There is a common misconception about long-term marriages: it is assumed that being with someone will guarantee you companionship and intimacy as you get older, but it is still very much possible to end up lonely in marriage.
Loneliness is often a manifestation of a plethora of other issues, from a lost connection to miscommunication and even unrealistically high expectations from your partner. The thought of being together but alone can be quite daunting, but if you’re able to pinpoint what exactly went wrong, you can still mend things and attempt to restore normalcy in your relationship. So what really is the cause of your loneliness?
Lonely In Marriage
Everything kind of its loses path when you’re facing emotional abandonment in marriage. You can’t focus on your work or your family, and suddenly, love doesn’t seem to make sense anymore, and you don’t know how to get rid of the emotional baggage. It’s kind of like a trap that stops you from moving on and being happy in life.
The only thing worse than being lonely in marriage is acknowledging it but not doing anything about it. Don’t get trapped in the institution of marriage if it’s doing you more harm than good. There is a whole world of possibilities out there, so it’s time you seize the day and make the most of it!
Together through it all
We dated for a little less than a year and then got married. We complete ten years of marriage in a few months. Ten years where we’ve seen a lot of good things and bad – his almost fatal accident, my surgery, my father’s death, his father’s ill-health, mother-in-law problems, work stress, his all-consuming passion which became a second full-time job, trips, birthdays, studies, exams, lifestyle-related diseases, and the list goes on.
Ten years during which his friends became mine and mine became his. Our lives are so entwined that I can’t even imagine how we never realized when it all fell apart.
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It all began to go wrong
We were together but alone. I couldn’t point a finger to the exact date or time when things began to go wrong. It was probably the day when I had some good news at work and the first person I called was my best friend and not him. Or maybe when we realized that we hadn’t taken a vacation together in nearly three years or maybe when he called his friend to discuss something which was stressing him out and not me.
We became two people living our own lives in the same house. When we go out, we have an unsaid understanding that we show the world all is well, we’re still the loving couple we used to be – the ones who set relationship goals for others. Soon, I began to feel the signs and effects of loneliness in marriage.
Married and lonely
Over the past year, we’ve fought like cats and dogs and sulked for days over tiny stupid things which would never have mattered earlier. We’ve stormed out of the house because the other person just refuses to understand.
We broke the new wine glasses in anger. We’ve held each other and tried to make it all work, to get back to where we were. The world has no idea how we tip-toe around each other now at home. We were both feeling lonely in marriage but didn’t know how to put a stop to it.
We celebrated the penultimate day of our anniversary in 2016 by finally acknowledging the elephant in the room – that we hadn’t had ‘husband-wife relation’ (as my mother quaintly refers to it) in more than a year. And that maybe we need a trial separation.
I said I’d move out. He said that the house is big enough for both of us to stay without getting in each other’s way. He’s traveling for work this week. We haven’t spoken on the phone or even exchanged a text. I’m looking at flats on a couple of websites and through brokers.
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It was the end of an era
We’ve been together since June 2006. Never has a day gone by when we haven’t spoken or messaged or exchanged sweet stupid nothings. I’d hear a song and message him the lyrics. He’d text me a paragraph from my favorite poem.
How do I today go a whole day (leave alone a week) without talking to him? It’s killing me. How do I live in the same house, share our chores and expenses while still living apart? Our things are all over, his towel carelessly abandoned, my belt, his books, my paint brushes.
It doesn’t make a difference at this point whether we sleep in the same bedroom or different ones, nothing’s happening there. That ship has sailed. I’ve told my mom. She can’t understand why an allegedly much-in-love couple wants to separate.
Nobody could pinpoint what went wrong
My mother can comprehend infidelity and domestic abuse ending a marriage, but not this feeling of being lonely in marriage. I don’t think she understands how much this emotional abandonment in marriage has affected me. He’s yet to tell his parents. They’re out of the country for a few weeks.
What do we tell our friends who sent us New Year greetings as a couple? How do I respond to a dinner invitation for both of us? Why should I share how my heart is falling apart with every random person on Facebook?
When you’re going through your trial separation checklist, what happens if one person wants to get back and the other doesn’t? What if I cave in and call him just to tell him that his favorite movie is on TV tonight? If we get back together as a couple, will we still have the same issues again in a few months or years down the line?
Will I ultimately move out of our home, the one that we set up together with such love? I’m 33 and I don’t see myself sharing a flat with a young kid fresh out of B-school, but I can’t bear to come home to an empty flat either. How will we divide our stuff – our sofas, our books, our towels, our blankets?
We’ve just started down this road. It’s not easy. There are going to be many more difficult days ahead. I just need to stay strong through it all. Alone. Without him. I need to do it.
Don’t be embarrassed to admit that you’re lonely in marriage, and don’t be ashamed to seek help. Talking to someone may actually help you move on faster and get back on the right path that will lead you to a better future. Life is not lonely. It just depends on how you choose to live it.
Talk to your partner or seek help together. If they are not interested, you have complete freedom to go out alone and do what’s best for you, even if that involves talking to a counselor.
A lot of marriages turn sour or stagnant with time. You need to address it as soon as you see the warning signs of a failing relationship. Nip it in the bud.
Why do you have to? You can choose to make a change or leave if you don’t see a future. Remove emotion from your decision and use logic when you’re making this decision.