Understanding the different stages of your marriage

Life is in phases and men are in sizes!

What happens when the marital relationship begins dwindling? Anxiety develops- anxiety that may destroy the couple’s basic outlook on relationships.

However before aiming to save a relationship going downhill, we need to understand the 4 stages that every marital relationship goes through. These are: Romance or Honeymoon stage; Reality stage; Accommodation phase; and the Success Stage.

1. The honeymoon phase: Newlyweds are still caught up in the excitement and love of their relationship. At this moment, sexual attraction is at its strongest, partners neglect differences and may see each other through perfect lenses. During this stage, couples believe that the marriage will go efficiently and will work itself out naturally and that their love will last forever.

2. Reality stage:This is when the couple start discovering more about themselves and each other in various circumstances they haven’t gone through as a couple before. Frequently, couples see that there are more things they disagree about as compared to when they were still dating. The love and emotions that blinded them eventually clears and they are back to reality. Life begins to happen!

This phase is the most difficult part of the relationship, and puts the marital relationship at greater risks of affairs and divorces. The reality stage produces particular feelings of frustration, seclusion and a let-down. Couples start developing negative emotions about the marriage and typically misinterpret this as incompatibility and may start believing that they’ve picked the wrong partner.

Likewise, throughout this stage, sex feels more of a routine as the enjoyment disappears. Some couples equate this to losing the so-called “trigger” of the relationship. Couple who have actually not anticipated this phase of the marital relationship begin feeling alienated and start drifting apart at this point in the relationship.

3. Accommodation phase. This is when couples accept their differences and use it to strengthen their bond. They have mastered the art of conflict resolution, proper communication and better understanding of each other. At this stage, they have settled down into the marriage and they have a higher chance of staying together forever.

4. Success phase: Here, the couple gets to take pleasure in the advantages of the marriage, they support each other, They have achieved the ‘one-flesh’ status. They may have occasional disagreements but they are comfortable and contented with the relationship.

It is worthy of note that no matter the phase your marriage is, things can improve or deteriorate depending on how much attention you give to it. Don’t become complacent if your marriage is working and don’t despair or give up if things are not working. There is always room for improvement.

Throughout marital relationship, counsellors, physicians or trained experts help the couple comprehend each other’s differences and help them work through it.

Love may be the reason couples come together, however it isn’t the only thing that binds them together till the end. It is important for potential couples to understand these normal stages of marriage development before tying the knot to be prepared for whatever may occur during the marriage.

Please note that the time/ number of years each couple will spend at each stage will differ. But effort must be made to overcome whatever challenges you may face and seek help whenever necessary.

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