I’ve lived in that lonely place. The kind of lonely place where you begin to wonder if your husband remembers that he is a husband. Seven years ago, mine was a full-time employee, part-time student, part-time volunteer, with a lonely wife. I read the advice about how it would be only for a season, I just needed to stay busy, get my own life, be thankful I even had a husband while doing the laundry he was too busy to ask me to do. I followed the advice but none of it filled the empty ache of the husband-shaped hole in my heart. Past hurts hadn’t healed and the added wound of loneliness helped me to build the walls around myself even higher.
“I don’t deserve this,” would strobe-light through my thoughts as I stared blankly at a book or computer screen or TV, trying to stay numb enough to hold back the tears.
I was there when we were new parents; I was home but working almost full-time, and he was working two jobs. I wanted to do everything right by our little guy–breast is best, organic hand-made foods, attachment parenting–but he seemed so unhappy all of the time. I was still there when our second son joined our family and I cut back my work hours.
“I don’t deserve this!” Unable to hold back the tears, anger and disgust of how I could need someone so much welled up in my heart.
I’ve got to be honest… I have had times when I didn’t like being a wife or mom or owning a home or having a dog. When your fight-or-flight response is stuck on, even minor situations can trigger extreme responses. You feel like a caged animal, pacing the boundaries, looking for an escape. And I have always hated that about myself.
It’s hard to be grateful for the positives when you don’t even realize you’ve been conditioned to believe only the negatives, even if you never seen evidence of them.
But see, right here, this is where we lay aside the former, which is going to continually worsen, and take up the new, which can only get better. If you keep carrying around that old mentality, life’s going to feel pretty crummy even after you get a husband, house, kids, and pets.
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4: 22-24
All that great advice I mentioned at the beginning, it treats the symptoms of loneliness. I know of only one cure.