What to Do When You Are Lonely in Marriage

lonely in marriage

As humans, we are not meant to be isolated. We all crave deep and lasting connections with other people. But we know it’s possible to feel alone in the middle of a crowd, and it’s possible to sleep in the same bed with someone for years and still feel lonely. Many of us never expect to be lonely in marriage, hoping that our spouse will be the lifelong companion who saves us from loneliness. Over time, however, couples can gradually disconnect from one another and find themselves feeling isolated and withdrawn.

Loneliness is not just about physical proximity, it’s about emotional connection. FamilyLife’s Dr. Dennis Rainey and his wife, Barbara, explain, “You may have sex, but you don’t have love. You may talk, but you don’t communicate. You live together, but you don’t share life.” If you’re feeling lonely in your marriage, here are some ways to reconnect with your spouse:

Make the first move. Feelings of loneliness are seldom felt by only one person in a relationship. If you’re feeling isolated, chances are your spouse is, too. Take the first step to reconnecting with them, even if it’s just a small gesture. Open up to them about how you feel and give them an opportunity to do the same. Healing cannot begin if you hide or mask your pain.

Forgive past hurts. Especially if you have been feeling alone for a long time, hurts have likely been building up in your marriage. Nothing breeds loneliness more than unforgiven hurt and conflict. If you have been wronged, make the decision to forgive your spouse. And if you have wounded them, seek their forgiveness immediately.

Spend time together. This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes couples get so busy or caught up in their individual lives that they neglect to simply spend time together. The less time a couple spends together, the more likely they are to feel distant from each other. This can be resolved by deliberately scheduling date nights in, date nights out, TV-free nights, and occasional weekend getaways—just for the two of you.

Make your time count. The quantity of time together is important, but so is the quality of that time. Couples have to be intentional about their time together to create a marital connection. When you and your spouse are talking, put down your cell phone, set aside distractions, and focus on each other. Find ways to bond over shared experiences: taking a walk, cooking dinner, going to a concert or sporting event, or playing a board game or cards together. Encourage and compliment your spouse. Make your moments together count.

Prioritize physical closeness. This is not just referring to sexual intimacy, though that is certainly an important part of marital closeness, but also to the little things that may have fallen by the wayside like holding hands or snuggling on the couch. The key to resurrecting physical touch is to start small. Sit close to each other, give neck massages, and pull out a surprise kiss. Getting closer physically will naturally lead to feeling closer emotionally.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. While the idea of seeking outside input on your marriage can be intimidating to many people, nearly every couple can benefit from marriage counseling. Getting an outside perspective can be extremely helpful to you and your spouse. Read my post to help determine if you should get counseling, and find tips to make sure you find the best counselor for you.

You may feel lonely in your marriage, but you are not alone in the struggle for marital intimacy. We have all experienced loneliness in our lives, but you don’t have to feel it in your marriage.

Have you ever felt lonely in your marriage? How have you responded to these feelings, and what have you done to reconnect with your spouse? Please share your story below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • LVN

    Hi sara, so sorry to hear your story specially bcuz i have gone through the same and i always pray that no other girl ever endures the same as me. Now me and my husband are living separately (on his own insistence) bcuz he fears i will report him to cops the next time he touches me! Well he says we will stay apart 6 months and then take this forward. But one has to be a fool to keep waiting around for such inhuman bast**ds who can’t respect their own women. I have already filed for a divorce and its just a matter of time before he gets the shock of his life. So my advice to you wud be to LEAVE asap and don’t wait around cuz such people never change or even agree to get help (my husband refused counselling too) bcuz they are scared of their own shortcomings. So Thank God u never had a child with that monster and RUN! May you find true love very very soon.

  • John Henry

    Not sure how this ended but there was a problem before they married.

  • John Henry

    My comment was I regard to Sara

  • John Henry

    Yes, I would agree to seek counseling. The first step is being able to talk about it so your on the right track. I have often heard the loss of a child can be devastating to a marriage but it does not have to end a marriage. I’m not a counselor but definitely would seek one out.

  • Megha

    I married last year. I’m living With him since Marriage. But the problem is he is not interested in my maternal family. He just says that he loves me but i don’t feel that is love. When he comes from office he start watching tv then mobile then his laptop then after dinner he reads book but doesn’t talk me or even looks at me never talk like did i eat anything or how r u .. nothing . He doesn’t even talk me when we go to sleep at night when being intimate. It’s my problem that i feel very lonely at home while he is in office and when he comes i don’t want go anywhere from him just want to seat in front of him and like to talk too much abt what i felt today .. And also i ask his opinions on A any educational topics and abt my career but he doesn’t communicate well. He thoughts like to talk is the time wastage. I’m also can’t sleep at night because of these thoughts. But he doesn’t care. He sleeps well after sex but doesn’t asks me what happened. If i m seek then also i have to wake up and cook . I’m so frustrated after my marriage i couldn’t do anything in my career i wasted my year with him but what’s the result he is like not my husband he treats like my home is his hotel . And doesn’t comes out of gadgets.l lost my total confidence and now i thought that i can’t do anything furthermore in my career .i didn’t go to my maternal home till year but only once and stayed there only for a single day . I’m forgetting here what i was like a princess. I’m forgetting how confident i was before marriage. He also don’t like to be stylish but i like to be. He is 5 yr older than me and behaves like uncles.

  • Jennifer

    I’ve been married for over a year and half now. My husband is a great guy. He’s faithful, honest, loving, caring, and the most wonderful person. The only reason why I’m unhappy Is due to his poor hygiene and is kind of embarrasing . He doesn’t brush his teeth and doesn’t shower? And is so so sad because I’ve done told him so many times. I’m just so fed up because I have to constantly remind him, and if I don’t stay on top of him. He doesn’t do it, his breath smells really bad due to his poor hygiene and is so hard to feel attracted to him, when he doesn’t brush his teeth and doesn’t shower ?. At the same I just feel like I can put up with it any longer because I’m a clean person myself and brush my teeth everyday specially because I’m a manager at a dental office so brushing my teeth is very important. Another issue is that I feel like his job is more important than me. Everytime I tell him to ask for a certain day off for a family event in advance. He always tells me “I can’t for that day, we’ll have a big sale that day” even though I tel him in months in advance. To the point that when my mother threw me a birthday party, and told him in advance to ask for the day off. He didn’t , his job is always first and doesn’t spend time with me. Please someone give me some advice. I really don’t want to loose my husband due to his job and poor hygiene. How dumb is it going to sound, when people ask “so why did you guys get divorce?” And my answer to be “is because he didn’t shower and didn’t want to brush his teeth” ? Even the answer sounds stupid; but I really cannot be with him if his bad hygiene habits don’t change. Keep in mind that I’ve done told him in every way. I’ve told him in a nice way, sweet way, mean way. I don’t know what to do anymore . Please help!!!