Lonely in Your Marriage? Why and What to Do About It

"I give you your freedom, I give you my love

I give all I have, Every time that we touch

I don’t know, baby, Maybe I give too much

Now I’m lonely in love, Why must I be lonely in love…”

It was in the 80’s when Dan Fogelberg sang those words. They still ring true for many spouses and partners today.

Are you lonely in love?

Don’t feel guilty. It may seem strange, but there are reasons why you might feel lonely despite being in a romantic relationship or a stable marriage.

Consider the following:

The Why

In general, being lonely has to do with feeling disconnected – either from yourself or your partner. Something has created a distance between you.

For example, it could be that you are:

  • Feeling ignored, unloved, and undervalued – You believe your partner doesn’t meet your needs, nor even cares about them. You believe they don’t understand you because you think they are negatively judging your thoughts, feelings, actions, or looks. 
  • Unwilling to communicate openly and honestly – You expect your partner to be a mind-reader. When problems arise, you withhold important information. Rather, you keep stewing in your own negative emotions, but won’t tell them how you feel and what you need.
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  • Dealing with personal problems – Stress or illness may leave you feeling tired, frazzled, and overwhelmed. In an effort to deal with the issue, you shut out everything and everybody, including your partner.
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  • Abandoning yourself – You’re not addressing your own feelings. Instead, you judge yourself harshly or make someone else responsible for how you feel. You may have even turned to substance abuse to avoid your painful feelings.
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  • Trying to control your partner – You’re inauthentic in order to control how your partner feels about you. Either you give yourself up and just become what you think they want you to be, or you try to use your sexual relationship as a form of control.

So you see, the fact is, being in love doesn’t guarantee that you have a close, intimate connection. But when you connect from the heart, fostering closeness and intimacy, you can cultivate authentic love and reduce loneliness.

The How

What You Can Do About Feeling Lonely

  • Connect with yourself

Don’t become harsh with yourself just because you’re experiencing challenges in your relationship. Instead of disparaging self-talk, be kind, encouraging, and self-compassionate.

Get in touch with what you're actually feeling, allow yourself to feel it completely, and learn to lovingly manage it. Once you love and connect with yourself, you can start connecting to others.

  • Connect with your partner

Take time to talk, play, laugh, love, learn, and grow together. Share your feelings and concerns – be vulnerable and authentic.

Show interest in your partner and express your love for them. Don’t just say “I love you.” Tell them that you admire them, appreciate them, and are proud of them, and be specific about why.

Don’t neglect discussions about difficulties you’re having outside your relationship, either. It will improve your understanding of other’s struggles and challenges and help you to give real support.

If you have a conflict, be willing to communicate openly and honestly and demonstrate care, compassion, and empathy for your partner.

  • Connect with others

Resist the urge to isolate yourself from the world. Get out of the house and meet other people. Sign up for a class and learn something new, start a personal project, or volunteer. When you occupy your mind, get busy, and accomplish something, loneliness will soon fade into the background.

Human relationships are a vital part of life; therefore, meeting new people can be motivating and uplifting.

Don't give in to loneliness.

Figure out why you're feeling lonely.

Take steps to connect!