I’m Lonely In My Marriage

My mother is visiting this week from Colorado. She turned 70 years old earlier this year. She is as sharp as a tack and on Tuesday we went to Disneyland along with my teen daughter and her friend. My Mom jumped on the California Screamin’ roller coaster without hesitation and we all shrieked in unison as our train launched from zero to 59 miles per hour in four seconds and sent careening down the track with our hearts racing.

My mother surprises me often. She hasn’t let decrepitude (as I call it *grin*) slow her down much. In fact, she completely shocked my sister and I a few weeks back when she announced she “Googled it” when she was searching for information about a medical term.

Mom has discovered the verb, google. Her broad smile of accomplishment was too cute and I hugged her with delight to know she is still living and growing and praying for God’s Kingdom. Now I can’t get overly excited because she still thinks Twitter is what birds do as they look for seeds in the back yard and Facebook is a photo album I am always working on and My Space is of course, a term you use when you need a break, “Give me my space.”


As my mom told me her story about her first Google search it caused me to think about how many times I use a search engine and about the people who search and discover our web ministry, Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

The most common word search, which brings readers to our site, is unequally yoked. However, what astonishes me more is the second word search, which lands people on our site:

Loneliness in marriage.

There is an epidemic of loneliness in our world. And more staggering is the number of people who are married and feel alone. Does it strike you as a strange paradox, to be married and be lonely? How can that happen? How can we live under one roof, share the same bed, live together, and feel utterly alone?

For the spiritually mismatched marriage, this is our one common denominator. We have felt alone or feel alone and are married.

It does not matter how our marriage became mismatched, we all travel this strange path. We begin to grow in our faith and our spouse reacts. Let me give you a scenario:

~ She begins to learn more about Jesus and she stops using swear words.

He thinks she has gone temporarily insane.

*They argue over this development.

~ She starts to attend church on Sunday morning.

He is mad she doesn’t sleep in with him anymore.

*They argue, pressing home their disappointment with one another.

~ She is upset he won’t go to church with her.

He feels like he didn’t sign up for this “religion” thing when he married.

*They argue. Frustration mounts.

~ She is growing in her faith and her life is changing. She wants to share it with her best friend, her husband.

He feels threatened by this invisible “new man” in her life and is almost panicked at the implications.

*They both hide their feelings in an attempt to avoid the fighting. Walls go up. Tears are shed in silence and loneliness sets in.

This is a dangerous time in a marriage but this is also a time where God calls us as the believer in the marriage to live out: commitment. Since the 1980’s our societal values towards marriage commitment have vastly changed. Cohabitation along with sexual freedom and multiple lifestyle options eroded away determination to make marriage work more than previous generations.  Marriages, which are supposed to be the source of stability and intimacy, often produce uncertainty and isolation.*

What I want to share with you today are three truths from God’s word to apply to this very real issue of living lonely and living married.

1.  As a wife living with an unbeliever, the first truth you need to bury deep in your soul is this:

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13: 4-6 (NIV)

In the lonely years of my marriage, I clung to this promise when I felt abandoned by my spouse. I KNEW without doubt, Jesus would never leave me and He stood at my side through those years of conflict and loneliness. He will do the same for you.

That was my foundation.

2.  Next I had to learn that my calling was to love my husband and not force Jesus upon him. In the early years of our marriage, I was the one in our marriage who placed tremendous pressure on my husband to attend church. I was always the instigator when we would argue over my faith views and I would condemn my spouse’s behavior I once thought was okay.

Let’s give our men a break. We can’t be the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus take his time with our husbands. When we love our husbands like Jesus, it’s irresistible. A man can ignore a nagging wife but he can’t deny the truth of a transformed life.

When I let go of my need to win arguments about faith. When I surrendered my personal mission to deliver my husband to the foot of the cross. When I recognized and repented of my selfish desires for his salvation and began to pray in earnest for him to meet Christ, that is when the loneliness subsided and we both discovered peace.

Oh my friends, let Jesus be Jesus and you be a wife. This is the truth behind 1Peter 3: 1-6 (NIV)

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

3.  And when we live this passage out in real life, look at our reward. Verse 7

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This month, get off the roller coaster of emotions, of fear, of loneliness and heartache. Love your husband with the love of Christ and let Jesus handle his salvation. Pray every day for wisdom, discernment, protection and a passion to love the man God has given you. Ask the Lord to help you see your husband through His eyes. Then wave goodbye to loneliness and say hello to a thriving and vibrant friendship with your husband.

I have so much more to share with you. Join me again next month. Please drop me a comment today and let’s spur one another on to live, love, and thrive in our marriages. Jesus Christ is honored when we thrive in married love.

