Bored in the bedroom? Fretting over infidelity? Whatever your love dilemmas are, MM’s agony aunt Kim Reader has the answer.
This week, MM’s very own agony aunt hears from someone who feels so lonely even though her partner is right there.
If you have a question for Kim, you can email us here.
I think there might be something wrong with me.
I’ve been with my partner for five years and it’s not like we’re arguing or anything but I just feel… empty?
It’s like I don’t have the energy to fight for us to be happy anymore and sometimes at night I cry because I am so lonely but he is right there next to me.
I cry loudly, secretly hoping he’ll wake up because I’d rather things be bad than flat lining like they are now… but he never does.
He hasn’t done anything wrong so I don’t even know how to explain myself.
I’ve never heard of anyone with the same problem. What is happening to me?
Hi my dear,
Thank you so much for writing in. What you’re going through sounds awfully painful and I hope just getting it off your chest will help a bit.
Please don’t feel like there’s something ‘wrong with you’. Being unhappy or feeling lonely is something every single one of us goes through many times in our lives.
And you are just suffering through an especially dark time, but like all the other struggles we go through this will make you stronger and there will be light at the end of the tunnel even if you can’t see it yet.
The main step you need to take now is figuring out whether or not you are unhappy because of your relationship.
I know you say that you and your partner are not arguing, but your use of the words like ‘flat lining’ and ‘empty’ are far from a good sign.
Also you say you would rather things be bad than like they are now but I don’t believe you.
People let themselves get wrapped up in these destructive impulses when a once healthy, thriving relationship stagnates but why would you do that to yourself or someone you care about? It is not worth it just to feel SOMETHING, trust me.
Unfortunately this is something an awful lot of couple go through. You can be together for years and be happy and in love, but then the passion dies, complacency sets in or, as you say, the willingness to fight for it runs out – some things are just not built to last.
Obviously reaching this constant of mediocrity doesn’t always mean the end of a relationship.
It can be worked through by having more one-on-one time to rediscover your love for each other, going on an adventure, taking up a new hobby as a couple, doing something exciting – like bungee jumping or a mountain hike –or, of course, spicing up your sex life.
But if you’ve even lost the urge to talk or try to make things work then it sounds like this relationship may have run its course.
It may sound awfully sad, but it’s not. It happens. You’ve loved each other, you’ve grown together, and you’ve shared many happy years. Perhaps you’ve done all you can for each other and now it is time to move on?
If this is the case it would certainly explain your tears and loneliness. There is, after all, nothing lonelier than being with the wrong person.
And nothing more painful than feeling like you shouldn’t be lonely because you’ve got someone, or that you can’t talk to anyone because your being ‘silly’ or ‘irrational’.
I tell you what, phrases like that need to be banned from any discussion about emotions. You feel how you feel, any problem is as big as how much it affects you and it’s better to express it than bottle it all up inside!
However, back to the wording in your letter, feelings of emotional emptiness or numbness are often associated with depression.
I’m not a doctor so I’m not about to start handing out diagnoses but I do think that if this is something that has been going on persistently for weeks or months then you need to see your GP about it immediately.
Depression is also regularly linked to the feelings of loneliness and alienation you seem to be experiencing and, if ignored or left untreated, can have an incredibly serious impact on your career, wellbeing, and relationships/friendships.
The fact you’re speaking about what you’re going through, even anonymously, is a great sign. Being able to open up and ask for help is one of the hardest things to do.
I’m now asking you to take that bravery just one step further and speak to your doctor. I know it may be scary or you might even think, ‘there’s no way I’m depressed’, but with all matters of health – mental and physical – surely it is better safe than sorry?
Your doctor is there to help and support you, not judge.
I am not saying this is definitely the case, I just want you to explore all possible reasons for how you’re feeling – once you know the reason it is much easier to find a solution!
Also you do not have to go through this alone! Please, even if you don’t feel ready to speak to your partner about how you’re feeling, speak to a close friend or family member.
I can assure you every one of them, whether they admit it or not, will have felt at least similar to how you’re feeling now.
But, of course, in time and sooner rather than later you must approach the subject with your partner.
Remember that he loves you and cares about you so he’s not going to shun you for feeling down.
And the chances are that if the relationship has run its course then he knows already. He will have felt the same void and sense that things aren’t how they used to be that you have.
The possible end of a relationship is never an easy thing and it is, of course, upsetting but treasure the fact that you two haven’t argued, hurt each other, cheated, or any of the other horrible ways a relationship can end.
Sadly, sometimes things are just over. But the end of one journey can be the start of so many others!
The NHS offers support, advice and treatment for those suffering with all mental health problems. To find out more about the symptoms of depression, please click here.
Image courtesy of Lotus Carroll, with thanks.