Feeling alone and unloved in marriage
15 Things to Do if You’re Feeling Unloved in Your Relationship
In This Article
Feeling unloved and unwanted is when you’re denied the most basic human need. We all need to belong and feel loved. Sadly, relationships can shift and you gradually realize you’re simply two people under the same roof. Feeling unloved in a relationship is more common than one might think.Why do I feel unwanted in my relationship?
Are you in the depths of despair and thinking to yourself: “I feel unloved in my relationship”? It’s a terrifying feeling that can dampen your self-esteem and further isolate you. In fact, psychologist Abraham Maslow considered the need for love as one of our core psychological needs.
There are actually many reasons why you could be feeling unloved by your boyfriend. You could have lost your spark or the clash of values might be more apparent. Alternatively, one or both of you might have emotional or attachment issues that lead to you feeling unloved in a relationship.
We tend to learn how to operate in a romantic relationship from our parents and our childhood experiences. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the way we express emotions and affection is linked to our childhood experiences.
What this means is that one or both of you might have to examine your past to understand how you relate to each other. Moreover, feeling undesired in a relationship could be linked to stress, insecurities and trauma from your past.What does it mean to feel unloved?
Feeling unwanted in a relationship is like living in a bell jar, to take Sylvia Plath’s metaphor. Whilst she was clinically depressed and bipolar, the feeling comes from the same family. Furthermore, it can tip you into depression.
Feeling alone and unloved in marriage can also be triggered by depression as well as jealousy and anxiety. These strong emotions can alienate a partner such that you fall into a vicious circle. All these are symptoms though that could mean something much deeper is going on.
For example, some people are psychologically unable to love or they are emotionally disconnected. Then you also have the avoidant types who are afraid of intimacy. You could essentially be facing any of these mental issues if you’re feeling unloved in a relationship.
What all this means is that you have to pause and be honest with yourself about how you impact the relationship. Moreover, when you’re feeling unloved in a relationship, you also have to consider your partner’s patterns of behavior and how they impact you mentally and emotionally.Signs of feeling unwanted
Feeling undesired in a relationship is actually very common because all relationships take work. This is especially true once the honeymoon period is over. The chemicals in your brain that trigger those feelings of euphoria have now dissipated and real life stares you in the face.
The signs of feeling unloved in a relationship are varied and depend on each couple’s personality styles. Some might start ignoring each other or you might realize your sex life has stopped. Perhaps you also feel misunderstood and that everything you say becomes an argument?
When feeling unloved by your boyfriend, it might also seem that he’s not paying enough attention. For example, you might feel abandoned if he doesn’t come with you to a social event. You might also be doing all the ferrying around for your kids without so much as a thank you.
Nothing excuses feeling unloved in a relationship and no one should have to be in that situation. Nevertheless, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. Work or health issues can distract us and we forget that our partners need love and appreciation too.
The good news is that there are things you can do when you’re feeling unloved in a relationship.15 ways to deal with feeling unloved
What to do when you feel unloved in a relationship? You first have to look at yourself and what you need. Then, of course, it all comes down to communication. This Gottman Institute article goes so far as saying that “if you’re not arguing, you’re not communicating”.
The worst thing you can do is to keep quiet when you’re thinking “I feel unloved in my relationship”. All those negative feelings will fester and proliferate until all you feel is loneliness and contempt.
Instead, choose one or several of these approaches to stop feeling unloved in a relationship.1. Connect with your feelings
Are you thinking, “My boyfriend makes me feel unwanted?” It’s tempting to react and blame him but first, connect with what those feelings really are. For example, do you feel empty or betrayed? Anxious or overwhelmed?
Understanding your feelings gives you insight as to whether your attachment style or approach is causing you unnecessary suffering.2. Understand attachment styles
Feeling unloved and unwanted in a relationship can stem from how we learnt to love when we were children. Once you identify your attachment style, you can change from being anxious to confident about your relationships.
So, learn your style and start working to stop feeling unloved in a relationship.3. Unpack your beliefs
Why do I feel unloved in my relationship? This is a good question to ask yourself initially because the issue could be embedded in your belief system.
For example, feeling undesirable in a relationship could be because deep down, you believe you’re not lovable. This could come from how your parents treated you or some other past experience. Either way, get to know your beliefs to start changing them.4. Talk to your partner
Feeling alone and unloved in the marriage isn’t something you can fix on your own. You need to communicate. Once you’ve reviewed yourself, share this with your partner and get their views on the situation.5. Show appreciation
Feeling unloved by your husband could be because you’re not paying enough attention to each other. We often fall into these loops of bad habits and forget to be kind to each other.
