“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.”
Carol Bruess, Relationship Expert
This is more common than you think.
In this blog, I am going to walk you through the symptoms, why it happens and what three things you can do to combat this problem. I know it feels like you are alone, but I hope this article gives you hope.
I write this article because for two decades in my marriage, I felt this and was the number one cause for arguments, blowouts and reason for the compounding effect of feeling lonely.
See, the loop that continued to form was:
He would spend time with me.
Then would go into his cave and this could be days sometimes or not without notice and I would feel the complete disconnect of his energy. Ladies, you know what I am talking about. And for those that don’t understand ‘going into his cave’ for a woman, this is when you get hyper-focused gentlemen on work, hobbies, computers or other things you enjoy doing. Please don’t get me wrong; this is not about complaining about you going ‘into the cave’ but about raising your awareness of how most women will respond and explain their hostile behaviour towards you. This is to elevate the confusion of ‘but I am working all these hours for you dear – to provide for the family!’
This is very true, and there is also a drive, a pleasure to this hyper-focus; otherwise, you wouldn’t put so much effort and energy into it. So it has a dual purpose.
Also, it is important to note that a woman will feel you disappear even if you are still in the room.
She will feel you switch focus from her to the ‘other thing’; in my case, it felt like he was having an affair with work.
So let’s get back to what happens when you ‘disappear, disconnect, or go into your cave,’ for your wife, she starts to run old programs probably from the following combination of places
- Childhood– maybe she was abandoned or got lost – old wounds that haven’t been healed.
- Evidence gathered from life growing up if when she felt this same abandonment, perhaps in other relationships.
- The compounding effect of bringing these same unhealed wounds to the current marriage and them being played out over and over again. That looks like, ’there he goes again, leaving me.’
These are the most common reasons I have found a woman will feel lonely in her marriage even if their men are ‘physically’ with them. It’s not about them being around physically but more about them being ’emotionally’ available and connected.
Just to note here, she doesn’t want you to give up work and only focus on her. That is not it, but more like she wants you to have constant and consistent moments of hyper-focus on her.
So that might look like 30-60 mins a day when you have committed to being and doing with her. Attending to your marriage in the way you focus on your work and hobbies, with the same desires and enthusiasm.
Now ladies here lies the problem, and the fundamental reason why:
- Nagging/ critising
- ‘Asking politely’
- Ignoring them
Just pushes them away further and leaves you feeling even more lonely.
As women, we think that they will understand when we ask, and they don’t, and this leaves us even more frustrated and disappointed.
So what is the solution?
How do we feel seen and connected by our men and avoid a lonely marriage?
Before I say, let me demonstrate the flip side of what’s happening for the man.
When your behaviour is one or all three of the above, this demotivates him because all three make him feel like he is failing in his success as a man. We feel our marriages are failing for them
It is much more personal and deep-rooted and causes tremendous pain.
So as humans, we are designed to run from pain.
So he will run as far as he can energetically and emotionally from this source of pain by closing his heart. And ladies, we know exactly what that feels like, right?
So the things that we think will help, cause the exact opposite.
This is what is keeping you lonely, not his work or the ‘cave’ or that he doesn’t love you. He does. He is just protecting himself because he is feeling under attack. Now for some of you ladies reading that will trigger you!
‘Feeling attacked from what?! Me asking to spend time with me?’ Well, the answer is yes because (wait for it, take a breath, you are not going to like this)
Who wants to spend time with a nagging, criticising and affection withholding woman? Ouch!!!
That was a hard pill to swallow when I took a hard look at myself?
When I asked myself the question…
‘Would I want to spend time with me?’
And the answer was
When we can take full responsibility for our own behaviours and realise that their behaviour is in direct response to ours, we can start reclaiming our joy, happiness and power.
Now I am not suggesting that you believe it is his job to make you happy, nor is it his job to fill your ‘loneliness gap’ when I realised that I was trying to fill a void in my life with expectations from the marriage.
It’s a rabbit hole question and leads nowhere.
A much better question is…
‘What do I need to do and be to fill this gap for ME?’
Here are just a few things you can do to reclaim your happiness and avoid feeling lonely in your marriage
Stop waiting to do things together or expecting him to come up with the ideas. Plan your own stuff. For example, I had always wanted to learn salsa dance and spent years asking him to come with me. I felt hopeless because it had never happened. Then I realised I needed to just go. Stop waiting and start living for me, not because I needed to do it for him. Well, I booked the class and the minute I did. Guess who decided to come?
Doing daily things that make you happy – firstly for you and then secondly for a happy wife is very magnetic.
Stop expecting him to fulfil your needs. Just drop the whole ‘expecting’. You do you, and if he responds, he’s the one; if he doesn’t, you have grown apart.
This comes with a caveat. You have to be doing all the above with an open heart for YOU – not to expect him to change; otherwise, he will feel you are manipulating him, and that will make him run to the hills.
I speak in more depth about these techniques in my Ladies Go First programme, where we dive deeper into how to reclaim your power and Magnetise Your Man.
Please comment, like, and share this blog if you found this useful. You never know who’s marriage you could be saving by sharing.
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