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8 Overwhelming Reasons Married Couples Grow Apart

8 Overwhelming Reasons Married Couples Grow Apart

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“I don’t think we really talked about what our life would look like afterward. I had these expectations, and she had other expectations, and in the end, we just stopped… working toward the same goal, the same sort of life.” —Uzma Jalaluddin, Much Ado About Nada

This quote accurately describes the state of many marriages.

Many marriages in our times don’t stand the test of time, even when they start out perfectly.

At the beginning of almost all relationships, the lovers start out with so much enthusiasm and passion about their relationship.

The world seems so perfect and you are so oblivious of any of your partner’s flaws.

This is what is referred to as the “honeymoon stage.”

After this phase dies out, most relationships settle into a routine, and soon, the couples begin to drift apart.

To keep up the energy, couples need to make a conscious decision to keep the marriage alive and exciting even after several years and a couple of kids.

However, many couples are not this intentional about their marriage.

Hence, they get so comfortable in their routines and let the marriage operate by rote.

As the years go by, couples may later discover that they have transitioned from people who were so in love with each other to complete strangers who share the same address.

What are the reasons for this gradual drifting apart of married couples?

Let’s see the various reasons why married couples grow apart and what you can do to prevent the rift from growing between you and your partner.

8 Overwhelming Reasons Married Couples Grow Apart

1. Poor communication

reasons married couples grow apart

When I was in primary school, my teacher defined communication as the act of talking to someone who is listening.

It sounded so simple…

You just need to talk while I listen and listen when I talk.

So, why does it seem so hard to communicate with people you love?

The fact is that communication is much more than talking to someone who is listening.

It is expressing yourself effectively to the listener in a way that they understand.

Most people start relationships with excellent communication…

They talk to their partners about everything in the beginning.

Then, it all changes overnight.

They find out that they are too busy, too stressed, or too comfortable to bother with talking to their partners about how they feel.

When couples start to take communication for granted, they start growing apart with time.

Most people are not sensitive to these little changes in their marriage and only become aware when it’s almost too late to do anything about it.

2. Suppressed emotions

reasons married couples grow apart

Well, this starts with poor communication.

Almost all issues in marriage and relationships stem from poor communication between lovers.

When couples stop communicating with each other, they begin to withdraw from each other emotionally.

Remember those days when you could tell what your wife was feeling by just looking at her face?

Those days are now in the past because you are no longer attuned to each other’s emotions.

You no longer express your emotions to each other.

You should note that this doesn’t involve only expressing emotions like love.

Sometimes, your partner will do something that makes you angry.

Do you tell them exactly how you feel, or do you just roll your eyes and suppress the emotion because you want to keep the peace?

The saddest part of this is that some of the most peaceful households are peaceful because couples have become indifferent to each other.

Conversations between married couples in most households, especially among those that have kids, are so routine.

If they are not discussing how to pay the tuition fees of the kids, they are discussing how to pay the bills.

How did the marriage suddenly become so bleak that couples can’t express how they feel to each other?

This may be due to the emotional distance between couples, which gradually increases over time.

I understand that marriage comes with additional responsibilities, but if you are so focused on these that you no longer express your emotions to your spouse, it doesn’t make it any easier.

3. Unresolved conflicts

A friend once said that relationship is not for people with swollen egos.

And she was referring to me.

I always prided myself on being someone who won’t compromise for anyone, especially if I am right.

Now, I realize that to have a successful marriage or relationship, you need to be ready to make compromises sometimes.

The problem with many marriages is that couples have swollen egos.

They are not ready to make compromises to accommodate their partners, and because of this, conflicts remain unresolved.

Occasionally, conflicts are great for relationships because they help couples improve their conflict resolution skills and show that couples are allowed to have different opinions.

However, when conflicts remain unresolved, grudges and resentment begin to set in and this creates a rift between couples.

The next time you have an argument with your partner, don’t wait for them to speak to you first, even when you are right.

Be the bigger person and resolve the conflict.

Far from looking like a pushover to them, it actually makes them respect you more.

4. Reduction in physical intimacy

reasons married couples grow apart

Physical intimacy is a very important aspect of marriage.

