7. Off To The Suburbs
The family outgrows the two-bedroom apartment, and suburban public schools beckon you. Whether you stay in the city, move to the suburbs, or were already there, this is a time of consolidating family and parenting, establishing financial security and making memories with each other. One of the biggest dangers to relationships during these stages is complacency, or not prioritizing each other. Make time to spend with each other, to connect and to be intimate during this period of family togetherness. It will reinforce your bond.
8. Mid-Life Changes or Crisis
This can happen if you thoughtlessly entered into a career that was not fulfilling and spent years going through the motions, letting life live you instead of the other way around. You are middle-aged, possibly feeling less sexy and alive. Suddenly your mortality hits you and you panic, rushing to re-establish the passion that once was, sometimes in harmful or dangerous ways. This is, however, by no means inevitable. Working on yourself, your positive and negative qualities and staying connected to your partner and to others mitigates the pains of aging and mortality.
9. Just The Two Of Us ... Part Two
The kids are gone (or the traveling is done) and it's back to two once again. Years have passed since things were this way, and that is why it is so crucial to always make space for your relationship even when your children are wearing you ragged. Ignoring the relationship and focusing solely on the kids will leave you feeling like strangers when the nest is empty. All of the things you ignored about each other could come back with a vengeance. If this is the case, it’s never too late to recommit and work on the relationship.
10. Del Boca Vista: The Twilight Years
If you made it this far, congratulations! The pressure is off and it's time to relax.
Relationships are more vulnerable in times of stress and conflict, and as you can see, there are many opportunities for that during a shared life. The only ways to survive and thrive are to prioritize your relationship, never stop communicating and seek help when you need it. Remember that every day that you are together, you are both choosing to do so, and this choice should never be taken for granted.
Get even more insights about the ways love is scientifically proven to transform your mind, body and soul — and the practical, warm-n-fuzzy ways you can practice love each and every day — by checking out all of our Love Transforms stories here!