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Avatar4321

Loneliness

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*hugs*  I count it a privilege to listen to what you've honored me by sharing.  That's a great trust.

I wish I could hand you a magic wand so that your burdens could be lifted immediately; but as you know that's not how it works.

Sometimes its important to simply spend some time sinking into your feelings, as you've done here, and just admit that it (life) hurts.

I know that for me, my first and best friend is myself.  It's been a rocky relationship, ha ha!  But I made a decision a few years ago to be on my own side even if it felt like no one, even God, was.  I would be there for myself.  It doesn't mean I can control things; it doesn't mean I'm strong; it doesn't mean I know what to do.  There is a low grade background loneliness to my life and has been since the day I was born; but I've learned that that is the case for most people.  I've yet to meet someone who doesn't feel lonely.  It's an artifact of earth life; I think maybe because we are just not Home anymore.

You have worth, Avatar.  I'm positive you are doing your best.  Deep breath.  Watch the sunset tonight and rest.  Allow yourself to be delighted by small things, such as the antics of your daughter; the beauty of your wife.  Start over in the morning.

Bless you.

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Your in a difficult position Avatar. I told my husband the other day that if he hadn't joined me in my doubts, we'd probably not make it in our marriage. That sounds cruel, but having different faith beliefs especially as an LDS is pretty difficult, I give you credit for how well you've managed, maybe have a heart to heart with your wife, so she knows what you're going through? 

Feeling loneliness is so difficult. I've felt it so much since the FC, and losing some neighbor/ward friends, or friends I use to meet through callings or vt'rs. That's how I made my friends before. My bestie in my youth died of a heart attack, so I've not had another to replace her. I have friends as couples but nothing close. I've lost my parents so I can't call my mom to talk, not even my sisters or brothers. Just not that close. So I sense we may be somewhat similar in that respect. 

And sometimes my own husband can seem to be my worst enemy on some occasions, so then I feel totally alone. But then he straightens up and the next day is better, but it's cyclical.

I have a feeling a lot of people feel the same. We're able to fill the void with the internet friends like this board. I've always said, people on this board know me better than my own family. 

Hopefully you'll feel less lonely tomorrow and the days ahead will be brighter. 

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Loneliness is a hard place to be. We can all identify.  This too will pass, I’m certain.  

 

 

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Hello Avatar...

I'm so glad you have been courageous enough to open up... Through the years I've enjoyed reading your contributions to the various topics... I have empathy because I know what it is like to be alone in the gospel.  I'm the only one in my family now that my sis has passed away... but she was not active, so even though we had wonderful discussions due to her believing most of our philosophy, there was a point of departure where she had her own views... however, we never argued because we respected each other's right to believe as we chose... And when my husband was alive, he was supportive of my activity but would not attend Church with me, including social events.  I felt the loneliness of always being alone at Church, and especially in the temple.  But at least there was no conflict at home... but the aloneness continues today for me as a single sister.  I'm always the fifth wheel.   I have certain sisters I sit with, or families at a social activity, but I don't have any really "close" friends.  I do know that there are several I could call if I wanted to do something like go to a movie, etc.  I'm outgoing enough that I will reach out... but it would fall on me to do so...

The only thing I can say is that I understand how you feel and I encourage you... perhaps you can cultivate a friendship with 2 or 3 individuals.  Don't be afraid to attend social activities by yourself... just go... reach out... All good wishes...

GG

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4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

Going to get personal for a bit. I'm in a weird spot. I have a beautiful wife. She isnt a member and we get along good on most things just not the Church stuff all the time.  Not hostile she just dont get where I'm coming from and doesnt want to most of the time.

I empathize with you on this. I remember when my wife became a member for a time that it was very difficult for me. Her counselor told us about how couples have intimacy in different areas/levels: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Because of her health problems all but spiritual were difficult for us, and then she decided she believed the LDS Church was true and wanted to get baptized. Life was already extremely tough with her health problems and this managed to make it even worse.

