When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery
I am fairly realistic about marriage. I was in a long term, serious relationship, where I would take extended trips alone with my ex.
I recall what it was like to sit in the same room with the ex but feel all alone. I recall what it was like to get long distance phone calls from him but not feel a connection to him.
So I am not one of those single women who thinks getting married automatically means closeness and a lack of loneliness.
I link to this for any single woman out there who wants to be married who assumes, “If I can just get married, that will solve all my problems, and I’ll never feel lonely again.”
If that’s what you are thinking, you are going to be in for a rude awakening if you do marry. You’re going to find that your spouse cannot, does not, and will not meet all your (emotional) needs. I already realized that after being with my ex fiance’ for years.
- Strategies for finding joy
- Dr. Juli Slattery
It’s one thing to be lonely when you are single, wondering if and when God will ever bring the right guy. It’s another matter for your heart to ache with loneliness when the “right guy” is living in your home and sleeping in your bed. If this is your reality, please know that you are not alone. Behind the façade of busyness and family life, many married women are desperately lonely.
…Loneliness is perhaps the deepest ache our souls can experience. The grief of losing a loved one, the fear of abandonment, and the sting of rejected love all tap into the same bedrock fear: I am all alone.
Feeling lonely in marriage exposes subtle lies we’ve believed—lies like:
- If only you find “Prince Charming,” you’ll never have to be alone.
- Obey God and he will give you a fulfilling marriage.
- As long as you’re married, you’ll never have to feel the rejection you felt growing up.
If you are in this place of marital loneliness, then you are facing a fork in the road. Before you is a choice: What will you do with your sadness, disillusionment, and fear? Will you run away from God or run to him?
Use the link at the top to read the rest of that article (which is actually part of a free preview: I think they make you subscribe to see the rest).
By the way, one thing I wanted to call out (that I’ve blogged about before), is that you cannot and should not count on your spouse for compansionship alone.
I have seen countless married women, age 40 and older (but sometimes younger) complain on forums that although they are married, they feel all alone because their spouse ignores them, does not understand them, does not meet their emotional needs, prefers watching football all day to spending time with them. Some women say their spouse is abusive.
Some women devote all time and energy to their spouse and kids in their 30s and 40s and do not cultivate friendship with other women (or men) during those years, so that when their husband divorces them or dies, they find themselves with precious little support or friendship.
If you are a married woman reading this page, please do not let that be you.
You are going to have to CARVE time out of your married life schedule and make a concerted effort to spend time with, or at least phone, your single friends. Stop viewing single women as a threat. Most of us single women have zero desire to sleep with your spouse.
If you keep putting all your relationship eggs in the marriage basket, don’t be surprised if and when your husband dies, you two drift apart, or he divorces you, that you have no where to turn for support. It’s not wise or to your benefit to regularly blow off all your single female buddies to “La La” around in Romance Land with the husband.
(edit) If you are a Christian married woman who just read that and think, “Aw, yeah right, I know my married women friends would be there for me after my spouse dies!,” think again.
It’s the rare circle of married friends who keep showering the surviving member of a marriage with attention.
Most testimonies I’ve read are by married people (some who are Christian) who are absolutely crushed and dejected to find that after their spouse died (or divorced them) that their former close married friends avoid them like the plague.
These are people who used to eat lunch together after church services every week for 20 years, and so forth.
I think this is stupid, unfair, and it sucks, but most married couples only want to ‘buddy around’ with other married couples – so once your spouse dies (or leaves you), most of the time, most of those couples will drop you, leaving you friendless.
I don’t care if that married couple knew you and your spouse for 10, 15, 30 years, they WILL ignore you once you are single again.
If you are currently married, you need to include a mix of types of people into your social circle while you are married, not just other married couples.
You need to have single, divorced, and widowers, among your friendship circle when you are married, not just other married couples. You need to have friends the same age, older, and younger.
Even Christian married couples will kick you to the curb and stop phoning you or inviting you out once your spouse leaves or dies. You cannot rely on married Christian couples!
(Link): Love Couldn’t Save Me From Loneliness By M. Puniewska
(Link): Why Lonely People Stay Lonely