View Full Version : What's worse I wonder? (semi-vent)


TLCisaQT
06-16-14, 12:13 AM
Feeling lonely alone, or feeling lonely when you're not alone?

I am not an overly needy person. I probably started out being that way when I was younger- or more so having a skewed expectation of how a marriage should be? (hard to know since this is my only one). However, I learned quickly, what this one was NOT going to be giving me and have had to adjust the best I could.

My one fear in life (not sure why) was to always end up being ALONE. I can remember feeling that way from a very young age. So, happily, I got married, had two children, etc etc (or so I thought).

However, lately, I've really had a hard time realizing that I feel awfully lonely, despite it all. I don't expect much reciprocity from my kids, they are kids :) However, I'm finding I'm getting tired of feeling Lonely when I'm not physically alone, but losing hope that my spouse can really ever meet that need.

Yes, I know I can go out with friends, etc etc, I'm not helpless; however, for those of us that choose a spouse, a family for those purposes... it's rather heartbreaking. But, would I feel just as alone, physically alone? Guess it's hard to say if the grass just looks greener on the other side.

Sure, we aren't in CRISIS mode any longer - but so difficult having to choose whether to accept whatever this is called OR venture to the unknown on that "greener" side.

dvdnvwls
06-16-14, 02:33 AM
In my limited experience, being lonely with someone is far more difficult/painful/sad than being lonely alone.

RedHairedWitch
06-16-14, 08:37 AM
Do you have much of a social life outside the marriage?

Fuzzy12
06-16-14, 09:44 AM
:grouphug::grouphug:

That is heartbreaking. I think, feeling lonely while you are with someone else really drives home the point of HOW lonely you are in spite of being with someone else.

What makes you feel lonely in your relationship? :grouphug:

GRbiker
06-16-14, 01:28 PM
I agree with DVD.

Being lonely while not alone means that there is no connection or understanding with the one you are with, or the connection/ understanding has been lost.

I've been all alone for days at a time, no one around for miles, felt lonely but at peace.

I have a family, and I have felt that loneliness. I have been learning to feel it and let it go, like any other emotion that might cause difficulty if acted upon in some way. Learning to be at peace with others is a lifelong practice.

VeryTired
06-16-14, 09:40 PM
TLC--

Heartfelt sympathy. I am sending you concern, good wishes, hopes that you'll soon feel better if possible. This stuff is so hard! I agree that by far, loneliness while not alone is harder than loneliness when alone.

I have struggled with this a lot. I got into my present relationship after a longish spell on my own. The main attraction for me was how present, interested, aware, focused, and attentive to me my partner was back then. We had no idea of his ADHD, and he didn't tell me he had a pattern of initial hyperfocus on relationships which then disappeared after a while, probably because he didn't see it that way. The contrast between the then and the now is astonishing. And it all translates to a lot of loneliness for me.

I've never feared being alone, unlike you, but I did make a big life choice that was intended to reduce feeling too much aloneness. Instead, it's unexpectedly increased it. So I really feel for you--if loneliness is your great fear, to find yourself amidst it despite marrying and starting a family must be hard. I'm sure it must sometimes feel unfair as well.

Another thing that I feel, which it sounds as though you may possibly feel also, is that post-crisis life is disappointing. I had a lot of hopes that if most urgent problems with my partner would resolve, maybe what came afterwards could include some happy, positive things that I need. But the reality seems to be a lot more challenging compromise, and attempts to manage things and meet my partner's needs. Maybe I was initially unrealistic, but I did hope that there'd some day be a 'normal' that included more of my needs and wishes.

Anyway, I really just want to send you warmth and sympathy. You are always such a positive presence here, and I really value that. But that doesn't mean that you don't get to have a bad day sometimes, or that you can't vent. I hope you feel better soon, but whether you do or don't, please keep us posted about how it's going.

all good wishes--

ToneTone
06-17-14, 03:16 PM
It's an insight that many of us come to at some point: being married, being in relationship and even having kids does not solve the problem of loneliness.

I did some really deep therapy work on this issue a few years back. My therapist noticed that I had tons of friends, but that I was keeping distance from them all ... And so when I would hang with them, I would get some connection, but also fatigue ... What we eventually came to was that I was hiding a lot of my feelings and thoughts when I was around people, so I wasn't getting the intimacy and connection that is really the juice of relationships.The result was deep deep loneliness.

The truth is, if I'm not being deeply honest about what I'm feeling and thinking, if I'm not sharing my fears and worries an dreams and hopes, then I will feel lonely--whether I have a partner or not. I used to think that it was my job to "impress" and "please" people and that I would win their love and connection that way. What I missed is that one of the benefits--maybe THE benefit of being friends with someone, whether lover-friends or platonic friends--is mutual support, encouragement and understanding or what some people call "intimacy."

