I read a quote on Facebook and it said something like, “I would rather be lonely than with someone who makes me feel alone.” This rang true for me, since at Family TLC many married clients tell us that they feel lonely and they never thought that it would be that way. In order to protect the privacy of our clients I cannot tell you about one in particular, so I will create a fictitious client named Martha who is a composite of many clients.
The shock of unhappiness
Martha remembers the day she realized how unhappy she was in her marriage. It was late at night and she was just sitting down to browse her Facebook account. She had done her usual night time routine of kids, laundry, lunches, dog, dishes. She felt tired but wanted a few minutes of “me” time.
She had been connecting with high school friends through Facebook and it was good to remember the happy times. She had a new message from Mark, who she dated in high school. She felt butterflies in her stomach as she started reading his message. He was showing an interest in her, and asking lots of questions about her.
Martha stopped for a second, and realized it seemed like it had been forever since she had felt this kind of connection. It made her feel excited, sexy and young. Was it just a minute ago she felt tired, worn out and angry?
Losing yourself when you settle
Martha’s husband John was home somewhere but she did not know where. They rarely occupied the same part of the house these days. Come to think of it, they had not talked, well, really talked, since who knows when.
They were both good parents and did everything for the kids. With their combined incomes, they could afford a nice house in a good neighbourhood, and their kids had more than either of them had growing up. But, and this was a big but, they didn’t have a good time together anymore. John did not excite her; he was boring and disappointing.
Even worse, she was losing herself. She did not like this angry, unhappy, lonely woman she had become. She deserved more, but she feared that more for her will mean less for the kids.
Is this marriage worth saving?
Martha realized the marriage was not working. What she didn’t know is whether it could be fixed. Was it salvageable, or should they separate, and what would that be like? How would a separation affect the kids? Even though she deserved more, does that mean the kids deserved less?
Yet how could she keep living like this? Is their marriage giving the kids the best model of a good relationship, or is it teaching them to settle? This was too much to think about. However she knew she could not carry one like this for much longer.
Can you relate to Martha’s story? Do you feel like you just can’t carry on in your marriage? At Family TLC we offer marriage counselling, help for those going through separation and divorce, and individual counselling for those who, like Martha, aren’t sure of the right path to take.