Are you in a relationship yet feeling lonely?

Most of us have found ourselves at some point in life flying solo. The first time is usually after you have left your family of origin and are out in the world working or studying. You have your coworkers and friends around you and you are busy creating a life for yourself in society. You are alone, but not particularly lonely.

Then you meet someone… and a love interest/relationship develops. You bond. You become a couple and you marry, whether formally or not. You do everything together and you are mutually supportive. You are no longer alone and you certainly are not lonely.

But then something often happens. It may be that he shifts his focus away from you and back to his career. It may be that you have a baby and unconsciously direct all your focus to your child. It may be that he uses alcohol to medicate some personal pain, and while physically present, is emotionally absent.

Life can sneak up on you, and then one day one of you realizes you feel the loneliest you have ever felt. Who among us, except the very young, has not been in that dark place at some time or other?

This leads to the question, is it possible to live your lives in such a way that you can avoid loneliness in a marriage relationship?

The answer lies in something you learned back in the days when you were flying solo in your career and were among friends. You were alone, but not lonely. At that time you were developing your identity–who you were, what you were good at, what you liked and disliked, where you were going in life.

What you may have allowed in the passion of a new marriage is the partial merging of your two identities. Mutual support and interdependence may have slipped into codependency. Then when the bumps and turns of life came along, you didn’t know who you were anymore.

If you’re entering a marriage relationship, whether your first or a remarriage, it is important that both of you do so with a strong sense of personal identity and an intention to maintain that identity. Maintain your identity separate from your partner’s. Maintain a network of friends. Maintain your career if possible. Maintain your interests and passions. Keep on talking and listening at the feeling level as well as the thinking level. Share experiences and talk about them. Frequently review together your expectations of yourselves and each other.

Marriage can be a wonderful partnership, but if you approach it as a solution to all your problems, you may find yourself in the loneliest place on earth.

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Dr. Neill Neill retired his psychology practice at the end of 2013. He maintains an active coaching practice via telephone or Skype with select clients dealing with alcoholic husbands or ex-husbands. Check out his book, Living with a Functioning Alcoholic: A Woman's Survival Guide.

47 thoughts on “Are you in a relationship yet feeling lonely?

  1. I’ve been with a man for 7 years, married for 4. In the last 2 years, he has lied to me repeatedly, cheated on me and refused to discuss the reasons for any of his behavior or go to counseling together. Our relationship got diminished to simply living under the same roof and I paid for all expenses for our family although he had a full time job. I thought I respected his wishes by not bringing up “touchy” topics for him such as his “dysfunctional upbringing”, his job (which he didn’t like), his income, or his debts. As you say, he became the unemotionally available spouse, negative about just about everything, and angry with what seemed like the world. 6 months ago, I discovered his secret stash of alcohol (I caught him bring in liquor a few times but he vehemently denied it so I didn’t pursue it and I never saw him pour the alcohol although I know he had it at least in his morning coffee on the weekends) and he left. It took me a few months of him being verbally abusive over the phone, projecting his feelings and problems onto me, listening to him rationalizing the irrational before I realized the stash was simply not a stash but a sign that he was an alcoholic.

    While I believe in maintaining our own identities and being responsible for our own happiness, I also believe that when we take an oath in marriage, that we make a commitment to each other and part of that includes being respectful (certainly not abusive) and not deliberating causing hurt to the other party. I believe abuse has no role in my marriage or our child’s life and I am filing for separation. While he was the one that cheated, lied, is addicted, and by legal terms “abandoned” us, because I’m filing for the separation, he says it’s all MY fault although he cannot identify one thing in me that caused him to do things that were so detrimental to our marriage. While I believe we are each responsible for our own happiness, when we agree to enter into a marriage, I think we have obligations to each other as well and I believe that being emotionally absent and not contributing financially or even much physically (we have a toddler) when he is capable of doing all of the above, is unacceptable. Am I wrong to think this?

  2. It sounds like you have a good grasp of your situation. When two adults make a commitment to each other and one of them breaks the commitment on an ongoing basis, It seems to me that cancels the other’s commitment.

  3. I was lonely in my relationship when I was married. I am no longer married; I got divorced and it was final as of August of this year.

    I felt alone even though I was in a house with him. He would get a shower and head off to the neighbors house to drink with him, and then move over to the neighbor ladies house to drink with her. Sometimes her husband was there and sometimes not and they have two children who were always there. He would come back home, eat dinner by himself and then fall asleep in a chair. I would be left alone all the time because I wouldn’t go and drink with him, because I am not a drinker. I would get on the computer and talk to others on facebook and try to help them taking the focus off myself.

    I lived a life of loneliness and hung onto any little piece of happiness I was shown by him on our good days, when he would spend time with me. He would go to bars too and talk to his guy friends and I was at home wondering how much he had to drink. This went on for a quite a many years til it came to a head. We decided to separate with me taking the lead to do so, so I am now divorced and living alone. Its like turning a light off and sitting in the dark and then turning the light back on in a different place, not sure what to do. But I am doing it with help from my counselor. Its like ptsd, you keep the memories in the back of your mind and wonder about it, until you hope one day it will all be gone.

    Thank You Dr. Neill for asking about being lonely, as I had been in the past. Looking to make a new future with someone. As my ex has already had many women, and has moved on and I am the one who still cares about him.

  4. Kitty, you are grieving. You are grieving the loss of a partner and a future life you had hoped for. It’s normal, even after a marriage that didn’t work. This too will pass.

  5. I am not legally married but my finance and I have been together for 2 1/2 years. I knew he drank a lot especially when I would start to break down the bank account and started seeing the increase in liquor store purchases. On Sept 10th this year, he said he was going to wreck our truck with me in it and kill us both. That day he was arrested for DUI, then later that day he confessed to me that he had also been doing Meth, maxed out the credit cards to buy drugs. He did start treatment, which he has already quit, and I am finding empty beer cans, that he claims aren’t his. I know he has low self esteem, but my trust in him is completely gone, I almost feel as if he has cheated on me.

