For eight years, my husband and I had built our life together – adding in children, buying homes, changing jobs, and moving across the country. Our marriage had been built off of a great friendship, and our love had always been strong; full of sacrifices for one another, great laughs, and plenty of grace. But all of that did not stop the question from escaping my lips that morning, “Are we going to make it?”
I asked because things had changed over the past few months. I had been depressed, his feelings had changed, and things were just different. There was a gap between us that was shaped like loneliness. So, as we began the Christmas morning that would be our last in our southwest home, I had to ask, because starting over again in our hometown would only be successful if we were still in this together.
King Solomon hit the nail on the head when he shared the wisdom found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)
We were not created to live solitary lives. Science has shown that loneliness actually causes more damage to a body than smoking or obesity. But what if that loneliness comes when you are living under the same roof as the one person who vowed their life to you? How does one cope with the sense of sadness that comes with feeling like your marriage is slipping away?
Where I went wrong was in failing to share with my husband about the struggle I was having just getting out of bed in the morning. How can your spouse know what to do in order to help if you don’t communicate with them? I was so concerned that my burden would be too much for him to bother with that I actually pushed him away by making him feel unneeded and unwanted.
You may not be able to go to your spouse right now and start communicating…but there is hope even in the midst of your loneliness. People fail other people. We can never depend on another person to take away our loneliness. The only thing that can take away our loneliness is finding hope, strength, and companionship in God. He longs for that relationship with you… and He is waiting for you to turn to Him.
Where are some places in your life where you have felt lonely or isolated?
Do you feel you have become bitter over time over things that you haven’t clearly expressed?
Have you felt unheard or unappreciated?
How can you turn to God to overcome your feelings of loneliness?
Think about the questions and journal your thoughts. Creating a place to vent your feelings will help you to organize them and better communicate them down the line.
There are other ways to battle your sense of loneliness besides holding it in and feeling the pain from it alone. Consider going to your pastor, praying for peace, or sharing with a reliable friend.