When you’re just starting a new relationship, you have so much to talk about! You may find that you share many of the same hopes and dreams for the future.
As the relationship grows, you want to be sure you’re building a rock-solid foundation on which to base your relationship. Having that solid foundation will help your relationship weather the storms of life and bring you joy together.
In the past, it wasn’t unusual for couples to stay married to the same person for their entire adult life. It was expected that you would only have one spouse unless death took them away. It was also expected that couples would buy a home and remain in that community to raise their children.
Commitment and community stability were two of the mainstays of the solid foundation marriages were built.
In today’s global economy, you’re no longer expected to stay in the same community your entire life. You may, instead, travel the country or the world during your professional career. However, you can still have a committed marriage that grows stronger as the years pass.
Unfortunately, though, it seems that people today are afraid of true commitment. Instead of entering a marriage with the intention to stick around no matter what, many people go into marriage with the idea that, “I can always get a divorce if things don’t work out.” Having that idea, even if it’s not a conscious thought, makes leaving much easier when the going gets tough.
The road to a committed marriage with a rock-solid foundation is a journey based upon a familiar road map. A couple must decide if they’re willing to make the journey together regardless of where the road may lead.
Here are the normal stops along the way:
1. Romance: Romantic love is the easiest form of love. In fact, it’s nearly effortless. This love truly is blind. Each person believes the other is perfect and that their love can withstand any stresses that may come. This period generally lasts about two years but can change as early as six months.
2. Adjustments: After the blinders come off, the couple begins to realize their beloved isn’t as perfect as they thought. There may also be a small hiccup in their relationship as adjustments are made. This is where the real relationship begins.
3. Compromise: A power struggle usually ensues after each partner realizes they must adjust some of their dreams for reality. At this point one or both may decide to leave the relationship. However, if they can stand together during this time, the relationship has a good chance of beating the odds.
• This is a crucial time of learning to solve problems, negotiating to get what they want, and resolving conflicts.
4. Re-evaluation: Next comes a point where each one re-evaluates their relationship. They turn to friends and family to get confirmation that they weren’t foolish after all. An affair is more likely now than at nearly any other point of a relationship.
• They must hold fast to their commitment and re-learn who they are as individuals.
5. Together again: There is a drawing together again from this point. They may still have conflicts and differences, but each one is more giving and forgiving where needed. They’ve weathered some storms and are ready for the next stop.
6. Acceptance: This is the end of the road to building a rock-solid foundation. They’ve learned to express their own needs while looking out for the needs of their partner. No one expects the other to meet their every need, and there is a balance of being individuals as well as a couple.
• They can now meet any storm head-on and come out standing together with the foundation intact. From this point forward, their love and commitment only grow stronger.
On top of the foundation of love and commitment, there needs to be trusted, conscious attention to your partner, and mutual respect. With these building blocks placed upon a solid foundation, your relationship will always be strong.
Remember this road map in your journey with your loved one, build a rock-solid foundation, and enjoy true love for life.