Stages of Relationship Difficulties and Growth
Relationships evolve through limerance, then difficulties, then end or growth.
Where is your relationship in the 5 Stages ?
– You are both feeling exciting, feeling loved and supported, and are awakening to new possibilities and potentials in each other
– Your focus is on enjoyment (dates), intimacy (getting to know each other), and pursuing and/ or impressing each other (showing your best self)
– Much time is spent on your relationship
– Your day to day normal life is obscured or slightly forgotten
– As you share more and more life together, less effort is made and time allocated to your relationship
– Unconscious patterns begin to emerge in each of you
– Taken-for-grantedness start to become more of the norm
– Power struggles begin
– Stage 2 patterns entrench and escalate
– You tend to polarize as power struggles can worsen
– You start to feel like strangers and lose that loving feeling
– Power struggles turn into either arguments and withdrawals, or
resignation and giving in
– Duller routines become more of the norm
– There are more regular or worse arguments or fights, or
– One partner avoids by being over-involved in work, hobbies, drinking etc
– There is a sense of sad resignation and diminished expectations for the one giving in all the time
– One partner ends the relationship, or
– One partner looks elsewhere, has an affair, and then ends the relationship
– Each of you look at your own patterns, and how you are contributing to the problems
– Each of your takes action to let go of your patterns and/or adopt new healthier behaviours
– Each of you takes a stand for those things that are dear to you, and manages the anxiety that goes with this
– Real respect grows for each other as you witness your partner taking these steps.
– Real appreciation and love emerge in each other, a far deeper truer form than ever felt before.
– Each of you begins to appreciate and support the essence of each other, and compassion start to bloom
– A genuine mutual creativity develops
– Conflicts may still appear, but become absorbed in a larger version of yourselves.