    I have started counseling by myself…but I find myself wondering why do I have to do all the work? And when do I say good bye? My mother has been married 9 times and I have already had 1 failed marriage so I don’t want to repeat, but I’m so tired of being alone and constantly worrying about what he is doing. And I don’t want our 4 kids around that whole life…I just wish someone would just tell me what to do. Or how to fix this whole situation.

  6. I have been dating a man for 2 years now. I am lonely more often than not. I am also concerned it will never turn into what I fully need. He and I only spend a fees days together a week. He cheated on me though he still denies it. I know he did for a fact. His other and I have a mutual friend. He makes me feel bad about myself more than good. He is the one who wanted to commit about a year and a half ago and I was thrilled of course. He has met my daughter a few times. I have never met his children or any of his family. I feel like I have to bug him to see me but he got upset when I insinuated that he only comes over for sex. I am lost and don’t know what to do. I love him, I want a future with him but I don’t know how he feels. He is one of those guys who doesn’t discuss feelings, though he does say I love you. I think about leaving all the time but can’t seem to let go. Please help





  8. I’ve been dating a guy for long time now. I agree about keeping separate identities etc., but I find I feel lonely as our lives are so separate. I see him only about twice a week, he keeps his children and home life separate from me and my son. I feel I am in a relationship, but NOT at the same time. He doesn’t want me to live with him or get married. He won’t talk about it either, just says ‘ see what happens’… Then I feel I am getting used.

  9. I’m only twenty and in a previous relationship of two years, I suffered severe mental and physical abuse which left me very vulnerable and searching to find myself after conforming to my exes idea of a woman. I met him at sixteen and we moved in together almost immediately. I never had a good childhood and living with my parents was no longer an option. Because of this, I now understand that I emotionally leaned on this older man like the father figure I never had. My life from here onwards was a devastating mess and due to this, I cut everyone off and out of my life, gave up college, and became an unemployed house wife at seventeen/eighteen years old. It took a lot of built up courage to leave him, as he was all I knew and presumed his violent temper was normal in males. Oh how deluded I was!

    I met this new boy, and he was the entire reason to spur me on into leaving my abusive ex. I moved home temporarily, re-built a great connection with my parents, found my confidence and life was truly on the mend. I’ve now been with this boy for over a year, and we now live together too. (Financially it made sense.) We had some struggles at the beginning, but genuinely have always been a good couple, and he became my best friend.

    But now? We sit in the same room for hours and I feel more lonely then ever before. If I try to give him affection/attention, it’s often rejected or ignored and his excuse is, “We live together, so we always spend time together.” – When in reality I can’t remember the last time we did anything enjoyable together at all. He continually wants space when I just want a small amount of attention. Just a kiss when he comes in the door from work, would be lovely.. Am I asking too much? Please help..

  10. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for going on 10 months. When we meet we got along great. We did everything together (we both have children from our previous relationships) everything seemed so wonderful. At 2 months of dating he talked to me about marriage and us moving in. So, we did 3 months into our relationship. Everything was really good. Had his lunch packed, did his laundry, made dinner pretty much catered to my man. I felt soooooo deep in love. My daughter loved him.

    But, things didn’t stay beautiful. We started arguing, fighting, and I felt like he didn’t appreciate me. So, he ended up moving out. We still continued dating. Things eventually got better. But I have a big problem with his job. He works for a beer company and he goes to a lot of work events (bars) and I have trust issues. When I talk to him about how I feel he doesn’t get it. I’m all about respect makes a relationship happy.

    There are things he’s done that make me have trust issues. He’s a great manipulator. I know it and see but it’s been so hard to just let him go because I’m so in love with him. And even though I’m surrounded by good family and friends I still feel extremely lonely because he’s not with me. He’s like a stupid drug. And here I am in bed while he’s at a company function bar hopping. Feeling very lonely. 🙁

  11. I am in a relationship with a much older guy–or should I say a man. We have been together for 3 years. He is kind and caring. We have a daughter together and he really is a good father. But, most of the time I feel alone. Nearly everyday he doesn’t talk to me. I feel like I don’t exist. He tells me to go and spend some time to myself, when that is all I do.

    I’ve moved away from everyone that I love and it keeps me happy to be with him. But, ever since I’ve been with him, it’s like I’m just his roommate. He hangs in the garage by himself and doesn’t think anything of it. So all day I’m by myself and it’s making me want to look else where for love. I’m staying with him for my daughter’s sake. I do love him, but it feels as if I’ve just wasted all this time with him and he doesn’t appreciate it. To make it worse, I am not attracted to him the more he neglects me.

  12. I am 25 and in a 3 year relationship. I don’t know but I feel neglected most of the time. We go out every weekend, but even if I’m with him, I still feel like he just wants the day to end. Like it’s just an obligation to go out with me. He mentioned before that he would rather just stay home, play his video games than spend time with me.

    I have my own life, but I don’t really have my close friends as of the moment..even if I want to go out and live life, I don’t have anyone else to be with. I hate that he takes me for granted, but I don’t want to lose him because he is the only one who ever courted me and I know that if he leaves me, I wont find anyone else.

    I wish I could tell him how i feel, but I don’t know how he would react. I have read the articles on the signs if a boyfriend still loves you and i don’t want to admit it, but i based on all information I’ve read, he does not love me anymore. I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to spend more time than normal with him because I don’t want to be clingy and also I don’t want to give him more space than how much I already give him because he might get used to not hearing from me or not being with me. I don’t know what to do.

  13. Hi,

    I have been with my husband for nearly 4 years and recently got married in November 2012. We have a 10 month old daughter as well.

