10 Causes of Distance in Relationships

10 Causes of Distance in Relationships

Are you feeling distant in your relationship with God? With your spouse? A friend? Your kids? This is a helpful list to walk through and as you do be asking yourself which of these resonate with your experience. Undoing the cause of distance in any relationship, must first start with awareness. Once we become aware of the cause of distance, we know where to begin in order to bridge the distance.

  1. guilt and shame. When we feel guilt or shame for something we have done in a relationship we are not too far off from Adam and Eve who pulled away from God and found themselves hiding from Him, who they once shared intimacy with.
  2. unforgiveness. In any relationship where one person is carrying grudges or bitterness or where another person feels unforgiven, there is a great distance created.
  3. records of wrongs. When expectations are unmet over and over again, we not only begin to expect to be disappointed but we form a record of all the ways the other has wronged us, hurt and let us down. We could at any point pull out that record and recite it like the Pledge of Allegiance. Even if we have said we have forgiven them we could point to this evidence of their hurtful and sinful pattern to use as our proof of pain.
  4. denial. When someone is in denial about the actual state and place the relationship currently finds itself the relationship cannot grow, be mended or thrive. When one person is ignoring the other or failing to recognize the brokenness, the relationship greatly suffers.
  5. fear of expression. In any relationship where a person doesn’t feel they can talk about what is really going on or how they really feel, closeness and intimacy does not exist.
  6. taking for granted. We often take each other for granted, assuming the relationship. They are going nowhere, we think. This attitude leads to lack of effort, time, talking and that leads to miles between one person and another.
  7. inathenticity. When there is falsehood or an act where one person is living out someone they are not, the relationship becomes about as inauthentic as the individual pretending.
  8. using. Consuming a relationship for one’s own benefit, pleasure, or advantage only ends up with a one sided distant relationship.
  9. defensiveness. When a person continually experiences attacks, nitpicking, criticism and threats or are told they will experience these, walking backwards is commonplace.
  10. lack of loyalty.  When one person in a relationship betrays, adulterates, cheats on, lies, backstabs, defiles, or pollutes a relationship a barrier goes up so high that it is hard to break down and hard to build trust back up.

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