A healthy marriage is not a gift, but our own choice and hard work on ourselves. Everyone has problems and misunderstandings in their relationship. Sometimes it feels like it is easier to give up. While that may be true, it’s less of a challenge than to keep on moving through all the phases. But if you chose to be together despite it all, you can get a real treasure.
We believe in marriages that can last forever and checked the phases that couples may face on a way to harmony.
Not everyone can take criticism, but when it is very straightforward and reminds us of an attack, it can become a huge problem, especially between partners.
Dr. John Gottman writes in his book The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse when you criticize your spouse, you’re trying to say that there is something wrong with them. Using words like “you always” or “you never” are very common and don’t lead to a positive result. Most likely your partner will start to defend themselves.
The remedy is to make a direct complaint and to not make direct attacks to their personality.
2. Resistance and stonewalling
Most of us have probably experienced a moment where our partner has started building a wall and doesn’t want to talk or solve a problem. It seems like they don’t care at all and are just ignoring you.
Dr. John Gottman says that 80% of men are like this. It looks like he doesn’t care, but actually, he really does. It is important to learn how to identify the signs of when your spouse is emotionally overwhelmed and to not push them.
If the problem needs to be discussed it is always better to pick the right time when you are more calm.
3. Attraction to someone else
This might be not easy to digest, but 70% of women in relationships admit that they have crushes. The attraction is a normal feeling and it doesn’t mean that they’re going to cheat.
The important thing is to not act on these feelings and to be totally conscious of what you are doing. Don’t close yourself off from your partner just because you are confused right now. There can be many temptations in your life, but trust is one of the most valuable things in a relationship.
Contempt comes from moral superiority. It can be sarcasm, eye-rolling, and hostile humor and it is always destructive for any relationship.
You need to learn how to express appreciation and gratitude. It is like a mirror. The more positive you feel, the less you express contempt.
It is hard to work on yourself, but it’s worth it. Your partner should see and hear that you show love, not just irritation.
Children, financial crisis, toxic family members, and all those things all together just can drive you crazy and that’s how you arrive at an explosion. You don’t want to do anything but leave. This stage can happen at any time in the relationship.
Never forget that challenges are a part of our life and that it is all temporary. If you can manage the hardest times together, your connection will grow. Marriage is not just about sharing joy and happiness, but also about sharing problems.
5. Acceptance and forgiveness
This is the stage where we finally understand the fact that we are never going to solve problems in a way like we did before and we have to figure out a more peaceful way of living together. Everyone has their own ways: some talk to close friends and family, others read self-help books.
Now we are ready to forgive our spouses for their stubbornness. Accepting the good with the bad brings us to a new level. Fights happen less frequently and we find that we are not so emotional anymore.
6. Together at last
After overcoming all the stages, hard work, and pain you get a real jewel. You don’t struggle anymore together, you have your own agreements with your partner, and you learn how to solve problems and not run away from challenges.
Now you share a history. At this phase, you understand that marriage hasn’t been easy, but you can be proud of yourself. Appreciation is very important. It makes you feel secure about your partner. Now you are together at last.
Which phase do you think is the most dangerous for relationships? Did you face some of these stages? Please, share your ideas with us on how to build a healthy marriage!