Have you ever felt lonely in your marriage? Unless you’ve experienced it, being married and lonely can sound impossible. How can two people live under the same roof in the intimacy and vulnerability of marriage and still be lonely? And if we do feel lonely, how do we break out of it and reconnect with our spouse?
1. Get a spiritual perspective
Whatever you do, don’t minimize your sense of separation from your spouse. You are ripe for a spiritual attack from the Enemy. He will do all he can to get you to look at your loneliness, and feel hopeless as a result. Over time, that can make you incredibly vulnerable to somebody else sniffing out your weaknesses and trying to fill that gap in a relationally predatorial way. Addressing the loneliness brings protection to your marriage!
The truth is, you are not alone. God has promised that he would never leave you or forsake you. If you are a Christ follower, you have the presence of the Holy Spirit in you. The God of all comfort and the God of all peace is with you no matter what difficulties you may face.
Hold on to that truth and be aware of the Enemy’s attacks. You are not alone! Feeling lonely is not the same thing as being alone.
2. Evaluate the reason why
If you are feeling lonely in your marriage, take time to consider the causes of your feelings. What’s at the root of how you feel?
Be careful not to blame or guilt your spouse. Choose the right timing to share with them how you are feeling. They may have been sensing the same thing. Bring them into the process of helping you evaluate why you might be feeling as you do. Ask for their help in coming up with ideas for drawing the two of you back together.
Sometimes the disconnection from our spouse can happen gradually through the dailiness of life. There are one or two careers to manage, children’s schedules to keep up with, homework, chores, time out with friends, etc. Subtly the level of communication becomes more about the happenings of the day and what has to happen tomorrow…leaving little time for our souls to connect.
Perhaps your children have recently started or returned to school and the pang you sense is more about them leaving than about you and your spouse. You actually do feel lonely because your routine has changed and you miss your kids.
Are you feeling insecure or dissatisfied with yourself? Could it be that you have pulled back emotionally from your spouse? Or perhaps they are struggling and need reassurance from you?
Check your heart as well. Is there something deeper going on in your relationship with God where you have withdrawn from him due to sin, anger, unforgiveness or even a lack of intentionality in your spiritual journey?
Do you have a purpose as a couple? Are you empty nesters and feel like your purpose is gone? A crisis of purpose can make you feel lonely. Have you moved to a new area and your spouse is working and you’re still looking for work? Maybe you are house hunting and feeling unsettled?
3. Initiate on your own
What if you have a disinterested spouse? Start by praying for them. Pray that God would change their heart. Pray that God would give them a desire to connect with you. You may choose to fast for one or two meals a week specifically around this area. It could be that there is a spiritual stronghold in their life that can only be broken through your faithful prayer. Don’t give up!
Take the initiative to participate in what they enjoy doing. Or, if it’s not an activity you can actually do, ask if you can join them and just enjoy being together. The point isn’t the activity, it’s about the connection around what they like.
While we strongly advocate date nights alone, if your spouse is disinterested in connecting with just you, we suggest you two go out with another couple. Having a shared experience while engaging with another couple can draw your spouse’s attention to you.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but try to have physical intimacy with your spouse. You may not want to be physically intimate until you are relationally intimate. We get that. But this not only brings their focus to you, but there’s a soul connection that takes place when a married couple makes love. Over time physical intimacy can create relational connection.
4. Take next steps together
Focus on what you have in common instead of your differences. The two of you got married so you know you have things that you both enjoy. Revisit the activities that drew you together: movies, a show, a game, going for walks or hikes, travel, or doing chores together.
Focus on serving your spouse. When you do things for your spouse, you feel more connected to them.
Appreciate the things your spouse does to help the two of you. Tell them how you appreciate their financial support, specific things that you see them do around the house or with the children, even the errands they do for the two of you. Noticing these things reminds you that you are not alone.
Identifying and addressing the loneliness you feel in marriage will remind you of God’s presence with you, protect you from the Enemy’s traps, and equip you to connect with your spouse as you build your marriage.