Mark Goulston, M.D.
Drifting apart in marriage
How can we keep from drifting apart in our marriage? One of the real challenges for couples is when you first meet each other, you get caught up in the newness, lust, and love, but one of the sad things is, often, you grow into the person that you’re meant to be. And, sometimes, the person that you’re meant to be and the person that your partner is meant to be are quite different. I believe that if you grow that far apart, rather than making wrong all the good times that could be had, my marriage advice is you should get divorced.
However, there is still hope. There is a different way that you can approach this type of situation. To keep from drifting apart, take the time to be interested in what makes the other person happy. Have them talk more about those things. Be interested in what makes them scared or sad so that you’re not just trying to fill time with activities. If you were to drill down with your partner with a genuine interest, you’re actually making a effort to draw closer together and prevent romantic erosion.
So, one way to stay emotionally connected to your partner is to continue to have a genuine interest in what makes them happy, sad, scared, worried. If you were to question your partner and say, “Why is that important to you? What do you like about it?” When you say that with sincere curiosity, like you really want to know the answer, they will begin to share with you why something is important to them or why they’re afraid of something. When they start to share that, the conversation will become incredibly real.
There’s an interesting exercise that I do when I speak to couples’ groups. I will often say to them, “How many of you, when you have been upset, have had your partner ask why you are upset or you’re afraid?” I would say that less than five percent of the room raised their hand.
Now, when I’ve asked those five percent of people what that felt like, what those people said is, “I really felt that my partner was there with me and that they really cared about how I felt.” Now, it’s fascinating because the rest of the room immediately understood that when you take it a step further and you allow your partner to really relieve themselves of the depth of how they’re feeling, it’s amazing how strong the intimate bond between the two of you as a couple can become.
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)