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 Over time, however, couples can gradually disconnect from one another and find themselves feeling isolated and withdrawn.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.

  • BJ_Foster

    I know the difficulty of what I’m about to say. Love is as much about the will as it is about the emotions. Wake up each day with a mission to love your spouse and kids no matter what you get in return. Encourage them, do kind things for them, serve them, and pray for them. Challenge yourself to do something intentionally loving for each of them for 40 days. I know it will be hard, but do it and see what happens.

  • Miss Ling

    We’ve married over 6 years . But I was always feeling lonely from the start . But I’ve tried to make time together . He was always pull his family case in his words like ( you have to love my parents , my sisters , my brother than me ) … like that !!!!!
    He don’t know what I’ve faced many problems behind him . When my hubby wasn’t with me they are attack me , but if he come they are change like they love me , care me , .
    But if something happens, my hubby was always best me , told me that all are my mistakes!
    And he was cheating with another girl at midnight and deleted all the message they chat with . How do I think ? Should I go down with him ! Should I stop this stupid relationship, ? I have two daughters !

  • Areej

    M 11 year married have son age 9 . M 29 year old . Being alone destroying me . Husband busy in work office . Than office diners party 4 times in month . Than home with laptop mob work dealing customers all the time . Than 3 or 4 time in month to play PS4 to refresh his self he said . Daily 1 hour he play game in mob before sleep . Son olso have his own activities. M house wife stay at home enjoy doing dishes washing clothes vacuuming. Than bath diner . I have no friends connection of school or college friends. Only have parents who are in different country talk with them some time . Bt m feeling some thing is ending in me . Husband go out for dinner with me 2 times in month . 2 time he take me for grossly . We talk bt most of the time if needed . When Ian talking he always busy with work or he answer most of the time yes ok all right . He replied me in short answers. When I text him he reply so late in 1 or two words . Bt in home he always have mob laptop in hand replying friends customer in sec talk so nicly . Even shop keepers girls or boys . He cracking jokes laughing with . They all say he is so funny . Answers a lot talk so much with shopkeepers but no words with me . If any day I m not feeling good sleep early whole mid night he play game with son cooking . Watching movie . That time no work no busy . He don’t want me to go out alone or do job or studying start again . I think some thing getting finished in me frustration feeling low . Whenever I go out or meet his friend all say m beautiful . Bt he never appreciate when I dressed up or take new dye or dress . Not single words . And if I asked how m looking he say yes beautiful. M not getting what was going on with me .

  • farida christian

    holy prophet is one spiritual man i would forever give regards to, he brought my husband back to me after my old friend tried to blackmail me to take my husband and made him divorce me with wrong accusation. But this holy prophet did a prayer that resolved issues with my husband and push the other lady far away from him. I am happy to have my husband back, this prophet is great. his email is [email protected], he really surprised me.

  • MetalHead4

    I am incredibly lonely in my marriage. All my husband wants to do is sleep. I’m ready to leave. I need companionship, I feel single, unwanted, unappreciated, and just alone. It’s killing me. Nothing I say gets across to him, I might as well be talking to the wall. I have to beg for sex, intimacy, alone time. I don’t get it, I’m too inconvenient for him. But when I want something like sex he says I’m selfish. Wtf kinda crap is that, it should be the other way around. I’m sick of living like this, I’ve waited 3 years for change and it’s still the same. I’m so unhappy.

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  • Glenda Naicker

    I have been divorced for 14 years had an abusive husband,Alcoholic,cheating husband…left with my two kids after 10 years I was introduced to another divorcee…and with time we fell in love…he became my best friend my love and my soul mate. ..we lived together for 5 years but never married…he was offered a job in another town 2000 miles away…I gave up my life and we left with him…taking his son with…in hope for a better future…everything suddenly changed he changed…he had his son now 21 and a successful career his son worked with him…it was about them…there was no me anymore no us…as time went by it became unbearable and lonEly. ..eventu all I couldn’t take it and decided to go back home with my kids…he didn’t hesitate and just let go…I realised there is no love I this world…just people who are opportunists…and use you when they down…they dispose of u when the successful and forget the times you were for their pillar…I’ve learnt to love me and never go down that road…it hurts like he’ll but with time it will heal it may take days years and months but I will get there…the saddest part is that he had someone that really loved him and he never knew how much…I wish him the best in his life with no regrets..for the years we had was the happiest time in my life…it may have been for a moment but the memories I take forever…the saddest part is I knew we could have grown old together and been happy but u never gave us that chance…I pray god gives u someone that loved u the way I did…u were my life my heartbeat…

  • CodeRose

    I’m the same. Except I have 1 son and my Husband and I have been married for 10 years, and he goes gambling with the “boys”. I haven’t felt his hugs or cuddles in years. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight due to a thyroid and hive problem, so I blame myself. I’m too disgusting to touch. I get a kiss only when we go our separate ways to work. He says I love you all the time but I just don’t feel loved, wanted or adored. Sleeping in the same bed and being lonely at the same time is heart breaking. I try talking with him about my feelings but he’d rather text me during the day, starting arguments. He never puts me down but makes me feel sad and lonely a lot. I Lay awake at night for him to come home, when I try to get mad at him for it, he sends me texts to make me feel guilty, how he never gets to do this or I’m always mad at him or making a big deal out of nothing. Start to second guess myself, I cry a lot at night, he never knows. Unsure if he would ever cheat on me nowadays. The next day of late gambling or drinking, he’s always so sorry and never wants to do it again, but you all know the drill. I’m so lonely..and hurt….and depressed.

