You thought you’d found "the one" who you’re meant to be with for the rest of your life.
Then, something happens and it seems like the love dies.
The statistics for marriage are pretty bleak. Fifty percent of first marriages end in divorce. Seventy-five to eighty percent of divorcees will enter a second marriage within five years. Sixty-six percent of second marriages and seventy-three percent of third marriages end in divorce.
How can you find a relationship that will last over time?
Relationships have five stages.
First comes the magic of falling in love. You can’t think of anyone else. Your love chemicals are pumping. You feel like a teenager and can’t get enough of your lover.
Second, you become a couple. The initial spark has moved into spending an enjoyable life together. You hope that love will deepen so you have a long-term love.
Third is disillusionment. You know from the divorce statistics that happily-ever-after is rare. Trauma, drama, seeing someone for who he really is can change the template of the relationship. People get busy and actuality doesn’t match the reality. By letting go of the illusions you have of yourself and your partner, you can make a fair assessment of your relationship. Many of the conflicts you have with your mate are rooted in the traumas you had as a child. This stage is like hitting the wall. By sticking with the relationship and working together, you may be able to survive the disillusionment. You might want to see a therapist together so you can put all these things out on the table and attempt to work through them.
Fourth is creating real, lasting love. Putting in the work in your relationship and accepting the actuality of who you both are can help you create a mutually pleasurable future. Embrace the incompatibility and care for one another. You may be a night owl and he’s a lark. You can work through that difference and find time together. Discover ways to grow together and work through the changes that life brings. This is your reward for getting past the disillusionment. You see your mate’s flaws and you’ve done some healing. This love gives the same brain activity as young lovers have but without the fear and anxiety.
Fifth is finding your calling as a couple. Now you have two people aging together, facing challenges together. You’re stronger and calmer and can use your love to help others.
To be fair, the disillusionment phase may reveal that you are not right for one another. It may be smarter and healthier to divorce. In many cases, you can work through the disorientation from reality together.
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