Loneliness within Marriage
The loneliest women I know aren't single women. They're women in difficult marriages. Loneliness is a big issue for married women, whether their marriage is good or not. Part of the issue is that they feel lonely, but they assume they're not supposed to feel lonely. Wasn't marriage supposed to be the answer? A lot of us think that way, and then we get married. And even when the marriage is great, there's a sense of incompletion. We think, "What's missing?"
What we are feeling is loneliness. The difficulty is that women feel like they can't talk about it with anybody because that would betray their spouse. Or they feel guilty for feeling lonely when they have this great husband. So they don't quite know what to do with it. For a single woman, she can talk about her loneliness with her friends, and people assume she's going to be lonely. But a wife, not so much. That's one of the reasons that loneliness factors into marriage, and is very hard for some women.
A Less-Than-Ideal Marriage
Another reason loneliness factors into a marriage is when a woman is married to a less-than-ideal husband. Nobody has an ideal, perfect husband, but there are seasons in a marriage when troubles arise. Sin comes into play—whether it's betrayal or simply a distraction, or a wife feels low on her husband's priority list. Whatever the case may be, the marriage that she had hoped for isn't measuring up.
Where does a wife turn at a time like that? What do you do? A woman then has the opportunity to recognize that her marriage to her husband is designed by God to point to her deeper marriage, which is as part of the body of Christ. The church is the bride of Christ and, ultimately, she is part of that reality. Her marriage is ultimately with the Lord. It is not primarily forever with her husband. The marriage relationship is symbolic of a deeper relationship she has.
Turn to the Lord
It's good and right to pray for a marriage to get to better, for the alleviation of loneliness in marriage, and for whatever is causing the loneliness to be fixed. But even before that—when a wife is going through difficulties, or her marriage isn't measuring up to what she'd hoped—instead of thinking she'd made a mistake and needs a different marriage, she can turn to the Lord, and ask him to be her all in all. She can ask him to show her how he is everything her husband is not able to be for her.
We were originally created by God, alone. The reason God created in this way is so that we will find our all in him.
In this video, Justin Taylor sits down with Lydia Brownback to discuss her new book, Finding God in My Loneliness.
For a variety of reasons, whether single or married, nighttime for many is a daily chore to simply get through.