Feeling lonely in a relationship is like..
Another sleepless night.
She tossed and turned. Sobbed softly, burying her face under the pillow, afraid she might wake her husband and children.
She felt as if she was dying…
bit by bit….
piece by piece…
each day….every moment…
The pain was unbearable,
Yes, loneliness is hell….
Like an endless spiral of never ending stairs her mind seemed to be stuck in an infinite loop of the same series of questions….
What am I doing in this relationship?
Why can’t I be happy just like everyone else?
Don’t I deserve to be happy too?
Why do I feel so empty, so broken?
And after cursing herself every night for her unhappy state, she would swallow few sleeping pills…. to let go of the unbearable pain.
She often wondered how it would feel not to feel anything at all!?
No pain, no sorrow, no regret, no guilt —a feeling of nothingness.
Or how would it feel like to sleep like a baby and never wake up again
Yes, that would have been better. Much better.
The above scenario is how loneliness in a marriage can feel like.
We all understand the feeling of loneliness when we are single and in fact alone… but what about feeling lonely in a relationship?
The irony is we are made to believe that marriage is the cure for loneliness. Like it or not but being married doesn’t guarantee the feeling of loneliness will go away.
Being lonely doesn’t only mean being physically lonely. You can be married with four children, have a successful rewarding career, supportive friends and family and still feel like the loneliest person in the world.
One may be lonely in a crowd, in a room full of familiar faces and worst ….in a life full of acquaintances.
If you know what loneliness feels like in a relationship then understand you are not alone in this.
According to a research, 62.5% of people have reported of being lonely in a relationship and living with their partners.
Indeed, loneliness is one of the most painful feelings in the world. No ailment kills a human being faster than the feeling of being alone.
Every other married person you meet complains of being lonely in a relationship.
If you take a good look at your surroundings, all these happy couples on social media are really not as happy in real life as they pretend to be.
Some couples are not even on talking terms yet they are putting up a good show for the sake of social media.
They want their friends to envy the life they are leading.
But in reality, they are insecure, unhappy, shallow and broken from the inside.
What happens we feel lonely in a relationship?
One of the main reasons for loneliness is the feeling of disconnection from one’s partner.
The longer the person stays disconnected, the weaker the relationship becomes and before we realize loneliness starts to seep into our lives.
We feel lost.
We feel lonely.
We crave companionship.
We feel anxious and depressed.
Some partners out of desperation start seeing other men/women.
Some become addicts of porn, drugs, alcohol
Some start taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills.
Just anything that can make them feel happy.
According to Wendy Walsh, an author of, “The 30-day love detox.”
“Sometimes marriages fall into an autopilot pattern, partners no longer court each other or exchange the care that they did in the early days and they become more concerned with selfish interests.”
Why do we feel lonely, what brings loneliness in a relationship?
- Some couples lack understanding from the very beginning of their relationship, their inability to understand and feel empathy for each other makes their relationship fall apart.
- It is very likely for a person to feel lonely in a relationship he/she feels that their physical, as well as emotional needs, are not met by their partners. They feel their partners have stopped loving and caring for them.
- Many women can feel lonely when they are not heard and supported by their husbands. They feel overwhelmed by doing everything alone without their husbands doing his share or supporting her.
- Some women complain that it seems they don’t exist in a relationship. They feel undervalued and unloved as their efforts are not recognized and glossed over.
- Some men are more dominant in a relationship and treat women as their submissive and as if they are inferior to them. Their opinions are shrugged off and they often do not get a say in important matters and decisions.
- Mostly couples take relationships for granted. They don’t take out time for each other and hear each other out. They don’t have good communication with each other. They never sort out their differences.
- Sometimes both the partners are egotistical. Because of this, they are unable to open up to each other; hence ego proves to be a great barrier between them.
- Sometimes the sexual needs of a partner are not met in a relationship which creates feelings of guilt, anger, frustration, and loneliness between partners.
- Sometimes work and other activities take priority in life.
- Sometimes we long for the kind of relationships others have, we envy their relationships which makes us dissatisfied with our own.
- Sometimes the two partners are not compatible, they are different people with different views, they find it difficult to accept each other’s point of views, and they have trouble getting along.
- Sometimes there are financial issues that can cause loneliness. A husband has to do different jobs to make the ends meet. It drains a husband’s energy and by the time he returns home from work the last thing he wants to do is listen to his wife’s activities during the day.
- Sometimes couples lack understanding; they don’t feel comfortable opening up to each other.
- Distance plays a role too. If one of the partners isn’t in the same country/city it tends to make the other person feel extremely lonely and insecure.
- Sometimes one partner is extremely busy perusing his own career/passion, the other partner doesn’t have a purpose in life, they don’t have an outlet to express their emotions which makes them feel lonely, their lives revolve around their partner only, they cling to their partners all the time which sometimes tend to irritate the other partner.
- Some partners are psychotic; they abuse the other partner to the extent that they lose their confidence. They doubt their ability to mingle with people. They believe they are not good enough and will end up making a fool out of themselves. Their isolation from society and their abusive circumstances make them feel awfully lonely.
- The worst mistake couples could commit is they don’t leave the communication doors open.
When you don’t communicate, you don’t understand what’s going on in your partner’s mind.
Both the partners hold each other responsible for leading a miserable life without finding out what exactly went wrong.
