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10 Reasons Why Married Couples Grow Apart


by Kristin Craft

signs the relationship is over

When asked why their marriage is on the rocks, many couples often state that they have just grown apart.

The reality of that statement just means the individuals no longer relate to or appreciate each other as they once did.

This damage often occurs over a period of months or years and it is not even realized until it becomes a serious issue, which often escalates the marital problems even further.

It is the purpose of this article to expose some of the underlying reasons for "growing apart" with hopes that this knowledge can prevent the situations from happening.

1. Lack of communication.

Every day life is moving at such a fast pace these days that it seems people are forgetting to “stop and smell the coffee” or rather stop and tell their spouse that they love them and appreciate them.

Or even simpler than that, they forget to mention that they are cooking dinner on a certain night or are planning to mow the yard later.

Saying those few words can lessen the stress of every day responsibilities and create a happier home and relationship.

2. Too much talking and not enough listening.

Okay, so maybe people do say some of the little things above but your partner may be too busy to remember. This is why listening often plays a more important role than talking.

I mean, what’s the point of talking if no one is listening?

The next time you and your spouse are talking, listen to what he or she is saying.

If it happens to be, “Hey, I’m cooking dinner Thursday night,” you can say something back like, “Great! What are we having?”

The next most important step is remembering your plans!

If your memory tends to fail you, write it down.

A Post-It on your work surface or a note in you day planner will work fine; just as long as you see it daily so when Thursday afternoon comes, you’ll know where you’ll need to be in a few hours.

3. Lack of attention.

This ties in with listening to your spouse. Sometimes people hear things and it “goes in one ear and out the other.”

But try this… if your spouse is telling you about a project either work related or something he or she is taking on personally, ask him or her about the progress a few days after hearing the news.

Once the subject comes up enough, your spouse will want to tell you something new that they learned.

Even if you have no interest or just no clue about the matter, you can still give him or her the attention they deserve.

If you don’t know what to say, a simple, “Wow; you learn something new everyday,” or “I’m proud of you,” will be sufficient.

I’m sure a positive response is all the other person is looking for, especially if they know that you’re not familiar with the topic.

4. Lack of affection.

The type of affection mentioned here isn’t necessarily pertaining to physical affection.

If you’re not really the “touchy-feely” type, compliments work just as well!

If you haven’t given one in a while, now is a great time to start. Take notice of a physical feature your spouse really likes about him or her self.

Tell him or her how something they wear or a certain color really accentuates that feature.

I’m sure he or she will be so happy you noticed that you’ll at least get a hug or a smile out of the deal.

I wouldn’t advise complimenting on a feature that your spouse is self-conscious of because chances are, he or she will think you’re just saying it to say it and that you really don’t mean it.

You can also compliment your loved one on how smart he or she is.

This will be especially easy if they’re knowledgeable in a certain area.

Obviously they like that topic or they wouldn’t study it so much.

Tell him or her that you’re impressed or amazed by the amount of information they know.

It will not only boost the confidence of your spouse, but yourself and your marriage!

5. Lack of connection.

Lately, with all the stress on individuality around us, we don’t take the time to bond with our peers.

This is especially true for a career oriented married couple.

Both husband and wife work separately all day and when they come home, they’re still in that individual mind-set.

Your spouse is there to comfort and support you so depend on him or her a little.

It will show that you’re capable of taking care of yourself all day but still like his or her company to rely on after a rough day alone.

Help each other out by sharing duties or trading duties that night.

Yes, everyone gets tired but if you notice you have a little bit more energy than your spouse, pick up the slack for him or her that night.

They will appreciate the deed and will or should return it another night when you are not feeling up to your end of the chores.

Remember marriage is about two people joining lives.

You may be separated all day but when you’re together, you represent a two-person union that depends on itself to run smoothly.

It is the belief of this author that applying these suggestions on a daily basis will indeed help a troubled couple regain the closeness and magic their relationship once had.

The results won't happen overnight but neither did the problems.

Patience and understanding are key factors here but the benefits will far exceed the effort.

This is a continuation of part one of this article which covered aspects such as communication, paying attention, affection and staying connected.

We will continue to explore some of the underlying reasons why many married couples seem to be drifting apart and offer suggestions how to prevent or minimize these pitfalls.

