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6 Phases On The Journey of A Married Couple in Traditional Societies
Relationships go through various phases. If this is what your journey looks like, this insight might be very handy if you have quite a few years to go by yet. The romance in your relationship is likely to get triggered once again. Read ON! #StayInspiredOnTheGo
Appa, watch that movie. It’s just amazing. Such incredible powers he has pa. Wow. I wish I had that kind of power. Excitedly my kid wanted me to see one of her favorite movies.
She won’t stop talking about it till I agreed to watch it next day. I was so happy seeing my kid bubbling with so much joy and her eagerness to share with others. I watched the movie and we spoke about it long time. If I had not watched it, unknowingly I would have created a small conflict in her mind. She will grow thinking that world is not easy and hard to make people understand.
Over the years she will grow and forget this childish obsession, but since it is deposited in her subconscious, at some point in her life she would feel discouraged without knowing the reason. In life we have many such experiences and cannot control everything. The needs at every stage of our life changes and varies as Maslow has said in the theory “Hierarchy of needs”
Looking back at the years that have passed and now Iam here with a loving family and interesting life. We cross many stages in life and when we share our life with another person, we go through so many changes and evolve into different personalities. There are 6 phases in marriage.
Phase one – Before marriage
A beautiful period where only romance predominates in life. Love, care and efforts to impress each other are on top of the list. Gifts and compliments flow like river. Thoughts are light like breeze and everything seem so creative and fulfilling. Each yearns to be in the company of the other. Every song, music seems lively. Days and nights are heartening and pleasant. The thought that another human being has accepted you make us feel on top of the world. Movies add so many flavors. In the 80s it was signified with flowers and later with rising waves, sun rays, flapping birds, so on. And now it is pop up of message or picture in the smart phone. He speaks and she listens enrapt and when she speaks, he feels there is no one so sweet as her in this world. Even the smallest gesture of kindness makes her fly above the clouds.
Both become contemporary poets appreciating everything around. When romance is the only need in life the guy would say, “I will always keep you happy and never allow a tear appear in your eyes. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life.” and she would say “you are so smart and never seen anyone like you in my life. No one understands me like you do in this world” Closeness increases and hearts merge and seem so inseparable. Each other’s understanding becomes deep to the soul. They are willing to sacrifice anything for each other and forget the entire world around them. – Friends, family, office, economy, priorities, nothing bothers them. They are so busy growing into each other and trying to find love together that days, weeks and months pass. Our company’s marketing manager once said, “Eash this is the best moment in life, which will never come again. After marriage everything will be different in few years”
Key attribute – Impressing each other with care and attention
Conflict - None
Phase two – One year after marriage
For few months she waits for him and makes nice tea and snacks when he comes back from office. Helps him take off his shoes and office bag. He tells her about the day at office and she is very happy and tries to softly press his shoulders to relax him after a tiring day at office. After few months of living together under one roof, the need to stay together all the time slowly fades. It matures to caring, more than romance. Waiting to meet each other over a diner or lunch is gone. Excitement is not the same. Conversations change from romance to responsibility. Ideas start to differ. Weaknesses surface in each other. Ego shows up gradually and comparisons start entering the marriage. One tries to find fault with the other. Understanding each other’s shortcoming and continuing to find love together strengthens the bonding.
Before wedlock, the real self never emerges due to existence of strong love and romantic state of feeling. But one year after the marriage the original self naturally shows up and that will not be in line with what was portrayed before Remarks like, “You have changed a lot these days” fills all conversation. This is where the real truth behind all successful marriage gets reinforced. At the time of courting there is a heart that accepts everything and that needs to continue to manifest real love and care.
Key attribute - The need in this phase is to accept each other’s shortcomings.
Conflict - Expecting the phase one to continue.
Kid Creating new life gives a strong feeling of bonding with each other. Focus shifts from each other to the baby. Life is adjusted to fit in the new comer on the way. Finding fault with each other is replaced with making one another comfortable. Romance is replaced with expectations of becoming parents. Demands gets replaced with sacrifice. When the baby is born, her attention is shifted more on the kid. Baby becomes her world. This phase does not have the dreams of love and romance. Every stage in marriage is a journey of discovery. Taking one step at a time makes it wonderful and worth the togetherness.
