Whether you are male or female, if you are lonely and isolated within that relationship with the only real adult company being that of your spouse then the effects can be catastrophic.
Let us imagine you are stay at home mum, devoting all your time and attention to your children, doing all that society demands of you and then some. You are cleaner, cook, nurse and devoted wife and lover but something is amiss.
When your entire world revolves around a small group of people, perhaps your husband and your children, you may find that some of your needs are not being met. You may be totally unaware of what those needs are but you do know that you can feel a little resentful and a little jealous about those you hold dearest to you. Then you feel guilty for having these feelings and give yourself a hard time about it. You feel inadequate and may even feel a failure.
You may for example resent the fact your husband works 12 hours a day. Now despite those long, tedious, life sucking hours spent in grueling physical labor or at the office, your view is that he has a ‘life'. He gets to socialize with colleagues inside and outside of work, exchange witty banter, have intelligent dialog, and a change of scenery. While for you the scenery consists of just four walls and it never changes.
When your husband comes home, he's tired and needs to zone out. He'll plop down in front of the TV with the News on and a paper, maybe he'll ask for a beer while he waits for you to bring him that home cooked meal. The children know to be quiet, but respectfully give him some pamper time. He is the daytime absent daddy so he is favorite! You on the other hand have had several hours of children whining, refusing to co-operate and he has angels for whom butter would not melt.
It's so unfair!
So when he comes home, this built up resentful and frustration may overspill into a tirade of nagging, or silence. He should know why you are upset right?
How might your husband view this situation?
He might think to himself: ‘I work 12 hours a day, never get a minute to myself to do what I want to do, come home, to a nagging wife who wants me to help with the kids and ask about her day. Her day which consists of what exactly? Sitting about, watching daytime tv, playing with the kids. I never get to spend quality time with my kids..she can go shopping, spend my money, see her friends.'
It's so unfair!
The feelings of resentment and jealousy can run both ways.
So what can you do to stop feeling negative about your spouse? Talking is the obvious answer, less obvious is trying to wear the others shoes occasionally even if only for a single day once a year! Perhaps on that day, the man can take care of the house and children so he can fully appreciate what is involved and that it is not all fun and daytime TV.
Perhaps the woman can try to get more involved in her husbands work, show an interest, ask about his day, the stresses the strains and see if she can help.
They need to find a way of enjoying quality time together and this need not be at any great expense. Invest in a sitter for an evening now and worth while investment. Your marriage is worth investing in!
Meanwhile, both parties if feeling isolated and lonely should make a concentrated effort to change that. It is not healthy for one person to be the center of our universe, so having friends is very important. Friends you can moan to instead of your spouse, share a few laughs with.
Stay at home mums can find groups in their area perhaps do some voluntary work. If your children are young take them to a playgroup or coffee morning that allows small children. Even a couple of hours a week is enough to make you realize the world is larger than your four walls.
Take care of each other and think about how the other might be viewing the same situation!