Some lines are blurred. Some lines are blatantly overt. Some lines are so pivotal that they become some of the defining moments of your life.
Relationships go through trial and errors, and some find the common ground and survive.
Many couples go through the daily routine of that thing called life very efficiently. They grow apart on some days but make up the time difference between others so it all balances out in the end.
Sometimes the time difference is never recouped. It keeps falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, completely free falling out of control. You may never know when you actually started your plight into loneliness, but most are able to pinpoint the moment in time they realized they were alone.
The bottom of the rabbit hole is in sight.
While setting expectations, did you check the fine print promises?
Couples have expectations that their chosen one will always be their support, their partner, their love for all of eternity.
The fine print was much different. It covers all the issues that are unwritten, unexpected, intangible, and fall under the heading of unrealistic expectations. If we’re lucky the fine print promises to give us a steady supply of tissues too.
The question that stands out most often is, “lonely as a couple or lonely alone?” Which do I pick?
My patients ask me this question frequently. It really comes down to a matter of preference. Some factors to consider:
Why be with someone who provides you with the same thing you could attain by being alone? Can you be happy? Can you accept settling? Can you actually look at the person next to you and recite to yourself, “I can be this lonely forever.”
Recognizing the defining moment
Many do not want to sit in a room with someone they love and be just as lonely as if the room was empty. This is normally the defining moment.
You are sitting in the chair; there hasn’t even been an argument that day, just a normal day of two people leading separate lives under the same roof. You look around the room and realize you have fallen down the rabbit hole. Not sure when it began but today marks the day you will decide how to handle your descent.
Life is too short to be unhappy and lonely
You have talents and value and worth to offer to the world.
You must make the decision to seek what makes you happy. Lonely is never happy. Lonely is lonely and will atrophy a person’s self-esteem, their will, and their trust in relationships as a whole.
Gaining a new perspective on loneliness, allows you to gain a new perspective on yourself.
Why wither away? Atrophy looks good on no one. If the other party is not going to help improve your life, then be lonely alone. It will be short-lived loneliness.
Dealing with yourself has less emotional baggage than dealing with someone you must look at each day and be reminded that you are in a relationship but you are alone in the relationship. This will be a constant reminder of unhappiness each day.
Moving on allows you to climb out of the rabbit hole
You will feel a sense of accomplishment with each step. Finally, the top will be in sight; a little sunshine calling your name.
You feel the relaxation of your shoulders as the daily tension evaporates and you notice the small bag at your side. Your baggage. Only ours. You own it and know what to do with it. You are not lugging around couple baggage any longer. That weight was left at the bottom of the hole.
Everything feels a little lighter; it feels new, it feels attainable. You feel refreshed, ready to seek new experiences and being able to meet the task with eager anticipation.
When you open your small bag, you find new life and those old pieces of yourself that you missed so much. If you’re extra lucky, there will be a box of tissues for the tears of happiness and chocolate cake. Always pack chocolate cake.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More By Tracy Crudup