It’s not necessary to be alone to feel lonely. While being in a committed marriage may appear to be the answer to feeling alone in a marriage, it is possible to be married and lonely at the same time.
Feeling alone in a marriage is a subjective state of mind in which people crave more social contact but feel alienated or distanced from others. It’s more about how you feel about your interpersonal relationships. If you’ve ever felt lonely in a crowd, you understand that being surrounded by other people isn’t always a panacea for loneliness.
You may be spending time with your spouse, but that does not rule out the possibility of feeling alone in your marriage even when they are around. These emotions can make you feel lonely, undesired, or misunderstood by your partner.
Being married but lonely, according to an AARP survey from 2018, is far from rare. Nearly a third of married adults over 45 said they felt lonely in their marriage.
This article addresses why people marry but are lonely, as well as some strategies for dealing with loneliness in your marriage.
Signs of Feeling Alone in Marriage
Living with someone else isn’t a panacea for loneliness. Your sentiments of connectedness to your spouse are what keep you from feeling lonely and alone in your relationship. The following are some symptoms that you may be feeling alone in your marriage:
- You’re lonely even while you’re with your partner. It feels like there’s a chasm between you that you can’t seem to bridge.
- You don’t communicate with each other. Perhaps you have the impression that your partner is uninterested in what you have to say. Or perhaps you simply don’t want to inform them about your day’s events. You’re not communicating in either instance, which leads to emotions of isolation and disillusionment.
- You come up with excuses to ignore your partner. Staying late at work, finding things to do away from your partner, or simply scrolling through social media to avoid connecting with them are all options.
- You have sex infrequently or never. You don’t just lack emotional intimacy in your relationship; also, you lack physical connection.
All of these elements can lead to feelings of loneliness in your marriage. This may only affect one person in the marriage at a time, but in many circumstances, both partners may feel isolated and cut off from one another.
What Causes Feeling Alone in a Marriage
Below are various causes of feeling alone in a marriage:
1. There is a disconnection.
Andre explains that when partners aren’t emotionally connected, it can feel like there’s a space between them, which can be terribly lonely for one or both of them. She observes that this frequently occurs after a change in the relationship: “At some time, the pair ceased being in harmony with each other, resulting in the distancing.”
According to Jackson and Andre, the following factors might make spouses feel distanced from one another and hence lonely:
- Feeling as if your lover isn’t paying attention to you
- You don’t feel like you’re getting enough sex
- Ineffective or non-existent communication
- Money problems
- Transitions in life
- Everyday stressors
2. In the connection, there is a lack of effort or attention.
“When people go through the humdrum tides of life, they grow lonely in marriage,” Jackson explains. “They go to work, they come home, they go to school, they take care of the kids, they cook dinner, and they simply go through the motions of their daily lives, with no set time to connect with their spouse.”
3. Responsibilities as a parent are interfering.
Couples may struggle to distinguish between their roles as parents and spouses, focusing solely on their parental responsibilities while neglecting their relationship. “Our duty as parents is critical,” Jackson says, “but you must also devote time and energy to your marriage.” “And what happens if you don’t? It’s possible to feel lonely.”
It can be isolating, not to mention taxing, to devote all of your energy to caring for others while receiving little focused affection yourself.
4. Partners are unduly reliant on one another for happiness.
The researchers found that married couples are suffering with greater enmeshment, where their lives are unhealthily entwined, in a 2020 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology on over 1,400 heterosexual married couples in their 50s through 70s. When couples rely only on each other for social connection, it can strain the relationship and leave them vulnerable to loneliness when the partnership inevitably goes through periods of detachment.
Why Are People Married and Feeling Alone in Marriage?
Loneliness has been on the rise in recent years, according to research. People who were unhappy with their family life were more likely to report feeling lonely, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Feeling alone in your marriage can be caused by a variety of factors:
1. Family and work:
The strains of family and work are one of the most common reasons why married couples feel as if they are moving apart. You may feel like two ships passing in the night when you’re both balancing busy schedules filled with caring for children, working, and juggling other duties.
2. Tension-inducing events:
Couples may experience rifts in their relationships as a result of the obstacles they confront together. Even the strongest of marriages can be strained by a stressful or traumatic incident, but it can feel even more difficult if it highlights or exposes flaws in your marriage. If you believe your spouse isn’t being helpful or compassionate, losing your work might be even more tough. Even after the unpleasant event has passed, you may feel abandoned and lonely in certain situations.
