Loneliness is on the rise. There is all this talk about social media getting us closer, yet there are statistics that tell us that we are lonelier than ever, even in a marriage! How do you feel? If that’s true, it’s a good time to get some relationship help.
The UCLA Loneliness scale has been used to survey thousands of folks. Some statistics show that we are 15-25% lonelier than we were forty years ago. And, that it is occurring most evidently in those between 40 and 50 years old. Bet you might have thought that it would be among the elderly. Me, too, but not so!
There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely, of course. Being alone can be the most delicious experience ever…when you like your own company. If you cannot enjoy being alone, it is important to figure out what’s going on there. We need to be able to relish time alone to be healthy. But that’s a whole other story than being lonely.
I remember the times I felt loneliest in life was during my previous marriage a long time ago. How could I feel so alone when I had a husband and children? I quickly learned from that desperate part of my life that all the accolades and great press I was experiencing at the time, did nothing to reduce the devastating loneliness I felt in my marriage. There were many people with me, but there was no one for me. At the end of the day, I would come home to an unfathomable emotional emptiness, chasms of nothingness. No sense of companionship. No one to talk with. No nothing that looked or felt like partnership. And, many times, no other adult at home. I’m sure my husband felt it, too.
Two lives being lived like railroad ties, proximity but no connection. We know that, contrary to perspective, railroad ties never actually come together. Parallel living can be very lonely.
Why does it seem SO much more lonely when it occurs in a marriage? Likely because it is SO not what is supposed to happen. Marriage, or committed partnership, by its very nature is supposed to ensure that there is one other person who loves, supports and walks with us. It is supposed to provide us with the one person who always lights up to see our face, and with the one person who always has our back. It is to ensure that we are never lonely because we have promised to be there for each other, no matter the circumstances.
But, in many relationships (more than you think) people are moving apart, emotionally. It usually happens slowly. It is what I call “relationship drift.” Degree by tiny degree, two lives move apart until there is yawning gap. And, we feel lonely.
Much of the work in my practice with couples is uncluttering and uncovering their personal path to emotional intimacy, to re-igniting the possibilities of true partnership. Of course, these folks care enough about their lives to seek out the relationship help they know they need. And, they have the willingness, even the “reluctant willingness”–even a little willingness will do, to start the journey towards each other once again. That was one of the reasons that I created the free Relationship Checklist: to give folks a helpful and valuable way to gain insight into their relationships immediately.
If you are feeling lonely in your relationship, take the Relationship Checklist to help clarify your feelings and gain insights. Invite your partner to take it as well. Then consider getting some relationship help, either alone or, with your partner. If one of you is lonely, you are both missing out on the potential of your relationship. That’s a shame, when it can be different!
It’s easy to talk with me if you want to gain further insight into your relationship, your choices, and your next best steps. I might be online right this minute and we could talk right now. CHECK IT OUT HERE>> ForRelationshipHelp.com/talk