In the initial stages of marriage, couples are usually very invested in this aspect.

However, as time goes by and they become more comfortable with each other, physical intimacy begins to reduce in most marriages.

This is understandable.

Couples have careers to build and kids to take care of.

These are responsibilities that come with marriage.

However, the biggest mistake any couple would make is to totally boycott physical intimacy.

Physical intimacy is a sign that you are not only still in love with your partner, but you still find them attractive.

You may try to convince yourself that you and your partner are comfortable with the lack of physical intimacy, but that’s because you are both turning into siblings rather than a married couple.

5. Very little time spent with each other

We are a generation of people who work really hard.

Our time is increasingly occupied by work and other activities, so we have little time to spend on the things that actually matter.

Growing up, I remember seeing some parents who leave for work in the morning and return home at night.

They never had time for their kids, nor did they have time for themselves.

The fact is that we have so many responsibilities, and keeping up with them all could be a chore.

However, if these responsibilities start affecting the amount of time you spend with your partner, you shouldn’t be surprised that you are growing apart.

For the most part, love is nurtured by attention, and when you don’t pay attention to it, it begins to fade away.

As time passes by, couples soon get used to spending little time together.

Soon, both of you will discover that you are capable of living separate lives as individuals because that’s what you are already doing.

At some point, you just stop working towards the same goals and the same sort of life.

Couples then get to that point where they realize that they don’t really have any need for their partners.

This is when you hear married couples saying that they are only staying together for their children.

6. Work

reasons married couples grow apart

Everyone has to work for a living—at least, most of us do.

While some people are blessed with jobs that they love, others have to plod through their daily tasks at jobs that demand so much from them.

Some people even have to work more than one job to make ends meet.

The stress from work, the overtime, the additional work you bring home on weekends…

All these are enough to make couples drift apart especially if both of them work at very stressful jobs.

While some people have control over their work hours, some people don’t.

This is why people who work in emergency services, like ER doctors, firemen, and cops, may have bigger challenges keeping their marriages.

The FBI published a report saying that “some statistics show the rate of divorce in law enforcement, whether one or both members are officers, can be as high as 70 percent.

This is because of the intense demands of the job.

However, you shouldn’t think your marriage is doomed just because of your occupation.

There are ways to handle the stress from work and still keep your marriage intact.

7. Different love languages

Thanks to Dr Gary Chapman, we know that people have different love languages.

A love language is simply the way they give and receive love.

If married couples seem to be growing apart, it may be because they have different love languages.

For example, one partner may love receiving and giving gifts, while the other prefers acts of service.

Expecting gifts all the time from someone whose love language is acts of service may lead to unmet expectations.

The fact is that you may not feel loved in a relationship if you have a different love language from your partner’s.

However, understanding how people have different love languages may be the key to understanding your partner and beginning to appreciate how much you are loved.

8. Children

reasons married couples grow apart

Babies are so cute and cuddly that you sometimes see single ladies wishing for when they would have theirs, especially after seeing a picture of a really cute baby.

I believe it is a ladies’ thing because I haven’t seen any guy react that way to a cute baby.

Forgive my digression…

Babies are really cute and cuddly, but raising them requires a lot of time and energy.

People with children can attest to this.

When couples begin to have to have kids, they may have to shift more of their attention to their children.

This may make them spend less quality time together.

This is a reason married couples grow apart.

However, this shouldn’t be the reason for yours.

In fact, you shouldn’t let any of these reasons be reason enough to cause you and your partner to grow apart.

The first thing to do is to talk to your partner about how you have noticed that you are growing apart.

Then, you need to discuss your emotions with your partner.

Tell them how you feel about the relationship.

If your partner is ready to close the increasing gap between you, what you are about to do will be easier.

You and your partner need to intentionally start finding those things that caused the rift and then start doing the opposite.

Compliment each other, plan spontaneous dates, buy thoughtful gifts for each other, and never let children be the reason you stop spending quality time together.

Take time off work to spend time together as a family.

Doing all these will once again strengthen the connection in your marriage.

Do you want a successful marriage?

Then you need to work towards having one!

Be intentional!

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