Marriage is a beautiful and fulfilling institution. But every rose has its thorns, and marriage is no different. Despite how intense a couple’s love, respect, and admiration for each other may be, there will still inevitably come challenges, moments of doubt, and fights that make them question their compatibility. The important thing to realize in such a situation is that you aren’t alone. Such things are inevitable in any marriage, regardless of how strong it may be. And the good news is that if the spouses work together to tackle their crises, their relationship could actually ascend to a new level of strength and happiness.
We at StyleCraze truly believe that one shouldn’t ever be afraid of a marriage in trouble for it’s simply a sign that your relationship, like all things in life, is evolving. In fact, every marriage has certain phases of evolution, and there are 4 main periods in a married couple’s life that are the most challenging. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Year 1 Of Marriage: The Stage Of Realization
Breaking up just one year after getting together is due to what most psychologists refer to as the “realization stage.” This generally occurs at about 6-12 months of cohabitation. It’s basically when the first rush of love starts to fade and you begin to see your significant other for who s/he really is – their weaknesses, quirks, and flaws (that you cheerfully ignored earlier).
What must you do?
If you’ve skipped discussions like children, finances, relative’s visits, etc. before you tied the knot, it’s time to do so now. Talk honestly about your priorities and values. There’s a chance that these may not completely match those of your other half’s, and this is when you need to work together to find a compromise. It’s essential that you both reach a good understanding of the most “burning” questions you both harbor during this stage of your marriage.
2. Years 3-4 Of Marriage: The Dangerous “Comfort Zone”
A study involving close to 2,000 couples from the UK showed that when a marriage reaches the 3 to 3.5-year mark, couples begin to take one another for granted, choose sleep above lovemaking, and cease to say, “I love you” to one another (1). This is when the couple reaches their own little “comfort zone.”
Now, reaching a point of comfort to securely be yourself is a wonderful feeling, true. However, on the other hand, it also leads to certain unpleasant occurrences (such as peeing with the bathroom door open) becoming an everyday normal of your lives. And 49% of the couples from the study claimed they wanted their partner to be more “romantic” towards them.
What must you do?
Retain some emotional intensity in the lives you share! Praise your spouse’s achievements and compliment him or her more often. It’s best to avoid saying just about everything that’s on your mind to your other half, and sometimes simply being silent is a good idea. If you spot a problem, start your conversation in a non-accusatory, gentle tone.
3. Years 5-7 Of Marriage: The “Seven-Year Itch”
One of the most perilous periods in any marriage, this is when the couple has created a fine-tuned life together and the partners have begun to treat each other as though they’re living on auto-pilot, which is a grave mistake. Attraction and sexual interest decrease all thanks to routine, and it feels as though the partners know everything about one another. Some couples choose to have their first (or perhaps another) child during this time. However, it’s important to understand that children aren’t rescue devices.
What must you do?
- Solve the problems as they come, don’t allow them to pile up.
- Keep your communication lines open and ensure that you’re sincere and have emotion.
- Assess your behavior and feelings from time to time. Keep updating your list of wants and the vision you possess for the future. Share this with your partner.
- Discuss your collective future together. What plans do you have for the next 5 or 10 years? Be honest and open with one another, not vague and polite.
4. Years 10-15 Of Marriage: An Age Of Difficulty
According to a recently conducted study, completing 10 years happens to be the most difficult point for any marriage (2). Out of the 2000 American married women that were interviewed, a majority claimed that the 11th year of marriage was the toughest one. This is because women experience a multitude of responsibilities during this period – they must take care of their home, their tween children, and a lot of them also work. Since they’re forever pressed for time, the quality of their marital relationship can decrease. And husbands can cease to see their wives as attractive women. In fact, according to research in Europe, the average marriage lasts for roughly 11.5 years (3).
What must you do?
The great news is that if you successfully make it through this period, your marital satisfaction will continue to increase over the next 20 years! Experts recommend that you mainly treat your relationship with a sense of humor. Lower your level of expectations and learn to laugh together more frequently. Perhaps your marriage isn’t ideal, but is it really that awful? Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship and your partner.
Marriage is no walk in the park. It’s a walk through some of the toughest obstacles that life will throw at you. And it’s possible for you to succeed. So, learn the art of introspection and working together, and who knows? Perhaps you’ll just be remembered as the couple that created their happy ever after!