Or she’s just not there for me, as the case may be. Most of us know what a lonely place that can be. It can also be very painful. So we try to get our spouse’s attention, and often we fail. Then our friends and family tell us we don’t have to put up with that. We should be happy and “get our needs met” or find someone we can be happy with. Life is short, blah, blah, blah.
What can you do in this situation other than feel horrible and get divorced?
There is another way out of this very common predicament. (Please forgive me if I sound like I am fussing at you; I do not mean to be insensitive. Take what you can and leave the rest.) First of all, understand that your marriage is not “all about you”. Your spouse is not there to satisfy all of your needs and desires. Even though it seems reasonable to get in touch with our needs and desires and communicate those to our spouses, often it frustrates us. Now we feel entitled to have the kind of relationship we want, and when our spouse is ill, or depressed, or just having his/her own problems, we become angry that we are not getting what we want from him/her. We often say things like “We didn’t sign up for this!” There are people who have wealth, exciting jobs, wonderful sex, perfect children, etc. and they aren’t happy either. Sometimes we are a bit confused about what we can expect from marriage. So, the first thing you can do is to accept the fact that you will not get everything you want from your marriage. The second thing is to understand that your spouse has limitations, and that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily wrong. And the last thing you can do is to cultivate gratitude for what you do have in your life and in your marriage. Your life is a gift, and everything in your life is a gift. When we approach things this way, our perspective changes. Suddenly, and little by little, we notice that even though he is not spending enough time with the children, we love the way his eyes crinkle when he laughs. We notice that even though she is terrible at housekeeping, she has a soft heart, and we love that about her. We come to realize we don’t have to have a perfect relationship to appreciate our lives.
And one last thing: there are times in life when we do feel disconnected and lonely. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it may necessary for personal growth. When (s)he’s just not there for you, it may be a sign that you need to be there for yourself.