3 Stages Relationships Must Go Through To Be Successful
Is your relationship really failing … or is it just evolving? (As it’s meant to!)
Are you married, engaged or in a committed relationship right now? What brought you two together? What is keeping you together?
Most of us base our attraction to others on their looks, s*x appeal or personality, but we are unaware of how our life force energy also contributes to lasting success in love.
Do you know any long-term couples who still radiate love and appreciation for each other? If so, how do they do it?
Energy Psychologist, Dr. David Feinstein, and his wife, Energy Specialist Donna Eden—a couple who practice what they preach—say that EVERY successful love relationship goes through 3 phases:
Disappointment and Reckoning
Deepening and Flowing
Feinstein and Eden explain what attracts us to each other and how to brave the ups and downs of love relationships in their book, The Energies of Love.
1. Wild Passion
This part is easy. Usually good looks attract us initially. Stage 1 is a time of excitement and romance. However, many people seek my professional help when, after the first glow of passion starts to fade, they find themselves in the midst of Stage 2, feeling challenged and disappointed when they realize their happily-ever-after fantasies are an illusion.
My job is to coach couples in using Energy Psychology methods (especially EFT acupressure tapping) to heal their wounds, communicate better with each other, and appreciate what brought them together in the first place, so they can enter the third phase of deepening and commitment.
2. Disappointment and Reckoning
When the magic fades, disappointments may appear and resentments grow. The partner you once found exciting now may seem boring. Habits that you thought were sweet now drive you up the wall. Maybe your partner has gained weight and doesn’t look sexy anymore. Or, he never got that promotion at work and is not making enough money to support the family in the style you expected. Have parenting obligations begun to push you apart?
The way to get through the disappointment stage is by learning how to recognize and honor your differences and incompatibilities in a supportive, caring constructive manner. The first step is to look for the echoes of what you once had.
For example, Linda and Kevin created a wonderful ritual that not only got them through Stage 2, but also continued to help them deepen their love as they entered Stage 3. Every year on their anniversary they went away to a beautiful getaway in order to take stock of their marriage. In this neutral setting, they honored what was strong and loving in their relationship and also identified the stresses they were encountering.
First, Linda and Kevin reminisced about how they met, shared what qualities were special in their spouse, and talked about what they still appreciated and loved. Next, they paid attention to any stresses that were eroding their good feelings. Sometimes what seemed an insignificant negative trait in the early days of passion, can grow into a painful wound if not addressed. Linda and Kevin used EFT acupressure tapping to change the future of their relationship by refusing to stay stuck in negative emotions toward each other.
3. Deepening and Flowing
You might want to try what worked for them in order to deal with your doldrums. You can perform your relationship check-up anywhere, at any time; however, it works best if you find a place and time where you won’t be interrupted.
Begin by reminiscing about how you met. What attracted you to each other? Share what good qualities you still cherish. In my article, Driving Each Other Crazy? It’s In Your DNA, I point out the ways we are different from our spouses or lovers that are part of our temperament and will never change. Share one of the things you dislike about your lover. Rate how upset you feel from 0-10 as you bring it to mind.
Instead of fighting over this ongoing stress, use EFT Tapping. Tap the outside edge of your hand saying, “Even though I hate it when you ____ (fill in your complaint), I still love the way you ____ (state something you love and admire in him or her).” Do this 3 times and then tap each of these other points on your head and torso for 3 seconds while you picture your partner acting the way that drives you nuts:
Crown of the head
Eyebrow: the beginning of the eyebrow nearest the nose
Side of eye on the bone outside the outer corner of the eye socket
Under the eye above the cheekbone
Under the nose
Under the lower lip
Under the collarbone
4 inches under the armpit on the side of the body
Tap around these points 3 times. When you finish take a deep breath and notice what happened. Did you observe any changes in your thoughts, emotions or sensations? If you started at an upset rated 9, is it still a 9 or less?
Complete a few more rounds of gentle tapping focused on the same topic. The goal is to reach zero, which means that you are able to acknowledge that your lover is doing the best he or she can, and you are no longer angry or resentful. You can accept him or her as they are today, that they are doing the best they can.
When you tap these acupressure points, it helps you relax and release tension, anger or fear. When that happens you may find that your thoughts become clearer. For example, as you tap you may realize that you, too, have behaviors or beliefs that make your significant other feel upset with you.
In addition to taking stock of your relationship, you might decide to make plans to share activities that you enjoy together and that enrich your life together. Don’t wait to perform a relationship tune-up once a year—you may want to clear the air once every 3 or 6 months if needed. It’s an easy way to reinforce your loving energy and keep your love alive and thriving.