Both partners keep grudges against each other and enter a cold war.
Author, John Gray, in his book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, provides a practical guide for improving communication and get what you want without compromising your own needs.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about understanding the complexities of a relationship.
This book works as an essential tool for couples who want to build a healthy and more satisfying relationship with their partners.
Moreover, it highlights the difference between genders in order for couples to understand, respect and love each other more.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus; Is a terrific read as it also gives us some practical tips in order to diminish frustration and disappointment in a relationship and how to create intimacy and be more accepting towards our better half.
This book would prove to be a perfect gift to newly-weds or those who are about to enter a relationship to understand how relationships work out best.
Where lies the problem
Our inability to understand our partner’s needs and only focusing on our own needs is the main cause that relationships don’t work anymore.
We don’t believe in giving freely, rather we just want to be on the receiving end.
For instance, before we demand our spouse to respect us, we have to respect them too.
Before we accuse our partners of abusing us, we need to check our own actions too. Maybe we both are equal partners in crime. You can’t blame a person for something that you are doing yourself too.
Before we accuse our partners of ditching us, we need to see if maybe it’s our attitude that has made them distant from us.
Before we accused our partners of lying to us we need to ask ourselves is it due to our reaction that our partners have stopped telling us the truth.
Before we accuse our partners of cheating on us, ask yourself did you leave him with any other option?
Did you deprive him of his emotional and sexual needs? I am sorry nobody likes to stay in a sexless marriage; it makes men/women both dejected and resentful towards their partners.
Yes, as a matter of fact, sex does play an important part in many people’s lives. And every normal human being has sexual needs, which if not fulfilled by his partner can leave the person very frustrated and not to mention cranky.
Women and men have both different needs, and each of them should know about it and respect it.
According to John Gray “not only do men and women communicate differently, but they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently.”
For instance, if a man’s needs are not met in a relationship and a wife denies her man his right of sex repeatedly; instead put her children, career, and her family first then chances are, not only will it create loneliness in a relationship but it will also accumulate anger/rage inside a man. He would feel rejected, less of a man and unloved.
Your man can’t give you importance in a relationship, when you make your man feel less of a man and wound his pride.
According to John Gray, “Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished.”
Similarly men don’t realize that most of the time women don’t need money they just want to be heard, want their partners to share their stuff without being judgmental, they just want someone to be there for them, someone who can assure them everything is going to be alright and accept them for who they are.
“When a man can listen to a woman’s feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift.
He makes it safe for her to express herself.
The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs.”
― John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venu
Now that we have developed majority of couples do feel lonely in a relationship, now let’s move towards the solution.
You basically have few choices; you can pick up any one you want according to your situation.
By the way, “doing nothing and continuing living the same life” is also one of the choices, but I would rather you do something to change your situation. Come up with a plan, take action, don’t sit idle just feeling sorry for yourself, while waiting for a miracle to happen.
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You always have an option to leave. Ask yourself, do I have a reason to continue this relationship? If I chose to leave, would my life be any better or would I be more miserable? Do I have a good support system? Am I going to be okay being on my own? What impact would it have on my kids and people related to me?
I am not suggesting you not to leave but before you take this step you must take the above points under consideration because leaving a relationship is easier but what follows is regret. So be very sure about what you want before taking a big step.
Try to improve your relationship
Technically this should be your first step. Talk to your partner. Pour your heart out. Tell your partner how you feel, how being in a lonely relationship is destroying your overall health and peace of mind.
How much you miss being with him, how much you crave his companionship. Tell him you are ready to give it another go; you really want it to work this time. You are ready for a fresh start. Make sure you encourage your partner to open his heart to you too. It might also be that they also feel desperately lonely and an emotional distance.
Try to figure out together what went wrong
Talk at length about each other’s feelings. Try to figure out together what is creating the distance between you two. Are your schedules so hectic that it gets impossible to connect? Is there less communication? Are you both dominant? Are you two impatient and judgmental? You never make each other your priority? Are you driven by your false ego? You don’t understand each other’s needs? Is your anger the cause you are drifting apart in your marriage? Whatever is the culprit; when you talk about it and see things from each other’s perspective, it might bring you and your partner feel closer again.
If you feel your partner is unable to understand and relieve your loneliness, you can always turn to family and friends.
You might join a support group or create one for yourself, where you can get a chance to interact with other women who are pretty much going through the same circumstances.
Share your problems in these support groups, seek advice, help other women overcome loneliness, it will make you feel stress free and happier. Your husband isn’t the end of the world; you can always make new friends that support you.
Do things that make you happy, instead of relying on your partner for your happiness .Try to live each day fully. Do something exciting each day.
Date yourself. Go watch a movie. Go wandering around. Hike a mountain.Smile at a stranger. Write a book. Buy a kid an ice cream. Buy a poor person a meal. Try out a new restaurant. Visit a distant relative in another city. Go for a long drive. Get enrolled in a dance class .The key is to do anything that makes you happy, and keep you occupied so that you feel less lonely.
When you are in an unhappy relationship, feeling lonely and depressed is human instinct. You are entitled to happiness. You could either work on making your relationship better or continue being unhappy and dissatisfied with your life. The Choice is basically yours. Do whatever you want to do, but invest in your own happiness rather than relying on any person.