Writen by: Unveiled Wife On July 26, 2012

Lessons I Learned From Being Lonely In Marriage

 lessonsfromlonliness

Emily Conley, author at Scribbles from Emily, shares with us today the lessons she has learned from loneliness in marriage.  What she shares was very relateable to me, especially when my husband and I moved across country to serve as missionaries.  Feeling alone is never an easy thing to experience, but I love how Emily highlights the blessings that come from such a thing.  Enjoy!

Emily writes:

“I’m so alone.”

Tears stung my eyes, and two drops escaped. I wiped them away, but they fell even faster.

Did that thought ever cross your mind after your marriage?

Did you ever feel alone, abandoned?

I met Brian the summer before my freshman year and his junior year of college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. We started dating the first month of classes, and one year later, he proposed. After a nine month engagement, we were married on a perfect fairytale June day.

Real life set in fast: after the week of our honeymoon, we packed our college apartments, our belongings from our parents homes, our whole lives. We weren’t moving across town, or to a new apartment in Ames. We were moving 1,518 miles, to a new climate, a new city, and a new home in Phoenix, Arizona.

The temperature when we arrived was quite different from what we were used to in Iowa – a 118 sizzling degrees. But more than just the temperature would take getting used to.

I went from full classes, hallways, lecture halls, football games, Bible studies twice a week, bustling cafeterias, one on one discipling, college ministry, weekly activities, coffee dates, and hanging out with friends, all in addition to weekly church services… to online classes, knowing one family in the entire city, and once a week church services. I went from being immersed in community to near isolation.

Gradually we started meeting more people and building relationships. We met a young couple at church, and I met a single girl who was close to my age that shared several interests.

Then, she got accepted into a Christian college…in Minnesota. I was excited for her, but sad for myself. Not too long after that, we discovered that our young married friends were also moving to help start a church plant.

Over time, I had the following conversation with God:

“I feel so alone,” I cried. “Why is this happening to me God? Why is this happening to us?”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“But where’s the hope and future in loneliness?” I questioned.

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)

Can anything good come from the excruciating pain of loneliness?

During that conversation with God, I realized loneliness does have blessings! Through experiencing loneliness, I’d grown in two important ways.

First, I became best friends with my husband. Marriage isn’t all about romance, it also needs friendship. Enjoying being together. Doing things together. Doing things for each other. We try to have a weekly date night, but we sometimes go on spur of the moment outings to the Ford dealership and browse cars, or to the outdoor mall and browse clothes. We hang out with Chinese food and a movie, or sit and read together at a bookstore. We do what friends would do.

Spending time together as friends has enriched our marriage more than just “romantic” things alone. Liking Brian as a person in addition to loving him as my husband makes romance more meaningful and powerful. But I realized that as try as he might, Brian can never totally understand me. He can never completely fill my need for love and companionship.

Second, I became better friends with God. Like any other relationship, knowing God requires spending quality time together.

God never promised that marriage would make us happy, or be the cure to our loneliness. He said, “I will never leave your or forsake you.” Loneliness drives us into the arms of Jesus. People will disappoint us, unfriend us, forget to call us back, or move away.

But in each of us, there is an intentional God-sized hole. It’s very specific; it’s not just a love-sized hole. Only God can fill the hole completely, and that’s why He made it.

How can we overcome the negative thoughts and feelings of loneliness?

Here are lessons I learned from being lonely in marriage:

1. Trust God. Trust that God gave you the spouse he did for a reason. And trust his timing to bring you answers to prayer, whether it be in the form of some new friends, or a better relationship with your spouse.
2. To help with the above step, spend quality time in the Word, renewing your mind, reminding yourself of God’s character and promises.
3. Ask for help. Reach out to a wise woman who can mentor you and just be there for you. Finding a mentor has blessed my marriage in so many ways!
4. Be a good friend to your spouse. That means no talking behind his back, not being hurtfully critical or sarcastic, and spending time together having fun. Maybe next time your husband is playing video games by himself, sit with him and watch. If offers to let you play, go for it, but don’t intrude. Visit him in the garage while he’s working, and just hang out and watch, with or without saying a word.
5. Be a good friend to all those around you, coworkers, church members, and family members that you might not think of as “friends,” at least at first. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24.

What do you do to combat feelings of loneliness? Share your suggestions in the comments!

In Christ,

Emily Conley

Please considering following me: I blog at Scribbles from Emily (scribblesfromemily.com) about finding the beauty in everyday, and also at Newlywed’s Bliss (newlywedsbliss.com), where the honeymoon never has to end.

