Divorce Recovery & the 5 Steps to Your Next Long-Term Relationship: Step 4-A Committed Relationship

For a relationship to culminate in a successful long-term, committed union, a five-step relationship-building process must be acknowledged, understood, and traversed.

The Five Required Steps to a Long-Term Relationship

The path from initial introduction to a long-term committed relationship goes through five separate stages of relationship: (1) Step 1: The Transition Relationship, (2) Step 2: The Recreational Relationship, (3) Step 3: The Pre-Committed Relationship, (4) Step 4: The Committed Relationship, and (5) Step 5: The Marital Relationship. (For a discussion of recreational, pre-committed, and committed relationships, see David Steele, Conscious Dating, (Campbell, CA, RCN Press, 2008)).

This article addresses the fourth step in the relationship-building process, Step 4: The Committed Relationship.

The Committed Relationship Is the Time for Both Partners to Pull Together

The previously completed recreational and pre-committed stages targeted the individual’s chemistry and logical analysis, respectively. The committed step changes the focus to the couple as a team itself in relationship with each other. No longer is the focus on “I” and “Me.” Now the focus turns to “Us,” “Our,” and “We.”

A committed relationship is one in which both partners believe their personal individual requirements can be met in the relationship. Their attention now turns to the future, and specifically how they, as a couple working together, pledge to make the relationship between them work.

Goal and the motivating question. The goal of a committed relationship is to develop ways to constructively solve problems and manage differences that arise in any relationship. The driving question that motivates this relationship is: “How can we as a couple make this work?”

The roles you and your partner play. Typically, the partners in a couple refer to each other as “my fiancé” and are very public about their relationship. Conversation focuses on making plans for their future together.

The nature of a committed relationship. The “feel” in the committed stage is one of close-knit teamwork. A sense of “we are in this together” around shared values for how each person wants to spend the rest of their lives together. This is the first time the couple, working together, is given responsibility in the developing the relationship. Up until now, the issue has been up to the individuals to do the work, separate and apart from their partner. Now the couple works together to figure out how WE can make this relationship work.

Both you and your partner are expected to be team players who are willing and able to compromise for the sake of making the relationship work. Note that, at the committed relationship stage, all the individual requirements of both partners have been settled in the previous pre-committed stage. Hence, any compromising for the sake of the team is in the area of wants, not non-negotiable requirements.

The Backdoors to a Committed Relationship

“Backdoors” are ways that allow one to “escape” from the relationship.

The backdoor to a transition, recreational, or pre-committed relationship is relatively simple, even easy. They can be ended with some version of “This is not working out for me,” and then you take your leave à la the Paul Simons song, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” I know this is oversimplifying a complex, highly emotional situation. Still, there is no legal contract to void and only a moderately strong social/psychological contract holding the couple together.

On the other hand, ending a committed relationship is more difficult. Still there are no legal contracts, but the social/psychological contract is extraordinarily strong. Time has been spent creating plans together for a future as a couple. Expectations run deep and wide. Often wedding plans are in process.

One client of mine ended a multi-year relationship two weeks before the wedding causing a rift in her family. Ten years later her siblings are still so angry and resentful that they refuse to have relationship with their sister who was only preventing a major mistake from being made by ending the relationship.

Potential Problems with a Committed Relationship

The Committed relationship requires the two partners to work together using their interpersonal skills to solve problems and manage conflict. Common potential sticky issues include where to live? Who works, doing what? When, if ever, to start a family? How many children? How and how much money to save? How much to involve in-laws in your life? The list goes on.

But what happens if they can’t, or won’t, find answers to questions like these? The relationship suffers and failure is possible.

Among the most common ways we fail at the committed step are:

(1) Taking the relationship for granted and expecting the other partner to do all the work,

(2) Trying to do all the work yourself and excluding your partner,

(3) Treating a want as a requirement,

(4) Being unwilling to compromise,

(5) Refusing to learn and use the problem-solving, conflict management skills necessary for the committed relationship to work.

So, What’s the Point?

Making a commitment to another person to live life together as an intimate couple is a serious, life-altering decision. It involves more than chemistry and confidence that the requirements of both parties can be met. In the three previous relationship stages, the major part of the relationship development lies with each individual making calculations about “What’s in it for me?”

However, in the committed relationship stage the stakes are greatly increased. Now the issue becomes can the two people, working together, make the relationship successful and last over time? Equally important, do they have the will to put in the effort and learning that is required to make the relationship successful?

Making a commitment to another person to live life with each other requires courage, determination, and the humility to admit you don’t know all the answers and are willing to learn. Your life is changing. Will you have the courage to dissolve your resistance to the changes that a committed relationship brings and make yourself vulnerable to another person so that you can co-create the relationship of your dreams?

For a step-by-step program that understands committed relationships and then guides you through a program for your life-after-divorce transition process, go to [https://smoothdivorcerecovery.com/3482-2/] ‎

I help clients dramatically speed up their return to the mainstream of life with renew

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17 Golden Tips to Save and Restore Your Relationship / Marriage

If you read this article, you are most likely in a relationship or marriage that is currently not going well. If you have the feeling that a divorce or relationship breakdown might occur in the (short) term, then you have come to the right place.

I wrote this article to provide you with a large number of tips to prevent such a divorce or breach of relationship. Problems often seem unsolvable, but it actually rarely happens that a relationship is really irreparably damaged. So do you want to save your marriage and be happy again with your partner? Then quickly read my 17 golden tips below.