As psychologist Richard Davidson explains in his talk in the following video, we are increasingly victims of distractions and loneliness. He goes on to talk about the four pillars of a healthy mind and how compassion also leads to stop feeling unloved in a relationship.
Related Reading: 8 Ways to Show Appreciation to the Love of Your Life6. State your needs
When you’re feeling unwanted in a relationship, the chances are that your needs aren’t being met. The non-violent communication framework is always a useful tool for stating your needs calmly and assertively.7. Note toxic behavior
It’s important to remember that if you’re feeling unwanted, you could also be a victim of toxic behavior. Toxic people aren’t always easy to spot which is why you might need to turn to support groups or even a therapist. They will help validate your feelings so you can find ways to move on.
Related Reading: How to Stop Being Toxic in a Relationship8. Learn to love yourself
If we want others to love us, we also have to know how to love ourselves. This isn’t easy to do because of our own patterns of unhealthy habits. If you want to improve your well-being and stop feeling unloved in a relationship, start by paying attention.
As this study on feeling loved explains, the more you pay attention to the tiny moments of love within your day, the more you’ll feel loved. Feeling unloved sometimes requires you to look at things another way and to look for those moments of feeling loved.
Related Reading: 5 Steps to Help You With Learning to Love Yourself9. Review your values
Feeling undesirable in a relationship could be due to conflict in values. Perhaps you value caring but your partner is more concerned about achievement? The more you can communicate about what makes both of you ‘you’, the more you’ll uncover the disconnect.10. Self-care
A great way to deal with the immediacy of feeling unloved is to have a strong self-care routine. Whether yours is more focused on the emotional or physical aspect almost doesn’t matter. Simply find something that works for you to stop feeling unloved in a relationship.
Related Reading: The 5 Pillars of Self-Care11. Allocate date and time
Feeling unloved and unwanted in a relationship sometimes starts when we don’t have time for each other. That’s why couples schedule date nights into their busy diaries. It sounds simple but it’s critical to stop feeling unloved in a relationship to have quality time together.12. Listen
It’s always worth self-reflecting when you’re feeling unloved by your husband. Are you also giving him the love and attention he craves? Are you listening to his needs? Again, this is about quality time together and quality communication.13. Be desirable
To stop feeling unwanted, you might need to reconnect with why you fell in love in the first place. Did you pay more attention to how you looked and how you behaved? Moreover, what happy memories can you conjure up together?14. Recognize each other’s love patterns
Notice how you both love and how much spend time together. The point is not to focus on you but on your partner. Recognize what your partner expects and what you expect from them in order to meet a15. Find a therapist
If you’re still thinking “my boyfriend makes me feel unwanted” and you’re not sure about the best approach, find a therapist. They’ll help you work through your feelings and emotional blocks as well as how to find the best way forwards for you and your partner.Parting words for feeling unloved in a relationship
The question “why do I feel unloved in my relationship” is actually very common. All relationships take effort and can go off course due to various distractions or mental issues.
What to do when you feel unloved in a relationship starts with reviewing your own feelings, needs and beliefs. Alongside that, you need strong communication with your partner and to recognize where you have gaps. A therapist provides support and guidance to make all this easier.
Although, of course, at some point, you have to determine if the relationship fits your values and view of life. After all, life is about feeling grounded and supported in our relationships.
5 Healthy Ways To Respond When You're Feeling Unloved In Your Marriage
You've always heard that to keep your marriage happy and healthy, you and your spouse must prioritize each other and your marriage. After all, to prioritize is to love. Therefore, you may cook their favorite meals, sacrifice your career or education goals to support theirs, or defend them against your disapproving parents. You love them to no end.
But no matter how much you do for your spouse, you're feeling unloved and can’t seem to climb their ladder of priorities. Either they are working too much or too late, they are always tired, or they spend more time with the kids than you.
You start to feel unloved, lonely, unappreciated, angry, and resentful. You used to be their priority; will those days ever return again?
While these feelings are difficult to overcome, many relationships struggle with this situation. A common response is some form of withdrawing from that partner and investing more into the relationships with the children. Let’s face it, it is very difficult to treat your spouse as priority with kids involved. It’s even more difficult to continue to treat your spouse as a priority over the kids when, in fact, your spouse is not reciprocating.