You don´t give much detail here about you and your wife being ¨on other pages¨ when it comes to your spiritual life. I can´t tell if you are saying that she is not spiritual/atheist/agnostic or if she simply doesn´t understand where you are coming from with the LDS Church stuff. If you are comfortable giving a little more detail here or in PM we might be able to make some specific suggestions.
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

My daughter is amazing but she is still young and I cant really talk about alot of gospel stuff in depth with her.

I'm not super close with my parents or siblings. I'm not antagonistic or anything, but we aren't exactly a share everything family.

I know the feeling, when it comes to siblings, but you may be surprised at individual responses to a little opening up. Siblings do change as they age and mature; siblings that may have seemed disinterested, unconcerned, or simply not deep may not only be more so now but may be wishing for the same as you among their family. And, most importantly, growing up in aloof or formal or just not close families can eventually become restrictive and unhealthy for multiple members of the family, but it doesn´t change because no one talks about it, because ¨it´s just how we are.¨ Again, don´t know what you´ve tried. But, if you haven´t, I would recommend testing the waters a bit and see what response you get. I would test the waters one-on-one, to avoid people falling into regular family ways, and maybe even multiple times so that the sibling has a chance to get more comfortable with the idea of you opening up to them and them opening up to you. If you really have never been close, then it can take a few opportunities to shake off habits and realize they really want to have a better relationship with their family, too.
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

I want to be more devout but its a struggle doing anything by myself.

Again details, but: The LDS church, obviously, has lots of opportunities to do stuff together. I do wonder how much of it is socially intimate or spiritually honest or rigorous, but these are problems I see in all churches. It´s difficult to find people who trust each other enough to be open and thus really be able to help each other bear burdens and explore truth without judgment. This is part of why I´ve always suspected that members of a religion in a rehab or rehab family support group would be much more humble, desperate, and open like followers of Christ are supposed to be than they are at their regular church gatherings, unfortunately.

(Quick note: don´t compare yourself with other people - totally different circumstances of life, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, and nobody is doing as well as they seem. So, just make sure you are not dogging on yourself because you´re not as devout as others seem to be. And spiritual growth is not easy, so don´t demand some arbitrary level of maturity or growth from yourself.)
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

I dont have any close friends. At all. Never been able to get close to other guys. And I'm married so I dont think trying to make close female friends would be appropriate.

The guys in my quorum are grest but we are all in different spots. Saints on social media arent a help because I'm not finding any I really feel close to. They are either too doubtful and antagonistic to the gospel or too busy trying to "own" the first group to actually live the principles they defend.

The different spots can be difficult. Even if there are a few individuals in your ward/quorum that happen to be in similar spots or could be mentors to you, often those few get weeded out just by personality differences or lack of availability. It sounds as if you want partners (to get more devout together) but also maybe that you need someone to mentor you without being too much older or official. For the latter, unfortunately, books are the easiest option - if there are any good LDS authors out there for the issues or goals and the methods you seek.

It´s putting yourself out there, but you could try a public blog that may help attract those who are in a similar spot as you or at least seeking a similar path. You could even invite friends and family to check it out. They may be more comfortable interacting with you through the blog than face to face, at least at first. Or this could help widen the pool by allowing you to access people you know but live far away.
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

I just feel isolated and alone. Which is frustrating since I have people I love all around.

Again, it´s not just about having people you love around. That´s not enough. What you seem to be seeking is a natural need - spiritual companionship. That´s why Jesus called his followers to gather together. So you should not be frustrated with yourself. On the other hand, the presence of loved ones can make the lack of what you need from them all the more difficult and frustrating. Perhaps that´s what you meant, but I just wanted to tell you you should not blame yourself for your frustration.
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

On top of that my career has stalled. We struggle to make ends meet and no matter what I do I dont seem to get anywhere.

This is perhaps an area that you could make progress in and, by relieving the associated stress and negativity, perhaps give you less stress enough and more energy to deal with the spirituality/intimacy issues you´ve described so far. I certainly understand what it´s like to not seem to get anywhere whatever you try. But this is an area where it should be more possible to get help and mentoring. Whether its adjusting how you all live/spend or how you make money or what your career options are within the field you are in (and in it´s associated fields as well) there are lots of options and should be some people you can confer with at work, in the industry, online in the industry, etc. Again, working on this a bit, focusing on it, getting good info, and making some incremental changes could really help give you the security and boost you need to deal with the other issues.
 

