Every relationship requires work and patience. Still, couples often find themselves standing face to face with an emotional problem that has the potential of breaking them apart. This creates friction between them.
But how to identify what you and your partner are going through? Is it just another phase of the relationship, or its more in the direction of a break-up?
If it feels like your relationship is on the urge to die, here are the six stages that help you check what you need to look for.
1. Happy relationship (The Beginning)
This is the bed and roses phase, where both partners are focused on the relationship and put in efforts to keep it healthy.
This is that initial stage of love when the sky looks more blue than usual, the chirping of birds feels sweeter, and the sun shines brighter. You are mesmerized by your new partner’s charisma, and you can’t see any flaw in them even if you try.
2. The Disillusionment
Then comes stage two, where one of the partners realizes that not everything is as perfect as they thought. They finally start to see the other person for who they are instead of placing them on a pedestal.
You can refer to it as the “uh-oh” moment, as in, “Uh oh, they are not as sophisticated as I thought they were.” Hence, the illusion of being with a perfect person breaks, and disillusionment begins.
But the disillusioned partner doesn’t discuss this epiphany with anyone assuming that they might be overthinking the situation.
And that’s where things worsen. Because with time, this partner will realize what else is wrong with the relationship and that these problems are persistent.
3. The Detachment
As the disillusioned partner keeps realizing the problems in their relationship, sorrow gains.
To cope with these negative emotions, they search for distractions and interests they can pursue outside of the marriage.
Such as spending more time with friends, seeking a new hobby, having an affair, or working out; it could be anything as long as it does not include their spouse. It’s like the person says to themselves,” OK, I am miserable in this relationship, but I can deal with it if I have someplace else to direct my attention.”
4. The Rejectee Panics
The rejectee starts noticing that their partner is pulling away and are unhappy at the point where they can even end the relationship. They start panicking upon realizing this.
The brain can’t help but go into an adrenaline rush, producing fight or flight mode, and the path that people usually take in this situation is fight. They will fight to save the relationship.
They will start putting in extra effort, notice small things about their partner, and go out of their way to keep them happy. But the other partner is already detached. They will see these efforts as nothing but a nuisance. They might even exclaim, “Oh! So now you are doing all the things I always asked for? Well, guess what? All I want right now is to be alone!”
This reaction will trigger the “attachment panic” in the rejected partner or rejectee because the person they are attached to is pulling away from them. Unfortunately, the unhappy partner has already left the relationship emotionally. And any efforts, pressure, and wooing will only push them further.
5. The Decider Flees
The other partner continues to pursue their unhappy partner, which leads them to experience an overwhelming need to get away from the relationship resulting in separation.
It likely will take some time for the rejected partner to finally give up hope that they can win their partner back. The best and healthiest thing for the rejected partner to do at this time is to focus on their mind, body, and health.
They can resort to counseling, self-reflection, and processing themself and the failed relationship with a trusted friend to come out of this trauma and move on.
6. Rejectee Gives Up (The relationship ends for good.)
Okay! The final stage of a dying relationship.
We go into a relationship with a lot of hope about the future. The last thing we want to plan is how to separate from our partner. It’s hard to say when and how, but the time will come when the rejected partner finally gives up hope and is free from the broken relationship’s remnants.
They will return to the new normal, showing things are getting good. They may even feel like starting dating again.
Their life will eventually come together, and they shall find some level of contentment and peace, perhaps a higher level of happiness than they have ever known.