Taking Life One Day at a Time

Confused Men

on November 21, 2011

Hello everyone! It’s been a while I know, apologies on the delay. Hope you’ve all been well, or at least well enough. Before I continue with this post I’d first like to say that don’t be fooled by the title (so don’t get all huffy on me guys who read this) because this applies to women just as much as it does to men. Why I titled it the way that I did? Because what I’m about to talk about, I noticed in the opposite sex, that’s why!

I think that people have a strange way of defining relationships, individuality, and independence now a days. It’s almost as if society has lost sight of what those terms actually mean and imply. Since I don’t want to take up too much of your time on each of these words, I’ve decided to just write about one of the terms-relationships. Whether you’re just dating some one, already boyfriend and girlfriend, engaged or even married, the word relationship has the same meaning just different context. Yes I know I might have talked about this term previously or on an older post of mine, however there is a difference and significance to why I’m mentioning it again, so please bear with me…

Each phase of a relationship has an implication on how the relationship will develop and last. Please note that there are different levels to a relationship and different phases of a relationship.  As confusing as it may sounds, believe me the phases and levels are completely different. Phases are: dating, in a committed relationship, engaged, and marriage. Some people in today’s society might add in “boyfriend and girlfriend” and/or “living together” as other phases because they would either hate to admit or say they are in a “committed relationship” or are “life partners” with the belief of not having to get married. The levels of a relationship are how the couple grows individually and as a unit. This finally brings me to the reason why I’ve chosen today’s topic.

I can’t comprehend or seem to wrap my head around why a male (and now a day’s females) wants to be living a single’s life when they are committed/married? I’ve seen this already on various occasions and sadly women are grasping on to this idea. Can anyone explain or comment why or how this is acceptable. Granted, I know there are many cases and examples of ideal and non-ideal couples, however that doesn’t mean that society should sully or degrade what it means to be in a relationship/committed relationship/married. Incase I’m losing a few of you due to my jumbling of words and sentences let me go about the topic like this…I’m going to give you a scenario followed by some questions and of course my comments/opinion on the matter.

Let’s say a couple is married and they aren’t old but in their late 20s/early 30s. They have a very united family (or at least that’s the impression given), they have kids which they love to death and would do anything for, and seem to have a good income. The husband tends to leave town due to work various times throughout a month’s time on a yearly basis. Now I’m going to interject with this comment here before anyone gets the wrong impression! There’s nothing wrong with work taking away a member of the family as long as the couple has made this decision mutually and have agreed to whatever terms intertwined with it such as, “make sure your home for the holidays…don’t you miss their birthday or our anniversary…I’m behind you one hundred percent in your decision but let’s make to communicate as much as we can in your absence especially in the evenings with the kids…” and etc. Now back to the scenario. The husband and wife are mutually ok with how long and far work takes him away from his family however it’s gotten to the point where the husband is enjoying his time away (even though he’s ONLY working) because let’s face it, we’re human and no matter how much we love someone, we tend to want a little space now and again. But it’s gotten a little out of hand because after working hours the husband is touring the city with “friends” to some bars, new restaurants, making a habit of having drinks every night, and so forth. Again, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the down time a person has after work, even in another city, but not the extent where it has you out late and you have to “sneak away” from your group of friends/new friends in order to talk for a few minutes with your loved ones. Just like anything else, all in moderation! So here’s my question, do you think it’s acceptable that the husband enjoys to the fullest extent (without moderation that is) his nights out without family, “admiring the view” even if married, and perhaps prolong work trips because of not wanting to go back home?

Maybe that’s not the best of examples or questions…because again every couple and marriage is different and thank God for that otherwise everyone would be boring and bored! Let’s say scenario two involves a young couple with kids and they aren’t married but apparently living together. I use the word apparently because the guy in question doesn’t boast about his significant other as any normal person, who’s proud of their loved one does, but he boasts about his children and you can even tell how much he loves his kids. Yet, he continually uses the excuse of work to say that he needs time away or better yet “I’m glad I have the job that I do because it gives me time away from my family.” I’m sorry, but for me there is something definitely wrong with that sentence! So my question in this scenario is, is the guy tired of his significant other that’s why he wants to always be away and only stays because of the kids or is he mentally 50 % in the relationship with literally a foot in and a foot out of the door?

