#11 Loneliness and MarriageBy: Fred | March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments
A woman can say she is happy that she found someone special and got married because she didn’t want to be alone, five minutes later she is lamenting that she is lonely IN the marriage. Alone versus lonely. Big difference. A man might skip the first, “lonely” part, but he will not mince words about feeling lonely.
Loneliness in marriage is particularly depressing. As a lonely single person, you can envision one day meeting and marrying someone, and you will not be lonely anymore. If you are married, AND experiencing the pain of loneliness, your situation can appear to be in surmountable.
More likely than not, that sense of futile loneliness come from only from you, and has nothing to do with your spouse. It is your inability to reconcile childhood conflicts, and even to understand the genesis of the problem. You end up dealing with symptoms of symptoms of the problem.
What is loneliness?
- Alone means no one else is with you. Alone time can be intensely enjoyable, particularly if you enjoy your own company.
- Loneliness is an awful, hollow feeling of emptiness, isolation and rejection. Feeling lonely does not require being alone.
How did this happen?
What is the root of most loneliness problems in marriage today? There can be many. One theory says that there are two major elements.
- Modern couples have become more liberal and less rigid with almost all aspects of marriage. A great deal more gray area has been added to basic right and wrong issues.
- Many of the benefits of the now extinct extended family makes today’s family more vulnerable to economic problems. The extended family added safety nets for hard times and the model for managing married life.
Although the extended family won’t be returning any time soon, revamping the interpersonal relationship style between husband and wife is possible. The quickest way is to accomplish this is to apply the principles to the major issues of the day
- MONEY. Money is the major issue in most marriages. Money worries. Money problems. Money, money, money. Sure, money is superficial, a medium of exchange, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, you would like to keep the house, and continue driving the car, and eating. You and your spouse set a standard of living. That standard has a price. When the price goes up, and your income does not, there’s trouble. The trouble causes irritability and dissention. Then ugly things are said. Pretty soon, you are dealing with the symptoms again, and the circle of strife continues.
- Male versus Female. There is a difference. Men are linear and materialistic. Women are circular and emotion driven. These differences are tolerable if no other forces shake the tree. During the courtship, the man and the woman wear their best “clothes”. Sex is a driving force. That drives subsides, but all is still well, because you are together.
- Then children come along. They start out as miracles, and when they hit their teens they become possessed. Now, there is ahefty mortgage, work pressures, living expenses that begin to suck from your savings, and three devil-worshiping body-pierced children speaking in cyber language and addicted to electronics.
If we all were perfect, every day, we would methodically review our history and count our blessings, and all would be well in our world. But, perfect we ain’t.
Loneliness is escapism gone too far, attempts to cope with the loads of sudden pressures drives you into the pit of despair. If spouses had been “hand-in-hand” during this journey, loneliness would never have manifested. But, he blamed her and she blamed him. The man feels he is failing as a provider and the woman is overcome with the grief of failing as a mother and homemaker, and both go into denial mode.
What to do about loneliness?
Lock the kids in their cells, and you and your spouse take a bottle of your favorite wine to the bedroom and lock the door. The rules:
- Get comfortable, have a couple glasses of wine.
- Small talk only. Nothing negative.
- Each of you take out a copy of this article, and one of you reads the article out loud. Discuss each major issue until both of you are speaking the same language. Do not argue, about anything.
- If necessary, substitute your particular circumstances with those in the article.
- Focus on this reality: It is your reaction to negative events or circumstances that is the problem, not the events or circumstances themselves. The solution: The moment a negative arrow is launched by either of you, the other must raise a reminder flag. Have a word or phrase you use. One couple said they used, “Leukemia”, because, no one in the family had leukemia. It was a slap in the face reality check.
- Each of you say, “I’m sorry,” and “I love you.”
- Commit to revisiting and discussing these issues once every week. Make a date. Put the date on calendars.
- Take a bath together. Make love. Then make love again.
P.S. Don’t forget to let the kids out of their cages in the morning.