We perceive others as less caring, less interested, and less committed than they actually are, and we judge our relationships to be weaker and less satisfying than they may really be.

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He became sober after a life altering event and had to come to the realization he was an addict.

He used alcohol to dull the pain, just like I was in an affair to escape the unhappiness at home. Please do not resort to alcohol to cope, it is not the answer.

To improve the quality of our relationship, we have to strengthen these muscles.

Doing so does require practice and patience, but improving our rusty skills (even if we don’t feel they’re rusty) can make a significant difference in the quality of our relationship bond—and deepen our connections with other significant people in our lives as well: 1. If you’re lonely, chances are your partner is, too.

Being married offers no protection from the dangers of loneliness: Studies indicate that roughly 20% of the general population suffers from chronic loneliness at any given time, and in one recent study of older adults, 62.5% of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner.

How Loneliness Impacts Our Physical and Mental Health We typically don’t conceive of loneliness as a condition that requires urgent intervention, but perhaps we should.

You can also suggest certain activities that require little effort (which will minimize objections) such as walks around the block or in the park, cooking a meal together, watching your wedding video or your children’s (reminding yourselves of more connected times), organizing a photo album together, or writing a letter together to a common friend of family member. We actually have to close our eyes and focus for a few minutes (not seconds) on the other person’s perspective, imagining their world and their point of view within it.

Gaining a greater understanding of your partner’s thoughts and feelings will allow you to express more sympathy and understanding toward them—in turn, deepening your mutual bond (See "How to Test Your Empathy".) To hear about my own experience with loneliness view my TED Talk about Psychological Health here: For proven ways to combat loneliness (for both single and married people), check out my new book, Among the friends I've known since university days here in the SF Bay Area, the fellows who kept out of marriage are happier and strikingly healthier now, a couple decades later.

My husband and I had to become real with each other about why our marriage was falling apart.