immediately.

6 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 the carryings-on of each others’ lives, and they have something to look forward to every week.

Advertising

According to the article 5 Less-Knowns Reasons Why Date Night is Important, “social scientists have found that women who spend at least one period of “couple time” a week with their spouse are as much as 7 times happier in their marriage.”[6]

So, go and plan that date!

2. Talk, Talk, Talk!

One of the biggest problems in relationships where one or both of the 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.

According to Marni Feuerman:

“These deeper conversations are necessary to make the glue that holds you together and creates the intimacy people desire in their marriage. It’s critical that you talk about the highs and lows that have been sprinkled throughout your week. These topics may be from outside interactions with others or something specifically between you and your spouse.”[7]

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 a Trip Down Memory Lane

On Valentine’s Day 2018, my husband decided to take a trip down memory lane. He made a picnic basket, then took me to the park where we first met. There, we had lunch and reminisced. We also drove by our first apartment building, and a few other favorite spots we’d frequented. It was an amazing day. All the while we talked about all the fun things we used to do and how far we’d come in our relationship.

Taking a trip down memory lane is a great way to bring some spark back into your marriage as well as to eliminate any loneliness that might have wriggled in due to negligence. It’s a way of reconnecting—of feeling the love you initially experienced.

Note: If, for some reason, you can’t physically take that trip down memory lane, go through pictures or just talk about your favorite memories.

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.

Advertising

For instance, filling up their water bottle, setting out a cup of coffee for them, turning down the bed, making the bed, etc. are little things that show love. Those acts of service add up to big signs of love.

How can you feel lonely if you walk into your bedroom ready to make the bed and it’s already been made for you? I bet you’re not going to feel lonely. You’re going to smile and feel grateful for the nice gesture.

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.

If you treat each other with kindness and respect—are there for each other in every way—no one will feel unheard, which ultimately causes people to feel lonely.

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.

6. 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.

Final Thoughts

Your marriage doesn’t have to include loneliness. If there are problems that are causing the loneliness—except number 1, “Fear of Spouse”, which is quite serious and may require leaving the relationship—address those issues. Couple’s counseling can be a lifesaver, or you can start implementing the above-mentioned suggestions and notice how your marriage suddenly starts to thrive.

Remember, before anything can happen, you need to have a conversation with your spouse. They may not be aware that you’re feeling lonely in your marriage. Talk about it! Then, see what measures can be put into place to eliminate those feelings of isolation.

If you both love each other, and better yet, like each other, there will be a willingness to make things better. Then, all that’s left is putting in the work. And with that, you can make quite a fun adventure!

More Tips on How to Save Your Marriage

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Rossana Snee

Rossana is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She aspires to motivate, to inspire, and to awaken your best self!

Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It 11 Red Flags in a Relationship Not To Ignore How To Teach Your Kid About Emotions And Feelings How To Help a Teen With Depression (The Parent’s Guide) 8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

Trending in Relationships

1 The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You 2 The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life 3 How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion 4 What To Do If My Wife Doesn’t Respect Me 5 Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

Advertising

It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

Advertising

Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

Advertising

1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

Advertising

6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Read Next