Monday, February 12, 2018

Stage 3 in Marriage: Everything You Need to Know and How to Overcome it

stage 3 in marriage

Fairy tales, like fairies, aren't real. There's no prince who would spend his whole time thinking and looking for that one woman he met in the woods or at his party. There's no man who would give up his life for a woman he met a few days ago. There's no one who would give up his entire fortune for that "true love's kiss".

At a certain point in your life, you’ll meet that “perfect soulmate”. Good news, it happens to almost everyone. Bad news, nobody’s perfect… even that Prince Charming of yours. We all know that humans always tend to act as behaved as possible to give a good first impression. Imagine yourself as his “job interview”. If he successfully gets the job, it’s just a matter of months or years before he gets too comfortable and relaxed while his effort for his work gradually declines. Then there comes the phase I love to call “Stage 3”.

Stage 3 in Marriage

"Stage 3" is the phase in relationships and marriages where couples experience ultimate dryness. It's the time where you wonder where the person you once loved has gone. This normally lasts for months and even years, if you survive. Most young couples tend to look at this differently and choose to end the challenge early. If you’re currently in this stage, you’re maybe trying to work it out as hard as you can. I hate to break this to you… but you’ll most likely fail.

Why? Because in order to overcome “Stage 3”, you and your partner/husband need to accept and understand it clearly.

1. Stage 3 happens to almost every couple on earth, even to the most perfect ones. A chewing gum won’t always be sweet. After a few minutes of chewing it, it’ll lose its taste. A cup of coffee won't always be hot. It’ll eventually get cold and lose its essence.

2. Stage 3 is an emotional and mental torture. You’d always find yourself reminiscing the times when he was still that good looking guy-next-door who’s so obsessed with you. You’d miss the roses, chocolates, and late night / early morning texts just to check out on you. In general, you’d miss the time when he was still in love with you. Don’t get me wrong. “I’m in love with her” and “I love her” are completely different.

3. Stage 3 is your relationship purgatory. This is the time when you can decide if your marriage is still worth fighting for. If he acknowledges that there’s really a problem going on and if he’s willing to help work it out, then it’s a good sign. If he constantly denies it and puts all the blame on you, then it’s time to stop.

4. Stage 3 isn’t about having a third party. 
If you think that this is just “Stage 3” because he’s having an affair with someone else, then you’re 1,001 percent wrong. Time to leave. No reason to re-think your options. “A cheater will always be a cheater” is a fact proven by millions of women around the world every day. If you’re married, suing him is the perfect thing to do to protect your rights.

5. Stage 3 is the perfect time to mature and learn how to control your emotions. I get it, Stage 3 makes you and your emotions tear into pieces. But eventually, you’ll realize that you’re no longer being productive to yourself, to your job, and to the people around you. If you can last a day or two without crying or feeling depressed about your partner, then you’re only a few steps away from maturity.

6. Stage 3 can be your biggest challenge. If you successfully get out of this phase still intact, then you’re one of the few couples who could no longer be threatened by the most common marriage problems like money, in-laws, pride, work, priorities, etc. You’ll be as stronger and happier as ever. But if you got stuck and feel like there’s no progress at all, you can flip the “emotion switch” anytime and see how it goes without you touching it.

How I Got Out of Stage 3

Our Stage 3 occurred from our 3rd year of being together and 1st year of being married (2008) up to our first child’s 1st year (2014). I got stuck and spent most of those years begging for attention and trying everything to get back to the days when we were so in love. 6 years have passed, and I finally realized that there’s no way I could relive those moments anymore. Besides, there was a time in 2011 when he told me that he just grew and became more mature. He left me. He left me alone in our dreamland.

Before my first son was born, I asked God to help me transfer all the unnecessary love from my husband to our son. That’s what happened after he was born. It felt like a switch had been flipped. It felt amazing. For the first time in forever, the unconditional love I’m offering to another human being felt right.

But my journey was not that easy. Seeing other happy couples used to break me even more. There were a lot of times when I had to turn all my emotions off so I wouldn't feel anything. I was that tired.

I currently don’t have any grudge towards my husband. I’m just learning to accept the fact that not everyone has the capability to understand what unconditional is. Or maybe because some people are just being too real to think about love, and would rather spend their entire energy doing things that are more important for their ego and money.

We’re okay. We’re happy as a family, especially now that we had just welcomed a baby girl. I’m spending my entire time taking care of the kids and working as an online freelancer for more than 100 hours per week. See what I did there? No space for unnecessary thoughts.

Fairy tales always end at weddings. Now, we all know why.

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