Relationship issues plague every couple and feeling lonely in your marriage is one of them. When two people in a marriage feel like they are drifting apart, it’s a clear sign that something isn’t right. It can be increasingly hard to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner if you don’t feel wanted and appreciated.
If work commitments and raising a family take up a lot of your time, you may find it hard to be more involved in each other’s lives. Gradually, you may lose that connection with your partner and experience a lack of intimacy, romance, and communication. With time, these factors can lead to separation or a broken marriage.
Luckily, it is possible to overcome loneliness in marriage and regain the lost connection with your significant other. We explore why this distance occurs in marriages, how you can work to rebuild your relationship, and other things you should consider to keep your marriage strong.
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Is It Normal To Feel Lonely In A Marriage?
Since marriage is a partnership, feeling lonely in a marriage is not considered normal.
After the honeymoon stage, a couple is bound to feel like their relationship is lacking romance and intimacy. This is why the first few years of marriage can be some of the hardest. Marriage is not without its hardships, and petty arguments may temporarily create some distance between you two.
But fights are common in any marriage, and spending time apart to focus on yourself is encouraged – as long as you connect with each other from time to time.
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 trying to neglect you.
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.
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, and understanding. 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 may 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 or be affectionate due to work or other commitments. In some cases, people tend to be conflict-averse and avoid voicing their feelings.
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.
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 an unpleasant 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.
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. 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 seem so disturbing that you fail to trust your new partner. You may think that your spouse is not really into you or seeing someone else.
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.
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.
A relationship is a two-way street. Ask yourself if your partner is putting in the effort to keep you happy, 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.
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.
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 perspectives and not blame each other for any issues in the marriage.
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 where you can connect and give each other the needed time. 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 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 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, reaching out to a therapist is a good step forward.
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 therapist.
A qualified mental health professional can create a safe space for you to share your feelings. They can also equip you with healthy coping strategies to overcome that feeling of loneliness. However, these therapy sessions will require full cooperation from both sides.
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 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.
It might seem strange, but you can feel lonely in a marriage for several reasons. Many couples go through such phases, so no matter how lonely you are, remember that all hope is not lost.
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 might also make a difference.
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