MORE: 7 Ways To Have A More Passionate Marriage (Even If The Spark Is Gone)
It’s like your spouse just didn’t get the memo. Why does putting your spouse first only apply to you and not them? And why should you continue to enable your spouse to put you second or third (or even last) when relationships are supposed to be 100/100?
Here are 5 reasons why you should continue to make your spouse a priority—even if they're not returning the favor... yet:
Know that quitters never win.
You may be feeling disgruntled and upset that your spouse isn't making you a priority, but if you desire a healthy and strong marriage—where you both place each other as a priority—then you can’t stop prioritizing your spouse.
Think about it: If neither of you are making each other the priority, how is that really helping you get the marriage you want and deserve?
When you got married, it was about you and your spouse making a commitment to each other. So instead of withdrawing your love out of revenge or hurt feelings, seek outside help to rebalance your relationship and get your marriage back on track.
Low sex drive lately? This could be the reason:
Stay true to your values.
Prioritizing your spouse is less about what you get from it and more about why you do it. You should prioritize your partner because you have made a commitment to yourself to unconditionally and persistently treat your spouse that way.
Don’t allow his or her shortcomings to change who you are. Don't change your beliefs or actions just because they did.
Perhaps you can coach your partner and help him or her get back on track. You might even seek the help of a professional.
Remember, you're setting an example of what love is.
Kids see everything, and they have a developing intuition. Therefore, they can sense when something is “off” in you and your partner's relationship.
They notice when you are much nicer and spending more time than usual with them. They also notice the more forced conversations and less energy exerted toward the other parent. They internalize these cues you and your spouse are giving off, which implies, “If I’m not happy in my relationship, then I will spend time elsewhere instead of working to make things better.”
But those behaviors don't build a healthy marital foundation. Instead, your children need to see that healthy marriages take work, in order to remain healthy.
MORE: 5 Marriage Secrets From Happily Married (A Long Time!) Couple
Keep your marital issues contained—to avoid affecting your children.
When children know their parents are not high on each other’s list of priorities, a storm of emotions can begin to brew. Some kids will show signs of anxiety, depression, or academic under-achievement because of the instability of emotions in the home. Others can be a bit more clever and find ways to manipulate parents to get what they want.
Nevertheless, this creates a bigger issue for the relationship as one or both of you begins to focus even more attention on helping your kids than each other—which only further perpetuates the downward spiral of your relationship. At this, point family counseling is highly recommended to readjust the entire family's dynamic, instead of only addressing what was once just an issue between you and your spouse.
Remember, prioritizing isn’t as easy for everyone.
I can’t ever think of a time when someone said, “I know my spouse loves me, appreciates me, respects me, and supports me the way I need, but I still don’t feel like a priority.”
Oftentimes, the relationships are lacking in one or more of those areas. Prioritizing is a hard concept in marriages because it involves multiple aspects of connecting with your partner. Your spouse may do well in some areas and not so well in others.
It can take quite a bit of self-discipline, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence to really prioritize each other. Set smaller expectations and goals for your spouse to work toward prioritizing you. It may not be as easy or come as naturally to them, as it does for you. But the good news is, it's something they can work at with a little guidance and support from you.
All people come to a relationship with a specific way of understanding their role as a spouse and how relationships should work. It’s easy to say, “I love you," “I’ll do anything for you," or “I just want to make you happy."
But to actually show your partner this can be challenging. And when the both of you have different ideas about what it means to be an active member in a loving relationship and you begin to feel less prioritized, it’s very difficult to stick with it.
MORE: The Top 10 Secrets Of Those Highly Successful Couples We All Envy
However, instead of sacrificing who you genuinely are at the expense of the relationship and the kids’ emotional development, accept that what you are doing is the healthy way to be married—and don't give up. Your relationship can improve, and your spouse can learn to prioritize you, as well.
And if you need extra help, reach out to a professional for assistance in getting back the marriage you deserve.
Dr. Eric Williams is a counselor and marriage and family therapist who helps determined individuals and couples overcome the hurdles standing in the way of their marital bliss. Contact him today, and he'll "walk alongside" you and your partner as he empathetically helps you along your path to healing and happiness.
The article "5 Healthy Ways To Respond When You're Feeling Unloved In Your Marriage" originally appeared on YourTango. com.
Loneliness together: why we are unhappy in relationships
LonelinessCrisis of relationships Man and woman
Loneliness is a painful feeling. When I work with a client who is struggling with addiction and ask him to look inside himself to understand what feelings he is trying to drown out with food or alcohol, I often hear the same answer: loneliness. You may think that this feeling is experienced mainly by those who live alone and do not have a family, but this is not so. It is in partnerships that many feel abandoned, isolated. After all, relationships do not always relieve loneliness, on the contrary, they sometimes cause it.