When the attributes of earlier two phases gradually disappear, it is time to face the realities of life. Showing support and protection for the family signifies this phase. Emotional care for baby and each other strengthens.
Key Attribute – Taking full responsibility with deeper understanding of family commitments.
Conflict – Expecting Phase one and two to continue
Phase four – Growing of the kid
This is the stage of planning. Kid takes more attention in the house. Schooling, toys, hospital visits becomes top priority. Life takes a big change. Commitment and responsibilities increases manifold. Kid's friends and their parents become friends. Social gatherings are more. Kid starts talking more of school and friends. Weekends are filled with visits to amusement parks and animated movies. Dad becomes a role model. He starts feeling neglected because of the new comer. But he accepts it with no complaints as life has taken a new meaning now. Romance is replaced with affection.
Key attribute – Accepting the new reality, Playing and bonding.
Conflict – Feeling the loss of freedom. Life getting serious.
Phase five – Routine.
This is a very critical phase. Both parents are tired of the routine that has set in. Body shape changes and same family matter are being conversed everyday. This happens because the mind is still in the earlier phases. This needs to be altered and the current phase embraced. She is busy in cooking and cleaning. He gets busy at work and evenings pass in watching TV. The kid is busy with school. Home work, school projects, teacher meetings dominates this phase. Due to rise in expenses and being unable to pay monthly installments , small arguments on money matters erupt. He starts complaining about life and work. She feels helpless to manage the situation.
She feels he does not love her anymore because of the change in body shape and both start getting wrinkles on their face. Both fall sick more often. Spirituality brings in some relief from the routine. If she is not working she tends to talk more for gaining attention , being alone at home. Life gets hard. He wants to break away and start something of his own to make money. He is not happy and gets irritated and she tries to make the home interesting. This is the exact time to take that exotic vacation.
Key Attribute – Break the routine. Take that vacation and bring in intimacy.
Conflict – Doing everything only as a responsibility, which will kill the emotions.
Phase six - Children are now grown-ups
Everyone is independent. Wife also finds a work outside to find meaning in her life. Lots of inspirational videos and stories are read. Kid enters college. Old age sets in. Appearance of grey hair indicates the journey they have travelled in life. Slowly old family pictures and videos come out of the shelves to relive the lost and forgotten moments again. Nearing 50 brings in the realization of lessening of time in life. Philosophy is spoken at home. Wife and husband start to become quiet. A friendship surface in them. All decisions at home are mutually discussed. Emotional bonding increases. Need for each other grows again.
Growing older can make people feel lonely. Growing old with the partner removes this loneliness. Health takes priority. Yoga and exercise becomes important. Sometimes TV mega serial seems interesting. To see characters and their life on the screen brings consolation as the distance has already been traveled. With retirement only few more years ahead, it is time to make a purpose to be on this planet for the rest of life.
Key attribute – Emotions, Health ,Friendship and purpose
Conflict – Trying not to understand that age has caught up and not making a purpose and goal.
Each phase have different requirement and when they are mixed up, conflicts arise. My wife and me celebrated 22nd years of togetherness couple of months ago. To keep the romance alive we pull out the letters written to each other many years ago and read them. We would be amazed how much we have changed. Watching the wedding videos together with kids gives us immense joy. Married life will stay beautiful as it had started, if each of these phases are understood and dealt with accordingly.
Romance will stay alive if previous phase is left behind and live in the needs of the new phase. Romance has different meaning and requirement at every phase. It is very important to have clarity that people and circumstances will change because that’s how we are made. We are made to evolve and not to remain the same.
Get the Latest & Recommended articles in your InboxLeave behind the earlier phases as that chapter is finished. It is the current chapter that needs to be read with interest and enthusiasm. Lots of factors like change in place, career change, setbacks etc. will impact the life in a big way. But the key is to grow and change in time. You cannot solve today’s problem with yesterday’s solution and still expect to be in business tomorrow.
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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 13th April 2018.