Drifting Apart

drifting

Drifting Apart

It stuns you when you first realize that you and your sweetie, you seemed like the perfect couple, are drifting apart. Sometimes just as perfectly as you fell for each other, as if it were only natural an event like a natural disaster, an earth shattering union over which the two of you had no control. But just as powerfully so too can each party find forces pushing them apart, and these can occur just as naturally and as inexplicably.

Sometimes we end up in a comfortable relationship that has no future. This kind of relationship has dueling emotions inside you. On the one hand you have your life goals. On the other you love this person and perhaps fear being single again and facing a big, black who-knows-what. Sometimes the fear of the unknown makes us stay in an uncomfortable situation. But the problem with that is we die a little inside for we are born to seek out our dreams. Scientists have proven that parts of the brain showing good, sound judgment shutdown when we fall in love. As the relationship progresses more and more we get to learn about our partner and deal with their shortcomings, and our own.

Once you have that down, you think you’ve got it all figured out. And you’ll live happily ever after. Or not. More likely it will be like a series of hurtles you’ll have to jump over. You’ll dodge them and do okay. Once in a while you’ll have a victory to celebrate. At other times a defeat to mourn. But when people have different priorities or if their values change, as are natural to do over time you can find the couple naturally drifting apart. The question is how far is this drift going to go? Can you relate to one another anymore? Is there trust and respect? Can you build a deep bond of connection and intimacy despite these differences? Each couple has to decide for themselves. It takes a big conversation.

Some long term couples and married couples decide to live together despite their differences. They share what they can but each also enjoy their separate lives. Others seek out a partner who fulfills all of their needs. Then there are those who try to change their lover, or spurn them for not being the person they fell in love with to begin with. Instead, talk about it. Discuss the drift. See when it occurred and why it occurred. Figure out if it makes sense to stay together and share your life together or perhaps you’ve grown too different after all. For more advice read, Help! My Spouse and I Are Drifting Apart by Dr. Bill Maier and Mitch Temple.

Advice that can save you from Divorce

Divorce,problems - Young couple angry at each other sitting back

Advice that can save you from Divorce

Lots of people have unrealistic expectations on what marriage is and what it takes to make one healthy and satisfying. Often when they start to realize where they and their spouse went wrong it’s too late to fix the marriage. The damage has been done and the differences remain irreconcilable. If you are thinking of tying the knot, have been there before and want to avoid the same mistakes, or are curious to see what exists in marriage that you haven’t considered, read on my friend. Here is advice that can save you from divorce.

Most couples know that the key to a successful relationship is communication. But that is far too simplistic and harder than it sounds. People communicate in different ways. Some people are direct, others subtle. But if a marriage is comprised of these two different styles, how can they communicate and get over the difficult problems that they inevitably come in to contact with? The answer is patience, listening actively, cooperating on problems instead of becoming opponents and blaming one another. Couples should talk about how they communicate. What are the different patterns that come up? What does one person do and then the other that leads to a fight? How can that be counteracted or overcome? Sometimes communicating using other means such as text, notes, a checklist, and email can help too. It gets messages across without there being any chance of an argument. Also, talk for 10 minutes a day about things other than chores, work or children.

Fights are going to happen. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. But there should be some ground rules. Don’t insult one another or call each other names. If it gets too heated allow your spouse to have a time out. You can, after they’ve cooled, schedule a time to revisit the issue. If you start a fight in front of the children, resolve it in front of them too. That way they learn how to end an argument constructively. Otherwise they’ll know how to fight but won’t know how to resolve. Realize that if you are in a rut in a marriage, it won’t resolve itself. Instead, you have to work hard to renew the spark. Don’t ignore it or else it may grow into too big a problem to address.

Understand what your attachment style is and what your spouse’s is and accommodate one another. Attachment style is how we show affection. Some people are naturally very affectionate. Others are quite reserved. But when a reserved person marries someone who is outwardly affectionate one person can feel starved for affection, the other overwhelmed by it. Discuss this and find ways to show your love that fits with the way your spouse would receive it, and have them adjust to your attachment style as well. As we grow older our priorities shift. This has to be discussed and planned for when something is coming or when it occurs. If you are moving in different directions it’ll be hard to stay together. For more advice read, How Not to Get Divorced: Powerful Principals to Help You Prevent Divorce and Have a Happier Marriage by Michael Caputo.

