Feeling Lonely in a Relationship
Updated: Jul 31
In this era of Covid19 pandemic many couples find themselves living a close proximity, this new trend is revealing how couples interact with each other, and how each partner feels about their relationship. In my practice I am encountering couples on the brink of divorcing / separating, couples complaining of lack of intimacy - this to be not only sexual but also physical and emotional - couples lacking communication or as opposed experiencing violent communication, holding grudges, and perpetuating the Stone Walling techniques, not exactly a happy scenario it appears to surface, here.
The general concept about marriage does not preclude the feeling of loneliness, two people in the relationship such as it is easily assumable marriage protects from loneliness...but does it? It's common to feel alone in a marriage: One in three married people over age 45 report being lonely, according to a national survey in 2018, however, it does necessarily mean it has to become the new normal, what it does show underlay issues being kept dormant they are now surfacing, becoming more noticeable.
Loneliness is a deeper thing because it's more of a psychological state where people feel like their relationships, the quantity of their relationships, the quality of their relationships, are not where they need to be, you can be lonely and not be alone. You can literally be surrounded by a whole bunch of people and still feel like you're lonely.
If you are in a marriage were your need for companionship, love, affection, or other social needs are NOT met you may very well feel lonely, despite having a life partner. Physical proximity isn't the sole factor when it comes to experiencing closeness in a relationship," explains licensed marriage therapist Beverley Andre, LMFT. "You have to consider emotional proximity—how in tune are you with your partner? If there is an emotional gap [or] chasm in the relationship, your partner could be sitting next to you, and still feel oceans apart."
What cause Loneliness in your marriage or relationship? Many elements are present in those dynamics let's take into consideration a few, here:
Lack of connection
Your partner is behaving / feeling distant or apart, a shift in the relationship is taking place.
It feels as you are not being listen meaningfully to you.
Parental responsibilities in the relationship
Couples go to work, they come home, they go to school, they take care of the kids, they cook dinner, and they just go through the regular day-to-day motions, and there isn't any specific time to connect with their spouse.
Often partners find themselves entangled in home chores, home schooling, work commitments to a point they forget one another and their need to nurture their relationship with one another.
Spending all your energy on caring for others and not receiving any affection yourself can feel isolating and draining.
Being dependable from one another
Often partners enter a behavioural pattern within a long-term marriage a level of enmeshment, their lives are unhealthily intertwined. When couples exclusively rely on each other as their primary social connection, when exclusively relying on each other it can put a strain on the relationship, and its dynamics, leaving the individual feeling under pressure when the direction of their rapport takes another turn, by going through a phase of disconnection.
You shouldn't be seeking full validation from your partner when you're married," K.Jackson says. "You can't look for another person, whether that is your spouse, to fulfill you 110%. You have to be happy with you. You have to give your own self joy. You have to have your own career goals. You have to have your own passions."
At this point in time is fundamental to review and change those dynamics either by talking to your partner and make them noticeable to you both, as it is possible that your spouse has no idea how lonely you are - do not expect your partner to be a mind reader - instead say it out loud! Once they are on the same page as you, together figure out how to help to feel less lonely. Often couples notice a shift in the relationship, it thrown the partners out of sync and created that feeling of distance. By being able to pinpoint what caused the shift, to backtrack and see if you both can identify what is happening, collaborate on ways to mitigate the feelings of abandonment.
Learn each love languages
The five love languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. Each person has one primary love language that's their preferred way of receiving love. Learn those language to feel loved and appreciated and heard and respected."
Reach out for support
If you and your partner are struggling to work on this issue or simply don't know where to start, ask help to a therapist this can be a helpful way to get on the right track. Also relationship resources, such as books about relationships, online courses, a good start can be The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, Ph.D., and Nan Silver.
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