Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Do People “Fall Out of Love”?

The Top Ten Reasons for Why People Fall Out of Love …
… and not necessarily in this order.

1. Conflict. A high level of conflict or a lack of resolving conflict begins the distance and isolation cascade.
2. Too much disrespect or contempt. Even gestures such as eye-rolling or “correcting” a spouse erode loving feelings in a relationship.
3. Someone else. When you “love” someone else, it is easy to believe that you do not and can no longer love the one you are with.
4. Taking the marriage for granted and not finding ways to keep it vital and interesting. It is easy to forget the importance of finding time for and nurturing your relationship and your partner.
5. Thinking that those feelings are gone begets more of the same. The more that you think about a lack of feelings of love, the more you feel a lack of feelings of love. What you look for is what you get.
6. Busyness. Couples with young children have the highest divorce rates because their lives are so focused on children and careers.
7. Serious problems such as alcoholism, workaholism, etc. Love can only hang around for so long when a spouse is over-involved with work or struggles with serious addiction (gambling, shopping, etc.) or alcoholism.
8. Not making the shift from “I” to “We”. Couples must find a way to elevate the relationship in their priority list, not letting go of self-care, but recognizing that they need to look for opportunities to support the health of their relationship.
9. Depression. Sometimes when people are depressed, they think that it is because of their marriage and a change in partners will lift the depression. The spouse of a depressed person may also give up, believing that the living environment is too difficult.
10. Influences from family and friends. Family and friends, who often hear only one side of the story, may encourage ending a marriage. When there is a “divorce culture” among friends, and it may seem that the others are happier and the “grass is greener”, it makes it harder to do the work that needs to be done to turn a marriage around.

We will talk about these ideas in later posts, along with some tips for how to turn things around. We would be interested in your thoughts and stories about what worked for you.

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