Committed relationships are never easy. After all, we are all imperfect human beings who have our own individual needs, interests, and ambitions. Couples often start out passionately in love, but sometimes as time goes by, the couple grows apart. The inevitable changes in life over a period of time bring different challenges and expectations, which is why couples can find themselves facing issues that are difficult to resolve.
In some cases, the partner's differences may be enough to mean the end of the relationship. In other instances, couples may be able to find ways to make their relationship work despite changing circumstances. To better understand why couples grow apart and how to try to prevent it from happening, it’s important to consider some of the most common reasons why couples grow apart over time.
One frequent cause of growing apart is the lack of communication. Good communication is essential to any healthy relationship. It allows each person to feel heard and understood, and to know that his/her feelings, concerns and ideas are being respected. Without ongoing, meaningful communication, a couple can easily become distant and slowly disconnect.
Another major reason why couples may grow apart is mismatched goals and expectations. Each person in a partnership likely has his or her own vision of the future, and if they aren’t in sync then this can create significant strain. With too much divergence on key issues and values, couples tend to start going in different directions.
Perhaps one of the most common reasons for drifting apart is a simple decrease in passion. Falling out of love is a tough realization for couples to face, but it often happens over time as passions cool. Even when there is still a shared connection, it may not be enough to keep them together.
Life changes can also lead to a gradual drifting apart. Loss of a job, a move out of town, or the onset of medical issues can all be difficult transitions. If a couple struggles to adjust to the new normal, it can take its toll on the relationship, causing both people to become increasingly resentful or dissatisfied.
A lack of space in a relationship can cause two individuals to grow apart. Everyone needs space to be an individual and pursue his/her own personal experiences and growth. With an unhealthy understanding of boundaries and expectations, couples unknowingly suffocate one another, creating an immense amount of tension between them.
When couples find themselves drifting apart, the best course of action is to try to recognize why it’s happening and address the core issues. It’s essential to talk openly and honestly, although sometimes couples may need help from outside sources such as counseling or therapy. Most importantly, couples must strive to be honest, patient and understanding with one another; if couples put a bit of effort in to growing closer together rather than further apart, they may be able to weather the changes in life that are causing their relationship strain.
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