“You have changed. The person I married was someone else.” Our experts who deal with loveless marriages tell us this is what couples say when they come to them with the issue that they are growing apart in a marriage.
When your marriage doesn’t feel like it was before, you feel like you are growing apart from your spouse. You see all those red flags but still choose to ignore them and drag your marriage to a point that all you and your partner are left with is frustration.
Growing apart in a marriage is a gradual process but by the time you realize it, it is too late. By the time you want to save your marriage, you realize that there’s nothing left to save.
According to the US Census 20171, it was found that there was a 44% increase in married couples living apart. It is important to identify the warning signs of drifting apart in marriage before it’s too late.
Related Reading: How Do You Set Emotional Boundaries in Relationships?
Why Do Married Couples Grow Apart?
In today’s era, it has become easier for couples to grow apart. With both partners busy with their work and individual obligations, it gets difficult to focus on marriage.
If we focus on growing apart meaning then we will see that it means becoming distant in a relationship. Apart from a romantic relationship it can be applied to a friendship, to a relationship between parents and adult children or to a relationship with relatives. Older couples can also grow apart.
Growing apart in a marriage means that you both are drifting away from those vows that said, Till Death Do Us Apart, moreover, you are drifting away from each other. Why do couples grow apart.
1. Experience changes people
If one partner is a hot shot corporate climber travelling the world and clinching deals and the other person is a homemaker looking after kids and walking with them in the park, then obviously they are experiencing life in different ways.
People change because of the experiences they gain and that often leads to a rift in the relationship.
2. Not growing together, leads to growing apart
Sometimes in a marriage two people don’t grow together. This leads to a lack of intellectual intimacy and that’s when your relationship stops growing.
You do not keep pace with each other when you are moving in one direction. While one person becomes more knowledgeable, mature and emotionally sound the other might not be growing as much.
3. The goals change
You could have started your life with the same couple goals but as time went by the goals changed. Like a couple started growing apart in a marriage when a husband decided to become a homemaker and wanted the wife to become the breadwinner.
Related Reading: 6 Relationship Problems Millennials Bring Up The Most In Therapy
The wife had thought it was a temporary arrangement but when she realised he wanted to make it permanent they started growing apart in the marriage because their goals clashed.
4. You do things as individuals
When two partners begin to grow apart, at first their combined chores slowly start becoming their individual chores and before you know it, the spark is gone.
You both continue to remain in denial that the marriage has come to a dead-end and keep dragging the marriage due to other factors such as parents, children, society, etc. to a point where none of you can drag the marriage any more and you call it off.
5. There is too much space in the relationship
Space is not an ominous sign in a relationship. In fact, it’s important to have space to thrive in a relationship. But when that space becomes more and more the trouble begins.
You start growing apart in a marriage when the space you enjoyed starts engulfing the relationship. You are happy in your own spaces and as soon you get together you feel you are in an unhappy marriage.
Related reading: We have a loveless, sexless marriage
7 Warning Signs You Are Growing Apart In A Marriage
Growing apart in a marriage is not something that happens in an instant. Couples begin to move beyond the attraction and infatuation stages where love is, but not the priority. Responsibilities, career goals, personal ambitions, and a million other things make only love not enough to sustain a marriage.
Couples feel like their marriage is growing apart because they believe one of them is changing. However, there are some warning signs of you and your spouse growing apart in a marriage, and though they can vary for different couples, the essence largely remains the same. Has your husband checked out emotionally? Maybe you just did not notice.
1. You don’t do things together anymore
Married couples always have their thing. Whether it’s a Friday night or weekend binge watching, you two always planned something to do together. You both would always sit down and decide together which restaurant to pick for date nights.
Now, you both don’t care which restaurant to go to because you both don’t have the time to spend picking out restaurants. When it comes to doing things together, you both feel reluctant and prefer your own space.
2. You both don’t talk about the future anymore
Marriages are all about long-term planning of the future. Both partners make their short-term plans like going on vacations, having babies, etc. and long-term plans like investing together, buying a car or house.
If you both don’t talk about the future anymore, it’s because the future doesn’t matter to you anymore. You both don’t care about having babies or going on vacations. Everything has become mundane.
Related reading: 8 Things You Can Do If You Are Not Happy In A Marriage
3. You’re not having sex
One of the major red flags of growing apart is that you both aren’t having sex anymore. The spark in your marriage has gone and you both behave like two strangers sharing the same bed.
Sex says a lot about the intimacy in a relationship as sex isn’t just about the physical connection but the emotional connection that you both share together.
If you both don’t have those pillow talks anymore after sex then it seems that you both are losing interest in each other and growing apart.
4. You both have stopped talking to each other
You both don’t know how to talk to each other anymore. There’s always the regular small talk like what do you want for dinner? Or what time will you come home? But that’s not actual talking.
Two married couple talk about more intimate things and ask each other about their day or tease each other about various things. Did you just have a flashback about how you both used to be? If you both aren’t the same people anymore, there’s some thinking to do.
Related Reading: 8 People Share What Ruined Their Marriage
5. You both are growing apart emotionally
You both see each other as normal individuals. That emotional connection that you both had is fading away. One of you may have also begun to look for emotional satisfaction elsewhere.
You both don’t share intense things with each other anymore. On the other hand, you both are starting to get irritated with each other’s presence. When married couples begin to see their partner as just another individual, it means that there are getting less emotionally involved with each other.
6. You don’t miss your partner
Remember those days of courtship when you both would look forward to meeting each other. You would miss your partner and keep checking your phone for his texts.
Do you not feel the same anymore? Do you feel more comfortable without your partner? If you feel more comfortable without your partner then it means that you are drifting away from him and his absence doesn’t seem to affect you the way it should affect a married couple.
Related reading: 15 Tips for a Successful Marriage
7. You feel that your marriage is coming to an end
When you are growing apart from your spouse, you feel like giving up on your marriage. There’s a feeling in your gut that the marriage has reached its saturation point and you both can no longer drag it anymore. You start thinking of divorce.
The little hope that you had about your marriage too begins to diminish and you feel that there’s nothing left in the marriage. You know that your marriage is coming to an end.
Only if you both are willing to work together to save your marriage will you be able to repair the damage caused in the marriage and sometimes marriage counselling can come to your rescue. An effective way to save the marriage is to go for couple’s therapy. Having an unbiased third opinion can help you and your partner open up and identify the real problems of the marriage. If there’s still hope, your marriage can still be saved.