    Since having my daughter, I feel very lonely. It is very rare that we do anything as a family. My husband spends most of the weekends running around seeing friends or doing jobs (unpaid). During the week, he comes home from work and spends time in the shed until dinner is ready and usually I eat alone as he doesn’t come inside until I’m finished. He then goes to the gym for a few hours. By the time he comes home, I am usually in bed after feeding, bathing and putting the baby to bed along with all the other general house duties.

    I just feel extremely lonely and that I have no support from him when it comes to raising our daughter.
    He never asks me to go with him on weekends, and I have asked a few times if I can came, and it just turns into an argument.

    I love him and don’t want our marriage to fall apart, but if nothing changes I’m afraid it may happen.

  14. I am a married man of 17 years this May and been with my wife for 22 years,last week she told me her feelings have changed and no longer loves me.
    We have been argueing a lot recently but I thought this was judt a dip in our relationship and over time things would improve.However I now feel so lonely and useless that I wish I had done more back then but not being able to turn clocks back I have moved to the spare room just to give her as much space as possible.I fear that no words or actions are helping and we have a child together so trying to keep things as normal as we can is a struggle from morning to night.She did at first consider marrage councilling but has now changed her mind and will only go to tell a stranger that our relationship is dead in the water.My only savour is that I am not alone in my situation but feel really lonely and depressed that as a man have failed in making this a happy relationship.

  15. I feel so alone. I just want my wife to tell me it will all be fine and wrap her arms around me, but that is not going to happen.

  16. I have been with a woman for a little over a year. She had a sexually abusive relationship for 12 years then dated a few guys for 4 years before we met. We started off pretty sexual. She told me its the first true orgasm she’s ever had, orally and physically. She has some ADHD issues and is very busy with 2 jobs.

    She very rarely gives me head (which I love), and I know she was forced to do it to her ex husband. I love giving her oral, she goes crazy when I do and I know I’m doing it right. Her sex drive and even kissing desire is almost on the ground dead. Once a month she’ll be good for a few nights then back to nothing. I love to touch and be touched. I always have her orgasms before I do and I have been told I’m very blessed and satisfying….so why does she not want more?

    She is a few times a month woman and it hurts so bad and I feel so unloved and undesired. I would never cheat, ever, but I find the desire to be by myself sexually. It’s the only way I can be relieved and feel like I’m something. How can her and I get back to the loving we had? She gets all defensive and says she’s sorry if she’s not in the mood when I hint and get declined. Can anyone help me please?

  17. I have been with my husband for 13 years, we just got married this year. The first couple years were great. We laughed, shared common interests and I really felt like he cared and was deeply in love with me. Now all that has changed. I feel like I am second to everything, he doesn’t listen to me when I say I’m lonely or bored and crying! I pretty much beg him to change or show me affection.

    I am in a marriage where I feel like it’s just me! It’s like I married myself. I say I am done so many times because my heart just can’t take it! He is an athlete so he trains a lot and works, but I feel like it’s his world and I’m just living in it! Do u think if I actually leave he might notice? Or even want me back? Please help me. I am devastated and truly love him, but its not enough if I don’t feel like I’m what he wants anymore.

  18. I think I have developed a dependency. I love her to death however life is too busy for ‘us’ . I feel lonely as I don’t know what. It’s my fault I cut off everything I knew and dedicated everything to her and now she is too busy for me.

    We live together and we just moved, however, between her kids and her school, I have to beg for her attention.. She doesn’t say I love you, not even good morning or goodnight unless I initiate. When I want to talk about my feelings she takes it like I’m nagging. I can’t talk to anyone else so I don’t know what to do.

    I cry at least once a week and she had no clue. We interact but I don’t feel loved. I am far from alone. She has 3 kids so we always doing something but I’m lonely. I tell her and she gets upset because I guess I keep nagging for a response. She then gets so mad and is very cruel. I end up apologizing because she threatens to leave. I don’t know what to do. She gets so angry and gets very hurtful. I wanna do counseling but she doesn’t. I just been dealing with it but I’m getting weaker and I don’t know what to do.

  19. Dear Jess,

    I read all the comments, but I cannot legally give direct advice as a psychologist. Loneliness within the marriage is a deep, penetrating kind of loneliness. I’ve been there. My hope is that other readers in similar or parallel situations will step up to the plate with their comments. Most of time this works, but sometimes no one responds.

    When you don’t get help from other readers, I encourage you to seek professional help. If you choose, I’m available for consultation via Skype video, or if that is not available, telephone. Check out the consultations page:


  20. Hi everyone,

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little under a year now and I can relate to some of the feelings of loneliness you guys are feeling. He is always too busy or too tired to do any of the things he used to do. We used to have hour long conversations sharing our love for each other and encouraging one other when times were hard and now he’s too tired to have a 10 minute conversation.

    He always complains about how work and school give him little time to sleep and how I should be considerate of the fact that he has a busy schedule, well WHAT ABOUT ME? I’m in school (full-time), I have a job and I can still find time to talk to him or spend time together (outside of the house). We argue about EVERYTHING and I have to admit I have trust issues. I’ve caught him texting other women, flirting and although I have never physically caught him in the act, my gut feeling is telling me something isn’t right.

    Lately I’ve been feeling like he looks down on me, almost like he thinks he’s better than me. My mind is telling me to let go, but my heart wants to hold on for the fear of leaving too soon. I know relationships have their ups and downs and I’m willing to fight to keep my relationship afloat, but I feel like I’m fighting by myself. I just want him to give me confirmation and reassure me that he’s really in love with me, and that he doesn’t want me to give up AND TRY!