Get the relationship where your partner is 100% committed to you, without annoying tensions

Golden tip # 1: Name the problem
Before you start doing anything else, it is important that you identify the problems in your relationship. This can be frustrating, but it is an essential step. If you do not agree on the nature of the problem, the arguments and accusations will only increase. So first name the problem.

Golden tip # 2: Be open and honest to each other
The second tip is also about a very difficult but essential step. To make a serious effort to save your relationship or marriage it is important to be open and honest with your partner. Often a lack of trust is the reason that the relationship is at a low point. Honesty is the best policy, so start it now to save your relationship.

Golden tip # 3: Go into relationship counseling with your partner
Both naming the problem and opening yourself up completely to the other is difficult. It is therefore highly recommended to seek support where needed to save your relationship or marriage. For many couples, it is, therefore, a good option to go into relationship counseling with the partner.

Golden tip # 4: Listen to your partner’s wishes and respond to them
A good marriage or a good relationship cannot exist without good communication. You have probably been communicating less recently with each other, or at least in unpleasant ways. However, good, positive communication is the key to the heart. Learn to listen carefully to each other and respond to your partner’s wishes. Your partner will, therefore, listen to you more.

Golden tip # 5: Try to separate actions and emotions
In an emotional mood, people often say things they don’t mean at all. If your relationship does not go well, the emotions are likely to run high more often. To be able to effectively save your relationship, it is therefore important to separate actions and emotions.
The way to do this is to stop making decisions when you are emotional.

If you find yourself emotional, you can clearly indicate here – in line with tip # 2 – that you are currently too emotional to make wise decisions. At such a moment, I advise you to withdraw. When your intense emotions have subsided, you can pick up the thread again.

Golden tip # 6: Give each other time and space
What many people find difficult about a relationship is that a relationship can sometimes be rather oppressive. And believe me, even if you already have years of experience with relationships, this remains difficult. A common complaint is that people do not feel that they can still be themselves within the relationship.

Although this is very annoying, it is a problem that can certainly be solved.
If you (or your partner) encounters this problem, it is important to give each other some space. By taking some ‘me-time’ from time to time you will feel better in your skin, so you can save your relationship or marriage. Does your partner have a crazy hobby that you are not a fan of? Allow your partner the freedom to practice this.

Golden tip # 7: Show the other person that you have loving feelings
The best thing about a relationship is that you can overwhelm each other with declarations of love. You can really give the other person the feeling that you are the most important thing in the world for that person. Of course, not every dip in a relationship or marriage is caused by people expressing their love too little. But it’s the reason the relationship no longer feels like it used to.

In addition, the absence of love declarations, romantic gestures and spontaneous romantic initiatives can also be an additional consequence of your other relationship problems. Try to put your partner in the spotlight on a regular basis. Surprise him or her with something in which you make clear how much you actually care about your partner. This is how you can save your marriage!

Golden tip # 8: Be forgiving
It doesn’t matter what happened between you. If you have decided that you want to continue with your partner, you will have to forgive him or her for what happened. It does not matter whether it was a fierce argument or whether there has actually been adultery.

Only if you adopt a forgiving attitude then you can give the relationship with your partner a fair chance.

Although it can sometimes be difficult to forgive someone, it is the best way to take a step towards your partner. This way you show that you want to do everything possible to make your relationship a real success.

Golden tip # 9: Give each other compliments
In one of the previous golden tips, I already mentioned the importance of surprising each other with romantic gestures. However, you cannot declare the love of your partner every day in a theatrical manner. That would seem strange and unbelievable in the long run. That is why I want to advise you to give compliments to your partner on a regular basis, for which it does not matter so much if it is compliments.

Golden tip # 10: Make yourself vulnerable
You can only talk about your feelings well if you are vulnerable. When you talk to your partner, it is not only about your side of the story but also about your partner’s side. When you are vulnerable, it is also a sign for your partner that you are willing to work together on a solution.

If you are not vulnerable, this can quickly come across as rather arrogant. Unfortunately, I have seen this go wrong with many couples in recent years. Believe me: when partner A gets the idea that partner B is arrogant, then you are really far from home. After all, it takes a lot of extra time to solve the newly created problem and save the relationship.

Golden tip # 11: Break the routine
The so-called ‘rut’ is one of the reasons that many marriages and relationships are falling apart. At the start of your relationship, you are still in love and the trees seem to grow to heaven. The longer you have a relationship, the more the feeling of falling in love disappears: it is about ‘loving’.

This is a real challenge for many people within the relationship.
f you and your partner are currently in such a situation, it is important to do something new for once. This allows the daily grind to be broken.

Golden tip # 12: Make the mission to save your relationship your top priority
If you find something really important, you must give it a priority. Nowadays everyone has a packed agenda. This makes it tempting to postpone matters that do not have an exact deadline. However, the problems between you and your partner are important. That is why you have to make space and time to tackle this as quickly as possible and to work on a solution.

Golden tip # 13: Focus primarily on the positive aspects of your relationship
There is a reason you are together. It is important to say this to each other often and when you talk about your relationship with your partner (or others), to emphasize this often. People tend to focus on the negative, while, even when you have a fight, there are often a lot of fun aspects.

Golden tip # 14: Get moving!
If your relationship or marriage is about to be broken, then you are probably dealing with an increased stress level. The most effective way to get rid of your stress is exercising. You can clear your head during exercise

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