My Spouse and I are drifting apart

Staying happily married requires active participation in growing the relationship. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to drift apart from your spouse. It is all too easy to allow the pressures of daily life to distract you from the one who “should” mean the most to you.

Reasons Couples Drift Apart

Love is a feeling that can actually wax and wane over time. In a truly committed marriage, both partners behave lovingly toward one another, even if they aren’t currently feeling “romantic love”. (You can understand more about how love can fade over time in our article about the stages of relationship and relationship cycles). When couples don’t put a concerted effort into growing together, they can drift apart.

It also might seem like your spouse is pulling away because of the Maximizer/Minimizer dynamic. Take the relationship quiz here to see if that’s what is going on!

Sometimes couples drift apart because they’re both busy with their own careers and hobbies. At other times, couples drift apart when the kids leave the home. There are many things that can cause couples to drift apart over time but it all comes to down to the fact that they may not be putting in enough connection time into the marriage.

Prevent Yourself From Drifting Apart

Prevent yourself from drifting apart by making your marriage a top priority. Make it known that you are going to devote yourself to your spouse and that you are willing to work hard to make your marriage work.

Spend time together as a couple. Schedule a weekly date night if possible. Take turns planning your date night destinations. Remember, that date nights don’t need to be extravagant or expensive. Instead, keep the focus on spending quality time together.

If you have children, nurture your relationship outside of your roles as parents. Remember, that you’ll need to have more in common than having children together if you want your marriage to last long after the children have left home.

Find new activities to enjoy together. Engaging in new activities can help build excitement and prevent boredom. Get creative and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to trying new activities together.

While some couples may enjoy volunteering together, others may enjoy working on home projects as a couple. It doesn’t matter what you do together but it’s important that you spend time together talking and growing together as a couple.

When you work on your emotional intimacy, you’ll find that all aspects of your relationship will get better. You’ll communicate better. You’ll be able to solve problems and deal with conflict in healthier ways. Your marital intimacy is likely to improve as well.

In addition, these 6 Daily Habits to keeping the spark alive will help you stay the course and prevent drifting apart.

1. “Us” Time

You may spend lots of time with your spouse but is it quality time? Whether it’s a weekly date night, a few overnights, or an extended vacation, make sure that you have time where you can focus exclusively on each other. While it may be a challenge financially or difficult if you have young children, it’s crucial to do your best to make this happen in some doable form. When you do go out, don’t use it as an opportunity to talk about the kids, run errands, or strategize for work, focus on “us.

2. Connect throughout the day

Do you remember when you first met? You may have been so excited to see each other that you used every spare moment to call each other even when you were apart. It’s worth revisiting some of your old practices that you engaged in when your love for each other seemed all encompassing. Make an effort to connect with each other throughout the day. Send a short text message or email to let your spouse know that you’re thinking about him/her. Make a call during lunch to say I love you. These regular connections during the day will keep the positive feelings flowing and make your time together when you return home that much more meaningful. This is sure to spice up your marriage!

3. Give Appreciations

It’s so easy to notice the flaws in our spouse and take the virtues for granted. We need to throw out this recipe for resentment. Instead make it a habit to express gratitude and overlook their faults. Daily appreciations will help you not lose sight of all the good your spouse does for you. You’ll also get in the habit of focusing on the positive and your partner will feel loved.

Make a few minutes a day to include appreciations in your routine. Sit down and look into each others’ eyes and share what you appreciate about what your spouse did for you today or a quality that he/she possesses. If you’re not sure exactly how to implement this piece of marriage advice regarding giving appreciations, we do elaborate much more on how to share appreciations effectively in Step 4 (Acknowledge the Other) of Marriage School.

4. Try New Things

Don’t let your relationship doesn’t get stale. Try new things together. When you were dating you may have done new activities together. How exciting is your relationship? Take a cooking class, go rock-climbing, learn something new together and you’ll see how it will liven up your relationship. Even if you don’t have the same interests, you can still have fun together.

5. Make Your Spouse Laugh

Laughing can create the same chemical bond as marital intimacy. Couples can get bogged down in the heaviness and stress of life. Negativity can permeate the atmosphere and ruin all attempts to connect, even on a nice vacation. Infusing laughter into your relationship can cut through the stress faster than anything else.

