Why Do Couples Grow Apart? - Marriage And Relationships

Why Do Couples Grow Apart? – Smartcouples.net


Why Do Couples Grow Apart? – Marriage And Relationships

It’s the dream of every man or woman who makes it to the altar to live happily ever after. People get into marriages with high hopes, high expectations, and putting their spouses on high pedestals.

Why Do Couples Grow Apart? - Marriage And Relationships
Beecee Ugboh

In some societies, the wedding preparations are intense with a lot of family members and friends involved and lots of money spent for the occasion. Most of the time, the couples pay more attention to the preparation of the wedding ceremony than the marriage itself. I would even say that is one of the reasons most couples miss the red flags emitted by their partners.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I personally love the thrill of weddings having attended lots myself, but I know that to survive marriage, it’s a whole lot of work and commitment. Like we were admonished in the scriptures to work out our personal salvation with fear and trembling, so it is with marriage (Philippians 2:12-13 ).

The marriage itself is the only institution where you get your certification before you commence studying, you know I’m right! Nobody braces you up for what you’ll likely meet in the game no matter the number of counseling classes or seminars you attend to prepare yourself before the day. Every marriage is unique as it is.

I remember vividly the only advice whispered to a cousin of mine on her wedding day; that marriage is a wrapped gift and whatever you unwrap becomes your lot. Hmm! Isn’t that scary? But it shouldn’t be, because marriage is a beautiful thing, designed by God for companionship, intimacy, and procreation (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:21-24).

Then why would couples who got into a marriage with the intention of happily ever after grow apart after a few years? I hope I’m able to scratch the surface with my view on this.

The Adjusting Phase

The first few years of the marriage are usually what I call the adjusting stage where the couples are beginning to understand themselves better. This phase comes with more arguments and disagreements which are easily sorted out depending on the nature of the couples involved. Some couples never recover from this first phase and the marriage thereby dissolves before it even begins.

The Next Phase

Those who go through this first phase move on to the next phase with better understanding and synergy between the couple just like fine wine.

Why Do Couples Grow Apart? - Marriage And Relationships

With this next stage, most couples begin to take each other for granted. The scales have finally fallen off their eyes at this point and they are beginning to see that the perfection of the partner was merely an illusion. The beautiful woman probably snores, has lost her figure as a result of childbirth, gained weight, and complains about everything.

The man, on the other hand, is probably short-tempered, doesn’t provide enough for the home, is too loud and uncultured, etc. All of these vary with different people but the bottom line is that the perfect being you fell in love with is no longer perfect.

At this point the marriage has become even boring, laced with daily routines which is viewed as what life brings and most couples at this time are simply just getting by which is one of the reasons couples grow apart. The most important thing on the couples’ mind during this period is usually how to handle life’s issues as it comes and, honestly, some have it harder than others.

The Manner Of Handling Issues

The way couples handle the issues of life also determines if and how they grow apart. One spouse may be used to bottling up exactly how he/she feels in the face of situations, while the other may likely lash out. Without proper understanding and communication between couples on how to handle life’s issues, they may find over time that each one has figured out a coping mechanism without solving the problem. Remember that no individual wants to get into a marriage that won’t work, but it takes more than love to sustain a marriage. It takes more than love to make it work.

Leading Separate Lives

Couples who grow apart are mostly couples who lead separate lives. Though it’s important for each partner to have their own identity, that shouldn’t replace the oneness that togetherness brings. When couples are very comfortable being apart from each other for long periods, it’s usually a pointer that something isn’t right and as such may not feel the need to be together anymore after a time.

While you do not plan to have a failed marriage, without a plan on how to make your marriage work is as good as planning a failed marriage. And so it’s important that both couples from the beginning are determined to make it work no matter the circumstances and also work hard towards it.

I’m glad you’ve read some of my thoughts on the question, “Why do couples grow apart?” Now, What’s your take?




Authored By BeeCee Ugboh for Smartcouples.net © 2020. All rights reserved




About the author

Beecee Ugboh is a relationship expert, a life coach and educationist. She's a Co-host of "Your View" morning show at TVC Communications.
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Thank you for writing about this. Most couples don’t understand the genesis of growing apart and ignorantly let it happen. I think communication is key to avoid such separate growth within relationships. We should communicate better with each other at all levels.


A great piece for the wise couple. Love it.


