Marriage may be the end of singlehood, but that does not mean that you will never feel lonely again.
Companionship brings the potential to spend the rest of your life with someone, but your partner may not always be available for comfort or support when you feel lonely. When things start to go sour and you feel your spouse pulling away, it can be hard to relive the feeling of loneliness that you thought you'd never face again.
But there are five things to understand about loneliness and marriage that can help when you are feeling lost in love:
1. Loneliness starts with you
Being lonely begins as an internal disconnection, and spreads outward.
You may in fact have a neglectful and unavailable spouse, but this by itself does not lead to feelings of loneliness. There is a good chance that if you are feeling lonely by yourself, you will also feel lonely with a companion. And likewise, if you are comfortable and secure on your own, you will also feel this way with or without a partner, of any quality.
So let's start with these initial feelings first, and move further into this lonely marriage.
2. Connection can come from anywhere
Looking for connection and companionship solely from your spouse puts a lot of pressure on them to provide you with what an entire community really should be.
Your community can come from your friends, family and co-workers and spending time with them.
Finding a new hobby, meeting new people, or having fun all by yourself can also foster feelings of security on your own. Then, whether or not your husband wants to enjoy your company as well is more of a bonus.
3. Get centered and then reach out
Find your inner peace and balance before you go reaching out for something external to stabilize you.
Take a respite from the world and get back in touch with your true self. Go to your Higher Power or prayer, do yoga or meditate, take a walk in the park or on the beach. This will help your feelings of loneliness subside when you reconnect with the forces of nature, and understand the interconnectedness of everything around you.
4. Never reel in your line
Once you have grounded yourself through inner connectedness, make sure to cast a line to your partner and let them know you still need them as well.
Even if they rebuff or ignore you, never fully pull away from a spouse that is no longer engaging with you in an affectionate way. This will only help build walls between you two, and perpetuate the kind of marriage you do not want.
5. Build the relationship you want
Instead of pulling away due to anger, disappointment or hurt, let your partner know how much you would like to regain the intimate and affectionate life you once shared.
Express your frustration, but word it in a way that invites promise, hope and change. For example, say something like "I really miss you, and I'm hurt that we're not as close as we used to be. I love you so much, and I want you in my life." Avoid blaming and complaining, as this invites defensiveness and dismissal.
Reengaging with a distant partner can take time and patience, as well as some personal growth. Be willing to look at your own needs and actions, not just as what your spouse is doing, or what he is trying to accomplish with his distance.
Try to understand the motivation on both sides; what you both are trying to gain.
First, once you know you've put your best foot forward and no longer feel lonely within yourself look to your partner. Recognize your partner's neglect and distance without feeding into it or taking it on as your own shortcoming. Then you can begin to address the issues in the marriage itself, outside of you.