Communication Conflict Sex and Intimacy

Six warning signs of a “drifting” marriage

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I recently sat down with a couple who have been married for a long time, but recently some relational “drift” in their marriage had slowly sent them in opposite directions like two ships that are each just slightly off course, but over time, that slight drift caused a huge gap between them.

This couple had the abrupt wakeup call of an Emotional Affair which threatened to end their marriage if immediate action wasn’t taken. Any marriage left on autopilot will eventually start drifting in the wrong direction. It’s important to correct the course the moment you recognize the sometimes subtle signs that you’re drifting apart. Here are six warning signs that some unhealthy drifting may be happening in your marriage:

In no particular order…

1.You each spend more of your free time doing individual activities than you spend doing activities together.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with having some hobbies you enjoy independently, BUT when the majority of your free time is wrapped up in activities that don’t include your spouse, that’s a huge red flag that relational drift is leading you in the wrong direction. Find some shared activities you both enjoy doing together, and it could make a huge difference in your marriage.

2. You have “his friends” and “her friends” but not “our friends.”

Again, hanging out with some friends without your spouse isn’t always a bad thing, BUT when your primary social interactions don’t include your spouse, you’re might be subtly sabotaging your marriage.Find some “couple friends” that you both enjoy hanging out with together. Include your spouse as much as possible.

Print3. You don’t have much physical affection outside the bedroom.

A lack of sex can be its own warning sign, but we’ve found many couples who are drifting may still be have sex frequently. A better indicator of “drift” happens with the amount of affection happening outside of the bedroom. When you rarely cuddle, hold hands, put your arm around his/her shoulder, etc., that’s usually a warning sign. For more on better intimacy inside and outside of the bedroom.

4. You find yourself hiding things from your spouse.

This can start subtly and seem innocent at first, but this is a HUGE red flag from the moment it begins. If you find yourself hiding purchases, text messages or anything else from your spouse, please bring it out into the open. A marriage can’t survive without complete transparency and trust. If you’re doing, saying, texting, spending ANYTHING that you hope your spouse doesn’t find out about, you’re drifting towards a crash if you don’t correct the course.

5. You get more excited about your career or your hobbies than you get about your marriage.

Whenever our best energies, thoughts and goals are geared towards pursuits outside of our marriage and family, our marriage and family will tend to get our leftovers instead of our best efforts. It’s good to work hard and even to have some hobbies, but when those endeavors eclipse our marriage in terms of our excitement or commitment, then we’re drifting in the wrong direction.

6. You and your spouse rarely or never talk about your dreams together for the future. 

When you get into the daily grind of work or raising kids and don’t make an intentional effort to keep dreaming new dreams together for the future, you’ll slowly start drifting towards a future without each other. Keep working together to meet new goals and dreaming together about creating new adventures and experiences together. Those are some of the keys to a lifelong love with each other and creating a legacy through your love that will endure for generations to come!

fightingformymarriage-05 Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.

Fight For Your Marriage Today!



This article was originally published here and is used with permission.

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  • Jennifer Padilla

    I don’t know what to say to my husband to get him to put me first before work. I feel so lonely nowadays. I arrived from a business trip he never called to check how my drive was and if I was ok. It was 11:00pm when I got home and when I got home he was asleep.

    • Beth

      I’m so sorry! That is hard. I pray that you’ve found resolution and your marriage is stronger and better.

    • Dewayne Washington

      So sorry to hear this, but I may have a very simple answer and solution. Quick background, my wife and I have taught marriage training and counseling for over a decade. Quick answer, become familiar with love languages, his sounds like acts of kindness and yours words of affirmation. In other words, him working is him “saying”
      I love you, while you need to actually “hear” the words for you to know. So while you are both saying I love you, you are saying it in different languages. Pick up dr chapman’s book on the subject.

  • Bob Maite

    I read through these items to see what led my wife to leave 6 months ago, and still be so hard and unforgiving. I feel like we accomplished all of these–we did things together, shared dreams for the near and more distant future, had most friends in common, had some hobbies separately but mostly together and shared interest in our “separate” hobbies. So what happened? I still don’t know. I do realize that she might answer these differently, but I don’t see how. Recent texts and remembered conversations don’t seem to support that we missed any of these. I sure would love a chance to make sure we are doing all of these, but right now, I’m on my own.

  • Crystal

    Ever since my son passed away my husband and me have been drifting away . to the poiny i get happy wen i hear from my ex baby dad what is wrong with me.😥😥😥😥

    • michelle

      @Crystal, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your son. Marriages face a tremendous strain when the death of a child occurs. This is not uncommon, but it is definitely something to get some help to deal with. Please seek a professional grief counselor together so that you can fight for your marriage while honoring your son and the grief associated with his passing. May God give you an abundance of peace and comfort as you navigate healing. -Michelle