Loneliness is a state of isolating oneself from interacting with others. Lonely persons find it difficult to connect or communicate with people around so they withdraw into solitude. The reasons why people experience loneliness, range from; the physical absence of people to interact with, loss of a loved one, or as a result of depression.
Most people marry because they need a companion with whom they can always interact with physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. Unfortunately, there are times in our marriages when we feel so lonely and unable to relate with our partners even while still living in same apartment with them.
What causes loneliness in marriage?
Work and distance:
When a spouse is not always physically present due to distance or work engagements, their spouse becomes lonely especially when they have to stay alone at home all day. This situation is not healthy at all because we all need someone to communicate with at all times. You might say technology has created different media that aid communication, but those media can’t completely replace the emotions felt during a face to face communication.
Lack of emotional intimacy:
Unlike men, women crave for emotional intimacy more. They feel discarded and lonely when their spouse is not emotionally responsive. Understanding your partner’s emotional needs helps you in relating with them properly. But there are some spouses who chose to hide their emotions thereby making it difficult for their partner to understand them. This usually happens when a partner isn’t completely in love with their spouse.
Facing emotional or domestic abuse makes the victim to withdraw from the abusing spouse and tends to look for love and companionship in outsiders. When they don’t find someone to confide in they end up living in depression and loneliness.
Lack of physical intimacy:
The first few months after wedding is usually filled with sexual exploration. Overtime, the frequency of lovemaking drops. There are different reasons for this drop but the major reason is that; for some couples, they get used to their sexual routine and find nothing new and interesting about it.
Sex has a way of bonding two hearts together both physically and spiritually so when one partner starts keeping away from sex, an unhealthy lonely void is created between them. You live as a couple: yet, when you think about it, you feel totally alone.
How does loneliness lead to infidelity?
One thing about loneliness in marriage is; the lonely spouse might develop bitterness towards their partner. Then she/he might start seeking for friendship and companionship in others. This creates an opportunity for infidelity as the friendship might cross over into an intimate emotional affair. You are supposed to be your partner’s best friend. Yes! Don’t let someone else take that position in your partner’s life.
Other effects of loneliness:
Loneliness can make a person resort to being a workaholic. This is mostly common in men. A considerable percentage of workaholic wished they could ease off a little and have some fun. Most lonely wives turn out to be good mothers as they divert their attention from their husbands to their children. They get companionship and love from their children.
Six Ways to Overcome Loneliness in your Marriage
1) Find out the root of the loneliness:
First, you need to find out the reason for feeling lonely despite being a couple. You should ask yourself if you have experienced such feelings before. If you have then it might not be the fault of your present partner. Also, being faced with stress, anxiety, health challenge, mental illness, loss of a loved one etc., can make you develop lonely sensations.
If you feel your spouse is the cause, it is possible that your spouse feels so about you too. You may both be so focused on your kids, work or other obligations that you aren’t making room for one another. Before concluding that you are being neglected, examine your attitudes and be willing to engage with your partner, rather than expecting him to make the first move.
2) Change your mindset:
Marriage does not prevent loneliness. Solitude is an integral part of the human condition. Marriage does not change the matter; it cannot fill this void entirely. In failing to realize this, you would end up feeling your partner have not done the right thing. Marriage is a place where two human beings share this feeling of loneliness and, in this sharing, sometimes manage to curb it.
When you have identified the cause of the loneliness, you shouldn’t depend on your spouse to remedy it. If you do and your partner succeeds in satisfying and soothing your expectations, then you would be totally dependent on them for self-fulfillment.
3) Get closer to your partner:
If you feel your partner isn’t giving you enough attention, you can politely request that from them. They might not be aware that you are hurt by their actions. Don’t give up on the situation instead revive the romance you once had during courtship. Even if you aren’t naturally affectionate, make an effort to be more so. You should spend quality time hanging out together. Researchers have shown that being physically closer will lead to feeling emotionally closer.
4) Forgive past hurts:
Sometimes the reason why a couple stops connecting emotionally is because of past hurts and offences. If you feel you have been hurt, you should learn to address the issue with your partner. To build a strong relationship you must be willing to always forgive past mistakes. Also, if you have caused your partner pain, you should always be ready to apologize. Unresolved conflicts and unforgiving wounds breed conflict and resentment in a relationship.
5) Love yourself:
Self-love is one of the solutions to loneliness. You should love and make yourself your best companion. In life, there would be times that we would have to be without anyone; not even our partners. To avoid feeling lonely during such moments you must rediscover the autonomy and joys of being self-sufficient. Discover what you like, what calms you down and what gives you pleasure. The presence of your partner should only be an additional pleasure.
6) See a therapist:
If you still feel disconnected from your spouse irrespective of what he/she does for you, then you might need to see a therapist for marriage counseling. Do not wait until your relationship with your spouse gets sour before seeking for help. A counselor can help in guiding you on strategies for reigniting your intimacy with your spouse.