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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?      Home login  
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 belly18dancer
Joined: 7/22/2006
Msg: 2
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
People grow and they do change...the person i was at 19 when i met my ex husband, is not the person I am now...not by a long shot....why I always encourage people to NOT marry young, not until you go to college, get a degree and career and grow as an intellectual person...

it works that way in friendships...my best friend in high school, we were inseperable...but now i haven't seen her in a million years it seems....we have grown and gone our separate ways...and other friends i've grown close to at a job or at school, well when it was time to move on we did...doesn't mean i no longer like them, just means our lives took us in separate directions...

i do think divorce has become so easy and prevalent in our society that no one really seems to want to work at it...they want the dream of marriage and when it doesn't happen they want out, rather than work at it

you can grow together or grow apart...simple as that
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 7
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 10/28/2006 11:37:24 AM
I can only answer for me, but my ex and I grew apart. Our common goals, future goals/dreams, financial interests, sexual interests, etc., simply did not relate to one another after about 5 years. The only subject of agreement was our son. That is NOT enough of a reason to remain married. Today, I like him. I like who he has become, and he feels the same about me. Had we stayed married, we would still hate each other. Whether or not it's a contract, an agreement, a commitment ~ it's also real life. We tried for two years to find commonality, comfort and peace with each other ~ we finally did find it all, it was called: divorce. Life is too short to be chronically unhappy and there is NO relationship worth being stiflled, stagnated or otherwise deprived. Sometimes the end is really the beginning. We are now both much more fulfilled, much happier and much more productive than we ever were together. It was a positive end to a negative situation. JMO
 gerfalcon
Joined: 5/10/2008
Msg: 9
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/5/2016 10:25:15 AM

...When two people marry it's the responsibility of BOTH parties to communicate and GROW TOGETHER. If that doesn't happen then both are mutually responsible for the failure and have "broken the contract" in his words. Divorce is just TOO simple these days


I disagree that both couples are mutually responsible for a failure, and have "broken the contract". Some people lie, deceive, and only care about their own personal happiness. The concept of a vow means NOTHING to them if it interferes with their self-enjoyment and individual desires in life. These sorts of people like to come up with bullshit phrases like "we've grown apart" to excuse themselves from working on the relationship...

Many times the only failure a spouse makes is being deceived and vowing themselves to such a person.
 imanorangetiger
Joined: 12/29/2011
Msg: 10
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/5/2016 2:52:38 PM
^^^ I'm guessing you've been spurned and are very bitter about it. Been there myself and you'll dig yourself a hole and stay in it if you dwell on it.

People often get to 20-25 years of marriage and then call it a day. Erikson would have called this stage 7 of his psychosocial model where people either generate or stagnate. Other posters are quite correct in saying that where there's a mismatch here, there'll be trouble. Many couples stagnate quite successfully together and think nothing of it (never been apart, even for a day, do everything together, have lived in the same house, spending evenings in front of the telly) but even then, if one of the couple dies, the other will be more bereft (when they hit stage 8 (ego integrity or despair) than someone who has made more of their own life. Each of Erikson's stages are a tower of building blocks: crumbling and incomplete blocks further down will compromise the whole structure. People who can't hang onto healthy relationships that blossom will have had problems before stage 7.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 11
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/5/2016 3:02:53 PM
I think the "growing apart" thing is more of a case of one person growing apart, while the other partner is happy or content with the status quo, and can't or won't understand why their partner seeks change. It would have to take a lot of coordination and timing to grow apart at the same time. It's more likely to happen when people go into a relationship/marriage wearing beer goggles, expecting the fairy tale perfect life after marriage, then reality hits them in the face. When teenagers get married, that would be a case of growing apart, since they're both still growing into adults without decades of life experiences, and their lives can go in any direction. But don't tell any teenagers that, because so many think that they have life all figured out and are smarter than adults. (lol)

Why some people want to grow with their partner and why some want to grow apart without their partner anymore, is anyone's guess, and would vary, depending on the people involved and the circumstances.
 LetitiaLeGrande
Joined: 3/22/2015
Msg: 12
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/5/2016 3:24:27 PM
If one person is not pulling their weight or investing in the relationship or heeding the other's needs then it is not a partnership and better dissolved. Some people feel they need to do all the investing and compromising in order just to keep someone around and ultimately they will feel used, unhappy and frustrated. Sometimes people get complacent, bored or whatever and that needs to be addressed in some way.
 moonbeamlover1
Joined: 11/10/2016
Msg: 13
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/5/2016 7:57:20 PM
I have been around many people post breakup when I ran the divorced group and there was a lot of times the one person was unhappy but dutiful and quietly resentful and
the other person frequently thinks they are dutiful because they are happy not getting that the other person has been the one compromising while the other was comfortable and secure. the one can be planning their exit for years while the other literally had no clue there is anything wrong.
 hemingway234
Joined: 6/6/2015
Msg: 14
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/9/2016 5:00:16 AM
"We grew apart" is code for "I fell out of love".
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 15
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/9/2016 6:59:32 AM
"We grew apart" is code for "I fell out of love".