But in order to get that understanding and connection, we have to share--share the fear about being fired at work, the fear that we are not attractive, the really deep and vulnerable fears ... Friends love us and encourage us when we can't love ourselves. Friends help us see ourselves in ways we can't see ourselves.

I encourage you to think of ways you can share more of yourself with your family ... You may feel like you've already met a wall of rejection and so you have backed off ... But perhaps there are some adults around, even if your spouse is not one of them, that you can start truly sharing your feelings and thoughts with and that's a start--to see that others can accept you ... and then see where that takes you in your relationship with your spouse.

You can also open up to your kids as long as you aren't sharing adult problems with them (like financial problems or issues with your marriage)... but preferences, opinions, likes and dislikes ... you can share those ... and over time, there's a chance you'll feel more connected to them.

Good luck.

Tone

kilted_scotsman
06-17-14, 04:28 PM
I feel it's tougher when one feels alone when one is in a relationship.... because the relationship boundaries inhibit the possibilities for alleviating the loneliness..... and it's not something that's easy to talk about to one's spouse......

I feel all relationships have periods when one or both partners feel alone.... it's natural. The problem arises when it goes on for a long time and begins to feel like a permanent state of being, with no possibility of escape.

I am in favour of relational time-outs.... when one or both partners take a sabbatical of some sort ..... go out and explore a bit..... then return to the fold hopefully refreshed, and possibly glad to be back.

both parties take a risk.. and both may feel insecure.... but that's something to use constructively to see what each needs and how those needs are best met.

HADDaball
06-17-14, 05:25 PM
Maybe the two of you need to spend some quality time together.

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 12:42 PM
Do you have much of a social life outside the marriage?

Not a lot Red. My life seems like kids, work, kids and then do it all over again :) I actually get a lot of my social interaction at work. Occasionally, I will hang out with some co-workers who have kids and do things, or we will get together and go out for lunch, etc. I do go to church, but that is busy, and a lot of the women there are busy too, and the moms are stay at home moms so they get together to do things more so during the day.

The weekend seems to be catching up on errands, a little of cleaning up the home so it doesn't turn into hoarders standards, etc :)

I am bad at taking time for me. My husband hates it when he is left at home alone with the kids, because they are difficult for him to deal with, and I do feel bad leaving them with him a lot because I know they will just get yelled at a lot, especially our oldest with ADHD.

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 12:52 PM
:grouphug::grouphug:

That is heartbreaking. I think, feeling lonely while you are with someone else really drives home the point of HOW lonely you are in spite of being with someone else.

What makes you feel lonely in your relationship? :grouphug:

Fuzzy, I pretty much feel like a single parent most of the time because the kids can be overwhelming and difficult for my husband to be around without losing it most nights, so he hides out in his room a lot.

I feel like there is very little communication nor willingness or ability to communicate or spend time together. I've suggested we go to couple's counseling because our communication styles are so different but he says we don't need it. He basically sees it as 'no crisis, no problems" I truly believe that things are status quo and fine in our relationship according to him, unless I bring up that I'm not happy with things the way they are, which then stresses him out, usually leads to an argument and then "just great, why do you always have to bring things up at times that stress me out more."

Things don't get done in our house, little things are deteriorating/falling apart. He fixes it when it's in crisis/BROKEN and can't ignore it any longer. However, he doesn't want anyone else to come into our house and fix it because he can figure it out and save money....it took him four years to put a wood floor in his office.

That's just a few things.

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 12:54 PM
I agree with DVD.

Being lonely while not alone means that there is no connection or understanding with the one you are with, or the connection/ understanding has been lost.

I've been all alone for days at a time, no one around for miles, felt lonely but at peace.

I have a family, and I have felt that loneliness. I have been learning to feel it and let it go, like any other emotion that might cause difficulty if acted upon in some way. Learning to be at peace with others is a lifelong practice.

Thanks biker... I am trying to get there and have been in therapy for a long time working on myself and learning to be at peace... it is not an easy journey!

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 01:00 PM
TLC--

Heartfelt sympathy. I am sending you concern, good wishes, hopes that you'll soon feel better if possible. This stuff is so hard! I agree that by far, loneliness while not alone is harder than loneliness when alone.

