Real Relationship Talk: Loneliness in Marriage (2023)

Being married doesn't protect you from loneliness, and you don't have to be physically alone to experience it. When you feel lonely in your marriage, you can make changes to improve the situation.

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Marriage requires a lot of work, patience, and dedication. Sometimes things get complicated and interfere with the positive aspects of your relationship. This can lead to feelings of loneliness even when your partner is in the same room.

Many believe that marriage is about spending every day with your best friend and confidant. While this is the case in some situations, you may experience loneliness.

You may feel unwanted or misunderstood by your partner, wondering why you seem lonely.

It takes connection to ease loneliness and you can make some changes to rebuild your relationship. Understanding loneliness can help you recognize it in your life and work to overcome it.

On the outside, people may see a loving, loyal, or typical partner, perhaps even in a complementary relationship. But inside you can feel extremely lonely due to circumstantial factors, as one or both could:

  • be deployed for a military trip
  • be imprisoned
  • travel for work most of each year
  • have opposite work shifts
  • work various jobs and hardly at home
  • have an addiction, compulsion, or obsession that consumes a lot of time and energy
  • Being emotionally (or physically) absent due to:
    • medical illness
    • episodes of mental health disorder
    • weigh
    • trauma
    • unemploymentor financial indigence

in aTED articleRelationship expert Carol Bruess writes that healthy relationships require:

(Video) No Sex Marriage – Masturbation, Loneliness, Cheating and Shame | Maureen McGrath | TEDxStanleyPark

  • amistad
  • cult
  • I respect

Something could be wrong if your relationship feels off and your partner's behavior changes. If you experience this situation, you may feel alone in your marriage.

You may notice that:

  • do not share more humor
  • you don't like your spouse's quirks or your partner will be irritated by yours

At other times, you may find that your emotional needs have not been met. Feelingemotionally abandonedIt can even happen when your partner is around.

Sometimes you will notice that you no longer talk about your thoughts. You or your partner may not do nice things to each other or offer words of love to each other. The relationship can change so that things that once mattered no longer do.

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Other thingsthings you might notice in a lonely marriage include:

  • criticismwhen you talk about your feelings
  • hang outsegregated in electronicsor surfing social media when you're together
  • appear disinterested in a conversation
  • feeling like you have to raise your voice to get their attention
  • lack of eye contact
  • dismissive behavior

Is it common to feel lonely in marriage?

the experts indicatethat most married people see their relationship as emotional support. Butabout 33%of older adults experience loneliness in their marriages.

Identifying why you feel lonely and learning to change that can help you improve your relationship and feel emotionally connected again.

Some of the reasons why you feel lonely could include:

  • Ambivalence:A partner provides little support but high tension. This can leave you feeling torn between the good and the bad in your relationship.
  • Indifference:A partner providesunder support and minimal stress. They may offer little help but make no demands, leading to feelings of abandonment and loneliness.
  • Aversion:Negative behaviors are not followed by positive ones, continually damaging the quality of the relationship. This situation may seem lonelier than any of the others.

You may feel lonely in your marriage because ofnegative marital qualities. When there is more negativity than positivity, it can feel lonely. Plus, juggling busy schedules can leaveLittle timeto spend quality time together.

(Video) Dealing With Loneliness in Marriage – Jen Weaver

high supportExpectationsfrom your partner can lead to loneliness because you are not living up to your ideal. Idealizing a perfect marriage can make you feel like something essential is missing from your relationship. You may also feel that you havedifferent prioritiesand goals

How do you live with a lonely marriage?

You may think it's okay to feel lonely in a relationship, but it can have harmful effects.The 2015 survey indicatesthis feeling of loneliness can increase the risk of early mortality. Feeling isolated can also increase your risk of:

  • Alto (systolic) blood pressure
  • increased body mass index
  • high density (lipoprotein) cholesterol levels
  • depression
  • decreased immunity
  • suicidal thoughts

If you are considering taking action on suicidal thoughts, seek professional support immediately.

Calling or texting a crisis helpline will connect you with a trained counselor 24/7, any day of the year, completely free of charge:

Knowing about these potential risks may encourage you to make some changes to improve the situation. Feeling lonely doesn't mean there's no hope for you and your partner. Instead, it can be an opportunity to improve, bringing you and your partner closer together.

you can make changesimprove your relationshipand feel connected with your partner. These tips can help you work through the problems in your relationship, allowing you to move forward together.