Ok, let’s say for arguments sake that both guys in the above scenario’s have good motives and have their act together they just don’t vocalize what their plan is and what’s being interpreted isn’t what’s actually going on…if that’s the case then all I have to say is keep their mouths shut when they’re having fun on their work trips because people might and would lose respect for them and serious communication should be present between their wives/significant others otherwise what would the family be thinking or what conclusions would they have, if I’ve interpreted the situations as I have…

I’m really not sure when the view on serious relationships and marriages faltered so much but it’s sad that it has…I just finished watching a movie “Crazy Stupid Love” and it was sadly interesting and uncanny on how the views of society were actually implemented…There’s a clip that the office where Steve Carrel works is concerned on his demeanor and think it’s due to health reasons. When Steve Carrel admits to it being a divorce, everyone changes their sad and worried demeanor to “oh everything’s ok, its only divorce!” If you haven’t seen it I’d say take a look at it but I am warning you that it might be a tad slow for some…I really don’t know when times changed to the point where people are more surprised to hear about couples in their 20s getting married then when someone announces that they’re getting a divorce or even how teenage pregnancies aren’t much of a shocker anymore…I know everything is always circumstantial but marriage is and will always remain a more formal and legal binding of a bond between two individuals, which should never be taken lightly.

Since I didn’t expand much on the levels of relationships like I did the phases. Here are the stages of relationships, as outlined by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries of http://www.GetRelationshipsRight. I thought to post her article into my blog, so keep in mind that everything below my signature is from her website link above. Have a great day/night and until next time! 🙂

Yours truly,

A Young Adult

Stage 1: The Honeymoon

According to love songs and fairy tales, this stage is what love is supposed to be like. You meet, you connect, you fall in love. Everything seems right. Nothing seems out of place. Even if some things don’t seem right, you are full of hope they will work themselves out.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage can start from day one, but it’s usually in effect within the first month and can last between three and six months.

The joy: You feel more alive, more expanded, more in touch with life, beauty, joy, spirituality, and yourself. You have hope. You feel exhilarated, or at least excited. You have fun. These are wonderful feelings and should be celebrated and enjoyed.

The stumbling block: You may overlook whether your partner is truly compatible with you and rush into the depth of the relationship too soon and/or with the wrong person. And this, in turn, can mean the relationship may end abruptly and you may get seriously hurt.

What to do: You need to figure out if the person you are with is the right person for you.

Stage 2: The Discovery

During this stage, the initial excitement of being together is subdued so you can actually discover who the other person really is. You and your partner begin to discover each other’s quirks and neurosis, and you uncover things that bug you about each other. You also begin to discover what you truly love and respect about one another. Your communication should deepen to a soulful level, where you begin to open up to each other.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage starts between three and six months and can last for a number of years, depending on how comfortable the couple is with self-disclosure and how fast or slowly the couple wants to progress in emotional intimacy.

The joy: The joy is the discovery: you are close enough to be able to glimpse the other person, his or her vulnerabilities, beauty, even quirks — which you may think are cute. The joy is also in seeing evidence that you have chosen the right person (if in fact you have such evidence), as well as in deep communication and budding emotional intimacy.

The stumbling block: You may begin to discover things that drive you crazy about each other. You may also discover that the two of you do things in very different fashions, or have vastly different interests. This is the time to choose in or out, and you may not want to choose.

What to do: This is THE time to figure out if you are with the right person. If you wait much longer, you are almost guaranteed heartbreak. This is not something you can just spontaneously know.

Stage 3: The Commitment

This is the stage most singles fantasize about — the place where the relationship is settled, you know you are together, and you can finally relax. This is the stage most couples try to rush into and arrive at too soon. It is a wonderful stage, but rather than an end of a process, it is only the beginning. In many ways, a relationship does not truly begin until a couple commits to each other.

