Knowing this ONE Fact May Save Your Marriage

All marriages have specific patterns, and knowing these patterns can make the difference between building a happy marriage and divorce…or worse, suffering through a bad marriage – “settling” for what is. Eesh. Don’t let that be your mistake. Marriages are predictable, and knowing what’s normal is important because being in a tough spot doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your relationship or your partner.

Many couples don’t notice the transitions in their marriages and think that something has gone wrong when they enter into a more difficult yet natural progression. Resentments build, fights escalate, and often, apathy sets in. That’s a bad place to be.

So in this article, I want to introduce you to all 3 stages of EVERY marriage that is successful. I add the “successful” part because often, “unsuccessful” marriages fall apart before they reach the third stage or couples get stuck in the second stage. You’ll learn that here. If you know all 3 stages, you are better equipped to face your challenges together. So here we go…

Stage 1: Honeymoon

Almost everyone knows about the honeymoon stage. This is when two individuals fall in love and are enamored with one another. Nothing seems to be wrong with the other, and all faults are forgiven. After 2 years or less, the honeymoon stage fades away. Mother nature says, “You’re on your own!” and a more difficult stage begins.

Stage 2: The Storm

In the stormy stage, a couple starts seeing faults in one another. Expectations about the way something “should be” or what a partner “should be doing” get in the way of reality. Both partners learn how to be with the other while they deal with personal expectations that are learned from their past family roles. They often disagree and butt heads.

If all goes well, they weather the storm and move on to stage 3, but not always and not nearly enough if you ask me about what I’ve seen in my experience as a counselor and relationship coach.

Yes, unfortunately, many couples never transition out of this stage. They continue to butt heads and argue, blaming the other for being wrong for one reason or another. They stay stuck and resentments grow and grow.

This is because they think that there is something wrong with their relationship when they enter this stage. And of course they would! I mean, all of a sudden, they are no longer getting along. They aren’t aware of Mother Nature’s temporary gift.

All of a sudden, they are left on their own to build love and are totally unprepared. Inevitably, they determine that they are in a bad marriage or that they married the wrong person. What else could it be?

In this darkness, arguments continue, and distance prevails. If they knew this was all natural and that it was on them to work together to build their love, they be in a better position and could weather the storm together in order to transition to the third stage, the collaborative stage.

Stage 3: Collaboration

Couples who weather the storm of the second stage together create a greater commitment to one another and a stronger bond than they had before. They reach collaboration, and they know how to work through difficulties together. In this stage, they are team members in life, love, and everything else.

They have battled the storms, and they know more challenges will come as they experience changes through their lives (like parenthood, death, money issues, illnesses, and such).

They’ll battle those too…together.

These three stages are just a broad overview of the experiences that all strong marriages go through as they negotiate their relationships. You might still be in the stormy stage. You might have gotten to the collaborative stage and stressors might have brought you and your partner back into a stormy place. I don’t know, but you do. You might be reading this out of curiosity or maybe your marriage is not in a place where you want it to be, and you are looking for guidance. You can find free help here – and you can always contact me with any questions at help@drkatpeoples.com – I’m here to help!

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