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loneliness and emotional eating
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loneliness and emotional eating

I used to think I was just an emotional eater due to my marriage, but recently realized the lack of a good marriage has caused an extreme sense of loneliness in my home and personal life.  I turn to food to fill that void...but of course that just adds to the problem.  Any suggestions.  I have been in therapy for eight years, so I am not avoiding my problems...just don't know how to deal with loneliness when you have responsibilities beyond yourself.
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You have received some very good advice from two members of the forum already...all quite good, insightful, and practical.  I can only add that loneliness is a multilayered issue, and since you are in therapy you have a good chance of exploring the deeper aspects of this lonelines where you will probably find your answer.

From what you have said so far I would guess that you have not given up on your marriage and are still looking to your husband to make you less lonely.  Part of your problem may be that you are stuck in between...still hoping but being disppointed;not yet given up so have trouble satisfying yourself in some other way.

You might look at the shrinkyourself.com site...many people who have been in therapy also find the program very useful because of the comprehensive, many layered, step by step focus. You might find some useful insights in the program...especially the last session which is all about the experience of "emptiness".
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If you have time, a social networking site based on things you enjoy (books, crafts, movies....) or other interests can be extremely helpful in building links with people who give a sense of community, without barriers of time or place.  From there, one often makes friends.

I know, at any rate, it has been invaluable in my life, isolated by illness.

Pursuing things I love - cooking, projects, exploring - even for a brief time, seems also to evaporate some of the emptiness loneliness breeds.  Journalling is another obvious but really good coping strategy, in my own experience.

All of which said, I also struggle, less with loneliness than anxiety or hurt, in my eating.  

If you have old friends you can forge stronger relationships with, family.... no doubt you've tried to build them up; but that, too, is a rich addition to life, which may not quite replace, but certainly doesn't conflict with, one's marriage.

I don't know if any of that's a help, but I do wish you the best on friendship, healthful eating, and a frequent sense of joy or fullness of life.  In those times, one is least hungry (I think).  :)
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I think you're still saying the same thing.  You still have needs which you feel are not being met.
Sometimes, I think, our feelings are intensified by our own set of ideals or expectations.
When the reality falls short of our expectations we feel bereft.

I think loneliness and emptiness can be curbed by activity.  When we're actively participating we don't tend to ruminate on all the other stuff (which is primarily negative).

I think identifying that a sense of loneliness is the catalyst for you turning to food is a really important first step.
I think acknowledging these feelings and then working to understand what (people, situations, past experiences, etc) has triggered them now is crucial.
I think giving yourself permission to feel lonely (it's OK to feel this way) is also important.
Once you've done these it is easier to apply practical interventions and to grow as an individual.

I don't understand the connection between loneliness and responsibilities.
You also have responsibilities to yourself.
It sounds like you're describing an emptiness in which case making time for yourself and doing things you enjoy will help.
Try structuring some time out for yourself each day and see how that goes.

I think it is yourself first, companionship and others second.  (Although you could probably combine the two).

I think in terms of loneliness and responsibilities it is about creating structure and boundaries and taking control back of your own life.
My family is enmeshed and our boundaries are ill defined and it creates a huge sense of powerlessness and helplessness (and hopelessness).
I think it takes a lot of courage to take back and establish boundaries.

It sounds like you're dissatisfied with your life and until you make changes you will continue to fill that void with food.

J
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