Tell your spouse that you are alone

Telling your partner that you are alone requires vulnerability and not criticizing them. Relationship Coach and Bestselling Authorlaura doyleexplains that complaining about your partner and criticizing her can create more distance.

She recommends saying "I miss you" because it can get your point across without causing more tension. You can let your guard down andpractice vulnerabilityinstead of criticizing your partner.

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Doyle explains: “There is no judgment or manipulation in telling someone you love that you miss them. Instead, it's nice to know that you are loved and thoughtful."

Enjoy the little things

Once you've talked to your partner about your loneliness, you'll be able to appreciate the little things your partner does for you. From themsmall actions can be significant, and they can stop making them if they think you don't appreciate them.

Doyle suggests that if you consider the little things insignificant, "it communicates that your efforts are not wanted or appreciated."

Plan how to deal with loneliness together

Relationship expert and co-founder of the dating app So Syncd,jessica alderson, suggests working together. They can focus on working together so it feels like a team effort.

This can ensure that your partner doesn't feel guilty and can make you feel comfortable discussing what to do next.

Your partner may not have had time to consider how you feel about the situation. Alderson explains, "They may need time to process the information, so be prepared to give them space to digest everything."

creating asafe space for communicationit's essential, and Alderson says it requires you to be:

  • impartial
  • type
  • support

Be patient

It will take time and effort to repair your relationship, but it can happen. You can try to remember all the good things about your relationship and what you love about your partner. Remembering these memories can help you maintain your patience as you work to rebuild.

connect with your partner

Your partner may not know where to start rebuilding your connection, and you don't have to wait for you to strike up a conversation. You can ask them a question about their day or ask what they think about something.

Getting involved with your partner can help you overcome barriers and encourage you to ask questions.

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Find opportunities to be together

Spending quality time together doesn't have to be luxurious. You can find opportunities to bond with your partner and connect emotionally at home. Some things you can do include:

  • cooking dinner together
  • listening to music
  • resting in your living space

do couples therapy

A couples therapist can help you and your partner work through your challenges. They can help you learn how to connect in a loving and nurturing way.

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While loneliness in marriage is common, you don't have to live with it. You can talk to your partner and make adjustments in your relationship.

Dealing with issues can help you build a healthier relationship and find fulfillment together again. Working together to rebuild your connection can make all the difference in easing your loneliness. Reconnecting takes time and effort, but you can start today.


How do you express loneliness in a relationship? ›

If you've been feeling lonely in your relationship, here are ways to work through those feelings.
  1. Discuss Your Feelings With Your Significant Other.
  2. Take a Break From Social Media.
  3. Do Something Nice for Them.
  4. Volunteer.
  5. Hug Your Partner.
  6. Nurture Other Relationships.
  7. Try Couple's Therapy.
Nov 16, 2022

Why am I so lonely even though Im married? ›

Loneliness in a marriage can be caused by a number of different things. Family, work, and stress often play a role, but internal factors such as your own unrealistic expectations and fear of vulnerability can also make it hard to connect with your spouse.

What is walkaway wife syndrome? ›

What Is a Walkaway Wife? Also referred to as the "neglected wife syndrome" and "sudden divorce syndrome," walkaway wife syndrome is "nothing more than a term used to characterize a person who has decided they cannot stay in the marriage any longer," says Joshua Klapow, Ph.

Can you be married and still feel lonely? ›

Yes, feeling lonely in marriage is extremely common and has a lot to do with the high expectations people have of marriage and their spouses. Loneliness comes from feelings of disappointment and emotional abandonment, which can be resolved by working on yourself and working on your relationship.

How do you know when your marriage is over? ›

Here are seven signs from experts that a Carmel family law attorney believes mean a marriage might be over.
  1. Lack of Sexual Intimacy. ...
  2. Frequently Feeling Angry with Your Spouse. ...
  3. Dreading Spending Alone-Time Together. ...
  4. Lack of Respect. ...
  5. Lack of Trust. ...
  6. Disliking Your Spouse. ...
  7. Visions of the Future Do Not Include Your Spouse.
Dec 7, 2019

How do you tell your partner you feel unloved? ›

Conversations to have with your partner about how you feel

Admit how your past trauma has impacted your ability to feel your partner's love. Validate their emotions. Let them know you understand how your actions have caused them to pull away.