We feel deeply lonely when we want to feel soul contact with someone, but this someone is not available to us, does not want or cannot open up to us. This feeling is certainly present when we are alone, but often it occurs in relationships when one or both partners have lost touch with each other - due to the fact that one of them is angry or withdrawn, sick or very tired. .
Having lost contact with ourselves, we cannot connect with others
Being alone and being alone are not the same thing. The feeling of emptiness occurs when we are out of touch with ourselves—when we are unable to listen to our feelings, judge ourselves, turn to all sorts of addictions to get rid of painful sensations, or hold someone else responsible for our feelings.
We will always feel lonely and abandoned when we give up on ourselves.
Moreover, having lost contact with ourselves, we cannot connect with others. And these broken ties become a source of deep despair and disappointment. A person who lives alone, but at the same time loves and appreciates himself, may not feel this painful emptiness. He is able to enjoy his solitude and keep in touch with others when they are ready to make contact.
What makes us lonely in a relationship?
You may feel lonely with a partner if
. ..your heart is closed because you protect yourself from resentment, anger or possible rejection. You cannot be in contact with a partner when closed.
...the partner is closed, angry or self-absorbed.
...a partner deliberately blocks communication with you, hiding behind work, TV, alcohol, hobbies, the Internet, and so on.
...you adapt to your partner, trying to control his feelings in this way. Giving up yourself for the sake of manipulation interferes with the creation of a genuine soul connection.
...both of you or one of you does not want to see the brewing conflict. The reluctance to speak openly on sensitive topics creates barriers between you.
Isolation disappears when we are open and open with each other
...you or your partner uses sexual relations as a form of control.
...you go over relationships in your head instead of discussing them together with open hearts. Speculative analysis can be attractive at times, but after a while you feel bored and empty.
...a partner criticizes your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or actions. Judgment and criticism divide people.
...you or your partner are too tired, overwhelmed or unwell to keep in touch.
In a word, everything that separates us from ourselves and our partner causes a feeling of loneliness. Conversely, isolation disappears when we are frank and openly contact each other.
We feel connected to each other when
...we are not afraid to be ourselves, vulnerable and say what we think without guilt or fear of judgment.
...willing to face unpleasant experiences, deal with them nurturingly, and learn from them—to take responsibility for all our feelings rather than to avoid them with various defenses. When we are in touch with ourselves, we can build connections with others, we are ready to learn something new about ourselves and our partner, especially in conflicts.
...we show care and compassion for ourselves and our partner.
. .. finding time to be together, talk, play, love, laugh, learn and grow. We are interested in personal growth and development of our relationships.
When sharing time, developing the ability to love yourself and share love with each other, becomes a priority for both partners, you have a great chance of staying in genuine contact with yourself and with each other. In such relationships, people rarely feel alone.
About the Author
Margaret Paul is a family psychologist and co-author of What's Stopping You from Being Happy (with Jordan Paul, Centerpoligraph, 2009).
SOURCE: Huffington Post
Text: Maria Fedotova Photo Source: Getty Images
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How to get rid of the feeling of loneliness in marriage
The feeling of disunity can stretch from a distant joint past or appear due to a mismatch of schedules.
When we finally meet our soul mate and marry our "one" or our "only one", it seems to us that mutual understanding will last forever. No more lonely nights, we found each other! Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Loneliness in marriage is experienced by millions of couples around the world. Suddenly one of the spouses feels abandoned, and more often this feeling is born in women. Perhaps the connection weakens over time, or the partners practically stop talking, but they begin to argue and quarrel a lot.
Why there is a feeling of loneliness in marriage
Before you figure out how to return the feeling of fulfillment to family life, it is important to understand where loneliness comes from in marriage. This feeling can appear for several reasons.
Fear of a partner
In a marriage with an emotionally unstable person or even with an abuser, the feeling of loneliness is absolutely natural. When we are afraid of a loved one, manifestations of his aggression or harsh statements, we do our best to stay away and not initiate communication once again in order to avoid conflicts.
The situation becomes even more complicated if, during the first years of marriage, one of the partners isolated the other from family and loved ones. In this case, it is natural to feel as if there is no one to ask for help, hence the feeling of loneliness.
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If a wife comes home when her husband is asleep and he leaves before she wakes up, it's no surprise that some of them feel lonely.