4 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

I'm not sure what to do anymore or what anyone can do to help but I needed someplace to share

As Maidservant said, thanks for giving it a shot with us. Hopefully the replies you get here will encourage you. Maybe you will find someone here who is willing and with whom you are willing to see what you can do together to support and interact and develop.
 

I also understand what it´s like to doubt whether anyone can do anything to help. When you are out of your own answers and things look nigh on impossible for anyone else to be able to help, things can get dark. As I have done myself in this situation, I recommend several things. First, try to reevaluate your expectations of yourself. A lot of pressure and desperation can be relieved by accepting that you don´t have the answers to these questions or issues and that you may not for a while - try to let go of some of them. God does not expect you to have answers or habits or devotion you don´t know how to get. So just try to give yourself as much of a break as you can. I know living in limbo is stressful too, but that brings me to some other suggestions. Second, take an inventory of what is good and helpful in your life - in general, not specifically for the issues you have been struggling with. It´s easy, struggling so much with them, to lose sight and perspective of the good while battling the bad. Remind yourself of the blessings and good things you do have and, specifically, remind yourself of things you enjoy and can still do, because you will need something to put your mind to to take breaks - emotionally, intellectually, spiritually - from your challenges and struggles. Third, obviously, pray, but not just regular prayers - unless you feel too on edge, go ahead and pray desperately (preferably to the God That Is) get some of that frustration and negativity out by being open and honest with the God That Is. Don´t worry, God can take it. It is with God That Is that we are meant to be most intimate with, so be honest, angry, frustrated, at a loss, etc. And then go do one of those available, easy things you value and enjoy doing to, again, remind you of good in your life and to give yourself a break after opening up so much. Lastly, pace yourself. Try not to struggle with your issues too often or for too long. Make some plans, decide what you want to try (at work, researching options, finding a mentor, reading more spiritual wisdom, etc.) and do a little bit each week/month. Don´t push it! Take an easy pace, the more exhausted you feel the easier the pace. Spend more time on what you can do now and that you enjoy now and less time worrying about what you can´t now.

Sorry that was so long. Perhaps a lot of that was for me, too.

Avatar4321, May the God That Actually Is bless you and yours with what you truly need, and at least a bit of what you want too.
I´m sure you are in more prayers than mine.
Joshua

 

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Psalms 25:16-18:  Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.  The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.  Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

We are all alone to one degree or another. 

My first marriage was a lonely 28 years.  Being on different pages was the least of our problems.  Her mental and physical illnesses exacerbated the distance that was established prior to the wedding, and which I should have seen but did not recognize.  Looking back, it became clear to me that I knew all I needed to know all the time.  I could have made better decisions and had only myself to blame.  She never once lied about what she did and didn't want.  I just didn't believe what I heard and figured I could finesse with some patience.  Forgiving myself became the condition precedent to being able to forgiving her.  We achieved a kind of peace as the years wound down, but there was no closeness at all during the last 20 years +/-.

Heading to the temple once a week helped me with the condition precedent.  I am still left with regrets, but I no longer beat up on myself.  Reading the above from the Psalmist helped and helps:  at least I wasn't alone with my desolation.  I even got to the point that I could see the improvement she had made in several areas.  Damage done, and I'm still wrestling with the fallout in the 8 years since she died, but at least one of my children has healed (mostly).

There's comfort in having a relatively clear conscience, with acceptance of my role in all of this.  The biggest regret is teaching my kids lessons I didn't realize I was teaching them.  I thought I was teaching patience, kindness, and tolerance.  What I ended up teaching is that marrying a distant, demanding, and abusing spouse is not unthinkable  ...  and is indeed normal.  Ouch.

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I've learned that SO many people feel lonely, even when it appears they have a great social life. Prayers for you! What kind of hobbies are you interested in? Maybe there's a group you can join?