When it starts and how long it lasts: The Commitment Stage starts once each person decides to commit to either live together or get married, or to another form of deep commitment.

The joy: The joy is the sense of having arrived and no longer having to strive to win your partner. The joy is in the discovery of who your partner is when committed to you, because commitment brings out a change in the behavior of each person. The joy is having someone to watch movies with, cook dinner with, hang out with and do ordinary things with. The joy is having a person you love to share a life with.

The stumbling block: Many people begin to take each other for granted during this stage. Because they have arrived, they begin to pay less attention to the relationship and to their partner. And because one of the benefits we seek from a relationship is attention from our partner, when it lags, problems begin. The other stumbling block is that you may not pay enough attention to communication. Issues that need to be communicated may fall by the wayside because you are afraid of rocking the boat. These issues will come back to haunt the relationship later.

What to do: Make communication with each other a priority right now, as this is the best foundation for your relationship. Most people don’t know what true communication in a relationships means or how to actively implement it. Yet the success of the relationship, and continuing the happiness you now share, depend on both of your abilities to communicate with each other.

Stage 4: The Power Struggle

This is the stage at which most couples split up. The power struggle can be a gut-wrenching, painful place for a couple to be. This can be a time of arguments or silence, a time that truly will test the couple’s love. Couples at this stage wonder how they got here since it can come on unexpectedly out of nowhere. This can be a shocking stage for a couple.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage can start as soon as the commitment is solidified — when the couple makes a deep commitment, gets married, moves in together, etc., or soon thereafter. It can last until the couple breaks up, or for many years. Or the couple can find a way to work through this stage and move into the next stages of the relationship.

The joy: There is not much joy in this stage. The joy may be in the periods when you are not power struggling and are enjoying each other’s company. The other joy is in not arguing, or resolving an argument quickly, even some of the time.

The stumbling block: There are two prime stumbling blocks. One is that when couples get to this stage they do not realize it is a normal stage for all relationships, and that they can get through it. Instead, the couple thinks something is wrong – perhaps they are no longer compatible or they no longer love each other. The second stumbling block is that the couple can get stuck in this stage, with one or both partners being unwilling to move forward. This will eventually wear the relationship down until there will be nothing left.

What to do: There are no simple solutions to a power struggle in a relationship. It’s a complicated phenomenon that is inevitable. But it is resolvable. If you love each other, it is worth time and energy to resolve it. After all, if you don’t do it in this relationship, it will just happen in your next relationship.

At this point in your relationship you will follow one of two tracks. A couple who has negotiated the power struggle successfully will follow Track One, below. A couple who did not negotiate the power struggle successfully will follow Track Two, also below. Track One: After the power struggle is resolved

Stage 5: Growth

It takes a lot of soul searching, self-discovery, intimacy work and deepened communication to break out of the power struggle and move beyond it. Now both partners must grow emotionally for the relationship to thrive. Those who are committed to their relationship do grow, no matter what may be required of them. Think of this period as your second chance to create the relationship you have always wanted with a partner you have always wanted to be with.

When it starts and how long it lasts: Growth is an ongoing state of any relationship, but it will be more intense at some times than at others. After a power struggle, the couple will experience a “growth spurt” with a period of intense growth lasting from six months to a year or longer.

The joy: The joy is in the results of the growth. The more each of you grows, the more intimacy you are able to share with one another. The more intimate you become, the more in love you become. The more love you feel for each other, the more joyful you become.

The stumbling block: Growth can be terrifying and confusing. You may know what you need to change in your behavior, but you may be afraid to make the changes. Or you may have no idea how to make the changes. The same thing may apply to your partner.

What to do: Find a way to grow — together and separately — on purpose. To keep your relationship vital, you both must mature and develop emotionally.

Stage 6: The Second Honeymoon

It’s not that there will never be hard work or hard times again, but you have reached a new stage in your relationship – a stage where you cherish and treasure each other, appreciate the good, and accept the bad. You have bonded, connected, joined. Now this is what love is all about.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage starts sometime after the power struggle is over and can be intermittent or ongoing. In the best possible scenario it will last until the end.

