“The trouble is not really in being alone, it’s being lonely.” Christine Feehan
I was almost ten years into my first marriage when I realized that even though I had a husband that loved me, family and plenty of friends, I still felt isolated and very alone.
Throughout the last week, I’ve spoken to several women with similar experiences.
We’re not alone; we’re never really alone in these experiences that we don’t talk much about to one another.
Camille married her husband out of fear and knew from the beginning that there was no soulful connection between them. But she denied the truth that she knew intuitively and now she has 2 small children and feels trapped and alone, filled with guilt and doubt.
Kelly has been married for 26 years, the last 10 of which has been void of any physical or romantic connection with her husband. She has spent the last 20 years pouring all that she had into her husband and her family and certainly she’s had some disappointments in her life. She told me that she used to be successful, incredibly social, having goals and dreams for her life and now, she feels dead inside.
- How is it that we can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely?
- How is it that we can have what looks like the picture-perfect life and feel dead inside?
- How is it that we can have a partner by our sides that loves us but we feel completely alone?
I have never exactly had a green thumb. As a matter of fact, for my entire adult life, I did not own a single indoor plant. Until I decided that I craved the color, the life and the beauty of a flowering plant.
So, I bought 2 orchids. One was white and one was a bright vibrant blue. People stopped me in the store that day to ask me about them, they were so pretty. I loved those orchids. They were gorgeous and delicate and even a bit sensual.
I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to care for my new babies. I gave them 3 ice cubes once a week. I placed them in a well-lit area – but not with too much light. And still, over time, they began to die. The flowers would begin to wilt and one-by-one the blooms would fall to the table below. Within a few months, there was nothing left but some leaves and tall sticks to hold up flowerless vines.
- It’s not like it happened overnight.
- It’s not like I did anything wrong like flood it with water or keep it hidden in a dark closet.
- It’s not like I didn’t try. I loved those plants as best as I could. And they still died.
I think it’s the same with our relationships sometimes.
We don’t fall asleep one night in wedded bliss and then wake up the next day with an emptiness and loneliness that we can’t explain. Felling alone happens slowly over time.
We get distracted by life. We take each other for granted. We drift apart. Sometimes, we outgrow our partners. It was never deliberate or intentional. No one gets married so that they can intentionally find themselves feeling all alone. But there’s no denying the blooms that are lying there on the table, lifeless.
Just because a relationship falls apart doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone did anything “wrong.” I think we are all doing the best we can on any given day.
Just because I couldn’t feel the love my ex-husband had for me doesn’t mean that he didn’t love me in the best way he knew how or was capable of at that time. And I certainly couldn’t love him completely because I hadn’t yet really learned to love myself completely. But we were both just doing the best we could.
I speak to women every day that have been slowly dying inside. They stay in relationships that don’t feed their soul for decades until they find themselves empty and lonely. They give everything away to everyone else for years until they’ve lost touch with themselves.
If that’s you, that’s not how your story has to end.
Tell the Truth. Show up in Love. Live in Freedom.