Are You Feeling Lonely In A Relationship? How To Overcome It

Communication and counselling can restore your bond and stop you from feeling lonely.

Reviewed by Karen Marshall, Certified Relationship & Dating Expert
By Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Issues afflict every relationship, and sometimes, you may find your partner drifting apart. If you start feeling lonely in a relationship, it is clear that your relationship needs help. At times, you may not feel appreciated, and your partner may not be available to support you. These can make you feel lonely and unwanted in a relationship.

Several reasons make you feel lost in a relationship. It can be your work commitments or taking care of your family that keeps you separate from having quality together as a couple. And you may not realize how both of you can easily lose your connection and spark and sight of what is important. You may start missing the communication, romance, and intimacy you both used to have. Gradually, these reasons may lead to parting ways, especially if you are expecting your partner to make you happy and fulfilled.

How you decide to nourish your relationship will also impact your intimacy. To regain your connection, figure out how to fix it before it is too late. This article delves deep into why this distance develops in a relationship, how you can rebuild the lost connection, and other tips to maintain a strong and healthy marriage. Scroll down.

Is It Normal To Feel Lonely In A Marriage?

Since marriage is a partnership, feeling lonely in a marriage is not considered normal if you are feeling alone for long periods of time.

After the honeymoon stage the time you will see love through rose-tinted glasses, your consuming loved up feelings will change as the dynamic of normal life kicks in, and you begin to notice more of the niggles about each other in our relationship. This is where you may begin to feel your relationship is lacking romance and intimacy. This is why the first few years of marriage can sometimes be the hardest. Marriage is not without its hardships, and petty arguments may temporarily create some distance between you two.

But fights are healthy in any marriage to figure out your boundaries together as you grow as a couple. If you do not address your deeper feelings, you could feel misunderstood or resentful if an argument is left unresolved.

To build your thriving relationship, healthy communication is the priceless secret to keeping your love alive. Make sure you express how you feel without passing blame.

Reflect on the reasons for your upset. It is not your partner making you upset, angry, or frustrated. Your partner has innocently pressed your button (e.g. I don’t feel good enough, don’t tell me what to do, you don’t support me) with no intention of hurting you. Once you discover your buttons, it becomes so much easier to navigate conflict differently for you to bring your love and intimacy back into flow. How you approach conflict in your marriage, is the glue that holds your relationship together, or it will push you apart.

Spending time apart to focus on your interests, friendships, what makes you happy, and personal growth is encouraged because it is healthy to have alone time – as long as you invest the same energy into your relationship happiness and connection. Consider your relationship like a flower. If you don’t water it regularly, it will die without nourishment. Plan some quality time together in your diary, particularly as we all live busy lives.

However, if arguments and personal space come at the cost of regular and honest communication, physical affection, or never doing things together, it can be a red flag. You may struggle to understand each other and feel like your partner is neglecting you. This obstacle can be easily overcome when you learn together how to strengthen your communication skills.

Some couples, however, tend to have a different perspective on loneliness in marriage. They decide to stay together despite a lack of connection to keep their marriage intact, perhaps for the sake of their children or families. This is known as strategic or mutual disengagement. These couples feel that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with being lonely in their marriage and do not make an effort to reconnect with each other.

Unfortunately, couples who stay together in loveless marriages are teaching their children to learn the same unhealthy relationship patterns and behavior their children will take into their adult relationships – e.g. shouting at each other to be heard or demonstrate the lack of disrespect to the opposite sex.

Being lonely and married may make you question what led to these feelings in the first place. Learn more about these reasons in the next section.

Why Do Some People Feel Lonely In Their Relationship?

A marriage is a commitment. It requires love, care, companionship, understanding, healthy communication, and respect. If you can manage to maintain these factors, you can overcome every problem that comes up. But, if these factors are neglected, they can take a toll on your marriage. People feel lonely in their marriage due to many reasons:

1. Comparing Partners With Others

It is common to compare your spouse with another person. People often have a perception in their minds about the kind of life partner they want. This perception will also be influenced by their past relationships. They either want their partners to be somewhat like their exes or the complete opposite if it was a bad relationship. This ultimately leads to the person developing a feeling of disconnection or being off due to not getting what they expected.

2. Lack Of Communication And Intimacy

Being unable to express how you feel or having intimacy issues may be affecting your marriage. You may spend the time you need with your partner difficult to prioritize due to work or other commitments, leaving you exhausted for intimacy. In some cases, people tend to be conflict-averse and avoid voicing their feelings, which will ultimately lead to resentment and disconnection.

