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Lonely Together

Have you ever seen the married couple who sits in a restaurant, facing each other, eating and saying nothing? My husband and I have watched couples do this through an entire meal. It’s amazing that two people who are one, who’ve committed to share their lives, who’ve shared great joys and sorrows, can have nothing to say to each other. 

Being lonely together is one of the scariest possibilities in a marriage. The restaurant scene scares me personally because I remember this happening to my husband and me on occasion. Thankfully it hasn’t happened often and not in years.

What does being alone together look like? A couple fails to spend any of their spare time together. They don’t have open lines of communication; friends and family know more about them than their own spouse. How do people get to this point? Loneliness occurs when one or both spouses isolate themselves. 

Sometimes this loneliness starts when hurtful words are said to each other and the hurtful words cause silence. Sharing with our spouse takes risk. How will our feelings, plans and frustrations be received? When they’re not received well, trust breaks down. Sometimes the loneliness begins when a spouse makes a hurtful mistake. Sometimes the loneliness comes when we’re no longer deliberate about caring for each other and begin living independent of each other. Isolation is a defense mechanism to protect ourselves from being hurt. The sad reality is that isolation feeds hurt instead of eliminating it. 

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 reminds us how important being in fellowship with one another is. Are you the couple who lives alone together? Regardless of how long you’ve lived this way, or what brought you here, Jesus offers hope. Luke 1:37 reminds us, “ nothing is impossible with God.”

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