What does feeling lonely in a relationship feel like? ›

Often in a relationship, loneliness can manifest itself in more indirect ways than simply feeling on your own. You might feel irritated or annoyed with your partner, find that you're bickering or arguing, or tend to interpret things they do in a negative way.

When a woman feels neglected in a relationship? ›

What happens when a woman feels neglected? When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, she is likely to feel as if she isn't important. This can lead to her also feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless. She may also begin to feel lonely as if she has no one to turn to because her partner is emotionally unavailable.

Why do I feel so unloved by my husband? ›

Feeling alone and unloved in marriage can also be triggered by depression as well as jealousy and anxiety. These strong emotions can alienate a partner such that you fall into a vicious circle. All these are symptoms though that could mean something much deeper is going on.

What does a lonely marriage look like? ›

Being in a lonely marriage doesn't mean you're physically excluding your partner from your life, but you're emotionally excluding them from your thoughts. While you two may talk, you're not communicating your hopes, fears and dreams.

Why do I feel detached from my husband? ›

Lack of trust may lead to feeling distant from your partner, especially if you previously had trust for them and lost confidence in them. Losing trust could come from not abiding by agreed rules for the relationship, such as infidelity, or it could be that your partner has suddenly been less open than you.

What is the #1 cause of divorce? ›

Lack of commitment is the most common reason given by divorcing couples according to a recent national survey. Here are the reasons given and their percentages: Lack of commitment 73% Argue too much 56%

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or is refusing to communicate with another person.

What does emotional abandonment look like in marriage? ›

In the context of a marriage, the feelings of neglect, being left out, and not being heard are collectively referred to as emotional abandonment. It occurs when one partner is so preoccupied with their own concerns that they are unable to notice the struggles, concerns, or problems their partner is experiencing.

How much alone time is healthy in a marriage? ›

The bottom line? Coan advises every couple to adhere to the 70/30 rule: For the happiest, most harmonious relationship, the pro suggests spending 70% of time together, and 30% apart. That gives each of you enough freedom to explore your own interests while still being rooted and invested in your relationship.

Why do I feel so alone in my relationship? ›

There are several reasons why a person might be feeling alone in a relationship, including trust issues, attachment issues, abuse in past relationships or poor communication styles.

How do you tell if a man is unhappy in his marriage? ›

Here are some signs a guy is unhappy in his relationship:
  1. He spends excessive time on his devices even when he's with his partner. ...
  2. He does not show affection anymore. ...
  3. He doesn't like to spend much time with his partner. ...
  4. He feels sad and depressed with his partner. ...
  5. He prioritizes other people before his partner.
Jul 5, 2022

How do you know your marriage won't last? ›

The number one warning sign that your marriage might not work is you stop trying. You stop communicating, or you stop showing affection or planning date nights — you basically stop nurturing the relationship because you or your partner has checked out.

How do I know if my husband still loves me? ›

They go out of their way to make you happy.

Initially in a relationship, it seems like both people are constantly doing things to make the other person happy, but sometimes this can fade. If your spouse is still making a conscious effort to be thoughtful, then you know they're still madly in love.

How do I deal with my uncaring husband? ›

Ways To Deal With A Selfish Spouse
  1. Discuss, do not complain. One of the biggest mistakes we do is to complain. ...
  2. Focus on the positives. Save. ...
  3. Let them take the responsibility. ...
  4. Take yourself seriously. ...
  5. Speak up. ...
  6. Understand the root cause. ...
  7. Take a final call.
Dec 12, 2022

What do you do when your relationship feels empty? ›

If the loneliness stems from your relationship and you're hoping to get back on track, it's time to have another talk with your partner. “The very first thing to do is to become self-aware of what you are feeling and then to approach your partner and begin what will probably be a series of conversations,” Brown says.

Can a relationship cure loneliness? ›

Love certainly reduces loneliness, given the right circumstances, but it also increases loneliness under unfavorable ones. Closeness, unlike love, always works toward reducing loneliness. Closeness is useful in a way that love is not.

How do men deal with loneliness? ›

How to Deal with Loneliness: 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Lonely
  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings of Loneliness. ...
  2. Know When to Engage or Disengage From the Online World. ...
  3. Find a Volunteer Opportunity as a Way to Feel Less Lonely. ...
  4. Join a Group or Club to Overcome Loneliness With In-Person Connections. ...
  5. Practice Self-Care.

