Challenges, For Men, For Women

His Presence in the Midst of a Lonely Marriage

In marriage we experience seasons of loneliness.

Depending on the season of life you’re in, our definitions of loneliness look different but leave us feeling the same – alone, disengaged, frustrated and sometimes lost.

Here are a few ways I’ve dealt with loneliness lately:

  • Kids: it’s so easy to fall into parental roles and ignore spousal roles. To simply go through your day doing everything for your kiddos (which is great; they are a blessing), but it’s an area I feel lonely because Ryan and I can get task oriented.
  • Work: speaking of task oriented…With both of us being self-employed, everything rises and falls on us. Our time spent on career can often pull away from our marriage. Any extended periods of time where career has been the focus often leaves both of us feeling alone and frustrated.
  • Fight: After we have an argument or disagreement and are struggling for a period of time towards a resolution.
  • Personal struggle: we all have something we are dealing with in terms of ourselves (body image, social insecurities, etc.) – often these can alienate us from our spouse which only increase our feelings of loneliness.

I think it’s safe to say that none of us enjoy dealing with these feelings and seasons, and my prayer is that this post will remind us all of His love, and presence no matter the level of loneliness we’re facing.

No Quick Fixes

Marriage is complicated primarily because we, as humans, are beautifully complex beings. We have been created intricately, and woven together perfectly by our all-knowing, deeply loving Creator.Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances.

I say all of that to hopefully alleviate the pressure, that comes from all different sources, to “get over” feeling alone.  Too many times we underestimate the complexity of our hearts and the fact that feelings like loneliness are often a by-product of a heart issue that needs the touch of our Healer’s hands.

Even in the midst of trials, like feelings of being alone in our marriage, we need to rest in the fact that He never expects a quick fix to a complicated matter of the heart.

He is always with us, loving us and sanctifying us.

His Presence

This may sounds strange, but when you feel alone – you’re not alone. First of all we have all been there, and will probably pass through the valley of loneliness again.Love is patient. Don't rush what you want to last forever.

Secondly, one of the lessons I’ve learned during those seasons is how real and true God’s presence can be. His Word reminds us that he will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6Hebrews 13:5)

I’ve also learned that maybe there is more to this situation than how I am feeling at the moment. When I take a step back and ask the Lord to open my eyes and my heart to what He’s doing, I’m reminded that maybe He’s trying to teach and transform my heart.

In His good, higher (Isaiah 55:9), loving, and gracious way He often allows the fire to be turned up in our lives to show us more of who He is and to reset the focus back onto Him.

Asking the Right Questions

Many times I’ve found myself asking questions like “How can I connect with Ryan more?” or “When can we do a date night and get some good talk time in without baby?” and, “What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right?”

Are these bad questions? No. Not by most standards, however, they often aren’t the right questions for figuring out what is really going on.

Again, our feelings of loneliness tend to flow from deeper issues of the heart.

When I start feeling lonely in my marriage, I ask myself these 3 questions:

Why?

Why do I feel alone in my marriage? Where are these feelings coming from?

I’ve learned that when I humbly and sincerely dig down the “why” hole, God is faithful to show me the real issue. It’s not always pretty, but that’s ok!

Why? (glad you asked!) Because it’s by God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit that allows us to go there and be reminded of His deep love for us.Lasting marriage requires hard work but few tasks reap a finer reward.

It’s important for us to experience the power of the gospel washing over areas of our hearts that haven’t been surrendered yet. Especially the blind spots that can produce feelings of loneliness that might be a result of a deeper struggle/sin.

What does God’s Word say?

After determining the heart issue (or even before), I can now look to God’s Word and be reminded of His promises and the fact that His presence never leaves me; there’s nothing that can separate me from His love and that He is faithful and more than able to bring fulfillment and healing that is deeper than what I’m experiencing in this moment.

What do I pray for?

Lastly I reach out to my community, of Godly women, and vulnerably ask for prayer.

