Are you growing apart in your marriage? Or do you feel you are drifting away from your spouse?
You are not alone.
A lot of couples experience this disconnect. And so did we. But it’s how you respond and what you do to grow together as couples is that matters.
Because the worry or fear of becoming strangers can easily add unwanted stress to your marriage. And the worse part is when your spouse denies that you are growing apart.
Growing apart can be a terrifying experience
Just like many couples, growing apart from each other was one of our biggest fears when we first got married.
We had seen married couples around us who had grown apart after years of marriage and contemplated how they became so distant from each other.
Because of this observation, we decided we didn’t want to make the same mistakes and grow apart, ending up living like strangers 5 or 20 years down the road.
Why do married couples grow apart after marriage?
Growing apart in marriage doesn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly over a period of time, which could range from a few months to many years.
It can be the small everyday decisions you make or the fact that you stop doing little things like showing appreciation for your spouse.
From our experience and several conversations, the biggest reason for drifting apart from your spouse is because you stop connecting with your spouse in your everyday life.
And when life gets busy, family conflicts, work obligations, health issues, loss of balancing friends and your marriage, etc. can also contribute to drifting apart from your spouse.Growing apart in marriage doesn’t happen overnight.Click To Tweet
7 Signs you are drifting apart from your spouse
You may be drifting apart from your spouse, but might not know that is what’s happening. The signs below will show you whether you are growing apart from your spouse or not.
1. You don’t really care to sit and talk with your spouse.
You don’t feel like you can communicate with your spouse about everything because they don’t care about you.
As such, you don’t schedule a time to just talk with your spouse.
In addition, you feel like your spouse will not understand you, be there for you physically or emotionally. They might even turn the conversation into a fight or argument, so why bother.
You are happier when you do things without your spouse. In fact, your spouse is pretty much the last person you want to share any exciting news with. You dislike them and don’t care about what they do.
2. You feel a disconnect in an area of your marriage.
For example, after the birth of a new baby, a lot of couples experience this disconnect because they find it difficult adjusting to the new change. Plus all the new responsibilities that come with taking care of a new child.
For some couples, this disconnect can happen in the sexual area of their marriage, while others may feel that their emotional connection is lacking.
3. Sex with your husband or wife is…
A sexless marriage certainly shows that you are growing apart from your husband or wife. The exception is when it is for health reasons. Otherwise, you are just roommates. The longer it lasts, the further you will grow apart.
You may not have sex, have sex infrequently, have no real connection during sex, dread sex as a chore/duty or you are not sexually satisfied with each other.
4. You get irritated or annoyed frequently with your spouse.
You fight and criticize each other so often that you really don’t care to spend time with your spouse. You prefer spending more time apart than together.
Your wife or husband’s presence or anything they do irritates you. Whenever you receive a text message or phone call from them, you feel like they are disturbing you.
You feel angry and sometimes want to throw the phone away. On some occasions, you even muster the courage to ignore their phone calls. And when they ask why, you lie about it.
5. You miss doing things with your spouse.
Spending quality time doing an activity with your spouse was one of the things that helped you both get to know each other and to connect on a deeper level. So much so, you decided to get married.
The moment you stop doing things together, that connection begins to fade away, which will make you miss those activities.
For example, you used to eat together, but now, you don’t have time to enjoy a meal with each other. Another example is if you used to
Another example is if you used to play a board, card, or dice game together, or some other fun activity, but now you don’t seem to have the time.
6. You feel something is missing in your marriage.
You feel the excitement you once had is gone and want to rediscover it.
You want to rekindle the passion you had for each other when you first met.
7. You feel your marriage is coming to an end.
Your spouse is not giving you any attention.
You no longer have any common interest. And there isn’t much you can do about it.
Your hope is gone.
[Quiz: Are you growing apart?]
Is it normal to grow apart in marriage?
The short answer is yes. However, growing apart from your spouse is NOT a good thing for your marriage.
As humans, we are naturally going to get pulled in different directions as we move through life. We are always growing and changing. Our interests, priorities, and opinions also change over time.
Your spouse will not be the same person you married, they will evolve through their life, as you should.
You simply have to be intentional about choosing, learning, and discovering new things about your spouse. So you can grow together, and not apart.
In fact, growing apart after marriage is probably one of the silent things that could destroy your marriage.
Be intentional about doing everything you can to grow together with your spouse. Even if it is something small like giving each other a passionate hug or kiss every day.
What to do if you have grown apart from your spouse
In other words, is it too late to repair the damage done?
No. Not at all. We have found some more helpful tools we use throughout our days to help us stay connected, which you can find in the article below:
This article, which is based on our book, Emotional and Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, will show you different things you can do to reconnect with your spouse today.
The good thing is, if you and your spouse are on board to making changes in your marriage and are intentional about connecting with each other every day, you can remedy this issue before you grow too far apart.
When you practice the simple strategies we share in the article, you will start reconnecting and growing together.
The simple things we do to grow together every day
As amazing as children are to our lives, they also add more stress and consume more of our time. Kids needing so much of your time can make you and your spouse feel like roommates, instead of soulmates.
That is why we intentionally purpose to spend at least thirty minutes every single day together just talking about life.
We talk about what we are interested in, what we are learning, our goals, our plans, our family, whatever we feel like talking about that night after our girls are asleep.
And now, it’s one of the things we do every day so we don’t drift apart.
Click here to discover the thought-provoking questions for couples we use to have deeper, meaningful, and engaging conversations.
Also, we have a few weekly and monthly activities we do together as a couple.
⇒ Completing a weekly gratitude journal for couples
⇒ Having dinner together as a family at least three times a week.
⇒ Watching a movie or documentary, …. and more.
If you are not growing together in your marriage you can’t be on the same page about your life together.
Also, if you are not on the same page, your goals may be different and you will grow apart.
So read this article to learn the simple strategies we use in our marriage to stay connected and grow together.
Have you experienced growing apart in your marriage before? What did you do about it?
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Image via Jen Richardson