    I am lonely, and every time I want to talk about it, an argument starts and he complains of me being nagging or that I’m expecting too much. I’m bored and so tempted to step outside of the relationship and seek that affection I am desperately missing in mine, but I love him and don’t want to hurt him. He’s hurting me every day and he’s so oblivious to it. WHAT DO I DO? PLEASE RESPOND…

  21. Hi Ebony.

    My advice is to the point and brutal. LEAVE NOW! The reason for saying this is I have been in a ‘relationship’ for 23 years now and have experienced similar feelings. I tried everything to please my man, but now realized he has the problems, not me.

    I feel too old to do anything now, but you may be young and more able to start again. I can imagine your hurt, your pain. Truth is, you need to move on before you end up like me. My self esteem is so low I am actually grateful for any crumb my cheating man gives me. I was once a strong young woman. I left it too late and suffer because of it. I’m sorry he didn’t appreciate you, but move on now honey. You can find love and happiness 🙂 Wishing you every luck and happiness.

  22. I have been married for six years after being married to an abusive man for seventeen years. I thought this was the best thing to happen to me, but I am so miserable and sad all the time.

    The problem is there is no intimacy in our relationship. I perform oral sex on him and he goes to sleep. I get upset and he thinks its funny or he will arouse me and then stop. I haven’t had an orgasm in over a year, and I haven’t had sex in over six years. He is also emotionally abusive, controlling, negative, and he seems to not care about me at all. It’s like I am here to cook, clean, and cater to him.

    I used to laugh all the time and now I find I am just numb. He also likes to gaslight me to make me think I am crazy. I am ready to leave, I just am scared. Any words of advice would be great.

  23. I’m 29 and been with my boyfriend for just over a year now. We both have children from past relationships and have a great bond with each others’ children.

    In the beginning of our relationship, everything was awesome. He was caring, loving and the passion was pure. But back in February, I caught him talking to an ex and I became insecure. He has been very faithful since…. but a lot lately I have been feeling lonely even when he’s right next to me. I feel being intimate is a way of connecting for 2 people in love. I ask often if relation would be possible for that day or I try to turn him on, he stops me from touching him and tells me ‘later’, but later never happens. I’ll get the “I’m tired” line. I shouldn’t have to beg for his touch, that feeling of togetherness or the passion. It should be given without question.

    I feel like I’m on my own and don’t know how to approach my feelings. He’s not a ‘feelings kinda guy’ (he doesn’t like it when I tell him how I’m feeling). He’s reversed it on me before and ends in argument about him thinking I’m saying he’s a bad boyfriend. I love him to death and want this feeling to go away! Someone help please!

  24. Hi Jade!

    My name is Lina, our situation so similar …. I wish I could know what to do…:(

  25. I have been in a relationship for 5 years now. I am 24 years old and after the first 6 months of me being in a relationship, I ended up with a black eye and bruises all over my body. I am a tough girl and have been brought up that way, however, the feeling that I have is from scared to love to scared to love. I am the very thing that I hated when I was younger.

    I don’t know what to do. If I leave, I have no where to go or stay. If I stay, I am the very thing I hate. He makes me happy a small amount of the time and then it’s just a look or something small that he says that will take my confidence away.

  26. I have been with my partner for 3 years now. At the start, he was head over heels for me, now I don’t even receive, “I love you”, anymore. I’m typing this while he is finishing his nightly routine of scrolling through Facebook and rejecting any forms of affection. Then, he will pass out. I had an extremely bad upbringing so I always promised myself I would never put up with physical or emotional abuse. But, in the name of love, I receive it. He forgets about the physical abuse, brings me out and things are fine for a few months but then he continues again . He lies a lot. Now, I feel so hopeless, down and lonely. After his last lash out, he told me we will go look at blocks of land to build on and then he dumped me. Then, asked me back out a week later and told me that, “me thinking about the future has given him anxiety,” and blames it on me. I want things to work and love him .

  27. I am in a 10 year relationship and have a 1 year old daughter. We are due to get married in 5 months time. I have been feeling very lonely in our relationship for probably a few years now, off and on.

    I feel that I don’t get the emotional support that I need from him. Sometimes the way he makes me feel makes me want to self harm, I feel worthless and unloved. He is not affectionate at all, and gets cranky if I try and kiss him. He says he, “hates kissing,”!

    We both are very bitter towards both sets of parents due to situations that happened. I feel that he disrespects my parents and is arrogant towards them. Despite what happened between me and his parents, I will always respect them and engage in conversation with them! I’ve tried talking too him several times about all of this, but nothing seems to change.

    All I wish is for happiness. I’ve tried doing weekends away, but he is never interested in that. I’ve thought about leaving him, but I worry about my 1 yr old being with his family, as they are heavy drinkers. I don’t want to be miserable any more, but I feel, for my daughters sake, that I need to stay so I can always be there with her when his family is around, so I can protect her! I feel that we want different things in our life. To me, he just wants to work, work, work and have no life! He has also said that my parents can not look after my daughter. I think I am having a reality check. Having a baby changes so many of your views on life and makes you realize how precious life is! The question is, can we work through this and get married or should I leave now before we get married? Please help, I don’t know what to do!

  28. I have been in a relationship for a little under a year now. This being our second time around, I now know that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She means everything to me and I love her so much. We are going through a hard time at the moment. Her father, who is also a really good friend to me, was taken ill in the hospital and between working practically every day, I try to be there for her every second that I can. She tells me that she loves me so much and never wants to lose me, but then she shut me out and pushes me away until it’s gotten to the point where we hardly talk any more and there is zero intimacy between us. We are due to get engaged in a month and I know she has a lot on her mind at the moment, but I can’t keep being pushed away and taking on all of her frustrations. I have told her so many times, “I will always be there for you,” but I need her there for me too. I just want the woman I fell in love with back because feeling this lonely with her is going to end up destroying everything and I can’t bare the thought of losing her again

  29. Hi, I have been in a relationship with a boy for almost year and half. From the very first, it was me who loved him unconditionally, but he never reciprocated that way…now things have changed. He calls many times a week. He has done this, like, a million times and I told him I want to be cared for, and all he says is, “I love you from my heart.” I am a girl who wants to be cared for like I do for him. Because he repeats his behavior that I hate the most, I don’t feel like I love him the way I once loved him. I don’t want to be with him. But, I can’t even break up with him. Every time we have fights, I feel uneasy and I work things out. But, when he says he, “loves me so much and misses me,” I get irritated. What should I do? Please help.