Clues that He Won’t Ever Marry You

couple-disagreement

Clues that He Won’t Ever Marry You

Do you want to get married but you are stuck, wondering if your guy will ever pop the question? In more traditional times, after dating and courtship, a couple was expected to get married. There was a lot of social pressure to do so. And even though this lead to a lot of unhappy marriages and affairs, the upside was that people knew where a relationship was going and when it wasn’t going anywhere. Today, it’s unclear when a couple is or should get married. It’s their own business and no one else’s. Some people never want to get married. Others, it’s all they dream about. And some relationships are on the fast track to walk down the aisle, while other couples are stuck perpetually in neutral.

If you have always wanted to get married to that one special person, but you can’t tell if your man is going to pop the question or keep you guessing forever, here are some clues that he won’t ever marry you. Check and see if your relationship fits this situation. The first clue is, what does your man place value on? Are you his top priority? If he treats you as the second or even third most important thing on his list, he may not be on track to marry you. What about the future? Have you discussed it? Any couples who are serious about being together discuss the future. Has he ever mentioned getting married or marrying you? If spending their life with someone is something they’ve dreamed about, you may be proposed to. He may just be extra careful, making sure it’s right before he makes a move he can’t easily back out of.

What is the situation with his parents? Did they go through a contentious divorce that has placed some negative feelings about marriage deep in his psyche? If so, this is something that has to be overcome. But you may have to help him work through his trauma. If it’s particularly bad he may be resistant. You will have to decide if your guy is worth it. On the other hand, if his parents have a great marriage, he just may be particular and he wants to pick someone who he believes will give him the same experience. Therefore, he’s taking his time and being careful. The same is true for a religious guy who wants to get married only once, as his faith prescribes.

Does he accept your flaws? If he is always making rude, snide or offhanded comments, he probably doesn’t. In a marriage, both people have to accept one another for who they are, including their faults. Shortcomings should be accepted, made arrangements for, or mitigated.  But if he can’t accept your faults it means that he isn’t thinking about marrying you. And you shouldn’t be marrying someone who doesn’t anyway. Does he sacrifice for you? If he didn’t go out of his way to win your heart and he doesn’t go out of his way once in a while for you, he isn’t interested in marrying you. Does he have any married friends? Guys with only single friends are less inclined to get married and visa-versa. If he says he doesn’t believe in marriage, believe him. And don’t hang around hoping he will change his mind. Instead, find someone who does. For more advice read, Getting Him to Propose: How to Make Your Boyfriend Want to Commit to You for Life by Chase Scott.

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

codependency

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

If you are in a relationship where you feel emotionally drained bending over backwards for your significant other, while they hardly lift a finger for you than this isn’t real love. In fact, you are being taken advantage of. Some people are born givers and they don’t know where to draw the line. Some people are codependent. And although it may look alright on the surface, in fact this is a very unhealthy relationship for both parties. And some people have low self-worth and so let their significant other walk all over them. Or perhaps, someone could just be in the wrong relationship, where what they do for their significant other is no longer appreciated. Instead, they are taken for granted and don’t see much coming down the pike in the other direction. Traffic only goes one way.

Are you giving too much and not getting enough in return? Here are some indicators. See if these fit your situation. The first question is, do you agree to disagree on a whole host of topics? It’s hard for two people to agree on everything. Negotiation, compromise and commitment to one’s word are key for any relationship. But if there are a bunch of things you don’t like and are expected to ignore, you are giving too much. Stick to your priorities. Demand fairness. And if it isn’t possible or doesn’t come, perhaps it’s best to move on.