I have struggled with this a lot. I got into my present relationship after a longish spell on my own. The main attraction for me was how present, interested, aware, focused, and attentive to me my partner was back then. We had no idea of his ADHD, and he didn't tell me he had a pattern of initial hyperfocus on relationships which then disappeared after a while, probably because he didn't see it that way. The contrast between the then and the now is astonishing. And it all translates to a lot of loneliness for me.

I've never feared being alone, unlike you, but I did make a big life choice that was intended to reduce feeling too much aloneness. Instead, it's unexpectedly increased it. So I really feel for you--if loneliness is your great fear, to find yourself amidst it despite marrying and starting a family must be hard. I'm sure it must sometimes feel unfair as well.

Another thing that I feel, which it sounds as though you may possibly feel also, is that post-crisis life is disappointing. I had a lot of hopes that if most urgent problems with my partner would resolve, maybe what came afterwards could include some happy, positive things that I need. But the reality seems to be a lot more challenging compromise, and attempts to manage things and meet my partner's needs. Maybe I was initially unrealistic, but I did hope that there'd some day be a 'normal' that included more of my needs and wishes.

Anyway, I really just want to send you warmth and sympathy. You are always such a positive presence here, and I really value that. But that doesn't mean that you don't get to have a bad day sometimes, or that you can't vent. I hope you feel better soon, but whether you do or don't, please keep us posted about how it's going.

all good wishes--

As always VeryTired, thank you for your understanding and compassion. I know you have an idea of how I feel.

I think you have a point with that after-crisis let-down. I think it was especially difficult because when he first went on the medication that made a BIG difference and things started getting better, and we could really have made some big progress in couples counseling, he got a job and moved to North Dakota (out of necessity -after being unemployed for 10 months). When he came back, it was like an opportunity missed. while it was good to have him back, he was so happy to be home, and all was right in his mind, that nothing else needed to be done. I believe he also didn't see the need over there to take all of his meds, due to a reduced stress environment (no kids and family) and still struggles with keeping on a schedule.

I will be okay, I always am, but I think this is just going to be a time of self-reflection and just need to get through this... thanks for the support.

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 01:06 PM
I feel it's tougher when one feels alone when one is in a relationship.... because the relationship boundaries inhibit the possibilities for alleviating the loneliness..... and it's not something that's easy to talk about to one's spouse......

I feel all relationships have periods when one or both partners feel alone.... it's natural. The problem arises when it goes on for a long time and begins to feel like a permanent state of being, with no possibility of escape. .

Wow, I think you got it in these two paragraphs. With the latter "no possibility of escape" being the scariest to me. Sure, I can choose to "escape" but not without consequences to others or possible regret.

I wish I could take a relationship sabbatical sometimes, but my personal beliefs and values would not allow it as you describe. I guess the key is finding ways to fulfill the loneliness in ways that do. THank you as always for your sounds thoughts :)

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 01:07 PM
Maybe the two of you need to spend some quality time together.

would love to, our definition of QUALITY and TIME is different :)

TLCisaQT
06-21-14, 01:17 PM
What we eventually came to was that I was hiding a lot of my feelings and thoughts when I was around people, so I wasn't getting the intimacy and connection that is really the juice of relationships.The result was deep deep loneliness.

The truth is, if I'm not being deeply honest about what I'm feeling and thinking, if I'm not sharing my fears and worries an dreams and hopes, then I will feel lonely--whether I have a partner or not. I used to think that it was my job to "impress" and "please" people and that I would win their love and connection that way.

But in order to get that understanding and connection, we have to share--share the fear about being fired at work, the fear that we are not attractive, the really deep and vulnerable fears ... Friends love us and encourage us when we can't love ourselves. Friends help us see ourselves in ways we can't see ourselves.

You can also open up to your kids as long as you aren't sharing adult problems with them (like financial problems or issues with your marriage)... but preferences, opinions, likes and dislikes ... you can share those ... and over time, there's a chance you'll feel more connected to them.

Tone

Well Tone, you had a really good therapist AND it seems like you truly took what the therapist said to heart. THANK YOU for sharing this information. Actually You and I are/were? a lot alike :) Being authentic is really difficult for me. While I know that I have really good qualities and can be around people, etc, I fear being my true self at times (those bad days, or bad qualities that I let escape from time to time-that I usually work hard to control) and that people won't like the real me, faults and all!!

I am actually pretty open with my kids, I want them not to have to go through what I do. I encourage them to share, listen, know they don't have to be perfect, etc. I have a pretty good boundary with them. I am not so good with adults, mainly because I don't see them as being so forgiving or accepting maybe?

Being assertive/confronting is not a strength of mine. I've come a long way in life, and am getting better; however a lot of times it comes across to others as more witchy or snotty because it takes me getting REALLY angry to stand up for myself or speak my mind. This I am continuously working on to be better at being more assertive.