  30. i been with my kids father for 16 years and things is not right i go to work i pay all the bills and he sit on his ass and do shit …

  31. I’ve known my husband for 10 years and its been 8 yrs of my marriage.I have one girl. It’s been a few months I’m feeling so lonely. I’m a full time house wife. I cook, clean, wash and take care of my daughter. My husband works full time and after work he will have his tea and go straight on the laptop and put his headphones on. I try talking to him, but he will just reply to my question and go back to the laptop. Then, after few hours, he will get ready to go to the gym. When I go near him, he will say we can’t do anything because our daughter is in the room. All I want is a cuddle and when I try talking to him we’ll end up arguing. He expects me to wait for him after gym so we can spend time together, but I’m too tired and he comes back from gym late. I have to get up early as I have school run duty. All I want is him to cuddle me and love me

  32. I’ve been involved with a man for a year an a half. I’m older and most of my friends are in relationships or married! I’m in love with him, but there is a feeling of loneliness here. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with us not spending very much time together! We spent a lot of time together in the beginning, but now it’s down to maybe a lunch date on a Sunday! I’m getting frustrated so I don’t ask him to do anything anymore, but he seem to think its okay how we are! This is not the type of relationship I want in my future, but I love him and really want it to work! When I say we don’t spend enough time together he says, “you know I work a lot!” I don’t want to feel like I’m just his convenience girl! It’s like he make me feel like I want him to be my everything, but that’s not true I just want him to be my companion!!

  33. My boyfriend and I have been together now 4 years and we have had a wonderful adventure together so far. We recently packed up and moved 1000 miles from home for him to run a company as GM. He’s been with the company 5 years, it was a great honor for them to ask him. But since we’ve been here, he’s worked so much and never has time for me. I went up there one night to take him into work, so I could have the car to go to school in the morning, and I saw him give a girl a stupid smile and the same back at him from her. Seconds later, he told me I wasn’t allowed to go up there and hang out anymore. Which is understandable, but seemed very curious to me. I haven’t found employment here yet. I spend my days and nights trying all I can to find SOMETHING to do. I brought up the fact of what I saw to him and he says it’s nothing. And I really do believe him, he isn’t the type to cheat. But within the last year or so, I’ve had major issues with him and his work and leaving me out.

    I started a year ago working at a strip club, to maybe get him to pay more attention to me and want me around more. That didn’t work. So I switched gears and started working at a normal job and doing the 9-5 and being home every day at a certain time having a clean house, laundry done etc. And he’s just always coming home so tired and now it’s worse and all he does is sleep, and when he’s up he barley talks to me. It’s work work work… He thinks going me money to buy stuff means I’m happy. I will send sweet text messages to him at work and won’t hear from him all night. I won’t see or speak with him till he’s in the car or home.

    I’ve tried telling him my feeling and how I feel alone, left out and depressed. He makes me feel sad when he’s around. It’s just like a black cloud of an empty hole. He sucks me into not speaking and just staring at a t.v. I’m a very talkative person. ADHD also, and he’s even gotten to the point of if I touch him he’ll flinch like I’ve scared him. I wrote him a four page letter telling him thoughts and feelings and he just tells me I look too much into stuff, I need something to do. It’s always the same thing blah blah blah… He tells me he loves me, but only when I say it first. I need advice, my mom wants me to come home and stay with her for a week in FL to see what all he says and does. But I know if I did that the house would be in ruins when I got back and my dog would be in the yard. And he probably would be asleep. And go to work that night.

    I’m also having problems with getting him to want to have sex. I get it only when I beg for it and after 2 weeks and my stomach is hurting so bad. He’s a wonderful lover, but I don’t think I should have to beg for sex!? What guy doesn’t want to have sex with an attractive 26 year old woman? I’ve had the sex problem going on a year or more now too. I really believe it’s the work. Stress and such, but he can’t have a full time relationship with his job and just expect me to sit to the side and just wait for him to show me love. I’ve asked numerous of times for him to do something nice for me once in a while, like plan a dinner date, bring me home flowers, just something small. And he’s done it 3 times in 4 years. It’s really hurting. I love and care for this man more than anyone in my life. I’ve been married and it didn’t work we were just too young. And a few years later I met this man who instantly made me melt. And still does! Please help me

  34. I need help! I have been with my girlfriend for about a year now. we split for a month, after the first 3 months, because of a failed sex attempt on my behalf and I knew it affected her and tried talking to her about it and she refused and our relationship fell apart because of it. We went our separate ways and after 2 weeks she started texting me and facebook messaging me off and on. After 2 weeks I agreed to meet her to talk. We meet up, start talking and we end up talking about the issue at hand and we cover it and I ended up in her bed that night and the sex was mind blowing. So after a few weeks we try it again and get back together. well she had to have knee surgery and her doctor took her off her birth control. So after her surgery we found out she was pregnant and we were thrilled! But we also hadn’t been intimate since her surgery and it had been 4 weeks so once she was out of her knee brace I tried to initiate sex and she turned me down stating that she didn’t want to because of her morning sickness so I said, “okay.” Now we are 15 weeks in and haven’t been intimate in over 4 months and I am feeling lonely and I can’t even get her to hold my hand or touch me at all and I am the bad guy now. I don’t know what to do, I love her more than anything and want this to work.

