Is It Normal To Grow Apart in a Marriage?

Nearly all relationships will go through changes over time, some subtle, some major…

Even over the course of a single day, our own ups and downs in mood can make little waves in our marriages. Some days are better than others – that’s just how life is, whether it’s a relationship, a job, a hobby, or anything else. Things aren’t just even all the time.

People go through ups and downs. Sometimes the fluctuations are minor and sometimes they are drastic, but it can’t be sunshine and roses all the time. We know that from experience…

BUT WAIT – this reality can lead to some problematic assumptions about your marriage, and those assumptions are behind one of the most common marriage myths. This myth would have people believe that, all of the sudden, they’ll hit a “down” period and fall out of love – that one day you’ll wake up and notice that you’ve drifted apart from your spouse. The myth would have you believe that this is not only normal, but inevitable.

Have you and your spouse grown apart?
Have you and your spouse grown apart?

This broad idea of “ups and downs” makes people think that the “down times” are just natural, and that they can’t do anything about them…

But that’s where this myth is totally wrong. You don’t just fall out of love as a matter of course, it’s something that happens gradually when you aren’t tending the flame of your marriage!

While it may be fairly normal to have times when your connection to one another feels stronger than others, you can stave off growing apart by making a conscious effort with your spouse.

Drifting apart is only a natural occurrence if you aren’t doing anything to prevent it.

As we’ve said again and again, the first step is spending quality time together. If you aren’t making a point to give one another your attention, how can you expect to stay connected?

This time – at least 8 hours per week – should be spent away from distractions like TV and smartphones, away from work stresses, away from household chores. This is when you can share your concerns, talk about what’s making you happy, share stories and memories, talk about goals for the future, or just chat about things you both enjoy – the whole point is connection. This helps you stay in love with the one you married.

Drifting apart doesn’t happen in an instant, it happens gradually when you allow it to. Go on dates, communicate with each other, snuggle up together, give each other compliments and flirt throughout the day – you may have some ups and downs, but you’ll get through them together!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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Andrea 8 years ago

My husband if one of the nicest guy’s you’ll meet. He’s a carpenter and mechanic. He can build you a house, fix your car and do the laundry all in one day. He cares and loves when needed, will help with anything asked. He cannot say no. He takes me where I ask, give me what I ask and lets me go out without question. He will do the laundry, the dishes, housework and wash my car in and out if I ask. He really is amazing, but he is REALLY boring. This is the point… I have to start everything, I need to ask, to initiate. He won’t do it by himself (unless it is a car, or his job). He is one of those “strong and silent” types, very strong but very silent. He didn’t used to be like this when we met. We are together for 9 years now, married for 5 and have a 5 year old boy… but live with his parents and I’m going insane because of this.

abby 8 years ago

My husband and I have been married for one year, together for 8 years. We started dating in highschool and we are only 25. I knew something has been off with him lately and he told me that he's felt like we're just going through the motions and we lost our spark. He also said he's always had the thought of wanting to be single going through his head, even before we got married. He said he thought the feeling would go away, but it hasn't. After him telling me this and only talking about it for 2 hours, he wanted to just end everything right there, without even trying to fix it because he doesn't think he can fix how he feels. He said he still loves me and is in love with me, but he just wants to be single. I cannot just throw my marriage away after talking about the issue for a few hours. He said he is willing to try because he cares about me, but it didn't sound very convincing. I know because we starting dating so young neither of us had a chance to really figure ourselves out as individuals. I think the first step for us is to give each other some space, maybe? I'm not sure what to do, but I have to try everything before throwing my marriage away..... any advice?

Jaff 8 years ago

My couple is just the same case than Andrea's ,may be she can ask my wife to advice her, because I used to be just the type of her husband ,always obedient , and kind ,( even attractive) I was waiting for attention and care , but in fact the decisions i did not take were made by my wife , so she began to do make what she liked to do , and was is now difficult to fix again her and mine limits because it lead to conflicts , and now i am actually drifted apart from my spouce for one year.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 8 years ago

HI Andrea - Sounds like you married a great guy! We all change through life. I'll bet you aren't the same either. Try talking to him about communication - - and maybe make it a game. Have a date night. You pick the time. He picks the event. You pick the style of food. He picks the restaurant.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 8 years ago

Hi Jaff - if I understand you right, it sounds like you both need to find some common ground.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 8 years ago

Hi Abby- It sounds like you do need a spark. You both need to rekindle the love between you, and maybe the spark in your life. What is something you've wanted to try together? Maybe pick up biking, or yoga, or something in the bedroom.

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