3 Relationship Behaviors to Avoid So You Don’t “Just Grow Apart!”

Many couples contact me for my relationship expertise with the stated problem being they and their partner have “just grown apart”. When I ask them what they mean by that they usually look at each other, look at me, look back at each other, shrug their shoulders and say: “We don’t know – we just grew apart!” When pressed further, the problem often lies in 3 behaviors you must avoid if you want to keep your marriage intact.

Following are 3 common mistakes couples make in their relationship that emotionally separates themselves from each other – pulling them apart!

1. Seeking Perfection

We know it’s unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean we don’t secretly expect our spouse to be perfect & our marriage/relationship to be perfect too!

Of course we know nobody is perfect; but that doesn’t mean we don’t want our partners to be perfect. In fact, some silly women’s magazines often carry headlines that read something like this: “Find Your Soul Mate & Your Life Will Be Perfect!” And many of us buy into this myth of perfect soul mate = perfect marriage!

This is crazy. No one is perfect and no relationship is perfect! Not one!

Examine the expectations you put on your partner and your marriage & honestly ask yourself if you’ve been realistic – before throwing in the towel. Seek out the help of a professional if necessary.

Holding our partner and our marriage to an unrealistic standard will only lead to disappointment and emotional estrangement.

2. Speaking without a Filter

Many married people believe they do not have to think before they speak or measure their words when speaking to their spouse. Why? Because, well, it’s their spouse and one should be able to say anything they want to their loved one.

This thinking is dead wrong! Your spouse is human and just because he/she loves you, it doesn’t mean their feelings can’t or won’t be hurt!

Therefore, think before you speak and be considerate of how your feelings and words might emotionally impact your spouse. The more emotionally charged a conversation might become, the more important it is you communicate your message with sensitivity.

3. Controlling Behavior

Many people can be very controlling. We ask for help but then we criticize the way we are helped – because it wasn’t done the way we would’ve done it. I could give you a million examples of this but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.

If you get the help you requested, regardless of whether it was done the way you would have done it, say thank-you and be appreciative. Period. Do not say thank-you and then add the word “but” – followed by how it wasn’t done your way.

Couples don’t “just grow apart” overnight; the relationship erodes over time.

Avoid seeking perfection in your spouse and your relationship, use sensitivity when speaking & don’t try to control your partner’s behavior (especially when asking for help) and you will keep your marriage solid.

If you heed the advice given above, you won’t wake up one day wondering why and how you and your partner have “just grew apart!”

Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann


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