Being aware of the marital problems and actively working to avoid them can help restore or saved a marriage in trouble.

6. Lack of understanding.

A lot of the frustration between married couples arises because one partner feels the other just doesn’t understand them.

But maybe they would understand if the situation was communicated to them better.

It may be clear to you but it really needs to be clear to them.

Explain the problem in a different way and give them a chance.

Don’t be vague and if you have to, break it down in smaller components.

BE PATIENT!

It may take longer for them to understand.

Have them repeat the scenario in their own words so that they can translate it into something they can understand.

If they want to work the problem out with you, then a solution will be found and met.

7. No teamwork.

A marriage is the union of two people working together towards one main goal- to be happy with each other.

There are plenty of times when you two are not physically together but there still needs to be a mutual connection so your marriage can run smoothly.

Teamwork depends on communication; letting the other person know what you’re doing to keep up your end of the deal.

A simple message telling the other person that you took care of the bills this month or went grocery shopping let’s them know that they don’t need to worry about those issues.

In this two-person team, each individual has their own responsibilities to tend to.

If each side pulls through, the stress levels will not be so high and you can move on to the next matter.

It’s like rowing; if only one side of the boat is paddling, you’ll continue to go in circles and you’ll never reach your destination.

8. Little compromise.

When you’re single in this world, it’s every man for him self.

But in a marriage, it’s crucial to have some “give and take.”

Somebody has to cook or clean or pick up the kids, that’s a given.

But if time, effort, and energy allows for it, go the extra mile and offer to do or help with one of your spouse’s duties, especially if you can tell their energy level is low.

You may end up putting a great deal of effort into the task but the outcome will exceed the energy exerted.

Your spouse will see and appreciate your deed and will want to repay you when your energy level is low.

As far as arguing goes, pick your battles.

If you can tell your partner feels strongly about a certain issue, a suggestion would be to back down.

However, if you feel strongly on the opposing subject, try negotiating a deal out where both of you are happy.

If you give a little, an understanding partner will give as much as you.

Once you inch closer and closer to each other, a happy medium will be met.

9. A need for organization.

Many people feel their lives are chaotic when their home is a mess.

The positive energy that comes from an organized home can spread through out many areas in your life, which is why it’s so important to create a system that sorts out your domestic matters.

A few suggestions may be to designate a specific place to put your incoming and outgoing mail.

If you feel it necessary, make an official “Inbox” and “Outbox” so there is no confusion as to what bills or letters need to be mailed and which ones need to be read.

Another idea is to use a bulletin board or dry erase board.

This is a place to leave “I’ll be back soon” notes or grocery lists or “Things To Do” lists.

As the chores are completed, for example, they can be crossed off the list that is out in the open so everyone can see.

This may sound a bit clerical but running a home is very similar to running an office and in order to have an efficient workplace, all involved parties need to be informed; just like at home.

10. Lack of knowledge.

Love is a very important factor in a marriage but think about this… say you’re offered a promotion in a field you’re not too familiar with but always wanted to learn more about.

You may really love the idea of a better job or career change and will love the pay even more but you should ask yourself if you’re really that prepared to take on all the challenges and responsibilities that come with that promotion.

Maybe before taking the job, you’ll need training and more knowledge to build confidence and skill in that field.

The same principles can be applied to marriage.

If you’re not ready to deal with the challenges and difficulties of marriage, maybe you should educate yourself more so you do feel comfortable.

Even if you do feel you’re ready, read up on marriage matters and watch other married couples to gather book and real life tips and guide lines.

The more you know ahead of time, the less unfortunate surprises you’ll have and the more you’ll be able to advance past the little obstacles that others can get hung up on.

This will decrease the stress levels in your marriage and free up time so you can focus on more important concerns such as bonding with your spouse.

This list is not entirely comprehensive as there are many other factors that can occur.

However, these ten points seem to address the most issues that are plaguing today's couples, many of which may not seem so obvious.

I feel that your marriage can definitely improve even if you only practice a few of these points. The key word however is practice.

Good Luck.

About the Author:  Kristin Craft is the owner and webmaster of marriage-success.com Marriage Tips which provides helpful tips and resources for married couples and those considering marriage. Couples that are experiencing difficulties in the marriage can especially benefit by visiting Save My Marriage.