3. Impractical expectations:
It’s possible that your emotions of loneliness have less to do with your partner and more to do with other unmet needs. For example, if you have poor interpersonal interactions outside your marriage, you may expect your spouse to meet all of your social demands. It’s no surprise that you’re dissatisfied because you’re expecting your spouse to meet a demand that they can’t fairly be expected to meet.
4. Vulnerability deficiency:
Isolation can also result from not being vulnerable with your relationship. This signifies that the person closest to you is unaware of your personal and private secrets. It’s far more difficult to feel understood and connected to your spouse if you don’t talk about your deeper feelings, such as your dreams and worries.
5. Comparisons of social media:
Making unfair comparisons to relationships you see on social media might also make you feel lonely. People who spent more time on social networking platforms also reported higher levels of loneliness, according to a 2017 study.
Feeling Alone in a Marriage Quotes
You may feel lonely if you are unable to share your joys and sorrows with others. These statements on feeling lonely in a marriage will make you feel better.
- “Just because I’m standing alone doesn’t imply I’m alone.” It signifies I’m capable of handling things on my own.”
- “It’s great to be alone, but you need someone to reassure you that it’s fine to be alone.” Honoré de Balzac
- “You’re in lousy company if you’re lonely while you’re alone.” Sartre, Jean-Paul
- If you have to pick between being in the wrong company and being alone, go with the latter.
- “Loneliness is a lack of purpose, not a lack of companionship.” Guillermo Maldonado
- You’re your best friend. For the sake of not being lonely, don’t confine yourself to the company of energy vampires.
- At the end of the day, I know I’d rather be alone and lonely and unhappy on occasion than be in a bad marriage and lonely and unhappy all the time. It doesn’t bother me that I’m single. In fact, it appeals to me. Alana Stewart
- Fortunately for women, most men confuse loneliness with love before marriage and habit with happiness afterward. Helen Rowland
- Marriage. Don’t feel compelled to do it. Is the fear of being alone truly greater than the horror of being bound? Tan, Sumiko
- Loneliness isn’t caused by being alone, and marriage isn’t always the solution. There are also a lot of lonely married couples. Renee Jones is a model and actress.
What to Do If You’re Married but Feeling Alone in a Marriage
There are actions you may do to feel more connected if you are feeling alone or isolated in your marriage. Finding the root of the problem, speaking with your partner, and spending more quality time together are all excellent places to begin.
1. Speak with your partner
The first step is to tell your spouse how you’re feeling and check whether they’re having similar feelings. If you’re both lonely, there’s probably something you can focus on together to reconnect and develop a stronger bond.
It may be more difficult to handle this feeling of loneliness if it is one-sided. If your partner is emotionally supportive, but you still feel lonely, it’s possible that you need to work on something else within yourself.
2. Refrain from blaming others.
It’s crucial to avoid blaming each other while you attempt to overcome loneliness in your relationship. Your partner may feel assaulted and become defensive as a result of this.
Instead, of focusing on what your partner isn’t doing (“You never ask me about my day!”) talk about your own feelings and needs (“I’ve been feeling lonely, and it would be helpful if you asked me about my experiences and feelings.”)
3. Invest more time in your relationship.
Another key step is to spend more quality time with your partner. It can be difficult to focus on your relationship due to the responsibilities of daily life, such as family and work. Making time for a date night, going to bed at the same time, and talking about your days are just a few examples of how you might feel more connected to your spouse.
4. Seek professional assistance
If loneliness is still causing you problems, you should see a therapist, discuss why you are married but lonely. Couples counseling is a powerful tool for addressing issues including trust, intimacy, empathy, and communication. A therapist can assist you in learning new ways to connect with each other, improving your communication skills, and addressing any underlying issues that may be interfering with your marriage.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that each marriage is unique. And every relationship has its own natural ebb and flow, which may include times when you feel disconnected.
If you’re lonely in your marriage, it’s critical to figure out what’s causing the problem and take action to fix it. Getting to the root of the issue today can help you move toward a healthier relationship in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to feel alone in a marriage?
Lonely marriages are a real thing.
According to polls, 40 percent of people have experienced the anguish of being lonely in a relationship at some point in their lives. Although no two successful marriages are the same, every lonely marriage has at least one spouse who feels emotionally abandoned.
What is emotional abandonment in marriage?
Emotional neglect is characterized by a lack of action on the part of one partner in a relationship and is often difficult to detect. Lack of emotional support and failing to meet your partner’s needs are both signs of emotional neglect in a marriage.