Did you know that there are three basic stages of a marriage relationship? Being aware of these three stages has helped me tremendously in my marriage.
- Honeymoon phase
- Disillusionment phase
- Resolution phase
- Divorce/Separation phase
This is not an all-inclusive list. Perhaps you could add more phases. I read an article that listed 7 stages of a marriage. However, I believe that the phases listed above represent the basic phases of marriages.
First, let me say that there are some cultures where the man and woman court each other for a period of time before deciding to get married. In America, we call it dating. However, in some cultures, the bride and groom meet for the first time, minutes before the wedding ceremony or at the wedding ceremony. There is no time for courting or getting to know each other. Some couples will even live together first and then decide to get married. Ok. Let’s get on with it.
The honeymoon phase is the first phase of the marriage and is characterized by much passion that supersedes most everything else. A couple may hold hands in the grocery store, take walks in the part and be really into each other. They are infatuated with each other. They are “in love.” This phase may last anywhere from 3 to 9 months or more. The Bible presents a type of honeymoon phase of one year (Deuteronomy 24:5).
The honeymoon phase is a kind of novelty. It is a new experience for the two and they bask in each other’s glow.
If only the honeymoon could last forever. Unfortunately, reality kicks in and real life enters the union. Sooner or later some of the little things that were overlooked during the honeymoon phase and prior to the wedding day are now becoming annoying. There is also a time of discovery where the two learn new things about each other after living together. For example, the husband may not know how the wife brushes her teeth because he never saw her do it. The wife may discover that her husband picks his toenails and leave them on the floor only for her to step in them.
There are a plethora of things that occur during this phase that is the beginning of the end of many marriages. The annoyances become problems and things can go downhill from there. Disillusionment is the phase where the husband and wife begin to see each other as real people with real idiosyncrasies. The passion may begin to wear off and love begins to change into something different than mere infatuation. Thy Cinderella fantasy is being chased away for a real-life reality show so to speak.
The resolution phase is where a lot of older couples say they have reached and why they are still together. The idiosyncrasies of the spouse are accepted as “just the way he or she is.” You can’t change the person, though they may change. You have to accept them as they are. If there are bad habits then the two can work together to eliminate them. However, you’re married now and it is time to work the differences out as much as possible.
Here you resolve that your spouse is human and that you two will work together to make the union a good one and make it last. You will not let annoyances at the moment hinder you from moving forward together as a married couple.
Some people don’t get past the disillusionment phase and begin to grow apart. The things that they find out about each other are enough to cause them to not want to be together. There may be some serious things that a wife finds out about her husband that causes her to want out. There are things that a husband may discover about his wife that causes him to feel deceived and want out too.
It is possible that the marriage can still be restored and grow. Consider that in some cultures the husband and wife don’t meet until the wedding day. They are forced, by nature of their culture, to work things out after they get married. I promote a product called “Mend the Marriage” to help people save their marriages. The “Mend the Marriage” system only needs one person to begin the process to repair the marriage, unlike marriage counseling, which requires both parties to participate and many times make the problems worse.
Still, some people do not make it to a joyful loving marriage. Their differences are too great, or they are simply unwilling to work at making it work. At least one of two things can happen.
- They become roommates instead of soul mates
- They separate and divorce eventually
Many couples live in the “Roommate” or “Cell Mate” type of relationship. This is where the two are not intimately together but share the same living quarters and resources. They do what is necessary to meet responsibilities, raise the children, pay the bills, etc. However, they do not get intimately into each other. They don’t pursue each other as they pursue getting their children a great education. They are just together spatially not intimately. They share the same cell but have little to do with each other.
The “Roommate” relationship can easily turn into separation. One or both may decide that they want more out of life and find someone else or something else to pursue besides their spouse. They may become so very unhappy with their spouse that they want out. I recall being asked many years ago how a couple who has been married for 30 or 40 years can get divorced? Well, this is the progression. The end up being cellmates and then one gets free.
There will always be a component of “Roommates” in the relationship because responsibilities have to be met. However, those responsibilities should not define the marriage relationship. The husband and wife were married because they wanted to be with each other. Somehow, that gets lost over the years and instead of being together, they just exist in the same space.
Sometimes…many times a marriage ends in divorce or separation. A wife may leave her husband because he abuses her physically. She is not going to wait around for them to go through the formal process of divorce. She is most likely going to run away from the danger especially if there are children involved. A husband may abandon his wife for the same reasons (can’t assume that only men beat wives. Sometimes wives beat on their husband). He may leave his wife for infidelity and vice versa. In any case, the progression from disillusionment leads to a separation of the two.
There is still hope even if the husband or wife says that he or she wants a divorce, the two have been divorced, or one moves out. It only takes one to want it to happen and the other may respond favorably. The marriage restoration system, “Mend The Marriage” will help two people come back together and enjoy a wonderful marriage. However, at least one person has to be willing to do the work.
What You Can Do
Modify your mindset such that regardless of how bad you think your marriage is, it can be better and beautiful. You may be sick and tired of your spouse and even come to hate him or her. You definitely may not feel love for him or her. However, remember how it was in the beginning. The infatuation and hope for the future. Why not try to get back to that?
The first thing you should do is educate yourself from those who know what works. That’s what this website is here for. The system “Mend The Marriage” will take you step by step to repair your marriage even if it is just you who wants that. At the very least do not put fuel on the fire. Avoid confrontations.
Most of all a changed marriage relationship starts with you, not your spouse. We, humans, are prone to blame someone else for what we have done. The truth of the matter is that both the husband and the wife has most likely contributed to the state of marriage. This doesn’t mean that it is your fault or your spouse’s fault. It does mean that you have to take some responsibility for the way things are and then you can take steps to change things. If you put the blame completely on the spouse, then you have no control. You can’t change your spouse, so in that case, there is little hope. So, start with you. You make the changes to yourself so that your spouse can respond. As time goes on, perhaps the changes can be significant enough that you can see a brighter future together and then continue on the road to recovery.
What to do? Change you. This is true even if the marriage is a good one. Always take responsibility to be the best that YOU can be to make YOUR marriage a blessed one. Your spouse will respond and ideally follow the same mindset. What a blessing that would be. What a blessing that could be!
Free Ebook: What Happens to Love In Marriage
Get your free copy of "What Happens to Love in Marriage?" Learn the path that love takes in a marriage and how you can nurture it to produce the loving, happy, and fulfilling marriage that you desire to have.