Wish you never fell in love in the first place? Then it wouldn't be so painful! Unfortunately, you have to go through the stages of relationship in order in order to come out the other side! It starts with Romantic Love, then the Power Struggle, and then finally, Real Love.
Most couples don't make it through the Power Struggle. But if you can stick out the power struggle stage and learn from it, you'll come out the other side into the best stage of all: Real Love.
More inspiration on making it past the Power Struggle and into Real Love:
- 3 Stages of Relationships. Which one are you in?
- 6 ways to stay in love forever
- Should I stay or should I go? What you MUST know before you call it quits.
It's normal to have relationship problems and here's why.
Working through relationship problems begins with understanding how and why you fell in love. Without the mystery of attraction, you would never get married. Most likely, you would scrutinize the other person to no end. Unless you had no say in the matter of spouse selection or are extremely logical and emotionless, some form of attraction, not necessarily physical, must be present.
We have to “fall in love” so that we can be blinded by all of the reasons we should not get married. (While some of these terms have been abused by society, I preferred to view them as a feeling of connection that draws us to another person or a “click.”) How else could you commit to spending the rest of your life with someone you barely know?
Know this. You are specifically drawn to your partner, because you have a purpose, to become more whole and complete people. (We talk a lot more about the purpose of marriage and why you're here left with relationship problems you didn't expect to have in Marriage School.)
The honeymoon is over and relationship problems begin
So, we get married and then, all of a sudden, things aren’t like they were when we first met. What did we get ourselves into? We would have been better off single! If we would have only married someone else! This is not the person we thought we were getting! Sound familiar? The luster of the romantic stage has worn off and we have forgotten why we truly picked each other in the first place. After the romantic stage comes the inevitable power struggle stage.
Transition gracefully out of the Power Struggle and into the deeper, more satisfying Conscious Marriage
In order to get back to the connection we experienced in the beginning of our relationship and give it permanence, we must work on our relationship. Marriage is the perfect opportunity for self-growth. More than just a positive spin on dealing with conflict, it is the reason the two of you were brought together. The very challenges and frustrations you experience in your relationship are necessary to elicit growth. A sociable and outgoing wife wishes her homebody husband would liven up. The husband wishes his wife would give him some space. This situation will replay itself and tension will build until they can engage in a mature and conscious dialogue. After learning tools to relate and manage conflict and develop understanding and compassion, both parties are usually moved to grow towards each other. In doing so, they not only meet their spouse’s need; they become more complete and balanced people and more connected to their spouse. Through working on your relationship you will once again reach those feelings you first experienced for your spouse, yet now they will be real, stronger, and more permanent.
Most of us get lost soon after marriage. Realizing that the initial excitement in marriage is transient and can return through hard work, helps ground couples as well as provide them hope. While the power struggle is inevitable in any relationship, a conscious marriage and real love is attainable.
Just having the awareness that the romantic stage comes to a screeching halt in order to get you into the next, deeper stage of relationship is so liberating! If you know that, you can properly equip you and your partner with that knowledge and then progress by alerting and arming yourself with the best relationship knowledge out there.
There's a lot of relationship knowledge out there and it's important, when going through a power struggle, to not play the role of the "therapist" and try implementing all the advice that you may be reading or hearing about with an unwilling partner.
The best thing you can do is to begin by learning and applying the material that you learn to your own behavior and habits, and you will start seeing a shift. We promise :)
Be in touch,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin