Stages of Development of Relations in a Couple

It is no secret to psychologists that the stages of development of relationships in a couple go through the same stages as parent-child relationships. And if all the stages have been more or less passed with the parents, then there is a great chance to build a healthy relationship and be able to go through these stages in adulthood. There are only four stages of relationship development:

  • Codependency

Without it, further trusting relationship between partners is impossible. This stage can be considered the foundation of the relationship. It is characterized by phrases with “we” and emphasis on “our” community. It is a sweet period; not for nothing in relationships, it is called the rose and candy stage. When the main goal of a partner is to conquer the other half, to devote a lot of time to each other, not to differ, and to do a lot for the partner. This period is very sweet, but it cannot last forever.

  • Counterdependence

As soon as people feel that everything is stable in a relationship, there is trust and confidence in a partner, another need immediately arises — for autonomy, in being separate. This is counterdependence. At this stage, partners will notice all their mistakes and shortcomings and will no longer so willingly forgive them.During this period, a lot of tension, anger, frustration appears in the couple. It is at this stage that most divorces occur since, in our society, there is a ban on negative feelings. And what people most often do is either emotionally drift apart from each other, or they try to change their partner. Neither option leads to rapprochement and warmth, but rather gradually erodes relationships and destroys them day after day. But the ability to experience difficult feelings in a couple — not alone and not killing each other — leads to the fact that the relationship deepens and becomes even stronger.

  • Independence

It occurs when the inner self stops fighting and butting with a partner. All the energy is directed to life, to own achievements, to develop own individuality, with own desires and interests. The fear of losing a partner is reduced (after all, I can handle it myself), and one’s own interests and desires come to the fore. And if these processes coincide for both partners, which is quite rare, then everything can go smoothly enough. But if the partner is stuck in the earlier stages, then it is much more difficult, and conflicts are inevitable here.

  • Interdependence

But if we assume that this stage has also been passed, then it is followed by the final stage — interdependence. This is when relationships become important to partners again, when a lot of intimacy and acceptance arises, partners willingly help each other. And this isn’t because they owe something or because they have a belief that good people support each other. They can be here without each other, but they want to be with each other.

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