  35. Hi – great blog
    My wife and I connected on a very deep level, values, ambition, fun for life… I was more interested in having a family, but she changed her mind about that, and we got married. She became sick early in the marriage, chronic fatigue syndrome, we had two children and it took her 10 years to come out of the illness. It really limited what she could contribute to the family, but we managed together, had good nutrition, she got lots of sleep, we worked out and kept a healthy lifestyle and eventually she got better. I kept work that enabled me to be around the house a lot, because she often just couldn’t cope (as it goes with the condition it can make it hard to even think at times). When she got better she started to volunteer en route to getting back to work apparently, but when she was re-inventing herself, taking courses because nervous about going back to work etc, she was also increasingly mentioning her comparisons of me to other men. I started doing better in work because the children were in school. I am in very good shape, at times funny, can be charming, great with our children, high energy, ambitious, creative, good at fixing things, etc. Unfortunately not good enough for her. She left, she had every excuse in the book that changed constantly, moved into her parents’ basement in her old room, hooked up with a hockey player from high school, tried to get custody of the children so she could move them and failed. She had no appreciation for my dedication as a husband, for what we had, no desire to keep our family together, no effort to keep it together for the kids either, no desire to love or give to me, to protect me, no effort to try to save things- it’s like she thought it would be easier and for that she really betrayed our children and me, for what? For a worse job, a worse living situation and a worse boyfriend. It’s bizarre. She is not the good person I knew. She betrayed me terribly, for nothing, as if the whole point was just to prove to herself that she could. I didn’t try to stop her, I avoided interfering, but I made it clear I wanted her to stay and tried to get marriage counselling going (which was just a joke). She said outright she was just there to transition. The custody trial was terrible, I can’t believe the things she did there, and how much money she wanted. Thankfully that came out in mine and the children’s favor. Her behavior is bizarre. All to say, in spite of all of that, the betrayal and lack of humanity makes me feel like I will never be able to have a partner in life ever again. It’s just a feeling, and it’s not fair, it doesn’t make sense, it’s just how I feel. I don’t know if I could ever do it. She moved on right away, of course, maybe even before I knew anything was going on. I am a guy who is quite comfortable on my own. I can go out on a date with an attractive woman when I want to. I’ve managed to get a great business venture off the ground and it’s one to retire on. The children are happy. Family rallied and supports us. And I’m lonely for the first time in my life. Not often, just on the occasional night, when it hits me that I will spend the second half of my life alone. It almost makes me wish I hadn’t loved someone that much, just so that I wouldn’t have had to experience the loss of it for the rest of my life. The children and I are very close and happy, don’t get me wrong – it’s all good there, lots of love and adventure – it’s just the loss of that love with my ex seems to have paralyzed my hope for loving anyone else like that, and that makes me feel abandoned and lonely. I appreciated everyone else sharing.

  36. I want to reply to everyone. Just so you know that people are reading your comments and can relate to your situation. I want to respond to Jess.

    I’m sorry your feeling so lonely. I think it does come to a point where you just cant do it anymore. Find something that will keep you busy, that makes you happy. You need to figure out what you want and keep your core strong. You need to figure out what it is that makes you happy and what you want out of life. When you start focusing on your core and your happiness, things start to be more clear. Yes, the pain sucks and it hurts. I would just start with something that you enjoy doing. Go to the gym and just think of what you want out of life. Hugs and hope you can find your happiness.

  37. Hi, Lorraine, I totally feel where your at. I too was with a man for nearly 8 years who kept me separate from, “his life.” I felt lonely, isolated and very insecure. When I mentioned the future/living together and marriage, I was told now isn’t the time. I now believe it will never be our time. I lent him money (which he never paid back) and listened to his endless dramas of the ex, business and money troubles. I was never consulted about anything and felt I was only useful when things went wrong. We both have grown up children, yet he still used them as an excuse as to why we could never go forward.
    I could go on and on. I ended the relationship 2 months ago. I was at my lowest feeling lost, used and a fool. Breaking up was the best thing I ever did. I still miss him, but am growing stronger everyday. Don’t waste your time on these emotional vampires. Love yourself first and look forward to a happier brighter future … Good luck x

  38. @ Kevin Mullen

    I am so sorry that happened to you, But I’m going to say something. Please don’t take offense. I believe DRUGS were involved in her decision to leave so suddenly.

    I’m 49, my fiancee’s 38. We were together two years, lived together. She had a past checkered with abuse from other people and her own poor indiscretions. I took a chance on her and we got along EXTREMELY well. We are identical people in every sense of the word. Our relationship was awesome. We did struggle financially at times (I’m a career public safety officer) because I was injured and off work for a year. But we managed okay and were looking forward to getting married.

    A few months before we were supposed to get married, we started to argue. We argued Off and on, making up, realizing the arguments were over stupid crap. Then, we went to a friend’s birthday party. There, a guy brought pills and pot. I’m not a big drinker but we both drank, had a great time, but I passed out. Unfortunately, she stuck out the night with that guy.

    The next day she IMMEDIATELY dumped me and moved out of our home for this LOSER, who is nothing but a homeless drifter, who manipulates everyone around him with his words. I know all about him now that I’ve gotten to know his ex, who is our mutual friend and she is consoling me for my loss. She told me how he was into meth and tried to get her hooked. She tried to make her marriage work with him. He didn’t work, she worked. She finally got sick of him not giving her attention for months. Then, when she found out he slept with my girl and got her into pills and pot and other stuff, she kicked him out. They went to another mutual friend’s apartment who let them stay there on her living room floor (mind you she had three other roomies) for free for a while. This woman, herself is a drinker, puts on a great pity party and there were always parties there.

