Friday, May 27, 2011

The Married Version of the Lonely Place

Several people pointed out to me that the lonely place exists for married people, too.  I am well aware of this, having lived in a lonely place for much of my marriage.

I do not expect a spouse to rescue me from the lonely place.  I know well that the lonely place exists in some measure for nearly every person, married or single.  However, I know from experience that the lonely place is different for a married person than for a single person.

As a married person, the lonely place was more self-imposed.  By that, I mean that I could have made changes that might have alleviated some of the pain of the lonely place.  Ultimately, I tried to make those changes, but it was too late.  My husband had already decided to make his own changes to try to get out of his own lonely place.

As a married person, I didn't feel the same sense of unfulfilled calling that I feel in my single lonely place.  I was going through the motions, at least trying to be who I was created to be.  I didn't feel useless, just unappreciated and unloved.  Despite the fact that my husband never would have admitted that he needed me, I knew that in some small way, he did.  Maybe he just needed me to raise his kids and do his laundry and other household tasks, but in those little ways, I was fulfilling my calling as a helpmate, at least somewhat.

As a married person, I didn't always have the physical intimacy and comfort I crave in my single lonely place, but at least I always had hope that at some point I would have that.  I was married, so I knew that if my husband and I both operated according to scripture, that intimacy would be restored, and that it could happen in an instant.  As a single person, I am aware that even if God dropped the perfect man into my life right now, this very minute, there would be a long wait before I could have that intimacy.

I do not mean to negate the pain of being in the lonely place as a married person.  I truly feel for my friends who are in marriages that are lonely places. I just wanted to point out some of the differences. 

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