Every couple will go through a rough patch in their relationship; That’s a reality. There will be arguments, disagreements, and frustrations along the way. But this does not mean that you give up on the person that you love or that you’re in a relationship with the wrong person.
Conflict will always be there, but if you survive against all odds together, you will both create a harmonious and loving relationship. So if you’re going through a difficult time with your partner, this article is for you. This, too, shall pass, and you will survive the most challenging times in your relationship.
7 Stages of a Relationship
To survive the tough times in a relationship, you should be aware of its seven stages. By knowing these seven stages, you’ll know that fights are normal and all couples in love go through it one by one. For every stage, you should prepare yourself on how to deal with the situation.
Stage 1: Intimacy Stage
The intimacy stage is all about passionate love and everything is on cloud nine. Both of you are madly in love and it seems like everything’s perfect. This is the stage of attraction, thanks to the love chemicals in our brain, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
How to Survive: The intimacy stage usually starts from the first date up until before your first fight. During this stage, you might only see the good parts of your partner. So ask yourself if you really are compatible with each other, or is it just the passionate fresh love clouding your judgment.
Stage 2: Discovery
During the second stage, the attraction and intimacy slowly fade as the love chemicals start to dry up. You discover bad habits, strange quirks, and opposing points of view with the person you love during this stage. The first year of the relationship is the hardest stage, and even when you’re living together, you still discover new things about each other every day.
How to Survive: The key to getting past the discovery stage is also discovery. The discovery of your partner’s imperfections and your imperfections as well. This is the stage where you try to discover how to make your imperfections work.
Stage 3: Commitment and Communication
As you get past the discovery stage, compromise with your partner happens. You are entering a commitment, and you feel secure and confident with the person you love. During the commitment stage, you may get too complacent. This is where the boredom and monotony of a relationship arises.
How to Survive: As you learn to commit to one another, learn how to have open communication as well. Be open to what you feel, and learn to listen to your partner’s needs. When you feel bored, try to come up with new things to do. Relationships are a reflection of growth; when it’s stagnant, there’s no personal growth happening.
Stage 4: Who Is in Control?
Who takes the lead of the relationship? Should someone really take the lead? During this part of the relationship, there are power struggles on who makes the decision. This is not how a healthy relationship should be.
How to Survive: To survive the fourth stage, you should know how to respect each other’s decisions. You learn to discover your individual differences and have mutual respect. During this stage, you should be able to rediscover the things you loved when you were single.
Stage 5: Growth and Renewed Stability
At this point in your relationship, you already have gone through tough times that you have grown together and have renewed stability. You are now both growing as a couple and individuals. This stage seems like a positive turning point in your relationship. While this is true, you should also be careful about being too complacent.
How to Survive: During this stage, it is important to communicate with your partner. Try to find things that you both enjoy together, like going on outdoor trips or watching movies. Grow together by finding activities you both enjoy.
Stage 6: Romantic and Mature Love
When you surpassed the first five stages of a relationship, during the sixth stage, you’ll realize the difference between passionate and mature love. Passionate love is the first stage, which includes intimacy, attraction, and sexual desire. Romantic love involves security, respect, overcoming hard times, communication, and comfort.
How to Survive: The challenge during this stage is communication and intimacy issues. In order to survive during this stage, build emotional intimacy with your partner. Try something new, break your everyday routine, go on dates, and have a healthy sex life.
Stage 7: Going Through a Crisis and Recovery
The seventh stage can occur at any time of the relationship, and this is so far the most challenging stage. A crisis in your relationship may be a death, illness, employment problems, or having an affair. Going through these problems might put a strain on your relationship.
How to Survive: The average length of a relationship is two years and nine months, but if you get through the crisis, you don’t have to worry about anything. To survive a crisis in a relationship, both of you should work together to get through this difficult moment.
Don’t blame each other, try to take control of your anger issues, and try to accept this difficulty as something that will make you stronger, not something that will break your relationship. When you recover through any crisis, you are ready to face further challenges in your relationship. Remember that you’re not just lovers; you are friends.
The 3C’s are essential to remember to survive the tough times in a relationship: Communication, Compromise, and Commitment. Have open communication, sit down, express what you feel, and listen to your partner actively. Compromise and always meet in between; sacrifice if needed, and think about what’s better for the relationship, not your individual needs.
Lastly, commit to the relationship. A relationship is something you need to work on. If you’re married or have kids, try to work on your relationship.
If you need a mediator or counselor to make the relationship work, do so. Here at Kentucky Counseling Center, we are here to help you work on your commitment with your partner. Schedule an appointment now.