3rd stage. Separation. Later period of the relationship
Conflicts and power struggles begin. At this stage, partners understand that they do not always want to be together, that their interests and needs may not coincide. It was during this period that they ask questions: “Where were my eyes when I chose him? Where has our love gone? Did I marry that person? ” Does your partner still love after spending so much time apart?
Separation and individualization takes place. Vann Joynes identifies three sub-stages for this honeymoon period.
- Differentiation. By analogy with the period when we first begin to separate from our mother. And now we are separating from our partner, which is alarming.
- Test in practice. We begin to practice this newfound individuality by separating from our partner. “This is the stage where we fall in love with the world around us, we begin to interact with it. We do different things, communicate with other people. “
- Reunion, convergence. If we return to the analogy of “child and mother”, then during this period the child, breaking away from the mother, loses the feeling of her image and again needs her. He returns to her to “refuel”. In this reunion, he regains love, support, connection. The same thing happens in a relationship with a partner. In a pair relationship, this means an opportunity for partners to discuss their needs and business. Both learn to simultaneously set the boundaries of their individual “I” and at the same time be a reliable support for a partner, help him realize and satisfy his needs.
“The more our need for this dependence and support is satisfied, the more autonomous we learn to feel,” explains Vann Joynes. – The more responsive and reliable the partner is, the more he helps us to satisfy our needs, the more freedom we feel. We have that very autonomy – in contrast to the mutual exclusivity in the “honey period”, where we are concentrated only on each other, forgetting about ourselves. “
It is at this stage that the danger of rupture is great. Partners can decide to “get out of the game” and try to find the ideal partner again, which, as we now understand, does not exist. After all, relations with him will go through the same stages and will inevitably come to the stage of separation and individualization. Sometimes we will repeat the roles that our parents played.
“Partners need to withstand this period and undergo therapy if they cannot cope on their own,” recommends Vann Joynes. – Remember that relationships, marriage means work. Relationships are a machine for growing people who can go through all stages and grow, or they can get stuck at some stage and stagnate there. But if they manage to carry out the work and go through all the stages together, then they move to the next level of mature relationships and true intimacy. “
4th stage. Closeness and belonging. Mature relationship
At this stage, partners consistently create a support for secure attachment.
“Each of the partners needs to feel that the other is available and responsive enough that he will receive satisfaction of his needs in this relationship. At this stage, partners go beyond what they have projected onto their partner – mom, dad, princess from a children’s fairy tale or a knight from a favorite movie, and begin to rediscover him – who is he really? – says Vann Joynes. “Now, outside of this image, they see a real living person – completely as he is. The one they fell in love with. They regain it and experience a deeper sense of intimacy and belonging that is more satisfying to them than their primary honeyed obsession with others. “
But what about conflicts? Will there be no more of them? Of course they will. But now partners have the opportunity and habit to talk to each other, no one leaves, no one hides in resentment and childish patterns, no one breaks off the relationship. And the feeling of a stronger connection is created.
“Partners reach a level of mature relationship in which conflicts are possible, but the relationship persists. They have deeper love, more trust, more secure attachment. At the stage of mutual dependence, the idea of perfection is reconciled with the idea of reality and “1 + 1” turns out to be more than 2, the expert says. “When people together find themselves better people than alone, outside of these relationships, which are based on the foundation of growth and development, instead of need and need, as before.”
Partners stop working out their childhood difficulties in which they are stuck on each other. Healthy addiction now promotes autonomy. No matter how hungry, tired, lonely, annoyed I am, I can always come to a partner and satisfy my needs. And I have more confidence when I travel to the outside world.
“These are the necessary stages that are inevitable. And if people want to come to mature, true love, then they should know about it, – says Vann Joynes. – Not everyone gives the trouble to go through these stages. But if people understand that relationships are work, then they will have a better chance of arriving at the final rewarding point. “
The article was prepared as part of the collaboration between Psychologies and…