Most people wonder why it is so difficult to maintain a relationship when it seems a bed of roses. All we handle the same concept of what a couple but the truth is that everyone comes from a family history and unique personnel, which generates also unique and different from the rest concept: each part has lived in the environment a way or pattern of family relationships, some of them more expressive and close, others more rigid and cold … the mistake is to believe that the other has the same expectations, ideas … of what a couple since reality is that there are variables and processes that influence and make the couple a complex system. Therefore, it is essential to understand that culture, customs, values, routines, and habits … influence the idea that everyone has what it is and how to behave in a relationship.
For almost all are known by different life crises which go through a couple stages which must be constantly readjusting, life crises we talked about are:
- Dating: This is the period of duration of relationship prior to marriage or domestic partnership. The aim of this stage is the formation of a couple systems that allows integrating the needs of both.
- Marriage: the couple remains consolidated turning it into a stable system. The couple develops a sense of belonging and confidence in an evolving relationship.
- The birth of children: We are facing the stage reaffirmation as a couple and paternity / maternity. New roles appear and the couple has to be readjusted again now including a third. At which point you have to balance the paternal / maternal role with the role of husband / wife.
- School-age children: Little grows in the family and this is the first release of the child from the family, so it is a crucial stage in the evolution of the family.
- Adolescence: Adolescence is a time of great crisis, both for the individual and the family as large changes in all members of the household and their relationship with the environment. The small child becomes a teenager with all bodily and hormonal changes that this entails, and generating it an identity crisis and great emotional changes. The family should be prepared for all these changes.
- Empty Nest: Characterized by the departure of the children and adults in the household and the ability of the family of origin to discard them. This is the time when the tasks of raising the couple are finalized, which means, from the emotional point of view, a loss from which we must defend ourselves and compensated.
- Middle age and old age: It is a time of change: changes in family structure (children outside the home), changes at the professional level (stoppage of work), changes at the physical level (physical and cognitive impairment of the person) and emotional changes (lose of loved beings, thoughts of death …). The characteristics of the reunion of the couple to this new situation will depend on the evolution is favorable or not.
To make the transition from one stage to another and that the stage itself where the couple is to be adaptive for it should take into account the following aspects:
The initial negotiation:
As has been mentioned, when a couple is formed, each member carries with it a lifestyle, customs, values, habits … from their family of origin. It is therefore very important that both, during this stage, bringing their family experiences, they are able to negotiate to establish a new and own way of living as a couple. Among the experiences that can come to negotiate and that can lead to difficulties in establishing the new relationship are eating habits, tasks, and habits of the household (order, cleanliness …) as well as the idea that everyone has about it should behave the other … Small daily issues that can generate discussions affecting the relationship.
In this period, it requires many conversations and dealings in where permitted negotiate disagreements yield to accept customs and behaviors of the other … until a proper way of doing and living as a couple is generated.
This is a period of great importance since it is the moment that is not achieved or the ability of acceptance and accommodation of differences and the relationship is defined. If negotiation is equal and fair it will be perceived as an egalitarian lifestyle, which facilitates this process, if what happens is that one of the members does not give or press the other, an imbalance is established and will emerge conflicts and emotional detachment.
The role of each, the roles in the couple:
Culture and society today influence us the time to believe that men and women have different roles, being the first one who is responsible for the family protection and economic part, and the woman who is responsible for the house and children.
Subject to these roles is behaviors or attitudes that if rigid can create difficulties and conflicts in the relationship. Roles that if the couple is able to relax, that is not in strict compliance with the culturally established (share tasks, a financial contribution by both parties, childcare …) the situation and the relationship will be strengthened.
It is impossible not to communicate even when we remain silent and we are communicating. In a relationship communication is one aspect that must care because it depends on many occasions that the relationship evolve or stagnate.
It is important to note that not we all communicate in the same way. If you do not have this in mind, this difference can be experienced as that we are not listening and that therefore there is no interest by the other, generating anger and feeling of emptiness. It is time to understand how to communicate the other, clarify what everyone expects and what is important for himself.
