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Don't let your marriage drift apart

by Kim Jacobs

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 17 at 1:35 PM

Why do many married couples drift apart from their spouse after being married for some time? It is hard to keep a relationship thriving when you have to focus on the day to day responsibilities while your relationship seems to fading into the background. The great news is that with just a few minor adjustments you can reconnect with your spouse and experience a loving, lasting relationship with your spouse. Below are tips to help you balance life and NOT let your marriage drift apart:

#1. Discuss the root cause. If you have been drifting apart from your spouse it is important to address what caused the problems to begin with.  It may have been a specific conflict or it could be because someone in the relationship is feeling neglected and not appreciated or valued. Be respectful towards each other as you discuss this difficult subject and be careful not to play the blame game. The goal is to really be able to pinpoint when things started falling apart.

#2. Choose to make your marriage a TOP priority. Just like we take the time to prioritize our to do list, we should prioritize our marriage. Think about what your spouse needs from you each day to make your marriage a top priority.  What are you going to do today to let your spouse know that he is important to you and what he is dealing with in life matters to you?  Remember, in order for any marriage to work, it will require constant work.

#3. Make time to hang out together. Become true friends with your spouse. Do fun things together and learn to connect with each other. Even if you both have hectic schedules, squeeze in a few quick moments to steal away some time together.  Run errands together, meet for a quick coffee or lunch break, work out together, and talk on the phone more when you have a brief break. Eat meals together when you can. Definitely plan date nights both outside of the home and at home dates after the children are in bed. In order to grow closer together, you must spend more time together. You have to be very intentional about what you will do with your spouse each day.  Make it your goal to squeeze something in as often as possible.

#4. Make love frequently. Love making is more than just a physical connection with your spouse. It is a bonding experience that is necessary to keep a marriage fun and fulfilling.  Making time to make love to your spouse is a requirement.  Don’t let days go by and you just didn’t get a chance to love on your spouse, because you were too busy. Give your spouse genuine attention, affection, and appreciation. You will be amazed at how much closer you and your spouse will get.

#5. Make home a safe haven. Assess your attitude toward your spouse. Are you nagging, being critical or treating your spouse like a child? As of today, you can begin to change the atmosphere in your home.  You can decide that you will allow your spouse to share things with you without criticizing everything he says. You will allow him to feel like he can relax in his own home without having to constantly be working around the house for you to feel like he is contributing.  These simple changes will make a difference.

#6. If necessary, allow a marriage counselor to help. To save your marriage seek counseling if that is what it will take. You owe it to your spouse to try everything you can to make the marriage work.  Especially, if this is the person that you once loved enough to marry in the first place.

#7. Have a weekly planning session. Set aside time each week to have a brief discussion about your family, your budget, and your plans for the upcoming week. You will be pleasantly surprised how good you feel about being on the same page.  You will also notice that things run smoother, because you simply had to execute what was already agreed upon. This also gives you time to work out differences before anything gets implemented. 

#8. Remember, your spouse can’t read your mind. Communication is critical if you want a strong marriage. Your spouse does not know what you are feeling unless you communicate your feelings to him.  Learning how to express your feelings openly and honestly is necessary to prevent further drifting in your marriage. Just be considerate when you are communicating your feelings and don’t intentionally cause your spouse pain.  There are ways to discuss your honest feelings without hurting another person.

#9. Let bygones be bygones.  We all know that marriage requires a lot of work. It is inevitable that there will be difficult times in a marriage. Even the strongest marriages experience low points in their relationship. Whether it is illness, the death of a child, unemployment, or other unexpected curve balls that life presents, there will be challenges. Remember, that you have made a commitment to be with your spouse even when life is difficult.  You do not want to fall into the trap of feeling resentment and anger or even hate toward your spouse. It is hard to maintain a loving relationship with someone you would rather not be associated with any longer.  Look for the good in your spouse and celebrate those features.

#10. Pursue Self-Improvement. Being your best self only enhances your relationship with your spouse. Take a critical look at who you have become since you got married and ask yourself are you proud of the outcome?  Oftentimes, women sacrifice a lot during marriage and especially if kids are added to the mix.  You may have given up on some things that really interest you. Take the time to rediscover yourself and make sure that you are offering you and your marriage your best self.

Always remember that you and your spouse are on the same team.  Couples will have differences of opinions throughout their marriage, just choose how to fairly deal with them and recommit to loving each other for the rest of your life.  At the end of the day, you want to be able to say “I STILL DO” to your spouse.