Do you apologize immediately when there’s a problem? Do you do this whether it’s your fault or not? In healthy relationships, people analyze the conflict or problem and only apologize for what they’ve done wrong. But if you do this you are over-apologizing. Your partner, whether they realize it or not, will soon feel free to take advantage of you. Instead, apologize for what are your mistakes or missteps only. Otherwise you are giving way too much. Are you in a happy relationship or an unhappy one? If you fight all the time, how long has this been going on? Codependent people stay in bad or tumultuous relationships for fear they won’t find anyone else. If this is you, seek professional help. This is a serious problem and can prove dangerous depending on who your partner is. You may be experiencing emotional or even physical abuse. If you are in a high conflict relationship get out as soon as you are able. If there are children involved take them with you too. How much do you prioritize the relationship? If your partner is all you think about, putting school, your job or career, friends, family and other things aside for this person, you may be codependent. Each person in a relationship should have their own lives. But if your entire life is wrapped up in the other person, but they don’t feel the same way, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return.

When you go out, do you worry constantly whether your partner is enjoying themselves, that you can’t relax and enjoy yourself? If parties, clubs, bars and other social situations are a constant source of worry about your partner, but they aren’t concerned whether or not you’re having a good time, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return. Have you changed your entire life to fit this person, while they have hardly changed, if at all, for you? If so you’ve given way too much and them not enough. Do some soul searching. Talk with friends and family. Then discuss it with your partner. If they aren’t willing to change, or don’t change, get out. Find your self-worth. And then find someone who appreciates you for the incredible person you are. Don’t accept this situation. You deserve far better. And if you don’t know it, find out how you can come to that realization and feel how great you are inside. It will help you one day find the person who will recognize it when they meet you. If you believe you may battle with codependency read, Codependency- Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Learn How to Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More by Simeon Lindstrom.

Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

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Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

Whether it’s that beautiful romance or the fun of playing the field, college for most people is one of the most exciting and pivotal times in their dating life. Noting the importance of this time in one’s life, researchers decided to answer the question of who’s more romantic, college guys or girls, and the study reveals some interesting results. Undergraduate men were far more likely to choose a romantic relationship over education and career goals according to the study. These results threaten to turn traditional notions of gender roles on their head. But not so fast. One question, however, is how a romantic relationship is defined. Are they talking about true love, marriage and children or merely a chance to get under the sheets with someone who’s caught his eye?

Duke University’s Medical Center’s Catherine Mosher and the University of Albany’s Sharon Danoff-Burg conducted surveys on undergraduate university students. 80 male students and 157 female students participated, ranging in age from 16 to 25. Reaching goals in different relationships such as family, friends, romantic relationships, marriage and children were measured by the questions in the survey. Goals outlined were financial success, physical fitness, travel, owning a home, career and education success and societal contributions. How much they were willing to sacrifice for romance was also measured.

The results were that both genders felt the need to achieve goals individually but also in their romantic relationships. 51% of female students chose romance over personal goals, compared to 61% of male students. “Charming companions” were more easily traded for travel, educational and career goals. The number of female students choosing a relationship over their career goals came out to 20% compared to 35% of male students. 15% of female students would jettison their education goals for love while 30% of male students said they would do the same. In an interview with LiveScience Mosher said, “I think that those are the issues in which people find tension often in real life, between having a career and making time for relationships.” But how romance was defined wasn’t clear. Were guys really into relationships or were they more than likely letting biology do the thinking for them? According to Kruger, “Maybe for the men they’re thinking close romantic relationship, but that doesn’t necessarily mean long-term commitment of getting married and having children.”

In terms of evolution and traditionally men strived for high status in order to have access to a higher or wider pool perhaps of potential mates. Kruger says, “So in a way it’s kind of like saying, you’re doing all this stuff to strive for something, but if you can get that ‘thing’ without additional striving, wouldn’t you?” Women on the other hand had been so focused on their career and educational goals that they didn’t want any relationship to come in and mess up their plans. Heterosexual men also get more emotional support from the opposite sex. For more on how to balance career and romantic goals pick up a copy of, Married to the Job! How to Balance Your Relationship and Career in the 21st Century (Love Lockdown Series) by Steve Cain.