Last update: April 11, 2020
Being a couple is a constantly evolving relationship. The fact that two people love each other does not make their relationship immune to the ups and downs of life, difficulties and quarrels. Even among stable couples, therefore, there can be moments of crisis.
Each couple is a case in itself, with its strengths and weaknesses, and obviously its internal conflicts. However, some moments of crisis are common to almost all stable couples. Usually these crises are triggered by very specific situations that somehow upset the couple's relationship.
“It is easier to be a lover than a husband, for the reason that it is more difficult to have spirit every day than to say nice things from time to time.
-Honoré de Balzac-
The moments of crisis common to all stable couples are 4: when falling in love ends, when the decision is made to consolidate the relationship through marriage or cohabitation, when children are born and when they leave home.
Let's analyze each of these moments in detail.
The moments of crisis common to all stable couples
1. End of falling in love
This moment marks the first crisis of stable couples. It usually occurs about a year after the relationship begins. Some studies show that on average the actual falling in love phase lasts about 3 months. However, its effects last a little longer. Obviously it should be borne in mind that these are approximate data, based on average experience and not on specific cases.
The end of falling in love presupposes the loss of some romantic ideals. In other words, you stop seeing the partner as a perfect and extraordinary being, in this way all the flaws come to the surface. This leads to a disappointment (and consequently a modification) of one's expectations, and therefore a crisis. Many couples who looked perfect end up separating after a year or a year and a half. The cause lies precisely in this passage from the ideal to the real.
Usually after two or three years the second crisis of stable couples occurs. This crisis occurs when the idea of "going to the next level" starts to feel in the air, that is when the time comes to decide whether to go to live together or not. Again, an adjustment is required and this produces a moment of instability.
At this point, the relationship can take several turns. At best, they both agree on going to live together (or not) and thus take their relationship to the next level: that of mature couple in which there is a real acceptance of the other. Others, on the other hand, do not come to an agreement on what to do. It is not difficult, therefore, that in moments like this there are quarrels or distances that sometimes lead to the cancellation of the wedding or subsequent separations.
3. The arrival of the children, a destabilizing moment
The arrival of children is another factor that presupposes a change within the couple. This is a time when all the weaknesses of the relationship tend to emerge. Past conflicts (even from childhood) that have never been resolved are also likely to come back to the surface. What appears to be stable may begin to falter.
In this phase, the couple's relationship takes a back seat, because you are first and foremost parents. Children become the priority and sometimes differences are created on educational methods. In other cases it happens that one of the two parents feels overwhelmed by too many responsibilities. Often the inability to resolve these small conflicts leads to a definitive breakdown of the relationship. If the couple manages to overcome these moments of crisis, they will be more united than ever.
4. The empty nest and the new challenges to be faced
Although the couple has already had to face all the previous stages, there is still one obstacle to overcome: the moment when the children leave the nest. For the couple, it's like meeting again after so many years, but both have changed radically, therefore they must learn to know each other again.
Before, couples tended to marry very young and thus found themselves facing the empty nest syndrome before the age of 50. So they had youth on their side and they felt ready to take the reins of their lives again. Nowadays couples are faced with this situation when they are already advanced in age. For this reason it is now rare to see couples who separate at this stage, which however, it can be characterized by strong conflicts. Overcoming these difficulties, the couple rediscovers new aspects of the relationship never considered before.
The fact that two people love each other deeply does not make them immune to times of difficulty. In stable couples, crises also represent an opportunity to strengthen the bond and make it further deep and meaningful.