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You Don't Understand Why You're Growing Apart? Really?!

I don't believe you when you say it. And neither do you.

By Ellen "Jelly" McRaePublished 30 days ago 6 min read
Image created on Canva

I'm not trying to be a jerk of a friend. Or put my friend's situation on blast. But I'm concerned about my friend's ability to comprehend what is happening to him right now.

I keep asking myself; how does he not know?

Here's the situation.

My friend's relationship is crumbling around him. He knows that he and his partner are moving in separate directions, away from each other at rapid speed, and heading for the end.

He can see the writing on the wall, as most people can. They're not going to be together much longer I'm sorry to say.

Yet despite the way he knows it ends, he tells me and anyone else willing to listen that he has no idea why they're growing apart.

He can't list one reason why their relationship is crumbling, not one niggle. He holds his head in his hands and wonders.

The wondering is hard to watch from the view of a spectator. Because it's impossible not to know what is happening between them.

And if you're in my friend's shoes, you should know too.

You have eyes, right?

There are some basics of being in a relationship you need to remember right now.

As it's getting tough, you need to rely on what you can see happening between you and your partner.

I mean this literally; you can see:

  • If your partner makes any physical contact with you
  • If you and your partner engage in fights
  • If you and your partner go on dates
  • If you and your partner have sex
  • If you and your partner spend time together
  • If you and your partner are communicating

There is more to the list. These are all the things that couples do when they're close, functioning as normal, or coming together. 

These are healthy traits in a relationship, not usually indicative of two people pulling apart.

But these are quantifiable parts of life. They either happen or they don't. You're either doing the things that bring you closer together or you're not doing them.

And if they aren't happening, you can't quantify them, there's your first reason.

You have feelings that get hurt, right?

One of the most significant reasons a couple will pull away from each will come down to feelings; hurt ones, specifically. 

One or both sides will feel hurt for many reasons. It's part of being in a relationship. You're constantly dabbling in feelings management.

But when you're pulling apart with no idea why you know you've had your feelings hurt. And you know what feelings, too. 

You know if your:

  • Feeling insulted by certain behaviours or interactions
  • Feeling let down by your partner
  • Feeling like you can't trust your partner
  • Feeling like your partner isn't there for you, unreliable, flakey
  • Feeling like they're not attracted to you or vice versa

When you're feeling that chasm between you, these feelings should be right at the forefront of your mind. They're going to tell you a lot about what's happening.

You have arguments about something, right?

The last time I spoke with them, I asked my friend about the arguments between him and his partner. I wondered if they had been having any fights and what they were about.

It turns out they had a lot of fights. 

At one point, they've been in one long unresolved fight that won't end. When I asked my friend what the fights were about, he was able to rattle off five issues right off the top of his head.

Now, this is a no-brainer moment looking in on the outside. Probably because most people tell you arguments are normal and healthy parts of being in a relationship.

But we've hit the pointy end of a relationship where the fights aren't normal everyday happenings. These are battles that form the reasons you break up.

These are things you need to remember when you're wondering why everything is changing and you're seemingly the last person to know about it. 

The arguments add up. The arguments change.

You've done something to annoy each other, right?

I struggle to believe you can't think of a single thing that hasn't pissed you off. Or that you've done to your partner. Or that your partner has told you you've done, even though you deny it happening.

Unless you don't communicate anything with each other, or have zero clues about each other's deal breakers, surely you can name something.

Again, this is when some of what we know about relationships, "normality", needs to go out the window. 

  • We annoy each other all the time. 
  • There are always little quirks, little things we do that we don't bother talking about. 
  • These issues aren't worth a fight.

But those little things don't cause couples to break up or pull away from each other unless something else has changed.

Now is the time to think about what has changed. Big events. Memorable incidents that caused big blow-ups. Or things that caused silence between you.

I mean, if you've cheated on them lately, for example, that's going to be it, too.

You know things have changed, right?

Speaking of which, you know when something has changed in your relationship. You know what it was it was good, at its best compared to what it is now.

Presumably, your relationship is at its worse if you're drifting apart.

That's something people don't like doing. 

Comparing. Reflecting. 

They don't like to look back at what their relationship was and see how it has evolved. Even when it has been a good evolution, it's moving backwards for them.

Well, without quoting an age-old saying, you do have to look backwards to go forwards. And in this context, you're sabotaging yourself by not reflecting on what has changed.

You've heard them tell you, right?

Here's what I can't believe when someone says they don't know why they're growing apart from their partner. 

As if, at some point in your relationship, you haven't said something to your partner. You might not have used the exact words or the right phrasing. 

But I struggle to believe an expression of unhappiness was not used.

Everyone does it in their own way too. But you should know that about your partner. They might not have to say 'I'm unhappy' to know that's what they're saying. 

Their body language and behaviour say it all.

And if they don't tell you, how hard is it to ask why? I know asking questions can be a challenge, especially if communication is poor between you. 

But not knowing combined with the pain of guessing? To alleviate that is worth asking one uncomfortable question.

Denial is a strong ally in heartache

It's easy from where I'm sitting to say open your eyes, you know the problems, you can see it right in front of you. 

But I could never say that to my friend who's going through it. 

Not only because it's way too hard to utter, but because it doesn't account for what happens when relationships get hard. 


You deny anything is happening, anything tangible because you don't want to believe it's happening. It's easy to deny what's happening rather than confront it head-on.

I get the denial. I get how hard it is. But you can see how emotional denial doesn't match all the logic we've talked about. 

You can see how this isn't helping you.

Don't be one of those people living in denial. I promise you everything gets better when you relinquish denial.

Start there, and the guessing will end. That much I can guarantee.


About the Creator

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here:

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