The joy: It is almost all joy — the joy of connection at a level you have dreamed about. It is a joy to share your life with your partner in a deep way.

The stumbling block: The stumbling block is that you don’t expect your connection to be broken. It is solid yet flexible now and can allow for much stress and change. Yet, as you both are human, it will be broken at times.

What to do: Remember what brought you to this wonderful place and keep tending to your relationship by continuing to develop yourself and your relationship.

It is not unusual for couples at this stage to still have issues. The couple has learned how to forgive the issues, but the issues will still wear on the relationship. Handle the left-over issues and both of you will be happier, more satisfied. Don’t handle them, and in time you risk spiraling into the power struggle stage again.

Stage 7: “The Child”

A “child” can be a real child or it can be an idea, business, or passionate involvement on which both of you are focused. This can be as simple as the value you place on living your life as a couple, or as intricate as being involved in a cause or a political campaign. Or, of course, it can be parenthood with all of its complexities.

When it starts and how long it lasts: Ideally, the couple has a real, flesh-and-blood child only when they are through the power struggle and are into the second honeymoon. But for many couples, this stage happens throughout the relationship.

The joy: The joy is in sharing a third entity you created together or are both passionate about. The joy is learning and working together. The joy is also seeing different aspects of each other as you get passionately involved in the “other” entity.

The stumbling block: The stumbling block will be learning to work together and becoming a team. It can be hard to share responsibility. Often both partners will think their way of doing something is THE right way.

What to do: To make the job of “parenting” and teamwork easier on your relationship, learn to communicate, work together, negotiate, compromise and deal with disappointment effectively.

Stage 8: Life Crisis

Very few people live a charmed life without crises. Whether it is a job or career change, or a move to a new city or country, whether forced or willingly chosen, change feels like a life crisis. Whether it is declining health or a sudden illness of your spouse or another loved one, serious health issues can be life crises. If your property or your financial situation is threatened, dealing with and resolving the issues can feel like a life crisis. If you have far too many demands on you and not enough time or space to fulfill them, you may feel as if you are in a life crisis. What affects you deeply affects your relationship.

When it starts and how long it lasts: Life crises can happen at any time, but with care can get handled in a timely manner and not overtake the relationship. Life crises can also happen more than once in the course of a relationship as the couple grows, develops, and matures together.

The joy: If there is joy in a life crisis it is that by now you should be able to mobilize quickly as a team to deal with whatever situation arises. Often there is also a deeper bonding that occurs in crisis — and that can be a nourishing kind of joy as well.

The stumbling block: The nature of crisis is that there are many stumbling blocks, not the least of them being one or both partners being less available to the other for a time. This can be extreme, such as in an illness, or temporary and somewhat mild, such as in financial worries or the stress of starting a business. The difficult part is not having each other to always count upon just when you need each other most.

What to do: As much as possible, stay connected. Crises can be a time of increased tension, irritability and frustration. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking tension out on your partner. At the same time, your expectations of your partner may be higher at this time, while he or she may be less available to respond to you. This can cause relationship-damaging resentments.

Then, work on looking at the positive aspects of your life. Work on being grateful for all that is yours in spite of the crisis. This will help you both to get through the crisis more effectively.

Beyond Stage 8: Life Happens

What happens after your relationship has touched on all eight stages? Life happens to a more mature, seasoned, happy and vibrant couple. You move together and separately through your life and know when you need to connect and when you need time apart. You know how to meet each other’s needs and seek increasingly deeper connection. Your relationship is the rock, the wellspring of love in your life.

Couples who did not negotiate the power struggle successfully will follow Track Two, described below. Track Two: The aftermath of unresolved power struggle

Stage 5: Anger

If the power struggle is not negotiated successfully, at some point one or both partners give up struggling. They do not give up on the issues, however, or on their needs or their positions. They simply give up struggling. Because nothing has been resolved during or after the power struggle, they only have one choice – anger. Anger can look obvious and belligerent, or quiet and passive. Either way, it is unmistakable.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage starts after the power struggle has gone on too long. One or both partners have burned out from repeatedly not getting their needs met. This often does not start for years; but once it has started, it is very difficult to turn around.

