We don’t know if love is supposed to fade away. We simply don’t know if love is supposed to fade away. Love has no rules. There are no regulations.
No one says, “This is the age of love. We must keep this love, and this love must be sustained.” No one decrees a minimum length of time. There’s no guarantee that once you are in love with someone, you will always be in love with that person.
Several key stages can be recognised in any relationship. To solve any relationship problem, it is essential to work out which stage you are in.
Stage 1 The Honeymoon
We fall in love at the start of any intimate relationship. Our first attraction to someone quickly turns into delightful sentiments of connection and affection. We feel we have discovered our life’s love and that this connection will endure forever. The honeymoon period is a magical time that demonstrates the relationship’s potential for love and joy.
Afraid of making long-term commitments before knowing our partner? This isn’t a problem if we accept that the partnership will likely go through more difficult times and are prepared to address any difficulties.
Love is the most beautiful experience in life, and it should be cherished wholeheartedly! Expect more difficult moments as the relationship progresses. When this happens, be calm and try to resolve the concerns stated in the next two steps. Remember your feelings at this moment; you may always discover them again if you work hard to improve your relationship.
Stage 2 The Power Struggle
The honeymoon period in most relationships lasts anything from six months to a year. A part of us starts to see our spouse in unsettling ways. They may act or respond differently than we do in certain situations, or they may lose interest in us if they do. The honeymoon period is when you and your lover intentionally (albeit unconsciously) hide your flaws and focus on receiving and giving love.
Negative qualities emerge when we get to know and trust our spouse more. The fact that they aren’t as great as we believed might be a tremendous letdown since we realise that they think the same way about ourselves! Each partner withdraws due to the anxiety, which creates a negative cycle and pattern in the relationship.
Others utilise more subtle rivalry means, such as retreat and melancholy, to express their power struggles. Arguing and rowing are examples of the former. Any sensation other than pure love for your lover is a sign that you’ve entered a power struggle. As our doubts about our spouse’s suitability grow, we may decide to stop the relationship or discover that our partner has moved on. Deciding at this point is extremely risky.
Incredibly, the exact characteristics we dislike in a partner are the same ones we haven’t dealt with in our thinking, which is why they irritate or worry us so much. When two people are in a power struggle, it’s not uncommon for our spouse to exhibit behaviours we identify with our parents. While this is bad news, it’s also good news because, with our partners’ support, we can cope with these features.
During the power struggle, it’s critical to remember that both partners are fighting to satisfy the other’s emotional demands. Although we assumed our spouse would meet our childhood requirements, we have discovered that not only have they failed to do so, but they also have the same wants as us. We are disappointed, and they are disappointed with us. This is the key to overcoming the difficult power battle.
It’s time to face the fact that you and your partner have differences because you both have unfulfilled needs and feel emotionally incomplete. In reality, the power struggle is a chance to cure your doubts and phobias and create a stronger bond with your partner.
When we are engaged in a power conflict, we tend to withdraw both physically and emotionally from our spouses. Our courage comes from facing our fears and expressing our thoughts, no matter how difficult they may be. If you do this with love and care, your spouse will feel free to express their own emotions (i.e. talk about and own your sentiments without imposing or judging them on your partner). As soon as you re-connect, a new honeymoon stage will begin.
Stage 3 The Dead Zone
A partnership can continue if we cannot resolve our mutual difficulties that produce power battles. The connection will slowly plunge into the dreaded Dead Zone.
We may get bored with our companion and life in general. They may be too busy with jobs or leisure to notice us. The Dead Zone is characterised by withdrawal and detachment.
A relationship in the Dead Zone loses its sense of connection and affection. In this case, you will know that you love someone, but the sentiment will lack the delightful feelings you had when you initially fell in love. We suppress our emotions in this stage because we are terrified of expressing our insecurities to our spouses.
To be honest about our feelings towards the relationship and ourselves is scary. Sadly, we are ignorant of these sensations since they are unconscious.
A suppressed dread of intimacy triggers the Power Struggle and the Dead Zone that generally follows. We are afraid that if our spouse becomes too close to us emotionally, they may reject us because of our personality. Our worries and actions make it more probable that they will leave us. To get out of the dead zone, you must commit to your spouse to emotionally go towards them so you may experience and share your complete range of emotions again.
Emotions do not damage relationships or deprive us of life’s delights. Sharing deep concerns and insecurities with a spouse might be scary, especially after many years together, but it always leads to more profound honesty and love. As your hearts reopen, you will become more emotionally aware and recover naturally. You’ll start to experience that tremendous love that brought you together again.
Stage 4 Partnership & True Love
A partnership is a loving, communicative, and trusting bond. You’ll know how it feels if you’ve ever been in love. Imagine a long-term relationship that feels like that! This is not a pipe dream if you are prepared to work on the emotional difficulties that cause you to retreat from each other.
Choosing to go towards your spouse with love and compassion, even when they are in pain or acting out, allows your doubts and fears to surface for healing. You may have to repeat this process as new levels of anguish surface, but you will enter a new honeymoon period each time.
However, developing confidence in working with your spouse on your difficulties and the lovely feelings that come from re-discovering genuine intimacy will motivate you to keep continuing.
Relationships are rarely fairy tales and need constant effort. The benefits are inevitable if we have the fortitude. Remember: If you have problems in your relationship, walk towards your spouse and engage with them in forgiveness, love, and compassion. Do this with an open heart.