Couples can quickly grow apart, especially when each person has responsibilities and commitments that pull them in different directions. Without realizing it, these forces can start to diverge people’s paths, often to the point where they feel estranged. If you feel like you and your partner are drifting apart, or if you want to feel closer to them, there are steps you can take to reconnect.
Couples Growing Apart
Being in a long-term, healthy relationship can benefit everyone involved. It can improve your mental health, boost your self-esteem, and make you a more positive person. Unfortunately, those feelings can fade for some, and the battle to keep your relationship alive can become more difficult than ever.
Although you may not want to admit that things are falling apart in your relationship, if you find yourself having more unhappy times than happy ones, you may need to accept that you and your partner are growing apart.
Related Articles:30 Real Relationship Goals You (Actually) Want
Here are some tell-tale signs of couples growing apart.
#1. You choose to tell others about your news rather than your partner.
When you have important news to share, it’s natural to rush to your partner. Whether it’s a promotion at work or heartbreaking news about your family, there’s no one else you’d go to first.
#2. You no longer want to spend time with your partner in your spare time.
Dreams of taking a vacation or being able to leave work early usually indicate that you are on your way to spending more time with your spouse. Though you may choose to go on a trip with friends or take some much-needed time for yourself during those times, if you have no desire to spend any of your free time with your partner, it may be time to call it quits.
#3. The desire to spend the rest of my life with them is not as strong as it used to be.
The decision to be with someone is usually made because you see a future with them. And, in most cases, it is something that lasts a lifetime. When you start thinking about your future, and your partner no longer has a place in it, you may grow apart.
#4. There is no physical contact between you two.
Intimacy with your partner is more than just sex. Sometimes it’s as simple as being able to lay together, rub each other’s backs or feet, or even hold hands. However, according to Devon Jorge, MSW, RSW, psychotherapist, and founder of Trillium Counseling, once this has stopped, your relationship may be over.
#5. You’ve given up on having those “tough” conversations.
Building the courage to have difficult conversations with your partner can be difficult at any relationship stage. Though it may be challenging to complete, the important thing is that it is completed, and, in most cases, your relationship benefits from it. If you’ve concluded that having those “tough” conversations is pointless, Jorge believes it’s because the distance between you and your partner is growing.
Related Articles: NON-NEGOTIABLES IN A RELATIONSHIP: Top 17 Important Qualities
#6. There is no eye contact.
According to Three Day Rule’s Chicago office professional matchmaker Yvette Walton, if you’re not making eye contact with your partner, there could be trouble in your former paradise.
Older Couples Growing Apart
Growing apart between older couples is a fairly common occurrence. The following are some reasons why couples divorce after being married for years. These are some warning signs and possible solutions.
#1. Loss Of Romance
Couples tend to neglect their relationship after spending so much time with all of their family members. This eventually causes them to drift apart. With so many responsibilities and challenges, couples learn to accept their differences, and their love deteriorates, eventually causing them to grow apart.
When you’ve spent so much time together, try to figure out why you’ve been able to keep going all this time. Make time for each other because there is no age limit for spending time together. Go on dates or take a vacation to see if you can salvage the relationship.
#2. Unresolved Problems
There may also be some unresolved battles from the past that were not addressed but are now resurfacing as a result of the aging process. If this is an issue that you and your partner are dealing with, it can lead to a fallout. Couples usually learn to live with it or pretend in front of their children. During such times, issues such as infidelity, bad fights, illness, and so on can resurface.
Related Articles: RADICAL SELF ACCEPTANCE: Meaning, Worksheet & How to Practice It
The only way out of this situation is to learn to live in the present moment rather than dwelling on what happened years ago. The time that has passed cannot be recovered, but what you have right now is what you can make worthwhile. So, if you’re willing to work through it, talk to your partner and be positive. You can come up with better solutions if you do so.
With old age comes the luxury of sitting at home and earning a pension, but even this can strain the relationship. If a couple has spent a significant amount of time building their career and home, it can spell the end of their marriage.
Don’t think of you two as a single entity; each has a separate life. It is acceptable to separate from the partner; when you do things for yourself, you will feel better and will not be burdened by anyone.
#4. Ancient Thinking
Older couples typically have very traditional views on life. Chances are, one evolves with the times while the other remains steadfast in its beliefs. This can lead to disagreements and make it challenging to stay on the same page with your partner.
It is sometimes the way we are conditioned, and not everyone can change. People have morals, which is perfectly fine. In that case, find a middle ground and talk it out if the issues are serious. If not, you are free to let go.