When I hear the falling out of love line, that IMO means they were never in love in the first place, but instead, were in love with the idea of the fairy tale wedding, having a sperm/egg donor to reproduce, have the house with the white picket fence, and live like the perfect families on TV shows, where real life doesn't happen. But then, at some point, reality comes creeping into their lives that might shatter their fairy tale existence, and they are forced to get to know each other without wearing the rose colored glasses.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 16
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/13/2016 5:33:21 AM
I would tend to agree that the growing apart often happens when one person is maturing and whatnot and the other is sitting and spinning but I also totally disagree with the friend thing, but then again I value my friends far beyond someone I share interests with and actually most of my friends over the years I haven't become friends with because of shared interests but places, work, church, kid activities.

My life would be utterly boring if my friends were carbon copies of myself and I don't collect friends because I need buddies with whom to spend my time, my friends and I are there to share the good and hard times together. I also trust them, there are so many ingredients in a relationship that are based on trust, love and mutual respect, starting off a relationship without that in any kind of way just seems pointless.

The last relationship I was in supposedly started as friendship. I believe one of the reasons it hurt when he bailed was because it is not the behavior I expect from friends. I was so ill I could barely function and he went radio silent. This is significantly different than the behavior of all of my friends who were there for me through that medical debacle and the next.

And here's the thing. Yes, marriages that begin young don't necessarily last but I also know many different couples who marry young and are still happy and one of the reasons they are is that they are their spouse's best friend. If you communicate and really take the other person's feelings into consideration I don't think you do grow apart, you both grow but you still have that basis for the relationship and that my friend is most often friendship.
 __TEXASCHICK__
Joined: 11/9/2011
Msg: 17
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/13/2016 6:20:59 PM
A couple changes/ grows together headed on a similar pathway, if the path diverges, they may drift apart.
a commitment of ANY kind is a choice,,, one CHOOSES daily, day in day out.

or not.
 cooldog65
Joined: 6/27/2011
Msg: 18
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/13/2016 7:45:01 PM

"We grew apart" is code for "I fell out of love".


Or for post honeymoon phase..."I feel out of lust".
 forumslady
Joined: 12/7/2016
Msg: 19
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/13/2016 9:05:22 PM
Dave1234- Some interesting points have been made by almost everyone.
In a way, most of you are right.
People are complex.
Growing apart happens, but it's an umbrella term that doesn't break things down to ALL that happens to cause divorce.
Let's start with the fact that there are people who marry for the wrong reason.
They are getting older, they want children, pressure from friends/family, not wanting to be alone, thinking someone else can make them happy. The list goes on and on. These are ALL terrible reasons to marry.
Marriage is, indeed, a commitment and it takes work.
The key is that BOTH people are invested in the commitment and the work it takes to keep a marriage alive.
This is where things most often go off the rails.
One, or both, stops trying.
There was an interesting study I read about "bidding".
In successful marriages, both continue "bidding" toward the other.
When both people, or one checks out and stops the "bids", the marriage dies.
What "bidding toward" means is BOTH continue to care, to listen to each other, to respect each other.
A one sided relationship is not fun, toward the end of my marriage, my ex stopped "bidding".
He tuned me out, it was all about him. After a while, I felt alone in trying. I didn't give up easily, I fought for our marriage, we went to counseling twice.
The tone of the post that started this, comes across a little judgemental.
Marital breakups/divorce is still not taken lightly by many.
I just didn't care to keep pulling him along with me.
Our kids were suffering due to our fighting.
Seeing that something is over when it's over isn't making excuses, it's moving on for everyone's sake so both can seek out a situation where they are happy.
 SS4544Spd
Joined: 8/31/2016
Msg: 20
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/23/2016 7:06:32 PM
This thread hits pretty close to home for me.

I think today's freewheeling sexual and dating culture has a lot to do with why couples rarely survive the "stale" years. Today's dating culture and permissiveness can lure even the most loyal spouse into getting into trouble. The pool of middle aged single people is so large, and the meeting mechanism so efficient, many divorcees today can be back dating, and in a new bed, relatively quickly, mitigating some of the pain of a divorce. If they're still good looking or otherwise attractive, the sky's the limit...and they may have more dating fun in their 40s-60s than they had in their youth. There is a certain lure to that...to people in stale LTRs, that may lead them to consider trying that, instead of the hard work it takes to revitalize a stale LTR, that even if restored, won't likely match the excitement of a new relationship.

The barriers to getting back dating quickly after a marriage or LTR dissolves are now more emotional than logistical. Whereas back in the day, there were many logistical barriers too. Divorcees were exiled into the cold lonely Siberia of divorcee life ...few singles....fewer ways to meet them...sitting in c cktail sewer bars, going to peep shows, sticky-floored X rated theaters, whacking off to Playboy, lol......and even worse prospects for women....so you hung tight with the ol' lady or ol' man, and gritted your teeth into old age, and once you were in your 70s, who cares because there were no outside opportunities left and the ol' lady or ol' man suddenly started looking better again because you then needed each other to wipe the drool from each others' faces as you got old and decrepit. In other words, you were pretty much forced to stay together for practical purposes.

