Something worse than being single and lonely

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
Proverbs 21:19

Apparently the greatest form of loneliness isn’t being alone in the desert. It’s being in the presence of someone who knows you a fraction of what they should. Or respects you a fraction of what they should. Or loves you a fraction of what they should.

The truth is the only thing worse than being single and lonely is being married and lonely.

Some people get married thinking that they have found a life companion. To their surprise they get a new roommate. And one that still eats all their food, but now they can’t really say something anymore.

Some people get married thinking they have a new and unwavering ally to fight for what’s worth fighting for. To their surprise they spend the majority of their time fighting each other. And then they’re too tired to fight for anything else.

It would be really easy to slip into self-pity right now. Don’t. This isn’t about your spouse. It’s about you. I’m not writing this to make you feel sorry for yourself. I’m writing this to give you a glimpse into how your spouse might be feeling.

I don’t know your situation. Maybe you aren’t known, respected, or loved the way you should be. And if that’s true, I’m sorry. But self-pity isn’t going to move you an inch closer to the marriage you originally had in mind. It will pervert your perspective and paralyze your marriage’s potential faster than almost any other emotion.

You can’t control how your spouse treats you. But you can control how you treat your spouse. And they should never be lonely.

Choose today to be more than a person your spouse shares a bed with.
Choose today to not be your spouse’s enemy. They’ve already got an Enemy they have to contend with.

Your marriage isn’t destined to be a perpetual reminder of unmet expectations. And it doesn’t have to be a breeding ground for loneliness. It can change.

But the change starts with you.

This entry was originally posted on January 10, 2011.