I have quite a few good friends, but I still feel very alone in my struggles. I'm so burned out and I feel like I'm always doing special things for my family, but it's just not returned to me. I've been done bending over backwards and I keep wondering, "Don't they see I don't plan their birthdays for weeks anymore?" Maybe they think I've gotten more practical, but no. I feel unappreciated. I am the initiator of everything. FYI to whoever is reading, when your wife asks, "Do you want to go on a date with me?" "I guess" is a lame answer. Not planning dates ever for your wife is lame and it's soul crushing. It doesn't have to cost money. It just takes a little thoughtfulness and showing a desire to want to spend time with her. Can't afford a babysitter? Put the kids to bed and plan something for her. It's the effort and the thought that counts - not money. When we were dirt poor, I made an anniversary meal using food from the storehouse, including cornbread with heart shapes cut out and I filled it with strawberry jam. When you don't continue courting your wife, it's starts to feel like you're business partners coordinating your schedules for kid activities, carpools, etc.. When one person plans dates, it feels like the other goes out of obligation. 

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:42 PM, Avatar4321 said:

The guys in my quorum are grest but we are all in different spots. Saints on social media arent a help because I'm not finding any I really feel close to. They are either too doubtful and antagonistic to the gospel or too busy trying to "own" the first group to actually live the principles they defend.

I just feel isolated and alone. Which is frustrating since I have people I love all around.

On top of that my career has stalled. We struggle to make ends meet and no matter what I do I dont seem to get anywhere.

I'm not sure what to do anymore or what anyone can do to help but I needed someplace to share

I removed some what you posted, so I could address the point remaining. Indeed when you are the only member in your home, those in your Priesthood Quorum can be of great comfort. Even then it cannot fill the full void, from which loneliness is born. When I joined the Church, I was blessed to have been baptized with my wife, but she did not come a theological background as did I. In addition our first 3+ years as members was spent in a small military Branch. We were not only new members, but the only members in our town, and on our military base. We had to drive 26 miles to another city to have “fellowship” with others of our Faith. At home, my wife having not grown up in a religious home, found herself a little overwhelmed, while I was on fire to learn new things. As I did learn (I read constantly every book I could find) I would attempt to teach her. What little she knew of any religion growing up, is that you get saved, and leave doctrinal issues to your Pastor. This model by the way, is how many Faith’s are, just not ours. 

Now of course, all these many years later, my entire family is LDS, and growing via marriages where everywhere I turn I have friends and family with whom I can relate. Even upon my return Stateside, I could call, write, or visit my Father, who was a Pastor, and we could learn from one another. I pray that it gets better, and I am happy, or I  that this forum helps in a number of ways to act as surrogates, in some small with to offer a different family. That we allow you to express your feelings, and you would to family, and without judgement.

Anyway, God bless you, 

My Brother in Christ

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2019 at 5:42 PM, Avatar4321 said:

Going to get personal for a bit. I'm in a weird spot. I have a beautiful wife. She isnt a member and we get along good on most things just not the Church stuff all the time.  Not hostile she just dont get where I'm coming from and doesnt want to most of the time.

My daughter is amazing but she is still young and I cant really talk about alot of gospel stuff in depth with her.

I'm not super close with my parents or siblings. I'm not antagonistic or anything, but we aren't exactly a share everything family.

I want to be more devout but its a struggle doing anything by myself.

I dont have any close friends. At all. Never been able to get close to other guys. And I'm married so I dont think trying to make close female friends would be appropriate.

The guys in my quorum are grest but we are all in different spots. Saints on social media arent a help because I'm not finding any I really feel close to. They are either too doubtful and antagonistic to the gospel or too busy trying to "own" the first group to actually live the principles they defend.

I just feel isolated and alone. Which is frustrating since I have people I love all around.

On top of that my career has stalled. We struggle to make ends meet and no matter what I do I dont seem to get anywhere.

I'm not sure what to do anymore or what anyone can do to help but I needed someplace to share

Do you have a hobby?

I too struggled for years to find friends in the Church. And had a difficult time finding true friends.

But I have hobbies. And through one of these groups, I literally have friends from all over the world. Not just internet friends, but people I have socialized and traveled with even outside the hobby. So my advice is to join a club. I’ve noticed most Church members are not hobbyists like me. Most are focused on the Church as a hobby. 

