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What? How can you be married and lonely? Single people reading this blog like “that’s impossible! One reason for marriage is companionship, right?” Most single people desire to marry because they don’t see themselves old and alone. Understand that joy comes from within, not from another person. Sometimes (especially in the Church) we can idolize marriage for singles. The only problem to that is many single people will settle instead of waiting on God’s best for them. By doing so, this can lead to heartbreak and possibly a divorce down the road. Why ?
Because they thought marriage would be better than this! We supposed to live happily ever after, right? Let me tell you this, marriage takes work and if you aren’t intentional about your marriage on a regular basis, you can find yourself married and lonely. Let me explain…
What does married and lonely look like? Not having that emotional connection with your spouse. It’s being stubborn and distant. It’s easy to get caught up in paying bills, taking care of children, demanding work schedules, etc. These things start to take precedence in your life while your marriage is put on the backburner. Remember, a drifting marriage is a failing marriage. Be mindful that your spouse wants you to be more than transactional (did you take care of this or did you take care of that?) They want your undivided attention and time.
When a Wife doesn’t feel the connection with her Husband she can feel lonely and distant. A Husband can become so consumed with making a better life for his family that he puts his marriage on cruise control. Sometimes this can be done out of ignorance because we as men just want a better life for our family.
I’m guilty of all the above, and if my wife doesn’t bring these things to my attention, I think our marriage is doing well. There been times I’ve stonewalled my Wife because I feel she doesn’t understand what I’m dealing with as a man. There’s so much pressure we as men have to deal with (I know women deal with a lot as well) just to provide for our family (especially ambitious men) we feel the women in our lives just don’t understand.
Ladies, please understand that men aren’t born communicators and sometimes women have to pull the details out of us. If marriage was a newspaper, men would be the headliner and women would be the story that follows. I’m not making an excuse for men but by default, communication isn’t our strongest attribute. I’m saying all this because when communication is a problem, loneliness is inevitable.
According to Psychology Today:
One recent study of older adults, 62.5% of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner.
That number is staggering! 62 percent of married couples reported they were married and lonely! I believe this happens over time. When you first get married you can’t keep your hands off each other. We spend less time with friends and family. After the newness of marriage wears off, we start to see how different we really are. Tom and Jerry, Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird different!
Here’s where the drifting in marriage seeps in. The further we drift apart the lonelier we become. In this age of “never unplugging,” everything is vying for our attention. You can live in the same house with your spouse and still be lonely. Your spouse can be talking to you but mentally your mind is somewhere else. Your phone is getting constant updates and text messages. Your phone gets more touches than your spouse.
I am a social media marketing consultant for aspiring entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. So I have to stay up to date with the latest social media trends. But what happens when I don’t stay up to date with my wife? She can feel second place and lonely. Think about this for a second. We are taught to gain more and go big! Get more cars, get the bigger house, work more hours, etc…
Do you know some of the best conversations I had with my wife was when we had one car? Our jobs were down the street from each other (I’m talking a ten-minute drive). I would pick her up and on our way home we get caught in traffic and these heart to heart conversations would take place!
Here are some ways to stay connected to your spouse without them feeling lonely:
Just you and your spouse for a night on the town. It doesn’t have to be expensive, the key to date night is interaction between the two of you.
-Read a book together (or listen to an audiobook in the car together)
Imagine the entire dialog between you and your spouse and the different viewpoints from reading the same book.
-Allow them to speak what they feel in their heart without being defensive
This can be tough at times, but it allows your spouse to be up front (or what’s bothering them about you). When they can speak what they feel without you being defensive, they feel you value what’s bothering them.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger –James 1:19
I wrote this blog for single people as well! Know that marriage takes work and marriage won’t solve loneliness! Take this journey with me.Buffer