BIG hugs, Lynn Donovan

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* Provided by Probe Ministries

Lynn Donovan

Lynn Donovan would likely hug your neck the first time you meet and skip the small talk to ask, “How are you today, down in your heart?” As a writer and speaker, she shares from her heart the myths women believe about love and marriage and then points them to the freedom that is theirs through living in the truth and relationship with Christ. It is her passion to encourage women to thrive in their marriage and discover their purpose. Married to her husband, Mike, for more than 18 years, they love, live and now thrive in a spiritually mismatched home. They reside in Temecula, California with their teen daughter, and neurotic but comical dog, Peanut. Lynn loves to laugh, enjoys a strong cup of coffee and Fantasy Football and not necessarily in that order. You can join her daily at her blog where she shares the zany yet meaningful stories of marriage challenges, truths, and triumphs in her life. She invites you to share her view from her front row seat to an amazing journey; life lived for Christ. To learn more about Lynn visit her blog at www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com or follow her on Twitter @LynnDonovan.

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  1. Very good advice, Lynn…I can totally relate to the scenario you described…and also to the freedom that comes from turning it all over to God and not trying to “change” my husband…wish it had not taken me so long to learn this lesson….

  2. “A man can ignore a nagging wife but he can’t deny the truth of a transformed life.”

    Ouch, Lynn!

    I’ve noticed this to be so true even in my marriage to a strong Christian husband. If I nag, I lose my voice in front of my husband. All he hears is Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice – “Wha, wha-wha, wha.” He just turns a deaf ear and tunes me out. But when I allow the Lord to have control of my thoughts, words, actions, hubby is receptive and communication is open between us.

    GREAT article my friend. Love you bunches.

  3. Such wonderful advice my dear friend, love you.

  4. I needed to hear and see these words today, Thank-you so much!! I have to remember to be quiet and submissive. And win him over with a gentle spirit.

  5. Karen, you and I are one in accord…. I guess I was taken by surprise at how many feel lonely in their marriage. I find that many pastor’s wives feel this way. And, I can’t even imagine what it is like to be in a marriage where both, husband and wife, don’t know Jesus. It is all about “self” and no one finds joy.

    Marsha, a transformed life IS what shouts louder than any words. Oh how I wish I had know this years earlier.

    Denise, girl love you and will see you in Florida and my dear, sweet, Tina….I am hugging you because I know you want to be a woman after God’s own heart.

    Love you gals. Chat with you later. Lynn

  6. I am always amazed by God’s perfect timing. I needed this post today. Lately, I’ve needed it everyday. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Good article, Lynn. I’ve experienced loneliness even with a Christian husband. I have a non-talker, not so much of a dreamer and anyone who knows me knows I love to talk and am always dreaming!

    I’ve had to get rid of the “soul mate” idea and let it go and love instead of taking it personally.

    I’m so grateful we have Jesus and not alone, ever!!!!!!

  8. Thank you for sharing this today, Lynn. Lonely in my marriage is exactly how I feel sometimes. It’s only when I remember to give it all to Jesus and trust him — and stop trying to take control myself — that I enjoy being married to my best friend. God bless!

  9. Chrissy and Lilbear. I wish I could reach through my computer screen and hug you with a giant hug of love. I know the struggles you feel and I truly care. Will be praying your name this week.

    And, my dear friend Marian. You alway encourage so many through your wise words and your ministry. I am one of them. Love all of you very much. Lynn

  10. I so needed this today. Thank you Lynn. The Lord has this amazing timing in encouraging others to speak. Thank you Lord for giving Lynn these words to sharing with my breaking heart.

  11. Heidi and Tina, Girls, I am hugging you in words of prayer. Please hang in there give your hurts to Jesus. He can bring healing. Wish I could just sit with you and pray. Hugging you. Lynn

  12. Oh, my. God is using you powerfully. I love this article, He has used it to bless me. This is what hit me between the eye:

    “[loneliness] This is a dangerous time in a marriage but this is also a time where God calls us as the believer in the marriage to live out: commitment.

    Yes, I have to continually nail the secular view of “my needs aren’t being met,let’s divorce” view of marriage and committ to praying, believing, and waiting for the many breakthroughs that can come with strong faith in the journey of marriage.

    Wonderful reminder/encouragement, Thanks Jesus & Lynn!

  13. Lynn, you are so right on this one!

    I loved what you wrote:

    “A man can ignore a nagging wife but he can’t deny the truth of a transformed life.”

    My husband sees the changes that Christ has made in my life. He loves the fruit of the Spirit. However, he always thinks I’m judging him when he watches certain TV shows. Yes, I don’t like certain shows but I don’t nag about them. I think he’s just feeling guilty. 🙂

    I need to visit Exemplify more often. I loved your article.

    Love you,

  14. Love you Debbie,

    You are gifted with the gift of encouragement. I always feel loved when I read your comments and I KNOW, without doubt, you are living out 1Peter 3. Hugging you.

  15. Lonelines……Yes is something i tend to struggle with along the years not only in marriage but but as an child…as an single as an mum……..
    But i praise God i came to learn along the way that JESUS wants to be our FRIEND!
    When the negetavity or ” belonging” wants to creep in I can call to Him….
    What an gift and blessing for our lifes and indeed we began to change and look at thinggs differently and others sees us differently…..

