Resolution, Not Conflict

The guide to problem-solving.

Loneliness: a Temporary State or a Vulnerable Way of Life?

Guy Winch's new book Emotional First Aid offers the best understandings I've seen of the pernicious impacts of loneliness. He also suggests how to break free of social isolation to begin forming gratifying connections. Read More

Does it show up more in mid age?

Ironically, I, a only child with a uninvolved father, never understood the feeling of loneliness until after marriage, two kids, which occurred in my late 30s, and turning 40. I am in my mid 40s now, still married and the feeling of being alone is stronger than ever. I even lived alone for a very long time previously without ever feeling this way. It is peculiar regardless, no?

some thoughts

Your note reminded me of a phenoenon I often observed when my children were young. They played happily by themselves---unless or until I picked up the phone and started talking on it. Suddenly they felt an urgent need to talk with me. Was it that hearing my voice reminded them of my presence and triggered therefore their wanting to talk with me? Or in talking on the phone did I seem to be turning my back on them? Or worse, turning toward others?

Any similarities?

Can't say that I do

I am not sure I understand the connection. But no, I can't say that I have perceived that experience with my children.

I have a very close relationship with my family. We do a lot together and I am not unhappy. But still strangely, I feel a terrible loneliness. I did lose faith soon after my oldest was born so that may have something to do with it.

Or possibly it is the loss of my prior identity. I was a very independent person and now I'm not. I used to really enjoy my alone time. Possibly I haven't adjusted to the change yet in whole.

Explanation of the phone example

Kids suddenly feel lonely when mom is on the phone If they were just alone they would not feel lonely. Similarly, the presence of a marriage partner in your life could invite more loneliness when he is elsewhere, or when he is at home but with his attention turned somewhere other than toward you.

Loneliness can also occur as an aspect of depression. When you used to be "independent", what did you do then that was different from what you have been doing of late? Maybe you need to do more of that. Many women who used to work until their kids arrived for instance need to go back to work to get rid of that lonely, depressed, something's missing in my life feeling.

Your association with the loss of faith that happened after your oldest child was born is intriguing. It may pay off to think more about that connection...

Nice sharing

Nice sharing from your side.

I would really glad to share that my loneliness went after having the known the true self via self realization ceremony (

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Susan Heitler, Ph.D., is the author of many books, including From Conflict to Resolution and The Power of Two. She is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University.


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