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As a result—and often without realizing we’re doing it—we become overly defensive and come across to others as detached, aloof, or even hostile, which only pushes them further away.How Loneliness Operates in Marriages Although we might believe marriage can insulate us from the ravages of loneliness, that is quality of our relationships not their objective quantity, nor just by whether we happen to be living with a spouse.On the mental health front, loneliness puts us at risk for depression and anxiety and causes us to distort our perceptions such that we view ourselves, our lives, and our relationships more negatively—which in turn, influences our behavior in damaging ways.How Loneliness Impacts Our Relationships Loneliness distorts how we see other people and makes us devalue our relationships.We perceive others as less caring, less interested, and less committed than they actually are, and we judge our relationships to be weaker and less satisfying than they may really be.In an effort to protect ourselves from even further emotional hurt, we become hyper-alert to any signs of rejection from others and more apt to miss signs of acceptance.
At some point, discussions about mutual interests, world events, and goals and dreams cease entirely and conversations become purely transactional—“We need milk,” “Your mother called,” or “Did you remember to pay the cable bill? We also fall into daily routines that foster emotional distance—one person watches television in the evening while the other is on the computer, or one goes to bed at 9 pm and wakes at 5 am while the other goes to bed at midnight and wakes at 8 am.
I, too, am in a sexless marriage which has evolved into a loveless marriage, characterized by loneliness.