What if the reason you’re growing apart is because you’re missing this one secret that long-term couples do naturally? One of the biggest misunderstandings which causes a gap between men and women is that you are growing apart because your partner changed and there is nothing you can do about it. We call "uncle" on that!
What is the secret about how to fix your relationship that the long term couples do naturally? Keep reading.
Understand the real cause of partners growing apart so you can know how to fix your relationship.
You find yourself across the table from your partner and not knowing what to say. You feel like you don’t even know each other. Are you with the wrong partner? Did he or she change or did you?
People change, but that does not mean you can’t stay connected while you both go through life’s natural process of growth and change.
Men and women are also different and are drawn towards different things at various stages of life. It’s human nature!
How many of us know a couple that grew apart after they had kids? Many couples focus entirely on their kids and stop having any shared experiences without their kids. They drop hobbies or friends that they had before kids and stop going on dates. One day they wake up and the only thing they have to talk about is what the kids are doing after school.
Many other life changes can trigger changes in men or women or our interests; for example, career changes, moves, changes in our bodies, retirement, ages of our kids. The list goes on.
We know a couple that almost did not survive his retirement. All of a sudden he was focused on her every day and she did not like it. After getting used to his working 80 hours a week and traveling for business, she had created her own interests without him. She pushed him away. He went back to work after 30 days of his wife asking “You’re leaving to play golf today, right?”
Couples that stay together navigate these life changes by maintaining shared experiences throughout their lifetime.
Fix your relationship by creating shared experiences
Weekly Date Night
Dating is not just for courting. Dating is like getting the oil changed in your car. You can go a long time without changing the oil in your car but eventually it will do permanent damage. The same thing goes for dating.
Date night does not have to cost a lot of time or money. It requires your making a plan where you honor each other by putting aside all of life for a few hours and concentrating on each other.
Examples of Date Night:
- Go for a drive
- Go out to dinner
- Take a walk
- Watch a movie
Do not talk about kids or work. Connect and talk about how you are feeling or thinking about life. Have some fun!
The next time you say you don’t have time or money for date night, ask yourself can you afford to lose your relationship? That’s the choice you are making.
Interests or Hobbies
Men and women are very different. It is common that couples who are a great match really don’t share much in common interests. Don’t worry! You can bridge this gap.
Choose and focus on a few interests or hobbies that you and your partner can share. These will change over time, but make sure you continue to share few.
Ladies, you don’t have to become a NASCAR fan or sit in a duck blind at 5 AM. Guys you don’t have to go to the ballet or start getting pedicures.
It’s easy to find a few common interests you can share.
- Read the same journals, newspapers or books.
- Watch a regular TV show together.
- Pick a sport you can both enjoy doing – yoga, hiking or triathlons anyone?
- Share jokes/games
- Attend church or a spiritual community together
- International travel
- Wine tasting
Many couples find that they only share the common interest of their kids. That leads to couples growing apart and only having a shelf of a relationship left when the kids leave home. Don’t fall into that trap no matter how wonderful it is to raise kids together. Your partnership has so many wonderful years to go after the stage of raising kids.
Depending on the length and stage of your relationship you may or may not share a lot of mutual friends. Having shared friendships leads to growing together.
If you don’t share friends, take some time to think about some couples or individuals that you could both enjoy spending time with.
When we look at happy, later-life couples, we see that they share a lot of friends and do a lot with those friends like parties, holidays, travel, celebrating each other’s children and grandchildren.
This is your community.
Find these friends through:
Some couples focus on each other and let friendships go only to find later on that they don’t share much in common. Your community of common friends can even help support your relationship.
We know a man who went through a moment of considering divorce. His best guy friend, part of a couple he and his wife spent a lot of time with, took him out and had a serious conversation with him. That support led to him staying and fixing his marriage.
The reality is that people change over time and the relationships that thrive grow together by creating shared experiences.
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Why do you think people grow apart? Leave your comment below. We can’t wait to hear from you!