I ask them to pray specifically for me, my feelings of loneliness and that God would continue to make His lesson for me clear, but also that He would be glorified in this struggle and that my victory would only be possible by Him and because of Him.

An easy prayer? No way; but worth it – His way is always worth it.

That said, when we remember who He is and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – we can know, and rest in the knowledge that He has already won this battle of loneliness.A marriage built on Christ is a marriage built to last.

We can remember the fact that He has overcome death and sin. That this battle of feeling alone is a temporary furnace that might be a little uncomfortable for the moment, but by God’s grace and His faithfulness, will bring eternal and immeasurable healing and fulfillment to our hearts.

You are Never Alone

FM family, please know that you are never alone. We are praying for you and battling with you.

The gospel is so much bigger, deeper and robust than we can ever comprehend which means that you are never alone, even in your loneliest moments, He is there.

He is omnipresent, meaning He is ever present.

One last beautiful truth: His presence is not determined by our devotion to Him.

He is present because He is; the great I am.

 

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  • Patrick Johnson

    Your timing on this post is ironic! Like God is working thru you to make sure that I know HE has the plan for my marriage and for my heart. This hit home in so many ways because being previously in the military, the way of life is stoic…head up and get things done. Which left so little time for family & quality of life at home. I feel that was part of why my previous marriage failed and ended…and it began to take root again in my current marriage. Fortunately, I saw the signs (in bold print!!) and am now seeing a professional counselor for my issues and my wife and I are for us…we get wrapped up in all the chaos of our daily lives we begin to see the picture at home as “not important”, when on the contrary…it’s one of the top important things in a successful, loving and everlasting marriage.
    THANK YOU!

    • Selena Frederick

      Thank you for sharing – it’s so easy to misplace value; definitely a daily struggle still for us too. That’s awesome you both are working through it–brave and courageous for sure! Thank you for sharing here so we can all read and alleviate feelings of isolation. Good stuff!

  • Jahaira

    When many of us get married, it never even occurs to us that it’s possible to be married and lonely but it happens all the time. I love this post and how you gave a clear outline of the questions we could ask ourselves on how to reconnect with our spouse. God is faithful. Going to him in a time of loneliness in my marriage was key. Because he KNOWS my husband, he showed me specific ways to reconnect with him. How can we even attempt to do marriage apart from the creator of marriage? Short answer is we can’t. Love this post.

    • Selena Frederick

      Thank you for these encouraging words! Amen! Couldn’t agree with you more :)

  • Deborah Phelps Gooch

    Thank you for allowing God to use your marriage to help ours!

  • wayne cash

    Great post! I resonated deeply with you pointing us to focus on God’s presence. I am seriously struggling in my marriage, and I have NEVER felt so alone in my life. We have two boys, and have been married for 15 years, but, the pain is intense. Now that I am bringing my fears and tears to Him, it is the relief I needed. God’s Word and His presence is so real, verse upon verse has jumped out at me, and its challenging and healing at the same time. At least I know to trust Him, to ride out this storm all the way to the end; and I have committed my heart to the Lord’s decision, even if we don’t make it. Keep me in prayer nonetheless, please! Thanks for your powerful articles, they are making a difference for me!

  • Lily Belle

    I needed this so much…as a newlywed and a college student, I have been feeling so awfully lonely. I don’t understand how I felt less lonely when my husband (then boyfriend) was living across campus than I do now, when he is here at my side. I feel like I need friends more than anything in the world, but after I lost my best friend, our friend group fell apart. My closer friends no longer have time, nor want to come visit when I reach out to them Lonliness is so hard to combat. This is uplifting, however. I need more time dedicated to Jesus in prayer to help fill this emptiness.

  • Gina

    I am a newly wed, I am beginning to become familiar with this sentiment and I often asked if loneliness was ever normal, and now I know why. I do not have positive role models to look up to in this matter and being a 25 year old grad student at that, this website is a true blessing for me and my future personal inquiries. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your dedication to this site/purpose.

  • Stephanie

    What if it has been 4 years of loneliness?