 

Unveiled Wife

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My name is Jennifer and I began this BLOG to share my journey as a wife, unveiled, uncovered and wide open, to purge my heart of the pain I have encountered AND to encourage other women in the world who are, have been, or will soon be wives... READ MY STORY HERE

Join The Discussion, Leave A Comment Below!

  • Crystal Warren

    Thank you very much for sharing, I just happened to find your web site through another link and it has helped me tremendously. I deal will depression and life has been a real struggle. Last summer I dealt with some really low times where I had suicidial thoughts, which was scary.
    Your web site has been such a blessing, thanks for sharing your powerful prayers.

  • Kfield2

    Joy, where are you in this unknown area of VA? I live here and have lived a few places here. Maybe I can be of help to you. I hear your pain and when we changed churches after our kids left the nest 4 years ago, I definitely felt the pain of friendships already established and being able to find a place to fit in where I could use my gifts and also be ministered to. My husband is a cop so I know the long hours of each of the shifts and the challenges of getting to see him and even feeling a little bit jealous of the time spent with our kids when I felt that I needed his time and attention, too. You can contact me at kfield2@verizon.net if I can be of any help.

  • Anonymous

    What do you do when you have children and can’t be with your husband as much because he wants to spend his time relaxing after the kids are in bed?

  • http://twitter.com/teacher_viviene Viviene Bigornia

    Thanks for sharing this, Emily! Yes, in times like these.. we have to trust God and it’s a great opportunity to be friends with God! =)

    http://www.thejourneyofawoman.com
    http://www.theblogforbrides.com

  • iyasostuff

    wow this is such a great post!
    As a single woman, I hear too many single women thinking that marriage will solve all their problems, but you’re right only God can fulfill all our desires.

    Thanks for being so honest, and for sharing this.

  • Toqua’s Crafts

    Emily, I remember a time (in my previous marriage) when my mother came down to help as I had just had my hysterectomy. I am not much of a talker, I have never been, but at this particular time my mother said I did nothing but talk. She told me that she felt I was very lonely. She was right. My previous husband didn’t think of me and the kids as a family or friends, but as something to put up on a pedestal to bring down in front of friends. It hit me, my mother was right. I was horribly lonely. I won’t go into all the details, but obviously that marriage didn’t last. I am glad that you have learned that you also need to be a friend to your husband as well as a wife. I hope that your husband has also learned to be a friend to you as well as a husband. That is important too!

    You did a GREAT job on this article!

  • Emily_Joyce

    I’m also glad! Meeting you guys was definitely a God thing, you’ve blessed me in so many ways!

  • Emily_Joyce

    Joy, that’s really hard. I went through a similar time when my husband was working long hours at a stressful job, but it only lasted one year, and even then there were many times I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s also hard when you’re lonely in church, as a result of not having shared interests or whatever. I hope that the five steps above will help, but I also recently listened to a wonderful sermon series on loneliness by Chip Ingram at Living on the Edge. It’s called “Breaking Through Life’s Biggest Barriers, Overcoming Loneliness” part 1 and part 2. Here’s the link to all the broadcasts, you’ll have to scroll down a little ways to find it. http://livingontheedge.org/home/broadcasts/listen-online-daily.phpI sincerely hope it blesses and encourages you!

  • Emily_Joyce

    Thanks Jessica, I definitely wouldn’t trade the past two years either. I think it’s been the best thing for our marriage!

  • Jessica VDM

    Thanks for sharing this, Emily! I can really relate. When my husband and I moved to the Dallas area after living in Iowa close to family for our whole lives, it was a huge adjustment, but just like you, we really grew closer to each other and to God. Even though it was difficult, we would do it all over again, knowing the positive change it brought to our lives. And as a bonus, our son was born there! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joy-Ingram-Herring/1465358825 Joy Ingram Herring

    My husband is my best friend. We had to move from our 17 year home in SC to this unknown place in VA. I truly have NO friends here. Sure, I have acquaintances at church, but not friends. I miss my friends back home. I chat with them on Facebook, but it’s not the same as having someone to shop with or to meet for lunch. I am lonely in this place and it has been 6 long years since we moved here. My husband leaves for work early and gets home late, so our time together is very limited. When he is home, he tries to spread his time around with our five children. I get what is left, which usually means I fall asleep next to him long after he’s gone to sleep. That is all the time we have together alone.

  • Tara

    Emily-

    I am so glad that you were able to hear God’s voice through your trial. It takes someone with a tender spirit to be able to listen and learn through their despair. I’m so sorry that you had to go through the seasons of loneliness, but I am sure glad you moved to AZ. I have thoroughly enjoyed growing in my friendship with you!

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