For “Married But Lonely”

Dear Alison:

“I am lonely, deep inside of me as though no one knows the real me.  I can’t put into words why.  Yes, I am married.  We’ve been together for almost fifteen years.  We don’t talk about anything meaningful but the kids, and sex is okay.  Just okay.  He skulks around the house like his life is miserable. I know that  he is a good person, and so am I. Still, there are times that I’d like to just walk away. I don’t because he loves our children. They’re probably why we’re together.  He comes home at night, sits down to dinner, helps with the dishes, homework, and putting the kids to bed.  I don’t have a reason to complain.  Why do I feel so lonely? “

Loving you is the key to loving life.

Hi there, Lonely.  First I am willing to admit that your concept caught me off guard.  Here are my free form thoughts, as well as a disclaimer…our server seems to have the flu.  If any of these links don’t work, I truly apologize and will have the tech guys on it after the holidays.  Check back if you have a dud link.  Back to the topic…….

  • Married and lonely.  I Googled it, and found that there is a whole industry dedicated to this thought….and a lot of affair sites.  Kinda icky.  The real deal is that you’re not alone – many people who are married experience loneliness to varying degrees.  It’s what you do with it that matters.
  • Adding a back up quarterback is a bad idea. Within 50 miles of me, says Ashley Madison’s “love affair” site after a thirty second intro, are twelve men, 33-45, who are just my type down to being tall, tattooed, professional and highly athletic.  Gosh, if I were horribly lonely, that would sound like an interesting way to get my mojo back – borrow someones sugar, so to speak.  Wow, talk about a big mistake that will breed a separation between to people.  In many instances, once the trust has been broken in a relationship, it is forever damaged.  Make sure in your lonely that you’re not cyber-plating the idea of erotic chat with someone who finds you engaging on line.
  • I am not sure how you navigate the waters of lonely, and I want you to know that I hear you, respect where you are and send you much love and light.  Let’s focus on you instead of your relationship because if your lonely feelings hold a hint of depression, or a hint of regret, it might be that you have unfulfilled goals or dreams there gumming up the works.

I send you Nox Arcana’s music “Labyrinth of Dreams” as it’s what I am listening to tonight.  After this, I have to write the climax scene of my new novel over again.  It helps to be here and feel it all in the wind.. …. the house is asleep and I’m here with my ghosts.  I apologize if my response resonates the stillness in my own soul, as it suits where I am in the world.  I also would recommend that you read this post from THM…it’s about letting go.  It sounds like you have good foundations in your relationship to build on, but you’ll need to let go of the way it’s always been. I didn’t want you to think I was recommending a divorce; just that you listen to your own needs as outlined here.  Your choices are your….choice.

16 Labyrinth of Dreams

Have I ever felt lonely when I was married?  Yes.  Now that I think about it, one of the things that hurt so much with my ex was that I was often so lonely in our rather odd, isolated relationship.   I’ve been lonely surrounded by tons of family and friends, lonely in love, lonely out of it.  I get really lonely at BSU – it’s really different than my former grad school  Lonely and I have each other on speed dial.  So, I know how you feel….or at least, my version of it.  I am of several minds at the moment, which is writing at my most vulnerable and honest – it’s 1:30 in the morning, and I am at my sisters house in North Carolina.  Here, on the coast of the US and among the very forest and valley where my dreams imagine all my books, I also find a solace that allows me to answer you honestly.  You’re probably not going to like it a lot – but it’s true.  Here we go.

It will take you hours in therapy to discover what I am about to say.  Ready? 

The answer to your loneliness is not your relationship to your husband, but more likely needs that come from your past, manifesting in your future.  We bring it all with us, the past.  It’s just knocking on your door, waiting to be let in.  You may have even fallen in love with your hubster because he replicated situations that you fostered with the mum and papa.  I know, sounds a little off….and I may be totally wrong.  So here is my free thought process.  Let’s start with questions.

1. What does lonely say to you?  What does it mean?  Can you do this ….. for the rest of your life?  Has the lonely just started or are you old friends? What makes it better or worse. Are you pretending to be someone else to relive the pain?  Does that change the loneliness?

2.  Who are you?  You sure?  Being honest with yourself?  Try writing your story for the next three days.  Just stop reading here, and write a letter to yourself until you answer that question.  Who are you?

3.  Is that okay?  Why?  Why not?

When I saw this, I thought of how often Brian or I goes out on the ledge for the other. It's our way of saying...I will always be there.

4.  What honest to God matters to you?  For me, it’s all about my daughter Taryn.  There is not anything I wouldn’t give for her – and that is the total truth.  To be honest, I feel the same way about my husband, Brian. I would follow Brian to the end of the earth…and I had to learn that the hard way.  Brian is my (snoring beside me right now) husband/best friend/business partner/ministry cohort.  We’re still working though some rough patches that my ex left behind..or more accurately, that were always part of me from my years of youth, teen and young adult.  I am a creature that is both come undone and remade by grace.  It’s a process.  We learn so much, but breaking free of the chains that bind are difficult.

5.  How do you think of the man that you love?  For those men out there, read: woman.  You’re going to have to get over the word spouse, wife or husband.  People are so much more than that.  Are you really interested in what your spouse thinks?  What they read?  Brian listens to me about zip lining, mountain climbing, diving, trail riding, surfing in Florida, hospital rounds, racing and quantum physics.  I love all of them passionately.  He watches NASCAR with me, and took me to the Brickyard in Indy, knowing that I had to be in a suite because of my neurology.  We were in the best of the best.  He goes to the midget track and races me, climbs with me, dares me, drinks beer with me.  In return…I challenge him, sit by the fire, debate politics, learn more about being that passionate fashionista he adore, fly planes, dance…and have amazingly crazy sex.  Still……I gave Brian a lot of descriptors, didn’t I?  Can you list what your husband is to you?  Don’t be trite….give those labels to the person that works for it.  My husband =  amazing father.  Our daughter and he are on the way to Opey Taylor in the a.m. It’s the worlds greatest toy store for little smart kids.  No barbies…but lots of stuff you would never find anywhere else.  Why?  My sister mentioned it.  You see, Brian works hard-father, spouse….. to be that best friend who listens to me about the loses in my life, even if it hurts him.  I do the same.  That is the point, we’re different things on different days.  He was the one that glued all my pieces back together when someone smashed me to the floor……and to me that is real love.  He knows all my secrets, all my black places, all my white light….and it’s okay.

I guess my answer for you is to begin to know yourself.  Once that happens and you break off all the bullshit, you can consistently be that same person day in and out.  For Brian, that was a big deal.  Me learning me saved us from divorce….just like him learning him.  So the advice, if I were presumptuous enough to give you any?  Learn all about you. Love you.  Smile in your mirror and know what you stand for.  It may surprise you.  That is okay.

So my music (which is programmed to help me write) switched my gears and takes me to that place where I realize that I am a unique creature unto God….and that this is okay.  It’s the song “Where I Belong” that cements me back to the ministry and life that I am called to. Yes, its different than what I imagined it would be….but we’re at 74 countries and going strong.  We’ve touched millions of lives from our home base in Indiana….and it’s amazing.  Here is a great song for you.

Switchfoot – Where I Belong

Switchfoot, Where I Belong

When you learn who you are, love with all your heart.  I promise, you will get hurt.  Still, you will be truly and authentically alive….and in the end, that is what you’re missing.  Find a credible counselor who will help you and start the work that will change your children’s’ life.

You are lonely, I think, for life….for knowing you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.