Family, marriage, Wife, Womanhood

When Your Spouse seems Far away

Make allowances for others faults, because the Lord forave you first.

Make allowances for others faults, because the Lord forave you first.

I have been married almost 8 years. In those years there is one thing that keeps happening to me and my husband. We are constantly drifting apart. I remember hearing from christian teachers, pastors and counselors that this is a common problem in marriages and that I should expect it to happen to my marriage. I didn’t really believe it though. How could I possibly grow distant from this amazing man I married?

But I did. 

And it keeps happening.

As our family has grown I have seen that there are times when we have struggled with being united, and close. There are also times when we didn’t seem to struggle at all. When the kids began to come along my focus was diverted away from being fully focused on my husband to this huge responsibility called being a mommy. I found it to be overwhelming and I really struggled when my oldest was born. Daniel and I drifted apart during that time as I struggled with lack of sleep, chronic illness, working, being a mommy and being a wife. (Daniel and I had 9 months in which we were married without children. I got pregnant on the honeymoon.) Daniel struggled with feelings that I was neglecting him, and giving all my attention to our new daughter. He felt isolated and shut off from me. As he expressed those hurt feelings, I became defensive. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t more understanding. Having a baby is hard. Working full-time nights and having a baby is hard. Working full-time nights, having a baby while living with a chronic illness is very hard. I expected my newish husband to be patient and kind and totally understanding of ME and MY struggles.

I didn’t want to consider my husband’s feelings. I will be honest I did not think his struggles were as difficult as mine at the time. I wanted him to see my pain, my emotional struggles and I did not want to take any responsibility. {I don’t recommend this approach.}

I was not looking for ways to care for my husband, I was simply trying to survive one difficult day at a time. I could not see beyond that. Yet God was calling me to something else.

I am thankful we survived that struggle and many others over the past 7 3/4 years. Whenever a problem arises between my husband and I there seems to be a few common threads that are happening in our lives.

  • We are drifting apart from one another.
  • We are being selfish and not caring for one another.
  • We are allowing ourselves to become focused on other things rather than our marriage.

For example: I want to sit down and put my feet up and completely disconnect from life once the kids are in bed. I am usually very tired by the time this happens, and all I want is to completely disconnect from everything. That usually involves turning on the tv, reading a book, or getting on the computer. All three of those things completely shut out my husband.

If I make these behaviors a habit than Daniel and I begin to drift apart. I am focusing on myself, not on building our marriage. Are any of the above things wrong? Not in themselves, but if they are taking me away from my husband than perhaps I need to find other ways to unwind. Is there a way I can unwind while still connecting with my husband? Yes. It takes becoming creative and moving away from old behaviors, but it is possible.

I have had friends use this distance to justify all sorts of behaviors. As time passes their families grow and change things begin to come in between a husband and a wife. The children keep the wife busy and distracted. Work keeps the husband busy and away from home. Activities at church keep the couple working towards ‘good’ things, but not towards each other. And soon a husband and wife look at each other and they don’t know how to react to one another any more. They assume the other person is the one who has drifted away and so they seek fulfillment someplace else. Perhaps a husband finds his wife is too busy at home to really notice him so he looks to work for his ego boost. A wife sees her husband busy with his job, and she begins to assume he doesn’t want to be around her any more and so she looks to romance novels, or girlfriends to fill that growing void.

Rather than seeking answers outside, perhaps we should begin with getting on our knees.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Philippians 2:3-4 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 really grabbed my attention. I think the NLT translation gives an interesting insight into what the verse is saying. “Make allowances for each other’s faults.” I want my husband to forgive me. I want my husband to make allowances for my weaknesses. I want to be understood for my mistakes and bad decisions. But I am rarely willing to do the same for him. So rather than blame my husband for the gulf that may be growing between us, I should take steps to bridge that gap instead.

What about you? Do you find yourself constantly drifting away from your spouse? What are you doing to fight against that current? If we don’t fight against it we are allowing ourselves to be pulled away. As wives we need to be intentionally fighting for our husbands, and for our marriages.

I would love to hear how you are being intentional about drawing closer to your spouse? Please share in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “When Your Spouse seems Far away

  1. Amy, I know that feeling too well. Unfortunately, my first marriage ended in divorce (I got saved during the marriage, he kept drinking…). Regardless of our differences, I remember the feelings of change-when you become a mother, everything shifts and it’s so hard to get that back. I think that our marriages just keep evolving and it’s important to find a way to keep it from “de-volving.” Scripture, yes. Prayer, yes. Sacrifice, definitely. My story does have a happy next chapter-I did find a wonderful Christian man and married him. My children are now adults and our marriage is very different from the first time around.Still…we all drift apart at times. Being like minded and bringing it to God. Great post.

  2. There is so much real-life encouragement here. The fact you want to connect is worth a lot because that’s the most important step – the desire! My husband and I like to play Scrabble and watch movies/shows together. I don’t get on the computer in the evenings, most of which we hang out together once the kids are in bed. It’s a good time for us to catch up and connect. Hoping you and your husband find common ground to connect on. Thanks for sharing at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  3. Your advice here is good. Even after 38 years, marriage is still work and the challenge is still there to not give in to selfishness!

  4. Drifting apart, making assumptions, and failing to communicate clearly do seem to be struggles common to every marriage.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on this!

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Yes, despite our best intentions, it is all too easy to drift apart. Thank you for the challenge to fight against that current – just the reminder I needed : ) Thanks so much for linking with us at Make A Difference Mondays!

  6. I may not be married yet but I am grateful that you shared your thoughts. I have seen my parents marriage and all I can say is that they have never been happier than now. I see them putting God first in their relationship and because of that God is blessing them. I always try to put God first and when I do He lifts my burdens and He brings peace into my life and also my Fiancee’s.

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