I am sure many here will disagree with my cold, cynical view on this. I think it takes both partners having few other opportunities outside the marriage (both partners are ugly, old, work alone, no friends, etc.) for a marriage to last much beyond middle age and/or kid raising years, these days. For many people, there's just too much fun to be had elsewhere. I think the fairy tale we've been sold of those long, faithful marriages of days long gone were as much likely a lack of other opportunities and the fear and stigma of being divorced as it was "true love." I'm sure that'll douse the flame of some romantics here.
 Nezz123
Joined: 9/6/2011
Msg: 21
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/24/2016 11:18:21 AM
Nice post! Good food for thought--and definitely a discussion of everybody even thinking of getting engaged.

The level of commitment you describe above---what it means to take a vow--is the standard I'll hold myself to if I get married. I agree that...


Most "growing" involves less drastic changes and I believe there are very few changes that can not be accommodated in a marriage if people married for the right reasons.


....especially if couples do the research on each other and accept what they're buying into while dating.

For many, marriage is more like Dating 2.0. You try a little harder, live together, and merge responsibilities, but breaking up is still an option if attraction cools, habits set in, resentment builds, surprises pop up, and dreams change. I don't see marriage that way. I was married, I hope I'd have the guts to look at change/unmet expectations and say, "Crap. Bailing out is not an option. If we're going to be happy, it's imperative that we sort this out." I really hope he'd do the same. As for other questions....


If someone said they wanted to be friends before starting a relationship would you suspect they were interested in a short term relationship only?


Heeheehe, yeah! Guys with serious intent don't say the word "friends" within 10 miles of the woman they want, unless she friend-zones him first. Guys might take it slow, which is smart. They'll *be* a friend first, but they won't *say* the word. If he truly wants her--or thinks it could be serious--he probably won't say the "F" word (i.e. "friends"). He'll concentrate his energy on drawing her closer, not distancing her.


Being "friends" involves enjoying mutual activities, thinking similarly about things, etc, things that almost always change as we age. If a relationship is based on those things wouldn't it be logical to conclude one is not looking long term?

Yeah. Have you ever met someone you have lots in common with (activities, opinions, etc.), but yet desire to be close to? They seem good on paper, but in real life nothing clicks? You could hike 100 miles, go to 30 museums, agree on 75 topics, and never bond? I think the strings that *really* attach people are invisible--values, personality, teamwork, etc.. Are they supportive, competitive, high-energy, low-energy, sweet, sarcastic, funny, deep, helpful, exciting, loyal, honest, ethical, respectful, warm, cool? How do they make you feel? Shared hobbies and opinions are a necessary factor, I wouldn't make it the sole basis of a relationship either :3
 platypus_man
Joined: 8/29/2007
Msg: 22
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/24/2016 3:03:57 PM
Romantic love only 'burns hot' for a short period of time. After about 30 months, we start to see our beloved's flaws, as the rose colored glasses come off. A few years later, those flaws start to irritate us.

Hence, the seven year itch phenomenon.

Why does this happen? Genetics. We evolved this way in order to increase the variation of dna individuals, which made it more likely that some would be more resiliant than previous generations, and more likely to survive and reproduce some more.
 five-marie
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 23
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/25/2016 12:44:01 PM
A coworker of my mothers left her husband because she had "outgrown" him. Married maybe 5 years, 2 boys, he killed himself shortly after. Nice man, good husband/father. His whole world was yanked out from under him because she was bored?
I understand leaving someone because of addiction/abuse, to start a family and leave because you're just not feeling it anymore, beyond cruel.
 Nestaron
Joined: 3/22/2016
Msg: 24
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/29/2016 7:40:31 PM
It's not boredom more like rather say outgrown than the truth. Dont create excuses just tell it as it is when separating just say I dont want to be with you. No reason is even needed to make a choice or justification to do anything. The moment a woman would say anything more than I dont want to be together, or something like "I need time to sort out my feelings" its over period my door is now swinging one way if she walks out there is no returning. I already came to conclusion she is lying, and thinking how many times has she lied in our relationship goodbye. I am a loving caring man but I will not tolerate being lied to by my spouse not ever that for me ends the relationship instantly.
 bacchus2004
Joined: 9/9/2012
Msg: 25
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Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/31/2016 4:18:18 AM
Hey. How ya doing tonight?
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 26
Is growing apart a justifiable excuse?
Posted: 12/31/2016 6:47:04 AM
When you see old couples who have been married 40 or 50 years, people don't ask them why haven't they grown apart. Growing apart is a convenient phrase people use to cover up something else going on (or isn't going on) with either the person or the relationship, but prefer to take the easy way out than dealing with the core issue.
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