When Al and Tipper Gore announced they are calling it quits, they told friends they "grew apart." Of course nothing is ever quite THAT simple, but growing apart is one of the most common reasons couples give when they split. There are times in every relationship when couples feel a bit of distance and AL and Tipper made a lot of people sit up and take notice of their own relationships. What can you do if you feel yourself drifting away from your other half? We asked GALTime Love and Sex expert Jane Greer, Ph.D. for some advice.
- Talk about it- Discuss your feelings about the growing distance, the stress and the worry you are experiencing.
- Don't play the blame game - Can you identify a particular trigger that started this emotional shift? Avoid criticism and blame even if he/she did something wrong. Instead, tell them how YOU felt and more importantly what you would like in the future. The goal is to change things for the next time, not to punish your partner with your anger.
Make time to be together a priority at the top of your "to do" list. Tips to stop the drift.
- Keep your sex light burning- If you're not in the mood, let your partner know another time to look forward to that you will be together. Also come up with options rather than just saying NO to sex.
- Promise not to let work get in the way of your relationship
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If one or both of you are working a lot, agree to cut back a bit. You need to save some time and energy for your relationship. Research shows when you feel happy at home, you do better at work.
If you are stuck on the job more than you want to be, stay connected by texting each other little notes. Or drop an email when you think of something funny.
- Don't underestimate the stress that comes with kids or major illness in the family- Deal with these issues right away.
- Always show respect even when you disagree- Often, neither of you is wrong, you just see things differently, so make room to disagree.
- Remember why you fell in love- Make a list of 30 things you really admire about each other. Reveal one a day for an entire month.
- If nothing seems to work, seek an outside, objective opinion from a friend, clergy or therapist.
When another couple splits, does it make you take stock in your own relationship? How do you keep from growing apart---or come back together when the distance starts to build? Leave us a comment!
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