We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it. – John Lennon
Julie and Adam came to see us for Couple to Couple® Coaching.
Julie: I don’t feel like husband and wife anymore. We are so busy working full-time, running the kids around, and managing our household, that we never sit and talk the way we used to. He stopped sharing what goes on in his day-to -day life.
Adam: She used to text me during the day. I don’t feel she really cares. We don’t spend time together. It’s always about the kids, except for the nights she goes out with her two divorced girlfriends. I don’t know where they are going or what they are doing. When we have sex, she isn’t into it, like she just wants to get it over with.
Julie: He stopped taking me out on dates years ago. I don’t feel he is “into” me. A few months ago, I found him watching porn online; that was a real turn off.
Lori: It sounds like the two of you have drifted far apart in your marriage, as if you’ve lost each other, or become strangers.
Bob: Yes, the connection you used to have has drifted apart over time and each of you played a part in deepening the divide. Julie, going out with single friends and not letting Adam know where you are feeds the distance between the two of you.
Lori: And Adam, it sounds like you watching pornography has pushed Julie away.
Julie and Adam owned their parts in allowing the relationship to drift and committed to working together with us to bridge the divide. More on their story later.
Love only stays alive when it is fed. So often we see couples in our practice that have unconsciously and unknowingly allowed their love to starve. It can be so insidious that partners don’t notice signs along the way. When relationships drift apart, couples lose the connection that their partnership was built upon. It may feel like you’ve “fallen out of love.”
Here are 7 signs that your relationship is drifting apart:
- Your conversation revolves around the kids and the business of the household. There is not much else to talk about.
- Date nights have stopped. You are too tired on the weekend to go out anymore and no one makes the effort to plan.
- Something just seems “off.” You aren’t as affectionate. You stop kissing each other hello and goodbye. You no longer hold hands. You don’t laugh together.
- You are bickering more than you used to or withdrawing from each other.
- Your social life with others becomes a priority – going out with the guys or girls night out.
- Sex stops, decreases in frequency or becomes “obligatory.”
- You spend more time on your electronic devices than with each other.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop relationship drift and turn it around. It’s a matter of making a conscious effort to turn back toward each other. Here is what Adam and Julie did to reverse their drift and find their connection again. They decided to:
- Carve out time for the two of them as a couple and plan dates once a week.
- Greet each other at the end of the day; share what happened during the day and talk about the little things.
- Learn more about communication skills to manage conflict in a more effective way.
- Turn off electronics at 8pm for the rest of the evening and find a show they would enjoy together.
- Limit girls/guys nights out to once a month.
- Cuddle each night before bed.
- Make dates for sex and communicate about what each of them enjoyed.
It took about 12 sessions for Adam and Julie to implement these strategies and move to a healthier, more loving place. They said that making the effort to be more loving toward each other nurtured their connection and brought back the caring feelings they formerly had.
We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love. -Tom Robbins
If you are in a relationship that has drifted and feel disconnected, have difficulties communicating, and/or are experiencing a crisis, Bob and I can help. Call us at 410-363-2825 or email email@example.com.
Image Copyright Gerd Schaefer