A lack of emotional and physical connection can get in the way of maintaining a strong, loving relationship and lead to loneliness in marriage. Some things, if left unaddressed, can cause a mountain of trouble.

3. Abusive Relationships

Physical or psychological abuse can also have a huge impact on your marriage and contribute to a lonely feeling. Your partner trying to overrule you, demean you, and stopping you from being who you are can cause a disconnect and hatred. Being the victim in an abusive relationship may even have you feeling isolated from friends and family.

4. No Work-Home Balance

You may be feeling lonely in your marriage due to your or your partner’s work schedule. If your spouse spends too much time at work, you may feel that they prioritize work over spending time with you, leading you to feel pushed out of their life. Alternatively, you may inadvertently shut your spouse down after a tiring day at work.

Regardless, it is imperative in a relationship to devote time to each other and find a balance, no matter how hectic your schedule. A better work-life balance allows you to spend quality time with your partner and relax.

5. Betrayal

An extramarital affair is probably a contributing factor to feeling sad and lonely in your marriage. No person can accept betrayal, especially after marriage. However, people have different ways of dealing with it. Some people prefer to move on with their own lives, while others struggle to process the betrayal and continue feeling lonely in the relationship.

If you find yourself wondering where these feelings of loneliness come from, the next section might answer your questions.

How Do You Know If The Loneliness Is Stemming From You Or Your Relationship?

Loneliness in marriage can stem either due to your own thoughts or a difficult relationship with your partner. Therefore, to save your marriage and get back on the same page, you need to figure out where this loneliness is coming from. This task requires introspection and an in-depth analysis of your relationship communication, your values, and respect for each other’s needs.

Is The Loneliness Stemming From You?

Sometimes, the reason for your loneliness is linked to your thought process, your social life, and other factors driving your life. Your past relationships can give you some insight into why you are feeling lonely in your marriage.

As already explained earlier, your past life experiences and feeling of being compared can cloud your mind, leaving you with feelings of insecurity. You may be struggling to leave your past relationships behind, putting your marriage in jeopardy.

Being unable to trust your partner completely is also probably why you are feeling lonely. One of the most valuable things a healthy relationship offers is trust. At times, your past can make you fearful deep down that you fail to trust your new partner. You may think that your spouse is not really into you or seeing someone else for you to sabotage your relationship without realizing it.

Your spouse working late nights or going out with friends may make you feel like they are not giving you time, and your mind may exaggerate these thoughts. But, in reality, they might be really tied up with work. In such cases, the best course of action is being honest about how you’re feeling in a non-confrontational manner. It is also important to self-reflect to recognize your negative thoughts to shift and change the way you feel and think about men, relationships, and yourself. Or you will continue to exaggerate your negative self-fulfilling thoughts.

Is The Loneliness Stemming From Your Relationship?

On the flip side, if you are going through long periods without a connection, there might be a problem with the relationship. From a lack of time for each other to physical or psychological abuse, the list of marital issues is endless. Your spouse is probably also feeling lonely in the marriage. In this case, you should talk to each other about your relationship and how to work on it. Make a list of actions you can take together.

A relationship is a two-way street. Ask yourself if you and your partner are putting in the effort to strengthen and fill up each other’s love tank, but you are unable to communicate properly or reciprocate. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t be doing all the heavy lifting to reconnect with your spouse – they should also be willing to work on your relationship and meet you in the middle. Also, try putting yourself in their shoes to see a situation from their perspective. This will build a stronger empathy for them to feel appreciated and loved. By doing so, you will encourage a stronger intimate reconnection as well.

If you feel that your partner is failing to support you or communicate with you or your relationship is falling apart despite several attempts to reconnect, you may have to consider other ways of rekindling your marriage. Find out how to handle loneliness in your marriage below.

How Do You Overcome Feeling Lonely In A Relationship?

If you want to overcome loneliness and build a successful and caring relationship with your spouse, you can try the following steps.

1. Communication

Couples often think that their partners are capable of reading their minds and understand the concern. But, it’s not true – you need to put your feelings across to be understood and acted upon. The more openly you communicate with one another, the stronger your marriage will be.

Share with your spouse how they can truly make you feel loved while showing consideration for their feelings, too. Make it a comfortable and relaxing conversation where you can pour your heart out and put aside your differences. The goal is to try to understand each other’s perspectives and not blame each other for any issues in the marriage. How you think will determine how you respond and react to each other, so always consider your buttons and which one has been pressed we previously mentioned!

