You find someone that you adore and your relationship is truly BLISS...for about 6 months.

Sooner or later, you realize that this person that you thought would be the ANSWER, can sometimes be the PROBLEM! Even the best relationship can start out with BLISS, promise and expectation but inevitably lead to disappointment, conflict and emotional alienation.

Every relationship will go through different stages. The trouble comes from mistaking a lack of "understanding" for a lack of "love." Don't allow lousy communication to wreck your love and your life!

Whatever stage you are in at the moment, you have got to remind yourself that the stage does not have to last forever. Those who manage to weather these universal ups and downs usually come out the other side with greater love and commitment to their spouses. That’s why I want to offer you a guide to these stages.

STAGE 1 -- YOU Are My Answer
Task: Bonding

We are attracted to someone who will enhance our life and our self image. Romantic love is everyone's favorite drug - the BLISS -full high of courtship is from the:
• Bonding
• Love hormones that biologically trigger euphoria, craving, and obsessive thinking
• Idealizing your partner as the "one"
• Sameness
• Suppression of conflict

Task: Differentiating

Sooner or later, differences emerge. That is a good thing because genuine intimacy is about sharing our uniqueness, not just our sameness.

Conflict is the "growing pain" of relationshps. Conflict can be unpleasant though. Behavioral experts say that we "hate to lose twice as much as we love to win."
Without your partner’s validation, it is very easy to end up feeling either deserted or devalued. If your partner doesn’t agree with you then you may try to persuade or "protest" harder, to get your partner’s attention. Or you "flee" the conflict to “protect” the peace."
When you believe that you have to change your partner to change your relationship, you really can get caught up in a reactive cycle of blame and defensiveness. This cycle can rob your relationship of positive feelings and that spells trouble.

BUT, try to remember, a lack of understanding, NOT a lack of caring, creates emotional disconnection between two people.

Task: Interdependence
When you think about your relationship solutions, don't just think about how to change the "me" or the "you." Think about how to change the "we," the quality of your connection between both of you.

Connection can be repaired when you learn to practice “Relationship Wisdumb.”

• Deepen your awareness of your softer, primary feelings. Anger is always a cover over a more vulnerable, primary feeling.
• Expand your skill to talk to reveal self, not talk to control other.
• Deepen your understanding and empathy of your partner by learning to listen on 3 levels – listening to your partners words, their thoughts, and their primary feelings. It is better to ask more questions, not be so quick to assume or judge.
• Enhance your ability to tolerate differences and share power.
• Deepen your awareness of the WE – the quality of your connection with your partner
• Expand your connection repair skills

STAGE 4 - We Are the Answer
Task: Mutual Growth and Empowerment

In Stage 4, you will still have differences with your partner but you will not get so defensive and upset. As a matter of fact, differences will become an opportunity to grow emotionally, relationally, spiritually.

At Stage 4, couples are more attuned to the higher purpose of the relationship.

When a couple feels secure as a "WE," the relationship naturally becomes a catalyst for

• energy
• self learning and growth
• self worth
• a desire to open your heart further

Relationships success comes from practicing Emotional Wisdom - a deeper awareness of self and partner, and a commitment to action that pulls for closeness rather than pushes two people apart.

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda Audia has over 20 years experience helping both individuals and couples deepen their insights and expand their skill sets so that there relationships will work...WELL!r