We don’t often think of loneliness as a feeling one experiences in a marriage or a relationship. We often confuse being alone with being lonely. We can be lonely while we are still in a crowd and we can be completely alone but not lonely.
Often clients who come to see me, want to be in a relationship because they feel lonely, or even worse, they sometimes come to see me because they feel lonely while in a relationship. Out of the two, feeling alone while still in a relationship feels worse.
Feeling alone in a marriage or in a relationship (any relationship, be it a friendship), is not a good sign. Lack of a sense of connection and a sense of loneliness can have a significant impact on an individual’s sense of well-being. Client’s often report feeling like they don’t matter or feeling “invisible” or unheard in the relationship. If an individual has a sense of loneliness in a marriage, it would have a definite negative impact on the marriage as well as a negative impact on the individual’s sense of well-being and their sense of self.
If one partner reports feeling lonely in a relationship, there needs to be an examination of where it is coming from. Effort needs to be put in to communicate and connect on those instances which make a partner feel lonely. Firstly, there needs to be an examination of what lies under the sense of loneliness, then only can it be tackled.
Is it a specific problem that one partner needs the other to be supportive in? Or is there a lack of sense of connection between partners? Does one partner perceive the other to be emotionally unavailable?
More often than not, loneliness is about a lack of sense of emotional connection. Both partners need to put in the effort to communicate and be emotionally vulnerable and connected with each other. Part of that isn’t just functional day-to-day communication, but communication on a deeper level regarding both the partners thinking and feeling about day-to-day events and happenings.
Spending meaningful quality time talking to each other, not just about the functional day-to-day events, is a good start. A good exercise I often recommend when talking about your day is talking about the emotional “high” and the emotional “low” of the day. It helps make the day to day events more emotionally meaningful.
If you are experiencing loneliness in your relationship and want to explore it with me, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can book in to see me by calling our reception team on 800-LifeWorks or emailing them at email@example.com.