Ignoring These 2 Little Things Is Why Marriages Die

No one wants to be the afterthought.

Last updated on Mar 03, 2024

Couple ignoring the little things in their relationship wundervisuals | Canva

When we are in the romantic beginnings of a relationship when we are enchanted with our partner, when we are hoping and praying they will become our person in the world — so much of our focus is on letting our partner know they are the ongoing object of our affection. We look at them with love, heap words of love and appreciation, and send loving texts — you know that phase.

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Once we are secure in our relationship, and the commitment is solidified, we start behaving more like "normal" people. We are grabbed by all the things in life we need to do. We are focused more on our issues and the stress of daily life. This is normal. Once the home base is safe, we can go out to slay dragons. We can't live in that heightened state of intense romance forever. Rather, it becomes something we return to revisit the moments together, a date, a vacation.

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But in our day-to-day life, we may become very unconscious of being sure our partner feels our attention and affection. Neglecting them is why marriages die. I had a habit of getting out of my car while still on the phone, walking into the house that way, and waving to my husband as I walked through the room. He let me know that didn't work for him. He felt like an afterthought.




I was so glad he told me, and now I make sure I come in and let him know how glad I am to see him. Do I do it always? Not always. Sometimes, I need to stay on the call, and that needs to be OK. But mostly. It's so easy to get defensive in those moments. I could have said to my husband, "I'm on a work call," or "I'm not doing anything wrong," or "I just couldn't get off at that moment." All those could have been true. But my husband was making a bid for connection, and that's what I focused on.

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How great is it I have a partner who wants to connect with me when I come home? So, pause before you say anything that sounds defensive. That alone is a practice that brings ongoing good feelings between you.


young couple hang out together

Photo: TimeImage Production via Shutterstock

Paying some conscious attention to the small gestures daily becomes the through-line of your relationship. It's like putting money in the bank. All those moments add up to feelings of an abundance of love, fun, and support. So, create an intention to up the loving gesture quota — a touch as you walk by, a look of love in your eyes, a hug for no reason, buying their favorite frozen yogurt, a gift for no reason — basically, everything you would wish for yourself. Then, the "bank account " of your relationship will be abundant indeed.


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Evie Shafner is a licensed MFT, clinical psychologist, and Imago therapy practitioner who wants to help people take the helm of their lives.