Phases of Relationship

Are you feeling sad, disappointed, dissatisfied, even angry with the way your relationship is going? Do you sometimes wonder, “What have I gotten myself into?” or “In the beginning, we were so in love. What happened?” or “This is not the person I married.” These natural feelings arise in all couplings at one time or another.

All relationships go through a “romantic phase” in the beginning, where the partners can feel excited, rejuvenated, even euphoric. You spend endless hours talking. Everyone is on their best behavior. This phase may last two months to three years. But eventually, all couples enter the next stage, the “power struggle.” This is where the disillusionment occurs and couples start seeing their partners in a more realistic way. We mourn the loss of the romantic phase.

When the power struggle occurs, first know that this is a normal stage of relationship development. The next step is working on the connection. Your partner can be your greatest healer or the source of your deepest wound. The good news is that there are ways to progress into the next stage of “conscious couplehood.” In this new phase, your love will be deeper and more satisfying than what you had even in the romantic phase.

If you think you might be mired in the power struggle and are longing for the days of your romantic phase, I suggest checking out our weekend workshops, Getting the Love You Want, or the course, Couplehood As a Spiritual Path. Both offer intentional exploration of the origins of attraction and conflict. You will understand how past hurts and experiences affect our relationships both positively and negatively. You will learn tools for healing, growth, effective communication and the attainment of deeper love and joy. Or make an appointment with an Imago therapist who will guide you on your journey. As a therapist, I have had the privilege to witness awe-inspiring relationship transformations and it is a humbling experience. You can achieve the relationship you have always wanted. It takes time, commitment and work, but the rewards are priceless. There is hope!