#5. Children Leaving Home
There’s no doubt that as children grow older, they want to live on their own, and to do so, they must leave their homes. The place, which was once very lively, has now become dull. As the house becomes an empty nest, this can be difficult for the elderly partners.
Related Articles: 7 PREPARATIONS TO MAKE BEFORE MARRIAGE
Acceptance is the only thing that can help you get through this period. You can always stay in touch with your children now that technology has advanced. You may not have enough time, but know that your children are safe and doing well for themselves. You should be a proud parent. Aside from that, focus on yourself.
Films About Couples Growing Apart
Here is a list of films about couples growing apart that have stood out in the last decade.
#1. “Blue Valentine” (2010)
The harrowing “Blue Valentine” by Derek Cianfrance isn’t so much about a relationship in crisis as it is about a marriage in free fall and how two essentially good-hearted, well-intentioned young people managed to sink so low into an abysmal pit of mental and emotional abuse.
#2. “Revolutionary Road” (2008)
Richard Yates’ novel “Revolutionary Road,” a rather neglected book that saw new life at the turn of the century, is a sort of Mount Everest of troubled-marriage books, and Sam Mendes’ film adaptation isn’t perfect; it’s a wrenching and handsome attempt.
#3. “To the Wonder” (2013)
Terrence Malick drifted even further out into the ether of non-narrative dreamscapes with “To the Wonder” than he had with “The Tree of Life,” abandoning traditional storytelling techniques in favor of even more voice-over, even more hazy visual poetry, and way, way more golden-tinted magic hour shots.
Related Articles: NEW PARENTS: BEST OPTIONS, ADVICE & GIFT BASKET FOR NEW PARENTS
#4. “Two Lovers” (2008)
James Gray’s “Two Lovers” is remarkably raw and personal, even in a filmography full of big emotional moments and grand melodramatic reveals. It’s a film with new wounds and romantic battle scars: a love story for the modern era that is nothing short of colossal in its scope.
#5. Like Crazy (2011)
Why it stands out: Crazy begins similarly to any other romantic film, with Anna and Jacob meeting, falling in love, and becoming enraptured with one another. When Anna is forced to leave the United States for her home in London, their relationship is repeatedly jeopardized by long-distance and changing feelings.
#6. Take This Waltz (2012)
Why it stands out: When one-half of a couple leaves to be with someone else, it’s usually because the other half is seriously lacking. In these cases, you sympathize with the person who is going. You say, “He sucks,” and I say, “I’d leave him too!” But in Take This Waltz, Lou isn’t so bad—sure, he’s more concerned with his chicken than his wife at times, but they have a pretty good relationship overall.
#7. Amour (2012)
Why it stands out: We all grow old at some point in our lives, but it’s a topic that’s rarely addressed in films, particularly romantic ones. But it is the age difference between Anne and George that distinguishes Amour.
#8. Before Midnight (2013)
Why it stands out: Before Midnight is the third film in a trilogy following this couple. It addresses the more challenging aspects of relationships by putting Céline and Jesse in a hotel room at the film’s end to fight it all out.
Related Articles: IMAGO THERAPY: What is Imago Therapy? (+ Detailed Guide)
To maintain excitement, commitment, and connection in a healthy relationship, effort is required. If couples are growing apart, it’s essential to consider how you want to address the issue and how you can work together to build a more prosperous, deeper, and more meaningful relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal for couples to grow apart?
Couples can easily drift apart over time, especially when each person has responsibilities and commitments that pull them in different directions. Without realizing it, these forces can start to diverge people’s paths, often to the point where they feel estranged from one another.
What does it mean for couples to grow apart?
What Does It Mean To Grow Apart In A Relationship? The simplest and most accurate way to describe two people in a relationship who are gradually growing apart is that they simply do not enjoy each other’s company as much as they used to.
What is the #1 reason for divorce?
Conflict, arguing, irretrievable breakdown in the relationship, lack of commitment, infidelity, and lack of physical intimacy are the three most common causes of divorce, according to various studies. The least common reasons are a lack of shared interests and partner incompatibility.
What is red flag in relationship?
“In relationships, red flags are indicators that the person is unlikely to be able to have a healthy relationship and that continuing down the road together would be emotionally dangerous,” explains Dr. Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships.
Is growing apart reason for divorce?
Another reason is that people are growing apart.
Divorced spouses frequently claim that they simply grew apart over time. Growing apart is frequently linked to a lack of intimacy and affection. Spouses can become incompatible at times. The trust, sympathy, and mutual respect they once had for one another ebbs and fades.