Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


How Couples Grow Apart

posted by Linda Mintle

This week, I am speaking at the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference in Nashville, TN. My first session is entitled, Advances in Marital Therapy: What Works? We know what works, but the frustration is that too many couple do not get help when their relationships begin to drift apart.

The road to emotional distance is well documented thanks to the efforts of marital researcher John Gottman. Couples lock into negative cycles of interactions that often lead them apart. They turn away from each other rather than towards each other when stress mounts. Instead of forming a united front against stress and life pressures, the spouse becomes the enemy and the source of criticism.

The progression of growing apart begins with criticism. Criticism leads to feelings of contempt. Those feelings raise defensiveness. Defensiveness is a self-preservation response to relationship problems. It blocks intimacy and is usually motivated by fear and insecurity when you feel attacked. When your spouse is overly critical or on the attack, it is easy to become defensive. But if you stay defensive, the relationship suffers. Defensiveness leads to stonewalling. Stonewalling is just like it sounds-putting up a stone wall and shutting the partner out of your life. The result is emotional distance-the number one predictor of divorce.

Marital therapy helps stop this negative cycle of growing apart and teaches couples to turn towards each other in times of stress. Therapy aims at strengthening the emotional bond and repairing relationship damage quickly.

So marriages could be saved if couples were willing to submit to the therapy process. The path to lost love is known and can be turned around. But it takes a commitment by the couple.

Do not allow your marriage to grow apart. If you see the signs of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling operating, contact a licensed marital therapist and get help.

Do you agree that too many couples divorce over fixable problems?

 

 



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment beth

    yes it is true and only a committed person and one who is determined to make it in marriage will seek help.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment temitope

    I agree that couples should not grow apart in times of crisis, instead they should grow together in faith and love and try all their possible means to see that their relationship works, the devil loves secrets and couples should be able to communicate with each other and also tell each other stuffs, no matter what.

Previous Posts

Teens and TV: Are They Overdoing It?
By now, most of you are aware that too much screen viewing for children and teens is linked to  elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression, and being overweight. And we know that teen viewing habits often carry over to adult viewing habits. So how are

posted 7:00:54am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Body-Brain Connection: When Bigger Really is Better
"As your weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down." This, according to psychiatrist, Daniel Amen. It's true, smaller doesn't always mean better, especially when it comes to the size of your brain! Dr. Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, wants us all to get o

posted 9:27:01am Jul. 17, 2014 | read full post »

5 Proactive Steps to Get Rid of Job Worry
Downsizing, added work loads, difficult co-workers, budget cuts and poor leadership can cause even the calmest person to worry on the job. On way to deal with stress and job worries is to control the things you can and trust God for the rest. Here are 5 proactive steps you can take in order to g

posted 7:00:22am Jul. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Hair Raising: Kids Getting Bikini Waxes
When the New York Post reported that 14-year-old Glynis Coyne has been getting her legs waxed since she was eight years old, I just gasped. Apparently, I am not up on the trend--hair removal for prepubescent girls! Instead of a trip to the candy store, a growing number of moms choose spa visits. The

posted 7:00:32am Jul. 14, 2014 | read full post »

10 Reasons Couples Therapy Needs a Spiritual Base
Let's say your marriage is hurting and you know you need help. If you are a Christian couple, does it matter who you see and what approach the person uses to help you? Absolutely. So much of couples therapy is based on a secular humanistic approach and not on the truths of Christianity. Here i

posted 7:00:27am Jul. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.