Differences in the schedule can lead to serious discord - the spouses simply will not be able to keep in touch, which means that they will move further away from each other.
Too much time apart
Let's imagine that things are not so bad and the husband and wife still see each other. But 20 minutes a day between work and trips with children to different circles. It would seem that there is communication, but it is so short and fragmentary that the feeling of loneliness still arises and remains inside.
Lack of emotional support
Everything happens in life, and sometimes troubles fall on us like snow on our heads. At this moment, we want the partner to support us - to say that everything will be fine and we will definitely cope. If we do not receive this, the distance between us and a loved one increases, and loneliness rolls with renewed vigor.
Let's say you learned about the death of a distant relative with whom you were on very good terms. You are sad, and your partner only says: “Well, he was already 96, he lived a long life. He's in a better place now." And that's it. No support, no sympathy, just a bunch of clichés. In such situations, it is not surprising to feel completely alone.
Lack of intimacy
In couples where partners feel lonely, intimacy is a rather rare thing. In addition, even small signs of love and attention to each other may disappear: kisses in the morning, hugs, walks by the hand.
This may seem like a small thing, but no matter how. Flirting and other manifestations of passion are closely related to intimacy. If romance has long gone from a relationship, something else must have come into them - loneliness.
Figure it out 💋
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I work with a couple who have been together for six years and are just going through a similar crisis. At the very beginning of the marriage, the husband's mother interfered in the relationship of the spouses, which offended the wife. In the end, the mother-in-law apologized to her daughter-in-law, but the wound remained.
The husband now feels that he is “stuck” somewhere in the middle of a showdown between mother and wife, and constantly thinks that he must take sides. That is why he is lonely: he believes that he cannot talk about his experiences with either his mother or his wife in such a way as not to create a conflict.
If you recognize yourself in this situation or something similar happened to you, you probably know the feeling of loneliness next to a loved one.
What to do if you feel alone in your marriage
This feeling is not necessarily a sign that it is time to end the relationship. There are several ways to correct the situation and establish contact with a partner.
Go on dates every week
When you try to make time for each other on a regular basis and go to a concert, an exhibition or just a cafe, there is no room for loneliness in family life. Weekly dates will not only help you share news and keep in touch, but will also become a pleasant tradition, and you will look forward to each meeting together.
Most misunderstandings are usually due to poor or no communication. Partners lose contact because they stop communicating - everyone goes about their lives, hoping that the situation will resolve itself. Spoiler: it doesn't.
You need to take the first step on your own, start a difficult conversation and share your feelings honestly. And not just once. Regular communication is the key to a healthy relationship.
According to family therapist Marnie Feuerman, communication helps strengthen relationships and creates the intimacy and trust many people crave in marriage. It is important to share with your partner the main successes and failures of the week. You can talk about anything: on extraneous topics or about what is interesting and close only to the two of you.
Remember the past
One Valentine's Day my husband decided to reminisce. He collected picnic food and took me to the park where we met. We had lunch and reminisced about the past. And then we drove past the high-rise building with our first apartment and a couple of other places that are connected with our love story. It was an amazing day. We talked about how cool we were having that time and how we grew in that relationship.
Walking through places that are memorable for your couple can bring back a lost spark in a relationship and even relieve feelings of loneliness. This will help to find a connection with each other again and with the love that originated in those parts.
If you can't go there in person, look at old photos and talk about your best memories together.
Don't forget the little things
When we think about how to improve our marriage, big gestures come to mind. In fact, everything is much simpler. Even pleasant little things, if done regularly, can reanimate the union.
Make your loved one coffee in the morning, make the bed, pour water into the bottle that he always carries with him to work. Such small manifestations of care just demonstrate love and respect. Gradually, your partner will notice these gestures and begin to please you in the same way.
Find a common hobby
When partners start doing something together, the feeling of loneliness subsides. Try to choose a hobby that both of you enjoy. Maybe you like to solve big complex puzzles, play board games in the evenings, or ride bikes in the park on weekends. Even watching and discussing a new series together will strengthen your bond, and therefore your marriage.
Show respect, empathy and understanding for your partner
In a marriage where partners behave respectfully and attentively towards each other, there is the most important thing - unity. And with unity, loneliness dies.
Treat your husband or wife like your best friend or best friend. Spend time together, don't be afraid to show your love, respect your partner's individuality and desires. Be there always, and not only in difficult moments and on holidays. You need to work on marriage every day, then the feeling of loneliness will definitely not penetrate your union.