Hi Beecee, you write well with this growing apart couple saga. It happens all the time but some are just unaware of it until it hits them hard. If couples do not ignore little things, such could be avoided too. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks Juan for your contribution. We do appreciate. 

Juan Saladin

We need to be respectful within our marriage, nevertheless, you have to know where are you going once you take such important desition as getting married (obviously it has its implications that *being a normal person* you have analyzed before getting into that compromise).

The ideal marriage wouldn’t be one where we live our separate lives sharing a roof and expenses (that’s the definition for room-mates, not for a marriage). It would be closer to the foundation of a family, where most, if not all our efforts are aligned to commonly established goals. 

We should handle issues in a respectful way, where each one observes the final goal of each one intention (Those need to be clearly established by the way / No one should never be taken as a mind reader!). The theory is quite easy (problems come with practice).

Love will always carry the best answers!


Couldn’t agree more, Dave. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Beecee’s article. Have a great day. 


This is a very interesting topic which effects millions of couple’s in society and I believe a lot of it is down to modern life and understanding each others boundaries, morals and principles.

During courtships at least in the very early days discussions need to be had about what each other consider as boundaries and principles because depending on each others previous relationships, what will work for one side won’t work for the other and this is when incompatibility comes into play, yet often times 10 or 20 or even more years of marriage would have had to pass before this issue has surfaced.


Thanks Nate for sharing your thoughts on Beecee’s article. 

Nate MC

Why do couples grow apart?… So many good points here. And you are absolutely right about it taking more than love to make a marriage work. Spouses need to know how to handle issues in a constructive way. And unfortunately, I think many spouses are disconnected with one another because they’ve rushed into things too quickly and then realized they weren’t right for each other, after just a very short period of time of being married.


Hello Martine, I’m quite impressed with your inputs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. 


Hi Beecee, I think we are conditioned as females to believe in the knight in shining armor.  And, I think both men and women are fed the “happily ever after” line from early on.  So, I think when things get tough, we automatically think it shouldn’t be like this and many will bolt.  But, I do think that if you can get through the tough times that your relationship can actually be much deeper and stronger.  Sometimes, we don’t know what to do or how to fix it and neither party has the skills.  Often, we can then let go of a relationship that is actually right for us.  I think if we can become aware of our own conditioning and reactions and take a more mature look at what real intimacy is (not the fairy tale) that we can make it work.  It takes two to tango though right.  Often it takes these breakdowns to grow, to reflect (hopefully) and have insights into our own behaviours/attitudes and beliefs that impact on our relationships.  Hopefully with this new knowledge and awareness we will do better. Thanks for the write-up. 


Thanks Sling, for sharing your take. We appreciate your shared time and wish you a great day. 


Hi Beecee, your article is quite interesting. Generally this site has so much to offer for couples in relationships. Particularly, I have read some of your articles recently and the arguments are mind Pleasing. 

For me I’ve learnt something from this article about growing apart of couples. I have learned how to fix a relationship that is growing apart by effective communication. Let’s talk about it, let your partner know how you are feeling and even brainstorm ways you can grow closer together again. If two people in a close relationship grow apart, or if they grow away from each others, they gradually begin to have a less interest on things that made them close in the relationship. Usually because they no longer have the same interests and want the same things. The word that I may use is, boredom. When it becomes boring, growing apart is inevitable. That is my take. Thanks for the article. 


Hello Blue, so sorry for the unfortunate experience. However, nothing is greater than what you have learned over time. And I am happy that you learned something all along. Beecee mentioned a lot of truths in her article which only help to strengthen the union of couples. Thanks for reading and for sharing your own story. 

BlueMoon UniqueFashion

Hi Beecee, A very beautiful post with many truths told. Unfortunately, my first marriage did not survive. I didn’t know many of these things you mentioned in your post, and I probably believed that the “honeymoon” phase would last for the rest of my life. But I was deceived. Soon we have entered that phase, everyone led their own lives. I have learned many lessons, however, and now I am trying to apply them in my second marriage. Thank you again, Beecee, for this post. 


You are welcome, thanks for sharing your take. 

Mugalu Mansoor

Thank you very for this useful post about why do couples grow apart. Marriage to me is like a school where we meet people from different backgrounds who grew not like us and we learn from them too. The main thing here is to learn your partner and adjust a bit so that you can live in harmony. Love and mercy and kindness are three things marriage can’t survive without. This is my take, although there may be more. Thanks for writing this, Beecee. 