If your partner is ready to work on the relationship, appreciate that and make a plan to sort out the problems.

2. Spend Time Together

You can rekindle love by reliving the happy moments you had together as a couple. Plan a weekend getaway or a holiday because we need to do new things to keep the spark of love alive, giving you time to connect and bring love back into flow. Such small breaks help in overcoming certain constraints which might be holding you back.

For example, if the bitterness in your relationship is due to a lack of time for each other or pressure at work, a short vacation allows you to reconnect and talk about what’s happening without any distractions. It can even help you make some room for romance in the relationship.

If a vacation is not possible, try to schedule a weekly date at home where you can watch movies, cook together, or simply talk about your day. Trying to implement more quality time in your daily lives allows you to form a lasting bond.

3. Work On Yourself

It’s quite understandable to get stuck in a loop of negative thoughts, especially if you are still processing trauma or the fear of being hurt again from a previous relationship. So, if you think that feeling lonely in your marriage is stemming from your thought process, consider taking up a hobby or giving yourself some you time.

The downtime is supposed to help you reconfigure your thoughts about the relationship and re-evaluate the next steps. If you still feel stuck with the same old thoughts, reach out to an empowering relationship expert.

4. Consider Marriage Counseling

If the loneliness is endangering your marriage and you are unable to reconnect with your spouse, consider visiting a marriage therapist for some extra guidance.

Sometimes, when neither partner is willing to see eye to eye on marital issues, it’s useful to bring in a third perspective. Some couples may be hesitant to speak up about certain things, which can be better communicated by a relationship expert.

A qualified healthy communication expert or mental health professional can create a safe space for you to share and figure out your feelings. They can also empower you with healthy coping strategies and communication techniques to overcome that feeling of loneliness. However, the route you decide to take will require your full investment from both sides into your learning journey to save and strengthen your relationship.

Now, let’s answer the most important question.

How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Really Over?

After multiple attempts at communication and overcoming loneliness, you may realize that there is no satisfying conclusion to come to and neither of you is willing to rebuild the marriage.

The harsh reality is that not all marriages can be saved, no matter how hard you try to maintain a strong relationship with your spouse. If you have tried everything and still feel disconnected from your partner, you may have to think about splitting up.

While all relationships have their ups and downs, feeling isolated for the sake of your marriage is only hurting your mental and emotional well-being. Putting too much effort into your marriage and not getting the same dedication in return is a major sign that it may be time to end the marriage.

Feeling lonely in a relationship can be a terrifying possibility to consider. However, it is also true that you may find yourself in such a situation if you have a lot of arguments with your partner or have grown distant over time. Other reasons for such feelings could be lack of communication and intimacy, an abusive partner, and comparing your partner with others. It is also important to understand if the feeling of loneliness is grounded in your relationship or if it is a part of your nature or past trauma. Finally, you can work on developing intimacy and overcoming loneliness by communicating with a partner, working on yourself, and going for couple counseling, if necessary.

Try to identify the root cause. Speaking to your spouse and rebuilding affection in your relationship may help you feel less lonely. In some cases, seeking help from a professional will absolutely make a difference. What you don’t know, you don’t know. A qualified expert will guide you to take a different approach. It’s where the magic happens if you are prepared to focus on your self-growth and development to do the work!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I tell my partner I feel unloved?

Express how you feel and what makes you feel this way as honestly and blamelessly as possible. It may help to sit with your feelings and look deeper to find whether it’s coming from internalized grief and pain or if it’s to do with external actions so that you can share your feelings while taking responsibility for them. Be truthful and vulnerable and avoid expressing your feelings through hints or passive-aggressive stances.

Why do I suddenly feel nothing for my boyfriend?

You may be experiencing a sudden lack of interest or attraction due to a number of reasons, which vary from person to person. A lack of common goals or interests, repressed hurt or pain, or a prolonged lack of emotional or physical intimacy may present as a lack of feelings for a partner.

Is it normal for couples to not talk for days?

While periods of healthy and comfortable silence are common between long-term couples, not communicating for days may indicate that there may be something amiss in the relationship. However, it may be okay if both partners are comfortable with infrequent communication and have discussed the possibility of such scenarios.

Key Takeaways

  • Marriage is not without hardships. But feeling lonely in a marriage is not normal if you continue to feel this way for a period of time.
  • Love, care, companionship, understanding, and respect make a marriage successful, and the lack of these may affect the relationship.
  • Marriage counseling, therapy, or a qualified mental health professional will help you to resolve these issues to shift your awareness.

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