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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Is it possible to still be lonely when you are surrounded by

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Is it possible to still be lonely when you are surrounded by people? My husband is traveling (on business) and frequently involved in meetings, lunches, and shows while dealing with other customers and colleagues.

I asked him if he ever gets "lonely", and he said, "No, I am always surrounded with people.". But I also know him not to be open with his feelings, and to be depressed. So is their a possibility he is lonely and not admitting it, or are these business trips actually satisfying his social side? Thanks
Without knowing him it is impossible for me to know. But is it possible? Yes. Just being surrounded by people doesn't ensure that one isn't lonely (think of all the people who live in crowded cities who feel alone!). I guess my question to you would be, why do you think he is lonely? Has there been a change in his behavior that might indicate that he is getting depressed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He is depressed at home and feels isolated due to the fact that we have less of a social life due to my chronic illness. He has higher social needs than myself, and he always imagined a marriage with more social interactions with others,

If I were him, and I was already depressed, it would hit me at night. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, this is his social life and he is happy? Like I said, he is depressed at home.

Me, I am depressed but mostly due to my illness and lack of intimacy in the marriage. Yet, I do not suspect him cheating on me. Maybe this is a case of, is he happier away from me?
That I can't answer. But my sense is that might be what you are worried about? Chronic illness and depression often go hand in hand. Are you getting treatment for your feelings of depression? Are you happy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes i am getting help and no I am not happy
I am sorry to hear that. Is it primarily about your relationship? It can be hard to foster intimacy when your spouse travels a lot.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes lost intimacy is not only from travel, but the development of my illness 9 years ago for which we both are grieving.
I am working on trying to repair the marriage, and he seems on board with that. Typically he was coping by not dealing with his feelings about my illness and accepting the demise of the marriage. That was not working for me.
So now we are trying to build but it's aa long and slow process.
Travel puts more strain on a fragile relationship. I feel bad that he likely views travel as an escape from responsibilities from home life and a sick wife.
In other words, in my mind, he is traveling the country, working, and getting the social aspect of life he can't get from a sick wife. I sit home, depressed abput my illness and disability. I resent the disparity between our
Different lIfestyles. Ilness stares you more in the face when something is reminding you of it.. Like the functionality of my husband in contrast to my lack of functioning,
I don't miss him either... He has been gone five days.. I didn't even want to pick up his call. I think it may I still carry some pain and resentment from the difficulties I have in this marriage. Also, we are not intimate enough, meaning we are not much of a couple (bonding and nurturing) for me to miss a lot. Typically life between us is emotionally unsafe, walking on eggshells, but improving, definitely improving and I will note he is making an effort.
I am also depressed, again due to illness and lack of a "husband and wife" type relationship.
Let me repeat, he is trying, but it's hard and takes work. he will go occasionally with me to therapy, maybe we go together once a month on average. that's it, he won't go more frequently unless I beg him.
Quite frankly, I too do not want to go to therapy too often. We do have some good times together, but most of our times are tense and stressful. But I will say it's in it's infant stages of improvement. We have only recently started enjoying some time together. So their Is some hope, but depression makes hope more difficult along with the physical pain of my illness.
Getting back to my original question, if you can't answer it, then I am going to have to say thank you for your time and move on and say good night....
Alright - well, getting back to your original question then - yes, it's definitely possible for him to be lonely even while he's surrounded by people. Just because there are others around him doesn't mean that he is connecting with them in a meaningful way, which is what keeps us from getting lonely. Also, its a bit hard to believe that he would be one way at home and another way at work. Usually depression is more of a global feeling. Since you are both working on things (baby steps), it might just take some time. Although its a bit of a stereotype, men don't express their feelings as readily as women do, so his not acknowledging those issues with you may just be part of that. - Good luck to you both - if you would like me to opt out and open the question to another expert, I will. I really want you to feel satisfied with the service. Thanks.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No need to opt out..
You've answered my question well.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you !

You're welcome - take care and best of luck to you!

Dr. G.

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