    So, my ex left a good home, a great job, a man who loved her very much, her pets, a car, a home she absolutely LOVED and was thrilled to have, setting up school so she could work on her degree and do the things she dreamed of doing, our sex life was terrific and I was very attentive to her (though not always as I had my issues of course, nobody’s perfect). Now she and this loser are still together, six months on, weird codependent relationship where they’re NEVER seen apart more than six inches from each other, she’s often high, both have been out of work all this time (he’s been fired or quit job after job for over five years and doesn’t have a thing to his name, not even a phone). They steal people’s cans for money and beg for Tramadol.

    They’ve been kicked out of a few places and now are living in someone’s garage that’s loaded with tools and junk, the place is FILTHY (literally…gross…food and diapers all over the floor, dishes piled high in the kitchen with crud and roaches, some car motor broken down in the living room…) with eight people in that two-bedroom apartment. She went from being sweet, caring, neat and clean to being a real jerk, putting up with filth (stuff that she was disgusted by), no job, no car, no money. But she always has pills because of her medical condition and he gets pills and pot all the time. She’s batting .100 at being all of the things she was afraid of being. She’s made enemies of all the people who love her and her family doesn’t want anything to do with her, not even her two young kids. I’m all that she has for family. Or I was.

    DRUGS. And I have a good mutual friend next door to her place. I visit from time to time, but then I see my ex and her new flame. Every time they see me or any of our friends, they immediately start making out to “show their love for each other”. Barf. It’s sad because I really loved my girl and she has destroy her life like this. I just shake my head and move on. This girl and I had a MAJOR connection that far exceeds anything I’ve ever known before. I have never felt so destroyed in my life, except when my parents both died in a car accident years ago. I’ve had relationships that have lasted longer and I almost got married to one other girl years before, but that was NOTHING compared to the loss I felt here. I know in my heart of hearts she loved me TRULY and she showed it immensely.

    But, people who have been involved with drugs often don’t have patience for things. And they’re always on the lookout for quick, easy fixes. Even those who are recovering or have recovered. The temptation is just too great and the access is too easy.

    My point is, people don’t SUDDENLY leave ones they love so deeply and share so passionately with for no reason and don’t exhibit odd behavior that’s diametrically opposed to their character for no reason…other than DRUGS.

    It hurts, but you and I…we’re better off. Just starting over is the pain. We’ll land the right girl eventually.

  39. I’ll try to shorten this the best I can. I was married for 5 yrs and with the guy for 8 total years. I had two kids and in the relationship, I tried to keep it together, but he wouldn’t budge and kept thinking everything was fine and that he could spend no time at home and think it was okay! Well, slowly it fell apart! I met someone new and moved on. I dated this new guy for two years and then decided to move in with him. That involved moving 5 and a half hours away from my home and family and friends. That was hard for me and my kids, but with the divorce and everything I thought, “this will be a good get away from the pain.”

    This guy was great in the beginning ( “Oh I know what you’re going threw” and “I’ll be here anytime you need me. I’ll be here to talk with you and help you threw things!”) I had a bad child hood that was pretty awful for a child and it still effects me today. He claim to understand and at the time, held me while I bared my soul! Well 3 years now has passed living with him and everything has changed. I feel alone, just as I did in my marriage. He isn’t there for me and won’t talk about his feelings and I am not aloud to speak of mine! I try to tell him what I need out of the relationship and how if he wasn’t who he claimed to be, then why did he portray to be that way, just to get me? It really hurts. I thought I found a guy to be my best friend and who would understand me, who would love me for me! Well, I was wrong and I feel stuck. I can’t move back home and I feel in heart that I don’t want to b with him because I know in the long run he will b gone! The saying, “you don’t know someone until you live with them,” well I have learned that 3 times in my life now and next time I’ll know better.

    He is very shady, he hides his phone, lies about work and has more credit cards than one person can possibly need! And when I say shit to him about it, he flips! Well to me, that’s a cheating person who won’t admit it! So I don’t know what to do. I feel alone, lost, helpless and hurt with my heart broken. I have explained this to him in a nice way, but he didn’t want to hear any of it. I have told him that I don’t want to think he is cheating, but with all that he does, it hard to think that he’s not! If anyone has advice please write back!!!! Thanks

  40. I have been married for 20 years. He is a good man. I know that he loves me. I love him as well. I am starting to wonder if that’s enough though. I am lonely and bored to tears. It’s as if we have reached an impasse and can no longer be bothered to feign interest in each other’s interests. It is a horrific feeling because I can not imagine life without him, but this doesn’t really feel like life. I am angry at him for not making me feel wanted, and I think that he is angry with me for the same. I just don’t know where to go from here.

  41. Thank you for your article. I am at my wits end and I just don’t know what to do. I am not married, but for many reasons I did think I had found the man I was going to marry. I moved, out of the city I love, to live with him (coming up on 4 years now). His new work circumstances coincided with my settling in time here – which created a terrible environment, for me not getting the TLC I could have used, in my adjustment out here. Bad timing in that regard as well as in regards to several of my close friendships changing recently as well. All in all, I feel 100% alone. I have been as open as possible with my boyfriend and all it has done is pushed him away more. I barely want to discuss this with anyone, but when I finally do, I can’t find anyone who has time for me these days. I try to take the pressure off of him and try to refocus on myself and have my “own life,” but it is nearly impossible, from where I now live and with friends who suddenly have all sorts of other things going on, to where I can’t really stay connected with them. The worst part of all of this is that discussing it with my partner does not come close to making anything better. It just seems to make it feel worse. I have been depressed for some time about this and feeling more and more that the only answer is breaking up, but then I wonder if I won’t just be confronted with a similar loneliness in a future relationship as well. I don’t want to run away from this if it can be fixed, but he refuses to see a therapist with me (doesn’t believe in that), so I am just going at it alone. I am constantly paranoid that he has pulled away because he is cheating on me, but there really is no tangible proof of that. And while I don’t want to be made a fool, I sort of just have to trust that he is telling me the truth when he says that he, “still wants to be with me and that there is no one else.” Actions speak louder than words though and I just don’t know what to do.

