Relationship Stages: Where Are You in Your Marriage?
Whether we notice it or not, almost everything evolves in stages. The earth has been changing from one stage to another for billions of years while it formed and flourished.
The four seasons mark another passage of interval time. When people arrived on the scene they evolved from one age to another, for example the Stone Age, Iron Age and the Elizabethan Age.
Our individual lives can be divided into stages as we grow older, go to school, enter the workforce and marriage. These particular stages can also evolve into stages within themselves as you progress in each one. Relationships are no different and most consist of five different stages. You’ll probably recognize where you’ve been, where you are now and where you’re headed.
The first stage is probably the best and is known by many names. You’re head over heels in love with your spouse and he or she can do nothing wrong. You’re perfect for each other.
It could be called the Rose Colored Glasses Stage because everything looks rosy. You both are so happy and think this euphoria will last forever as you’re on your best behavior and do sweet things for each other just because. Conflict is rare.
It isn’t long before the rose colored glasses come off and you realize your partner is human and makes mistakes. This is known as the disenchantment stage. He or she is not as perfect as you first thought.
The awful little habits you hadn’t noticed before become annoying. Romance is still there but not as blissful. It’s during this stage that communication can be so important because you’re wondering where the fantasy went and what to do about it.
The panic stage is usually next in line as disappointments mount and marriage isn’t any fun anymore. There are too many outside pressures, bills aren’t getting paid and you question why you had children so young. You resent the fact that your partner doesn’t see things the way you do. If the problems can’t be resolved in a nice way many couples threaten to leave and end the relationship.
If you can survive stage 3 you evolve into the strength stage which can become more peaceful and meaningful. Deeper feelings of love and trust are felt as you feel more confident in yourself.
The intense intimacy has faded into more of a friendship as you each drift into your own hobbies and interests. Resist the temptation to become bored and enjoy the contented relationship.
The last phase is probably the best as you accept your spouse for what he or she is, with all their faults and irritating habits. This could be known as the meaningful love and commitment stage.
True love has developed and you’re both committed to making a wonderful life together. You’re no longer struggling for individuality but functioning as a team that can enjoy life and anything it brings.
The length of each of these states can vary depending on the maturity of those involved.
Empower yourself with the knowledge of what each stage will bring and you will empower your marriage.