  • Ian Blaga

    I’ve been married for 21 years. I’m an agnostic man, and my wive a muslim religous (wear a hijab & wanna a niqab).. I feel bad and loss her.. Badnews, i live in her (muslim) world.. Feeling bad huh..? No! just lonely.. :'(

  • Sapna

    I am married for 4.5years now and have a baby girl of 3years but since the time I have been married there has never been true love in the relationship. Initially after marriage I used to stay in a joint family consisting of mother in law father in law two sister in laws and a few as le dog during that time privacy was negligible between me and my husband. There were often fights created mostly by my mother in law. My husband even had raised his hand on me that time. He even snatched the mangalsutra he gave me but after all this I still continued to be with him and now I have a baby. Later my in less shifted and now it’s just me my husband and my baby but I tend to have no feelings of love for him no matter how hard I try. We hardly have sex. He likes my company only when I drink alcohol with him or rose he will go out eith his friends every weekend to party and come only in the morning and sleep. I lost all my friends my freedom after marriage but he deosnt understand my loneliness and sorrow sometimes I feel like running away but I can’t cose of my daughters furure

  • Tim

    I have been married to my wife for 2 years, I am 31and she is 24, the problem I have is that she never seems to make an effort to do anything with me, she goes out often down the pub and down town yet never asks if I want to go with her or puts me before anyone else and makes plans with me. I am constantly the one who, if we do anything plans it and asks her if that’s what she wants to do.
    She never does anything to make me feel important or more important than her friends and family its like I’m always 2nd best, I have spoke to her about it in which she said she will try harder but this was last August and yet nothing has changed. We communicate well, make each other laugh and have a good intermate sex life, and we tell each other we love you everyday, I just don’t understand why she never puts me first or wants to do anything with me

  • Helen

    My husband and I have been married for 4 years almost 5 on July 11th. he recently told me he wasn’t in love with me that he loved me more like a friend. he said he wants a divorce that he has been unhappy fora year now. I’ve been not so good as far as making promises and not keeping them but I have been trying to change and it doesn’t seem to work. I love my husband to death and I took my vowels very seriously. I asked him to go to marriage counseling and he said no. we have 3 kids 3 2 and 10 months. We agreed to a 2 month break and try to work things out after that. Some of the problems we face are not having or own place to live and may be debt pile up. I really want things to work. The hurt that I feel is killing me and I’m to the point where I don’t eat and rarely drink anything. Idk weekday to do all I know is he is my soul mate and I want him back. he wants his space during the 2 months and I am trying to give him that space i just want to know there is a chance to fix it and he isn’t giving me that chance.I don’t know what to do I feel like I need to give up but I can’t and i came across where various people where sharing DR GREAT testimony on how he help people to rebuild there marriage and make the love stronger forever so i decided to give him a try and told him all i am facing in my marriage, to my greatest surprise after the love spell my husband came home himself and told me to forget the past that he is still in love with me madly. people all over the world that need solution to their marriage should immediately contact DR GREAT vis his direct email: [email protected]

  • Jeanette

    I’ve been married for 26 years. I could see us drifting apart for years. We don’t sleep together because he has sleep apnea but can’t use a machine, so I wouldn’t be able to sleep. We work full time opposite shifts, sometimes not seeing each other for days. Our children are living away from home. Everything in our lives is separate…bills, sleeping arrangements, etc. We used to have things in common but he now refuses to talk about the things that we once shared interest in. He will NEVER open up emotionally about anything and if I try to talk about how I feel, he typically won’t respond or gets defensive. When I tried writing a letter to him about my feelings, he ended up throwing it in the garbage. I’ve tried 3 counsellors, before getting him to agree to come, and then he was just upset and said we were “ganging up on him”. We were at a marriage retreat but the euphoric feeling was very short lived. He is nothing like the man I dated and married. He will never talk about feelings, dreams, or traveling like he used to. He was once very romantic but now seems like he couldn’t care less. When the weather is nice, he’s content just getting on his motorbike and driving around. I’ve put up a wall of indifference because I’ve shed so many tears in the past that I’m trying to protect myself. The cost of going back to a counsellor is too expensive right now so I sit day in and out by myself. Our marriage is racked with past problems….ex-spouse, emotional affair, false accusations. Many things have been said and done that can’t be erased, but unwillingness to deal with these things has led to resentment and isolation.