  42. I am a widower now for 4 years. I am now seriously looking and have recently met a man. We have been on several dates, dinner, movie and had drinks. What I want to know is, am I looking for someone out of loneliness?

  43. I have been with the same, one and only man of my life for the last seven years. Our relationship started out long distance for the first three years as I attended the University for Astrophysics and Planetary Science 300 miles away from him. We had met on a random visit to an old friend. He was a friend of hers. We just clicked at first sight, and will be at eight years in August. Yet, even though we have been together for so long, I can’t even describe how completely alone and unappreciated I feel.
    I take care of everything (bills, filling the fridge, cleaning, laundry, all household products, taking care of our two pets; I am the ride; I am the wallet; I am the credit line and I am the phone.) I have moved for him, changed jobs for him, changed schools for him. I have provided his first, second, and third car. I have put him through college (2 year associates) and I take care of anything when he is short, because I always thought that that what people do in a relationship. They are a unit, so they work together.
    At first, it all seemed worth it. He seemed worth it. Now I look at my face and see how tired and exhausted I have become and I hate him for how easy I have made his life. I literally have come to hate his smile because while he sits on the couch happily paying a video game, I sit completely and utterly miserable because its like I am squeezed dry everyday.
    Our versions of “effort” are like oil and water. To him, effort is physical: kissing, touching, cuddling, etc. While for me, “effort” is me coming home to a clean apt, to the dishes done, to groceries in the fridge that he purchased on his own, to gas in my car because he noticed it was low, to a candle lit bath ready for me because he see’s and understands how hard I work. If this happened, the physical part would follow without a second thought. When we first started dating, that is what it was. I couldn’t keep my hands off of him, but it doesn’t happen, so I feel no urgency, no want, nothing but numb. Instead of trying to listen to me and hear me out, I am constantly met with “You just need to relax.”, “Just calm down.”, “You get so riled up over nothing.”, “You just overthink everything” and I become FURIOUS!! How does he not see how hurt I am? How does he not see how exhausted I have become? How much I do and how much I am still doing for him?
    Then it gets even better as he becomes angry that I don’t want to do anything with him, but where is my incentive? What does everything that I have done, and am still doing, provided me besides having more practice as a mother than a partner? What is there to turn me on? Knowing that I have I work 52 hours a week while he is lucky to pull 20–so I know I will be the only one paying the electric this month? Or how about coming home from work and knowing that I can’t pay my credit card because he was short on his rent? Or even the fact that the statement “I am hungry” basically flips a switch in my mind like HERE WE GO AGAIN, OH YOU’RE HUNGRY? HERE, LET ME PAY AGAIN FOR YOU TO EAT, LET ME TAKE CARE OF YOU AGAIN. And it rolls over and over in my head, falling into other subjects as spoken above, might as well pay your half of rent while I am at it huh…..
    I know it is a terrible way to live, I am completely aware of what he is doing wrong, but is it me? Am I the reason this is the way it is? Am I too nice? Has he come to expect and assume instead of trying to earn it himself because of me? Did I put myself here? I don’t know, I was just passing through and saw this website. I don’t have time for friends, so this was my shout out to whoever is listening…. I am stuck in nothing and I cant get out. -Thank you.

  44. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years now. He makes every thing about what he wants to do and never what makes me happy. We spend all our time together but it is never really together. He invites me over and then goes to the garage to work on projects leaving me to sit for hours at a time. What can I do? I love him with all my heart but I feel so lonely and don’t feel it is going to get better. Please help me.

  45. I have been in a relationship for 11 years with a man who, when I met him, was eager to settle down and have a family, as was I. We now have 2 children.
    He’s never been a particularly emotional person. He bottles feelings and almost appears to be looking right through me when I am upset or sad about anything like, most recently, the passing of my beloved dog.
    Not long after our second child was born, he began to withdraw physically also. He would blame the sleeping baby usually but deep down I knew my body had changed and he wasn’t interested. It has now been over five years of nothing.
    I express my feelings occasionally, every six months or so, and am met by nothing. He still prefers to sleep in separate rooms and handle himself to pictures of the same two female MMA fighters and girls with chiseled bodies, and never even bothers to clear search histories as if it’s some passive aggressive message that I will never be 21 again nor will I ever be carved from stone like that. I’ve had two children. I am not overweight and have generally followed a very strict macrobiotic diet for health reasons. I put effort into my appearance. I do all the things around the house that are expected of me. I cared for him day and night a year ago when an undetected blood clot nearly killed him. I try to be supportive of his dreams as well as the kids. I give so much of what’s left of myself and get nothing in return.
    What’s worse is that this is the example he sets for our sons of how to treat your partner. That bothers me deeply.

    I feel very alone in my own home. He keeps to himself and either games online or goes to train MMA in his free time. I have lost touch with most of my friends due to going back to school and being in a very intense and demanding program.
    When I walked the graduation stage last spring for one of my degrees, no one was there. I was the only person to cross the stage to dead silence.
    How did I end up here?

    I feel very betrayed. I feel like I was “hired” simply to produce children and then be waylaid in every other aspect. It has demolished my self esteem and I cry all the time. I really don’t eat anymore because even when I do rarely feel hungry. I can almost hear what he’s thinking.

    Neither of us want to leave the children, which is why I am still here feeling miserable. Just recently I realized that once they leave home, I will no doubt be cast aside like garbage and be completely alone, having sacrificed all my young and pretty years for a man who didn’t really want me.

    I am so lost.

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