As the couple will stabilize and evolve (work, children …) becomes more difficult to get time to chat with friends, which can be lived with a sense of detachment, abandonment … It is, therefore, important to find moments where we can share with the other and thus the connection between them is established.
It is also important to communicate emotions, express what everyone feels without blaming the other.
The expression of emotions and feelings:
The couple is formed by the need for the members to be with the other and express their love. To the extent that the relationship evolves and becomes established emerging manifestations of affection, an indispensable aspect in the life partner.
These expressions are a common language of love, which makes can express emotions and feelings to the other, which in turn generates greater intimacy and trust between the partners making the most stable relationship.
Keep in mind the expression of all kinds of emotions. Some of them find it easier to express openly, but others, such as rage or anger can accumulate generating tension and estrangement in the couple.
It is important therefore to forget the idea that the expression of feelings is a sign of weakness since the relationship means the opposite. It is a symbol of commitment and confidence to the other as the most intimate part of oneself shown, making it a strong point for the relationship.
Individual spaces within the couple:
When a relationship is maintained is very important to take care and maintain common areas, ie, be able to devote time to caring for and nurture the relationship, either with activities, either by communicating with them, either by the care of one and other, through sex …
But besides taking care of the common plot, we should not forget the importance of each individual enjoys spaces that can bring personal wealth and this, in turn, serves to enrich the relationship.
The individual space can often generate fear of losing the other person, fear will diminish if, as discussed above, the couple is able to strengthen and maintain the spaces in common.
Couples who do not have individual times are couples with a solitary lifestyle, based on the dependence on the other, with the risk of separation from the outside world. In addition, loss of identity can be lived with rage and frustration, making the situation within the couple goes weakening and face difficult conflicts arise.
Therefore, it is important that both understand that individual spaces to enjoy the personal enrichment that this implies for everyone, is a factor that makes the relationship stronger, each contributing their talents and virtues. If to this is added a good communication and a joint life, the emotional climate will increase and decrease the feeling of abandonment.
Jealousy and infidelity:
When we talked about emotions, we commented that anger is often a difficult emotion to express. Often, improper discharge of said emotion can create doubts in the other, feeling him distant and little emotional. This can make the person does not feel satisfied with their relationship and look to a third party or third that allows you to reactivate the couple, even through a crisis.
These infidelities can help the couple communicate and try to resolve weaknesses in the relationship and generate new bonds of trust. But it may be that infidelity generates such a deep wound in the relationship is not possible to regain the confidence back, making the couple separated ends.
It is much more effective to talk about all conflicts or all situations that hurt or affect within the relationship itself before they turn into major conflicts or insurmountable difficulties.
The couple, children, the family of the dyad to the triad:
When the birth of a child is given we face a moment of reaffirmation as a couple and paternity / maternity.
The birth of a child creates many changes in both the relationship and the whole family. From pregnancy, it creates a space for the new family member. We had a set of two, to one of three. This entails a restructuring of the rules that until now had ruled the couple.
New roles and functions (mother, father, grandparents, uncles, cousins …) appear. It happens that parents focus on baby care and leave out the space between the pair, leading to an emotional distance and difficulties between them. It is important to take this into account because if the couple does not work well, the family achieved not grows harmonically.
It is necessary to form a new emotional anchor that includes the child. It is a difficult time; the incorporation of small family inevitably causes a lot of tension. Is common reproach, depression, fatigue of both parents, the difficulty in agreeing on how to do things … so it is important that the couple is able to separate at times the role of parents to be a partner, recovering in the extent possible moments or common activities. Culturally, it often seems criticized that couples put aside at times this paternal role for his own enjoyment, but the truth is that as a couple and as a person, the family members must be healthy and balanced so that the family can develop favorably.
All these points have to be taken into account when forming and maintaining a relationship. Any difficulty can cause the couple to weaken and separate. For some couples, it is easier to achieve harmony between them, but if we face a couple with difficulties in any of the points, can be positive to go to a professional who can help us find the weak points and go working them in order to achieve balance and wellness.