Our society has an expected story of us: find love, get married, have children. Many women get in the frenzy of this expectation and lose sight of what is important: self-love. As a therapist, I meet women every week who suffer from a loneliness syndrome; each one of them is married.

These women take care of their husbands, children, aging parents, find time to work outside-the-home and in-the-home. The loneliness syndrome is not about a person who has no friends, or who spends most of her time alone by choice. Loneliness syndrome is when a married woman cannot depend on her husband for support.

Girls learn from young age the importance of “managing” the house, and with the women’s movement, she is now also responsible for earning money. Women take on more responsibilities every year, and feel guilty of asking for help. She makes excuses why her husband can’t clean the house, do the laundry, bathe their child, or fix dinner.

As I work with these women, we focus on how to find self-love and self-esteem. We learn how to ask for help, and who to ask to help us. These women have two choices, she can continue to put on a Wonderwoman costume and do what the society expects of us, while internally feeling sad and alone; or she can stand up for herself and start focusing on loving self. The thing is, loving self does not equate to being selfish.

The loneliness syndrome is silent. Her Wonderwoman costume covers all the sadness and puts on a beautiful face to the world. All the excuses she makes up for her husband are believable. In fact, I see time and time again how people feel sorry for the husband, yet no one notices the emptiness she feels inside.

If you have a woman in your life who you suspect is suffering from loneliness syndrome, the best thing you can do is spend time with her. She will have many excuses why she cannot, be persistent on making on-going plans. Your persistency will show her that you care and that you will not leave her behind. She needs your friendship.

If you are suffering from a loneliness syndrome know that you are not alone. Seek support from a Therapist, who will walk the journey with you, the journey of finding self-love, self-esteem, and your voice. Find support from other women, here is a great group in Burlingame, CA http://www.meetup.com/Self-Care-Support-Group-For-Women/

It is when you will find your voice and once you realize your self-worth, is when you will be able to stand up to your husband and demand what you need. Remember, you deserve it.