Thanks so much, Shanta for sharing your thoughts on Beecee’s article. Your views are very much appreciated. 

Shanta Rahman

Hi Beecee, thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article. Marriage is actually the name of a relationship that we realize with a feeling of inwardness. Pre-marital life and post-marital life are completely two different things. People are bound by marriage with high expectations and fulfilling these high expectations aren’t always possible with their partners. But even with these expectations, the couples are often separated having grown apart in their own ways. I like your own arguments and the reasonings that you nicely explored through your article. 

Your discussion under The Adjusting Phase, and Next Phase, are lessons which I learnt the very hard way. I have realized and come to terms with my life and experience because all of your points were not real or known to me at the time of my own marriage. And that is why my marriage today has been shattered. 

In fact, before committing to marriage, one should commit to himself to God. You mentioned divorce of couples in your article as a result of partners not picking up red flags during marriage ceremony and preparation, I would not agree less.

Sometimes, we create a kind of mechanism to sweep under the carpet or hide our problems or even face them in our way, believing that we have solutions to them. What an illusion that is. Truly, Without proper understanding and communication between couples, they would struggle more, put in more efforts and energy, but wouldn’t solve the real problem. 

I hope that many would read and understand your article. It was really very informative. And thanks so much for for sharing this, Beecee. 


Hi Fluf, yeah Beecee’s article is quite interesting, and your too. It was very encouraging to read your story. You are an inspiration to many. Thank you for sharing it with us. 

Fluffy Duck Studios

Very interesting post, Beecee. I work in a different town to where my family live and that often means regular periods away from home.  It was hard when raising a young family but as time went on, my wife and I figured out routines that worked for us, both individually and when together.  I believe the key to having a good, enduring relationship through these tough times was understanding that we each had a part to play but also not to be too hard on ourselves or each other if something didn’t work out.  

At the end of the day, we were both doing what was necessary for our family to survive and endure and we respected each other for the skills we brought to the table. Did my wife and I see as much of each other as we would have liked or expected when we got married? No. But that didn’t mean we just gave up and went our separate ways.  I think some people give up too easily these days and I wonder if they ever wanted a meaningful relationship in the first place.


Thanks Biiz, for commenting. Your views are welcome. 


Hello BeeCee. You’ve done a really nice job putting this article together. It is true that most persons prepare for wedding ceremony only and not the marriage itself. For a marriage to succeed, understanding, discipline, tolerance and patience are key factors. It’s important to have the understanding that no body is perfect and no body is a perfect match for anyone. I once read a post that says love does not keep a relationship but discipline and commitment does. The only way to save our marriage is to have understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, help each other become better versions of ourselves. We can workout our marriage.



Hi Nim, I think the answer to your question could be found on what Beecee said, “Without proper understanding and communication between couples on how to handle life’s issues, they may find over time that each one has figured out a coping mechanism without solving the problem.” Proper understanding and communication can help navigate the boredom that routine brings in a relationship. I hope this helps answer the question. If you have other questions, please, do not hesitate to ask. Thanks for reaching out and for sharing your story with us.


Hello, I always read your articles on this site with great interest and I am glad that Beecee shared this information with us. I have been married for 2 years and I can say that your articles helped me. 

The growth of a couple is very important, and as Beecee said, the first years are for understanding each other. After that, begins the real life of the couple and the strongest one resist and go on. I have realized so far that routine is a very important factor in maintaining harmony in the life of couples, and I know it could be boring at times, but should it always be avoided? Sometimes that puts me in a lot of trouble, and I would like to ask you how to avoid routine in a relationship of couples?

Thanks again and keep in touch! 


Hi Stratos, thanks for sharing your view on Beecee’s article. And yes, it was informative indeed. Have a great day.

Stratos K

Hello Beecee, thanks for that piece of informative article. Getting into a marriage is the easiest part to do. Maintaining a balance and not falling into the everyday routine that this brings is the key to not making your life boring. A good marriage is the hardest thing a person can maintain. It needs patience and it’s one of the things that you really need to work hard to keep. 

When couples are first married it’s the initial excitement that covers everything else. After the first 2-3 years is when things start to settle down and the initial excitement goes away that most imperfections start to appear. I could not agree more with your article, Beecee. 

Thank you for the interesting read and I hope it will help a little all those that think into getting married to overcome the difficult times that every marriage goes through.

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