The relationship evolves, changes and matures, that is, an affective relationship goes through different stages. These phases include pleasant and positive moments, but however united and harmonious it may be, it adds a strong emotional charge that sometimes produces conflicts in the couple .
When two people come together and decide to follow the path of life together, they add their personalities, beliefs and prior experiences to the equation. There are many roles to be decided and it is a changing scheme where the couple must adapt to the new life scenarios that are produced.
Different phases of couple relationships
You can list different phases of couple relationships, but we can point out these three main ones:
- The beginning. Falling in love is the basis of the vast majority of relationships. In this phase the attention is focused on the common aspects and, in general, without perceiving only the aspects that differentiate us. In this stage we avoid conflicts. Falling in love is an emotion and therefore tends to habituation.
- The coexistence. When a couple decides to live together, there are a lot of habits that they did not share before and chores that should be assigned. Now each person begins to show himself as he is and the encounter begins to be more real, and differences can appear in the way of resolving conflicts.
- Children. With the arrival of a baby, there is a new qualitative change known to everyone. The tasks are multiplied exponentially and the couple has to unify criteria based on the education they intend to grant.
We have pointed out these three stages that many couples will go through, but there are many other changes that can occur in a couple relationship, such as those related to jobs, (change of schedules, retributions, unemployment, geographical change …), problems of health, adolescence of the children , in the mature age when the children become independent, and a long etc.
How to solve couple problems
Regardless of the vital moment in which the couple finds themselves, there is a series of “universal” recommendations that will help us in whatever phase we find ourselves.
Therefore, let’s see a series of tips for when conflicts occur in the couple:
Discuss, do not fight. One of the first ideas is to demystify the fact of arguing. Maintaining discussions is not synonymous with a bad relationship per se. But it is very important how we discuss and avoid that result in fights.
Communication. One of the most powerful tools available to the couple to overcome their differences as long as it is used properly.
Talk about the problems. If something worries us it is good to tell our partner, but choosing a good time in which both are in a good emotional predisposition. Non-offensive language Be careful, because the words we choose can open up deep wounds.
Active listening. If our partner feels heard and perceives that we are making efforts to understand it, we will have already taken a big step towards solving the problem.
Focus on a single theme. When discussing an issue, it should be concise and objective, and not lead to other conflicting issues and get other “dirty laundry” from the past to recriminate and increase tension.
Focus on the solution of the conflict. Linked with the previous one, to be constructive, avoiding the reproaches, and to look for the necessary contributions to arrive at a satisfactory and especially joint solution.
Respect. Avoid falling into disrespect. If the insult is reached, it is an unequivocal sign that the discussion will not be productive, just the opposite.
Non-verbal communication. Physical contact is important. Giving an example to your partner spontaneously can be a great help and end a few days of tensions and bad moods. Similarly, with bad faces or gestures, we can increase our emotional distance.
Avoid dragging external problems to our relationship. It is very common for a conflict at work or with friends, what we bring to our home and we do extend to our relationship. In fact, on many occasions, that trust is misinterpreted and makes us download our frustration in the couple. You try to be aware of this and build walls, not bring evil from outside our relationship (eg Just before entering the home, breathe deeply and let you pick out those problems and will face the next morning in place precise).
In summary, the discussion is part of the couple and you should work as a couple in it too. It is not always going to be possible to reach an entirely satisfactory agreement, but it is of little use in the long term to impose on the other. In the worst case, an agreement must be reached on the disagreement, and a minimum of understanding.