I have tried to share more of my feelings with friends; however it is really uncomfortable, and it is more of a hard boundary/balance to achieve. Almost like opening a flood gate slowly to let water through, bit by bit -feels almost impossible due to back up water pressure hehe.

Thank you again for sharing - that really did help me clarify some things.

VeryTired
06-25-14, 03:20 PM
TLC--

How's it going now? Still feeling down? I am mulling what you said the other day about your husband going away and then coming back. I can really imagine how in his mind things could be fine now, so why are you bothering him--while in yours, lots of things are really not OK and need attention. But in a partnership, things aren'y OK unless BOTH partners are OK. Right?

Advice: it will really be worth it now to invest energy and time into pushing for counseling or discussion or whatever you need. If instead you avoid that struggle, you'll just have to dissipate all your energy in struggling to live with a status quo that isn't serving your needs. And in the long run, that will lead to trouble.

I know exactly how hard it is to do this, but I think you should focus your resources on getting help/change/progress/focus on what you need. If that creates some stress or conflict in the short run, it'll be worth it if you can begin some positive changes. Being assertive IS hard, but in your situation, it's something that will benefit everyone in the end.

Whenever I find myself telling people that I don't have time or energy to do things just for me--that I can't take care of my own needs because other things are absorbing all my resources--I take it as an urgent alarm bell ringing. No good will come of this! You have to stay focussed on your needs or you will have nothing left for others!

I think you should do something lovely for yourself today if you can. And let us know how you're doing--

Stevuke79
06-25-14, 03:43 PM
You can definitely feel a painful loneliness even when in a relationship and while surrounded by people. It's just as valid a feeling. I agree with Dvd that loneliness while "alone" is worse in some ways. Still, I don't think that comes as much consolation.

TLCisaQT
06-28-14, 11:31 PM
TLC--

How's it going now? Still feeling down? I am mulling what you said the other day about your husband going away and then coming back. I can really imagine how in his mind things could be fine now, so why are you bothering him--while in yours, lots of things are really not OK and need attention. But in a partnership, things aren'y OK unless BOTH partners are OK. Right?

Advice: it will really be worth it now to invest energy and time into pushing for counseling or discussion or whatever you need.

I think you should do something lovely for yourself today if you can. And let us know how you're doing--

Thanks for checking in with me. Things have been so busy at work with the end of the fiscal year for my program, so very little time to jump online, even in the evening. I am feeling a little better this week. A couple of evenings ago, I got in a huge fight with my husband and I just got a moment of clarity. He was blaming me for something ridiculous and I told him what he said was rude, and he went off, yelling and screaming and swearing, then blamed me for it all because I refused to see how it was my fault, etc.

The next day, I told him that I loved him, but I couldn't live like this anymore, and I needed him to agree to go to couples therapy with me, or I was going to move out. He asked me if things were really that bad, and that he knew he had had a really stressful week. I said things really were that bad and it wasn't just about this week. He said he would, but felt it wasn't fair of me to give an ultimatum and to be so controlling. I acknowledged maybe it wasn't, but it was how it needed to be.

So we shall see how it goes. I am going to give him a week to call to make an appt. I'm serious this time. I will take the kids and leave if he doesn't follow through. I have felt at peace this time with my decision. It's all I know for now.

VeryTired
06-29-14, 12:01 AM
TLC--wow--that's intense!

Congratulations on taking action and addressing your needs directly. It sounds like a tough/scary situation, but a good moment of clarity for you. I hope very positive things come of this for you all. Do you have a good therapist in mind, who is knowledgable about ADHD issues in relationships? Will your husband actually be able to make the appointment? Just making a call like that could be hard for some people with ADHD to do …

I'm sending lots of sympathy sand encouragement your way. Let us know how it goes. Stay strong!

ToneTone
06-29-14, 11:44 PM
Way to go TLC! It's inspiring to read someone who is standing up for herself. I'm glad you found my earlier words helpful.

One additional, shocking point that same therapist made to me about opening up to people was this: basically, in order to connect with people who love us and like us for who we really are, we have to accept that some people will NOT like us for who we really are. But encountering rejection when we're authentic can be a good thing. If we can hang in there, we can create the space and the opening to draw people to us who truly and authentically like us.

The analogy I came to was this: life is like a big cocktail party, and if I'm at a party (or out in the world) hiding what I really think, nodding and working hard to agree with everyone around me for fear of rejection or conflict, then the people who WOULD want to talk to me and like me, the people who would agree with my views and values--won't be able to see me or notice me--because I'm hiding. In fact, some of the very people we're hiding from are people who would love to see us be ourselves.

I still have to remind myself that my goal in life is not to be popular. My job is to be the best person I can be according to my own values and integrity. Let the popularity handle itself.

I have some thoughts about couple's counseling that I can share with you later, if hubby agrees to go. Yes, among the many therapies, treatments, recovery programs and the like I've experienced, couple's counseling is one them. My ex and I, starting before we got married, attended couple's therapy for four years with a few breaks in there. I made the classic mistake a lot of unhappy partners make in entering couple's counseling. I thought that only SHE needed to change if we were going to have a good relationship ... and I thought the counselor would "side" with (reasonable) me and tell the other person they needed to change.

But the fact that I stayed in such a miserable relationship for as long as I did, acting as passively as I did, asserting my boundaries as weakly and ineffectively as I did, was clear evidence that I needed to change as well. I can say more on this later. By the way, are you in therapy for yourself?

Oh, don't fall for that "fairness" nonsense that hubby threw at you. It's not fair that you're miserable and it's not fair that you will despise him if there aren't changes made in the relationship. Just repeat: we need to do this to save the relationship because right now, it's not working for me. Repeat and repeat. Don't justify beyond that.

Good luck. You're doing great. Keep us updated on things.

Tone

grape_ninja
06-30-14, 12:24 AM
I agree with DVD.
Being lonely while not alone means that there is no
connection or understanding with
the one you are with, or the
connection/ understanding has been lost.


This is where I am at right now, tearing me up.....

And as always kilted_scotsman you hit the nail squarely on the head. (OUCH)

GRbiker
06-30-14, 11:59 AM
One additional, shocking point that same therapist made to me about opening up to people was this: basically, in order to connect with people who love us and like us for who we really are, we have to accept that some people will NOT like us for who we really are. But encountering rejection when we're authentic can be a good thing. If we can hang in there, we can create the space and the opening to draw people to us who truly and authentically like us.


This is a very valuable point. My old therapist told me that when he first diagnosed me with ADD. That there will be changes if you do the work, and it may not be in directions that other people agree with or understand. Becoming more true to yourself means renegotiating expectations and roles, this takes work on both sides of relationships, whether casual friends or life partners. Not always easy to do. Some of us who feel we lack the social and verbal skills to navigate this will tend to isolate ourselves, dismiss and/or minimize problems, and generally try to wish things away. This sounds like what the OP is going through with her husband.

I know that I would like to shrink back into my shell a lot, but I'm really trying not to, not only for the sake of my relationship, but to help me really understand this problem and how it has had such a huge effect on my life.

kilted_scotsman
07-05-14, 01:22 PM
Found this poem by Ogden Nash

There's a knocking in the skull
an endless silent shout
Of something beating on a wall
and crying. let me out

That solitary prisoner
will never hear reply.
No comrade in eternity
can hear the frantic cry

No hear can share the terror
that haunts this monstrous dark
The light that filters through the chinks
no other eye can mark

When flesh is linked with eager flesh
and words run warm and full
I think that he is loneliest then
that captive in the skull

Caught in a mesh of living veins
In a cell of padded bone
His loneliest is when he pretends
that he is not alone

We'd free the incarcerate race of man
that such a doom endures
could only you unlock my skull
or I creep into yours

daveddd
07-05-14, 05:50 PM
Thanks for checking in with me. Things have been so busy at work with the end of the fiscal year for my program, so very little time to jump online, even in the evening. I am feeling a little better this week. A couple of evenings ago, I got in a huge fight with my husband and I just got a moment of clarity. He was blaming me for something ridiculous and I told him what he said was rude, and he went off, yelling and screaming and swearing, then blamed me for it all because I refused to see how it was my fault, etc.

The next day, I told him that I loved him, but I couldn't live like this anymore, and I needed him to agree to go to couples therapy with me, or I was going to move out. He asked me if things were really that bad, and that he knew he had had a really stressful week. I said things really were that bad and it wasn't just about this week. He said he would, but felt it wasn't fair of me to give an ultimatum and to be so controlling. I acknowledged maybe it wasn't, but it was how it needed to be.

So we shall see how it goes. I am going to give him a week to call to make an appt. I'm serious this time. I will take the kids and leave if he doesn't follow through. I have felt at peace this time with my decision. It's all I know for now.

congratulations

coming from an ADHD partner i agree with your decision 100%

good luck, i hope it works and if not i hope you find someone else to be happy with (don't exclude adhd guys, plenty of us are capable of great relationships , the ones who put the time in to try)