Q: I have been in a bad marriage for 13 years. In fact, my husband and I are separated. He was never a good provider. He would work only when he felt like. To be frank, he does not maintain our child. He never attended church with me. We were miles apart. The best times and romantic moments were special occasions.The union produced a daughter. He rarely visits and, to the best of my knowledge, he is not in a relationship. The few times when he visits, he might spend a night and sleep with me. And to be honest, even the once in a while feels good and breaks my loneliness. Sometimes I cry out to God saying, "Lord, I am lonely", but still see no end to my predicament. I get lonely on holidays, other special occasions, and when it rains. I need a little sunshine in my life. I am in the process of divorcing my husband. He has never been unfaithful to me and he has never been physically abusive. Many times when he used to be at home, I was often lonely. Should I continue with divorce proceedings or accept the little comfort I get once in a while?
A: It seems that your marriage is not meeting your emotional needs because it has been sporadic.In addition, he is not a good provider for you or your daughter. You also have very little in common. It seems that you do not really have a functioning marriage.
Furthermore, you are lonely now and you were many times lonely in the marriage. You should realise by now that loneliness is not about having no one around. And having a person around might not necessarily cure the loneliness. Being alone is also different from loneliness. Therefore, it is technically possible to be alone and not lonely. Loneliness is a state of mind and an attitude. Loneliness stems from feeling isolated from any significant person. It is an unpleasant feeling which you are having because of a sense of emptiness resulting from inadequate levels of social relationships. It seems that you have need for greater levels of interaction.
Perhaps if you close the marriage chapter and move on you might find a better partner who meets your standards and would be happy with you. Perhaps you are equating your needs for sexual satisfaction with your need for companionship, hence your willingness to continue infrequently sleeping with your estranged husband even while you are dissatisfied with him. However, the decision of whether to divorce is yours - though you might want to discuss it with your pastor or a trusted and experienced friend.
Perhaps it might also be useful if you redirected some of your energies into mothering your child. You can study, watch movies, go out with her and attend parties with your child. These activities could be meaningful and beneficial and help to alleviate some of the loneliness.