6. Praise Your Spouse’s Physical Appearance

While this may be more important to women than men, it is a nice gesture to positively comment on your spouse’s appearance. As we age and begin to feel self-conscious about our looks, it’s really helpful to know that your spouse still finds you attractive.

With the constant barrage of advertisements showing us what we are supposed to view as beautiful, it is nice for women to know that their husbands still love their looks as they did when they first got married.

A great marriage is built on small, daily practices like the six habits listed above. One of the hardest things about relationships is commitment, yet it is commitment which is the foundation to any successful marriage.

The easiest way to avoid falling out of love is to do what every Imago therapy session requires.

We find that the easiest way to avoid falling out of love is to recommit to taking the time to make extended and connected eye contact with each other. It’s what every Imago therapy session requires. Not sure how to do it?

How to Fall Back in Love Again

There’s a reason that we construct our marriage counseling sessions to be where the couple sits face to face, knee to knee, across from each other for the entire 90 minutes.

Watch the video below and you’ll understand.

When else would you take the time to look into each other’s eyes and really connect for that amount of time? The stressors of life make doing this almost impossible, even uncomfortable.

When couples come into our office and are able to make meaningful eye contact, it’s as if life’s pressures simply melt away and you know in your heart that you are cared for and loved by your spouse.

Connecting with your spouse provides a refuge from the stress of the day.

Finding regular times to connect strengthens a relationship. It builds trust and helps you feel that you can rely on your spouse. What exactly do you do in these critical moments? Share an affirmation or an appreciation. Look into each other’s eyes for 15 seconds. Give each other a hug. Discuss with each other what would make you both feel connected. You may need different things and that’s ok. Alternate or do both. It need not be time-consuming. Even 30 seconds of connection will do wonders for your relationship as it will keep you cognizant of each other.

It’s amazing how couples can live their lives without finding meaningful connection.

When was the last time you looked into your partner’s eyes?

Try it and see how it can melt away all of the distractions and take you back to a deep soul connection that you may not have felt for years.

We are so distracted in our society with all of our gadgets. We are so busy checking our Smartphones, looking at the latest facebook update or email. When do we have time for each other?

We find that eye contact is the first step to fostering fulfilling relationships.

When else would you take the time to look into each other’s eyes and really connect? The stressors of life make doing this almost impossible, even uncomfortable.

When couples come into our office and are able to make meaningful eye contact, it’s as if life’s pressures simply melt away and you know in your heart that you are cared for and loved by your spouse.

Making time to have unbreakable eye contact is the easiest way to fall back in love again.

Take a moment to gaze in to your partner’s eyes. It has a relaxing effect on the limbic system and allows you to feel connected at the same time. Life can be hectic and we don’t often make the time to have that meaningful connection that we once had when we could truly bask in each other’s presence.

Taking the time to gaze into your partner’s eyes is a refreshing reminder, “Oh, it’s you! Where have you been all this time?”

The deep intimate connection you can instantly experience by looking into each other’s eyes will surely reignite the flame of a seemingly stale relationship. Talk with us about how you can experience this in our 2 Day Private Marriage Restoration Retreat. We want you to experience this connection with each other, after all, it’s why you got married to begin with isn’t it?

Clear out all of the distraction and chatter and make the time to connect to your spouse. You’ll be amazed at how the most simple rituals will create the biggest changes in your marriage.

Seek Professional Marriage Help

Growing together as a couple is an essential component in any lasting, happy marriage. It takes a lot of energy and commitment but there certainly are steps you can take to avoid drifting apart and going “stale”. If you feel like you and your spouse have already drifted apart and you aren’t sure what to do about it, seek professional help. A professional can assist you in improving your bond and can help you stay emotionally connected to one another. We’ll provide our contact form below that you can use to contact us if you feel that you and your spouse are drifting apart.

Contact Us

Complete the form below to contact us or with Rabbi Slatkin to see what he thinks would be best for you and your unique situation.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
    You will receive our free 60 Second Plan to a Happy Marriage, along with transformational emails that will help you with your marriage.