What is emotional neglect wife? ›

Emotional neglect occurs when a spouse fails on a regular basis to attend to or respond to their partner's emotional needs. This is marked by a distinct lack of action by one person toward the feelings of the other, including an absence of awareness, consideration, or response to a spouse's emotions.

How do you know you are not valued in a relationship? ›

Another key sign of feeling unappreciated in a relationship is being tired of giving and getting nothing in return. You make sacrifices for your partner, give time and effort to the relationship, and go out of your way to make your partner happy, and none of it is reciprocated.

What does neglect do to a wife? ›

Neglect in marriage occurs when one (or both) parties fail to be there for themselves and their family in marriage. It usually leads to an emotional separation or estrangement and can lead to broken homes within record time.

How do I deal with loneliness when my husband is away? ›

Spending time apart can be tough in any loving relationship. It's normal to feel some loneliness and unease as you go about your days longing for your partner's return.
Focus on your needs
  1. quality sleep.
  2. physical activity.
  3. regular meals.
  4. relaxation and hobbies.
  5. friends and loved ones besides your partner.
Jun 14, 2021

What couples do when they are alone? ›

Here are a few examples, according to experts.
  • Grooming Each Other. Andrew Zaeh for Bustle. ...
  • Hanging Out Naked. Ashley Batz/Bustle. ...
  • Cuddling (Especially While Sweaty) Ashley Batz/Bustle. ...
  • Sharing A Toothbrush. bernardbodo/fotolia. ...
  • Peeing With The Bathroom Door Open. ...
  • Bathing Together. ...
  • Sharing Food. ...
  • Brushing Each Other's Hair.
May 4, 2018

What is an unhappy marriage like? ›

Research shows that people in bad marriages usually have low self-esteem, struggle with anxiety and depression, and have a higher rate of illness than those who don't. People feel sad and grieve when they decide to let go — but people who divorce do recover emotionally, and Cole says most find new relationships.

What does a loveless marriage look like? ›

A loveless marriage is a relationship where one or both partners do not feel in love. Instead of being romantic lovers, they often feel more like roommates or siblings. Being in a loveless marriage often breeds isolation, resentment, and hopelessness.

What does it feel like when your marriage is falling apart? ›

You Start Shutting Off or Disconnecting Emotionally

Sometimes you may start feeling that your spouse's problems are not yours and begin distancing yourself from him or her. Your partner might try to connect with you or share some issues, but you don't want to get involved or give your opinion.

What does a sexless marriage do to a man? ›

Anxiety, stress, and depression are also common sexless marriage effects on the husband. When a husband is denied sex at home for a long time, his mental health is likely to deteriorate from stress, overthinking, and inability to release the feel-good hormone from sex.

What happens to a woman in a sexless relationship? ›

When one or both people are unhappy with the sexlessness, she says some potential effects include: Negative feelings like loneliness, resentment, frustration, guilt, rejection, and inadequacy. Negative feelings and pressure around sex, triggering a sexual avoidance cycle. Less openness and connection.

How much alone time is normal in a marriage? ›

The bottom line? Coan advises every couple to adhere to the 70/30 rule: For the happiest, most harmonious relationship, the pro suggests spending 70% of time together, and 30% apart. That gives each of you enough freedom to explore your own interests while still being rooted and invested in your relationship.

Why do I feel unloved by my partner? ›

It can stem from your insecurities, jealousy, low self-esteem, stress, or other unresolved issues. It's imperative to reflect on it and cross-question yourself to understand the root cause. Many times, what you are feeling is not personal. Sometimes your partner may be going through issues of their own.

Why am I feeling lonely in my relationship? ›

People in a relationship can be lonely because something isn't working in the relationship itself or because they look to their partner to fill a void that they've been carrying within themselves, according to Dardashti.


1. Why You Feel Lonely in Your Relationship
(Mary Jo Rapini)
2. What to do when you feel lonely in your marriage or relationship - loneliness -
3. Combating Loneliness In Marriage
(WCCO - CBS Minnesota)
4. Managing Loneliness in Marriage | Married and Alone | Marriage Advice | Black Marriage
(Chat with Charli)
(Sharon Pope - Master Life Coach)
6. Feeling Lonely in Your Relationship? It Might Be Intimacy Anorexia | Dr. Doug Weiss
(Your Brilliance)


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