The joy: There is not much joy in anger.

The stumbling block: One or both people can be depressed, numb and miserable – a difficult place from which to effect change. This stage can kill a relationship. This is one of the stages where people tend to have affairs.

What to do: You will not be able to successfully negotiate this stage without help. What kind of help do you need specifically?

Stage 6: Peace with a price

Even anger can burn out after a while, leaving behind nothing but silence and often indifference. The couple, if they have made it together this far, will typically live parallel but separate lives. They will still interact on necessary issues, such as child rearing and household responsibilities, but will share little else. They will finally have peace, no longer demanding anything from the other, but love and passion may be all but lost.

When it starts and how long it lasts: This stage can take years to develop and is often found in long-term marriages and relationships. Once in this stage, the couple normally does not grow out of it, unless something shakes them up.

The joy: At least there is peace.

The stumbling block: One or both partners may be having affairs, which makes reconciliation much more difficult. One or both may have built too much of a separate life to allow for change and improvement.

What to do: If you are in this stage and miserable, get help. There may still be hope, but you will not be able to make changes without help.

Stage 7: “The Child”

A “child” can be a real child or it can be an idea, business, or an involvement both people share. For a couple on track two such involvement or an actual child is rarely a choice. It is either something that binds them together out of circumstances, or it is something one partner devised in an attempt to keep the other one from leaving or straying too far.

When it starts and how long it lasts: For many couples, this stage can be the last attempt to save the relationship. This stage can happen any time the relationship is deeply threatened.

The joy: The joy is the actual entity you create together, especially if it is a child. This third entity holds the hope for changing your relationship dynamics.

The stumbling block: A child, or a mutual involvement, will not save the relationship without addressing the deeper unresolved issues from the power struggle.

What to do: Work through the underlying, unresolved issues in your relationship. You guessed it – in order to negotiate this stage successfully you have to go back and resolve your power struggle.

Stage 8: Life Crisis

Very few people live a charmed life without life crises. When your relationship is in ongoing crisis, actively or silently, change of even small magnitude can feel like a life crisis. True life crises, such as health or financial issues can be downright overwhelming.

When it starts and how long it lasts: Life crises can happen at any time.

The joy: If there is joy in a life crisis it is the chance to shake your relationship up, and perhaps remind each of you how important the other one is or used to be.  It maybe your last chance to save your relationship.

The stumbling block: Because you are already in crisis, any additional crisis runs a risk of immobilizing you. You may no longer be able to function within the relationship. You or your partner may simply leave.

What to do: You should use this time as an opportunity to support each other and reconnect. In order to do this genuinely, you must still resolve all of the unresolved issues between you. This is difficult when there is a life crisis looming, but necessary if the two of you will survive as a couple. One of you might need to begin this work by him- or herself and bring the other one along midway.

Beyond Stage 8: Life Happens, But Separately

What happens to a couple who never resolves the power struggle? They may go their separate ways. They may stay together but effectively live separate lives, and be involved in other relationships. One of both may stay and suffer silently, holding on to the hope that something will change.

If you are in this stage, you need to learn how to make yourself happy regardless of your relationship status. You need to learn how to deeply take care of yourself and how to work through all of the negative feelings left over from years of struggling in your relationship.


4 responses to “Confused Men

  1. Hi Young Adult. Thanks for posting my content on your blog. However, in order to use my content, you need to insert an attribution to me as the author. So for example something like: Here are the stages of relationships, as outlined by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries of http://www.GetRelationshipsRight. Please add this attribution asap, both in the introductory paragraphs where you use my ideas and to everything after your signature. Thanks!

    • Young Adult says:

      Upon your request I have made necessary changes to my post to state that the information used at the end of my actual post is yours. I’ve used the quotation indention that WordPress has when making a post and I’ve also inserted the article’s exact link at the end of the information. My apologies if credit wasn’t given to you since I did use your information at the end of my post, after my signature. Thank you!

  2. Aidan Hobbes says:

    Simply wanna input that you have a very decent site, I enjoy the design it really stands out.

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