Saving your marriage for the family.
I was getting my nails done recently which is something that I treat myself to on a monthly basis, it is a bit of ‘me time’ which I schedule whilst both my children are at school. Anyway, I was happily sitting there quietly and another woman came in and sat beside me to get her nails done also. We started chatting, just light stuff and she asked ‘do you live locally?’ Which I replied with yes, and gave her my suburb name. She then proceeded with where she lived and shared with me that her sister lives in the same suburb as myself. Which isn’t unfamiliar as it’s a large suburb not far from the shopping centre where we were. I was then asked the street that I lived on, which startled me, but being friendly I told her, as again, it’s a long street. To which this woman replied ‘oh my sister is number 82’. What a small world as I’m only 3 houses down from where her sister lives.
I was then asked if I knew her sister, which I don’t personally but as we live within close proximity, I know the house and the car in which she drives etc. I drive past it every day. The woman then proceeded to tell me that her sister (who lives in the same street) and her husband are currently divorcing. I was a little shocked, but realise that there is a high divorce rate within marriages.
Whilst 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce, they are lasting longer than what marriage did 2 decades ago. In 1993, the average length of marriages that ended in divorce was 10.7 years, today marriages are lasting 12.1 years on average. 77% of Australian couples cohabitate before getting married which may be the reason that the marriage is lasting longer than previously. Getting to know each other prior to the marriage commitment, learning each other’s habits and actually cohabiting helps to really get to know what your ‘signing up for’.
I was then told that her sister and the ex husband simply ‘grew apart’. Which I understand is common, however also a little sad. I think most people, myself included go into married with the idea and hope for the ‘till death’ vows in mind.
Now I’m not naive, and I do realise that people change and so do circumstances, but I’m still quite the romantic in wanting to grow old with my husband by my side. I envisage hubby and myself as great grandparents sitting on the couch and having cups of tea.
It has got me thinking though, how many family’s stay together for the sake of their children?
Do couples simply stay together until their children are finished school then decide it’s just not what they wanted or realise that their partner is not actually someone they enjoy being around anymore?
People are always growing and changing. It’s human nature to evolve. Our interests, priorities, and opinions also change over time. Your spouse will not be the same person you married, they will evolve through their life, as you should. … In fact, growing apart after marriage is probably one of the silent things that could potentially destroy your marriage.
Over the course of a single day, our own ups and downs in mood swings 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 are simply not roses 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. People can fall out of love, but only if you allow yourself.
You don’t just fall out of love. Falling out of love is something that happens gradually when you are not keeping the spark of your marriage alive.
While it may be fairly normal to have times when your connection to one another feels stronger than others, (if you have followed me for a while, you may remember a post a few years ago where I wrote about one partner being more in love with the other at any given time – which according to therapists and psychologist’s, is normal) you can resist growing apart by making a conscious effort with your loved one.
Drifting apart is only a natural occurrence if you are not doing anything to prevent it.
As with any relationship, friendship or marriage, the first step of keeping the ‘spark alive’ is spending quality time together. If you are not making time to give attention or affection, how can you expect to stay connected?
It’s important to make time for each other. I know that this can seem hard, especially when you have children or work or other commitments, but what can be more important than your commitment to your partner?
Therapists suggest at least 8 hours per week – should be spent away from distractions like TV and phones, away from work stresses, household chores, the mundane everyday things that can distract you. This is when you can share your concerns, talk about what’s making you happy or sad, share stories and remember happy times, talk about each of your goals for the future, or just chat about things you both enjoy – the whole point is to stay connected. This will help you feel connected and stay in love with the one you married.
Drifting apart doesn’t happen instantly, it happens gradually when you allow it to. Keep your spark alive, go on dates, communicate with each other, snuggle up together, hold hands, give each other compliments and flirt with each other. Remember what made you fall in love with each other and try to ignite those feelings or keep them alive.
Remember no relationship is perfect. Everyone has –ups and downs, but working together to get through them will make your relationship stronger if you allow it. 💗