Edited by mrmarklin
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11 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Do you have a hobby?

I too struggled for years to find friends in the Church. And had a difficult time finding true friends.

But I have hobbies. And through one of these groups, I literally have friends from all over the world. Not just internet friends, but people I have socialized and traveled with even outside the hobby. So my advice is to join a club. I’ve noticed most Church members are not hobbyists like me. Most are focused on the Church as a hobby. 

Just curious if you could give me some ideas of hobbies that help with making new friends. This sounds wonderful, so far my hobby horse is this board and all things Mormon. I need to step away. 

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Taking art classes at local community center

quiltng bees

Cb radio

Edited by Calm

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Just curious if you could give me some ideas of hobbies that help with making new friends. This sounds wonderful, so far my hobby horse is this board and all things Mormon. I need to step away. 

Amateur or Ham Radio.  You can meet with local enthusiasts, or not, and you can establish on-air friendships with people you may never meet.  I became a licensed ham primarily to participate in my stake's emergency communications program, and although I hold the highest class license (what can I say, I enjoy studying for exams) I don't have any radios to take advantage of it.

Try the American Radio Relay League for more information. How to get licensed: Licensing, Education and Training

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On 5/28/2019 at 11:20 AM, USU78 said:

We are all alone to one degree or another. 

My first marriage was a lonely 28 years.  Being on different pages was the least of our problems.  Her mental and physical illnesses exacerbated the distance that was established prior to the wedding, and which I should have seen but did not recognize.  Looking back, it became clear to me that I knew all I needed to know all the time.  I could have made better decisions and had only myself to blame.  She never once lied about what she did and didn't want.  I just didn't believe what I heard and figured I could finesse with some patience.  Forgiving myself became the condition precedent to being able to forgiving her.  We achieved a kind of peace as the years wound down, but there was no closeness at all during the last 20 years +/-.

Heading to the temple once a week helped me with the condition precedent.  I am still left with regrets, but I no longer beat up on myself.  Reading the above from the Psalmist helped and helps:  at least I wasn't alone with my desolation.  I even got to the point that I could see the improvement she had made in several areas.  Damage done, and I'm still wrestling with the fallout in the 8 years since she died, but at least one of my children has healed (mostly).

There's comfort in having a relatively clear conscience, with acceptance of my role in all of this.  The biggest regret is teaching my kids lessons I didn't realize I was teaching them.  I thought I was teaching patience, kindness, and tolerance.  What I ended up teaching is that marrying a distant, demanding, and abusing spouse is not unthinkable  ...  and is indeed normal.  Ouch.

The Psalms quote I love.  Many times I have knelt behind my recliner😂 to help get me through the day.  In hope that God listens as a Father and friend is the only way sometimes.

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13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Just curious if you could give me some ideas of hobbies that help with making new friends. This sounds wonderful, so far my hobby horse is this board and all things Mormon. I need to step away. 

Only you know what you have as interests. Mine are shooting, model trains and motorcycles, among others. 

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7 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Only you know what you have as interests. Mine are shooting, model trains and motorcycles, among others. 

I think a quilting bee would be fun, but it's not my all time first love...quiliting, but just being with other women and talking sounds fun. I think they had it good in the old days where women were together a lot more. There are meetup groups, but I guess I'm too shy to make any attempts yet.

When you quit activity in the church it's difficult to fill the void. The days of monthy RS meetings, VT'g, and whatever calling I was in that kept me busy and having conversations and time with the friends I made while serving, are gone. Ministering is not the same, sadly. I'm on the commitee for compassionate service and not utilized whatsoever. And of course another way to meet friends was with the mothers of my kids' friends, but now they are all grown. 

Your hobbies sound fun!

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On 6/3/2019 at 4:59 AM, mrmarklin said:

Only you know what you have as interests. Mine are shooting, model trains and motorcycles, among others. 

One of mine used to be shooting, but alas no longer. Since I'm living in the UK now. I had to leave my bullet launchers in the US. I've now taken up drone flying and YouTubing.

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