The reasons for feeling lonely can be really varied but one of the most common reasons is a change in your life that makes you feel differently about your relationship. That said, how do big life changes put us at risk of loneliness?
Changes in your life situation often mean different or greater pressures, which can leave you feeling like you need more support. If it doesn’t feel like you’re getting the support you need you may begin to resent your partner or drift apart from them – this is when the feeling of ‘loneliness’ can begin to “creep in”.
Changes in our lives can also alter the role we want our relationship to play in our life: one partner may begin to wonder whether they’ve sacrificed too much for their marriage when they’re passed up for another promotion. Again, feeling your relationship isn’t giving you what you need can lead to a sense of alienation as you begin to doubt whether you’ve got your priorities right.
Sometimes, it can be an internal change that’s prompted you to feel differently about your relationship. It might be that you’re not communicating as well as you used to. It can be easy to slip into negative communication habits – such as freezing each other out or jumping to make accusations – over time these can wear away at your relationship and make you feel less close to one another.
Maybe there’s been a breach of trust, such as an affair. When we feel betrayed, it can affect the relationship even more deeply than we might realise. Often, it takes years to identify and work out the damage done when one partner badly lets down the other. Or perhaps it’s just something that’s happened: relationships often go through periods of disconnection and then reconnection as a natural part of being together for a long period of time.
Sometimes, you may feel close to your partner and like everything is great, but then, a few years later, find you aren’t as happy around them as you used to be. This can take place outside of any external influence – and can leave you feeling surprised or disenchanted when it does occur. The truth is that often the cause or root of the challenge is much deeper and can be related to something that we learned from our parents. A simple reaction to a situation can change our entire point of view on our relationship.