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For the best experience, please switch to another browser. We recommend Chrome or Firefox. If there were ever a time for therapy, right? So many aspects of our future have seemed uncertain throughout the past year and we're all struggling to adjust to what has changed in our communities and within our households.

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Feeling alone while sharing life with a partner may sound impossible to single people, but relationship experts say it happens when the connection becomes disappointing.

Part of the problem may be the high expectations people have of marriage and their spouses in general. A partner is expected to be the best friend, excellent lover, close intimate, fun entertainer, stimulating intellectual and more — but one relationship was never meant to provide such a diverse fulfillment of needs, Schwartz noted.

That puts a lot more stress on the couple relationship, said co-author Ashley Ermer, an assistant professor of family science and human development at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Women are the ones who often plan and organize family gatherings and outings with friends for the couple so her level of socializing — or isolation — becomes his.

Having friendships also seemed key: Spouses who consistently reported good social connections were more likely to avoid becoming lonely in marriage, the study found. Women especially may benefit from frequently meeting up with friends, it noted. For men, it was more about the tension in the relationship: Husbands who perceived their marriages as strained felt lonelier.

Vivek Murthy, a former U. What are you going to do about it? Free-form conversation can be hard, so it may be better to talk things out while doing activities together, like walking, hiking, cooking or playing a sport to help you feel connected.

If feelings of loneliness keep growing, going to a marriage therapist may be helpful. Ermer found it reassuring that most couples reported experiencing low levels of loneliness in their marriages over time.

ly, she was a writer, producer and editor at CNN. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Share this —.

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