    Thxs as always my sister to bring this up and reflect on it

  16. This is WONDERFUL, Debbie. My husband is a 1 Peter 3 saved Christian. I was TRULY encouraged by this post. Blessings!

  17. Bless you for sharing this.

  18. I found this page putting “I’m lonely” into a google search. At first I was thrilled to see you have a site dedicated to the loneliness that arises from spiritually unequal marriage. Indeed, I have devoted my life to God and my husband is a dedicated communist. I thought I might find some hope for saving my relationship in this site.

    But you know what? Those verses from Peter that you quote, they made me sick. These words are the ones that drove me from the church 10 years ago. Weaker sex? hardly. Submit to my “master”? I have one Master and while I’m crap at quoting the bible I know it very clearly warns that no man (read woman here) can serve two masters.

    It was with hope and a sore heart that I began reading your post here, but all I can see is that you suggest we women submit ourselves to the slavery that results from an unequal marriage, whether spiritually or otherwise. This is not the hope that Jesus offers us. Jesus offers a Way and while some women may be able to become ‘nuns’ to their husbands, God bless their spirit, I cannot. God has another Way for me.

  19. I am deeply touched by your words Pinkie B. I have to share that I agree with you. I don’t see myself as the “weaker sex”. I am financially able to take care of myself. I am an independent thinker and I relate so much to how my post seems so contrary to what we experience in our day-to-day living and the messages from our culture.

    For years, I bristled at the idea that anyone, especially God, asking me to submit to a man, especially when he was an unbeliever. However, through the many years of walking with God I have discovered what this passage in 1 Peter 3 is really all about.

    It helped me to see that the word submit is also an old-fashioned way of saying respect. God is calling me to respect my husband as a man and as my partner in this marriage journey.

    Wow, for me, understanding that respect encompasses many of the character traits God wants me to bring to my marriage, was a light-bulb moment. I no longer needed to defend my position on faith matters, or other differences. I can respect my husband for exactly who he is and love him just as he is.

    This is the power of 1 Peter 3. Loving my husband with humble respect has given us peace and brought our marriage out of constant conflict into a thriving and mutually caring relationship. It is the best gift I could ever give to this man. And, it turns out, it’s the best gift I gave to myself.

    I think that so many times we think of submission as a woman being a doormat for a man to walk all over. This is absolutely NOT what God is calling wives to be. We can have an opinion. We are often right about many things and in a mutually loving marriage, our husband want’s our advice and opinion. Sometimes to gain this mutual respect, we the wife, must start the process. That is what happened in our relationship.

    Pinkie, my sweet sister, I absolutely know how you feel. I’m holding you in my prayers and in my heart. It is only through the transforming power and love of Jesus that I have found peace in my marriage, intimate love, and mutual respect with my best friend and we are thriving despite our differences in faith.

    Thank you for your honest heart. Hugging you my friend, Lynn

    • Kathy,

      I absolutely understand and have lived where you are right this moment. My heart breaks for you but I want you to know that there is hope. I want to share two thoughts with you that made a tremendous difference in my life while I was living in the vast wilderness of the lonely years.

      First, I committed to rising early and reading my Bible and I began to pray. I made an appointment with the King and I kept it. Allowing God’s Word to fill my mind and to speak with Jesus every morning transformed me. That in itself is a miracle. If God will do that for me, He will do it for you. So decide today to have a daily appointment with the King.

      Second I joined a women’s Bible study. This is where I found Jesus with skin on. These women became my friends. They were like minded believers who truly cared about my life. They helped me grow and discover what living my faith was all about.

      If you are not in a church where you feel safe to be in a Bible study, find one. This was absolutely critical for me to be with others who loved me with God’s love. They weren’t perfect but they loved… This is where I learned so much about God and my faith grew. I also found friendship.

      Please find us at our website and I wonder if you could pick up a copy of our book, Winning Him Without Words. The very first chapter is all about loneliness.

      God has heard your cry. He cares and now asks you to meet with Him and His children and he will restore what the locus has taken. Hugs, Lynn


  20. i just want someone to talk to

  21. How do you get through a marriage of 30+ years where life revolves around the mans job. He doesn’t make it to the childrens events. Not interested in anything you do. It is all about his job. If his job isn’t satisfying him, life is terribly difficult for all. I have felt the pain of I am so lonely I can die for so many years. He is a Christian and loves the Lord. He just doesn’t seem to have room for family or children. Just his job, which keeps changing as it never satisfies.

    • Camille,

      I know the loneliness that this can bring. I want to suggest a book for you to read. There is a way to thrive in your marriage when your husband is unwilling or unable to meet your needs.

      Pick up Thriving despite a Difficult Marriage by Drs. Misja

      This book help women find other ways to thrive and find fulfilment in their lives. Also, find our book, Winning Him Without Words. Dineen and I write about many of the common issues dealing with loneliness and unmet expectations and hopes.

      Find us at our website and we would love to wrap our arms around you and walk shoulder-to-shoulder toward heaven. Hugs. Lynn


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