Statistics tell us that the average marriage that ends in divorce lasts about 7 years and in this post you’ll find some of the reasons why this may be so. You will learn a lot both while there is still hope in you and when all you can think about is: how long does it take for a divorce? Below you’ll find some of the mechanisms that govern the dynamics of a relationship in the hope that these will shed some light on your situation.
Scientific factors affecting the quality of a relationship
Love is one of the most elusive, hard to define psychological phenomena. At the moment, Sternberg’s theory is the most popular and comprehensive approach trying to explain it. Robert Sternberg from the Psychology Department at Yale University developed the triangular theory of love.
This theory consists of three factors, which are: passion, intimacy and commitment. Besides those factors, we can differentiate six stages of the relationship, which, according to Sternberg, are:
- Falling in love
- Romantic beginnings
- Complete relationship
- Friendly relationship
- Empty relationship
- Relationship breakup
The dynamics of these three essential factors of love change during the sequence of relationship phases. Sternberg says every stage has a different proportion of these indicators.
It is natural for love at first sight, to be full of passion. However, in an “empty” relationship, only commitment is left, there is no intimacy or passion. Passion is responsible for a strong feeling of emotions, both positive and negative as jealousy. When passion is gone, the couple can only be friends.
The second factor – intimacy – is manifested through mutual understanding, sharing experiences and goods, giving and receiving trust and support.
Commitment is a third factor, which manifests itself in a conscious decision about a lasting relationship, despite the obstacles. The relationship where commitment is the last remaining one, unfortunately, is called an empty love. Very often, the partners conclude that the solution in this situation is to divorce.
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The hardest year
Seven is generally considered a lucky number, but not for the course of the relationship. The average duration of the first marriage ending in divorce is 7.8 years.
Regardless of when problems arise, it is worth being sensitive to the early signs that a crisis is coming. One of them is difficulty in communication between partners. We must be able to talk to each other on any subject. Therefore, when mutual understanding begins to fail, it becomes clear that the relationship is going through serious problems. It happens that things do not always work out the way we want.
Noticing an important defect in another person often eliminates the beneficial effects of their advantages. When we get rid of the lack of realism in perceiving and assessing our partner, then the passion that required their total worship fades out.
After such a time, mutual indifference comes into play. When we disregard everything related to the person we live with, there is no harmony. People who love and care about each other see every change in their partners. They are interested in his life, current affairs and feelings. They want to know everything about their loved one. There is nothing worse for two people than indifference.
How to survive a difficult period in a relationship?
Commitment often prevents us from parting – particularly when there are children involved. It usually means a cold calculation related to formal obstacles to breaking; it is an effort put into the relationship, a positive balance of profits and losses in the relationship. Such a relationship is only a remnant of love because based on the same commitment, you have to reckon with the possibility that one of the partners will have a desire of change and will give up the continuation of such a relationship.
Sometimes it seems to you that your relationship no longer has a chance, but often then you discover how much you love your partner. If you want to save this relationship, you have to put some work into it.
Celebrating rituals and customs is helpful. It doesn’t take much, just a kiss for a good morning or a joint dinner, but always repeated. Treating rituals like holiness strengthens the couple, protecting them from inevitable crises. However, the basis is communication. When the ability to talk and accept the other party’s arguments is defective, real problems arise.
Every relationship is unique. You need to consider what you expect from being with another person. At the beginning of the article, we have described different relationship models. For example, a relationship deprived of the element of passion takes the form of a friendly relationship. And for many people, entering into a friendly relationship means the most satisfying period for their relationship. Therefore, the lack of any of the elements does not necessarily mean the end. It all depends on you.