How to survive the crisis of three years in a relationship
This phraseology is used in speech to refer to a very close long-term relationship. And it does not matter whether we are talking about a spouse, best friends, a companion. The most important thing is that you know your partner “eating salt” well, and he knows you. Most often, the proverb refers to the sphere of family relationships, marital life.
At the time when the proverb appeared, the average couple ate this amount of salt, namely 16 kilograms, in about 3 years. According to the calculations of modern physiologists and nutritionists, a couple can consume a pud of salt in as little as 1.5 to 2 years (the salt content of foods and its availability have made their own changes in the calculations). But if we believe our ancestors, it is to three years of life together you can really get to know the person with whom fate has united: his habits, behavior patterns, eating habits, ways of reacting in certain situations, even at a simple household level, and many other things that are learned in a person only after some time.
Causes of the crisis of 3 years of relationship
Speaking about the crisis of 3 years in a relationship, we should take into account that in modern society, many young people prefer to start a life together before getting married, or not to get married at all. Yes, life is changing, and what seemed impossible and unacceptable in society a few decades ago is not condemned now. On the contrary, parents of young people sometimes even encourage their children who are ready to enter into a legal relationship to live together and “take a closer look” at each other. And it’s not necessarily because they don’t believe in the sincerity of their feelings; more likely, they themselves have experienced some disappointment from how, at one time, their boat called “Love” began to beat on “family life.” And perhaps there may be other issues involved, such as property. But, that’s another story altogether.
As noted in one of our previous articles, family crises can be compared to personality development crises. There is some regularity in these processes. The first six months of the relationship is a period of falling in love, erotization in the relationship, changes in behavior are determined by hormones, lovers can’t talk enough, look at each other, they are always short of time, and what’s going on around them, they don’t care much. You could say that they need each other as much as a baby in his mother, because he is totally dependent on her, she gives him love, care, a sense of security. And, around six months of age, the baby begins to acquire a very useful skill – crawling. It gives him an opportunity not only to move more actively, but also to explore the world around him. Lovers, after the first six months, are also ready to remove the “rose-colored glasses” and begin to take active steps in planning a life together.
And the first crisis of the relationship, which the couple encounters, as well as the first age crisis, occurs in 1 year. By the age of one, the child already knows how to walk, and walking gives not only advantages in psychophysiological development, but also in cognition of the world, acquisition of independence and the possibility of a wider range of actions, which allows the development of higher mental functions. And so in relationships.
I want a little more freedom of action, a little more personal space.
There is a desire to devote your free time to yourself, to do something only your own, personal, to set certain boundaries that would mean: “and this is only mine. And this is absolutely normal, as for a period of “dissolution” in each other can get bored with the usual things, things, people.
The crisis of three years of age in a child’s development is accompanied by significant psychophysiological changes, the first formation of personal identification occurs, and the word “I” appears in the child’s vocabulary. The child strives for independence, through separation from parents, in particular, from the mother. And he strives for this independence through protest. This process of separation is accompanied by a variety of symptoms: tantrums, affective reactions, aggression, willfulness, devaluation and much more.
The urge to “separate” Clearly tangible, conscious and desirable, it also begins to manifest itself particularly vividly in relationships. After all, by this time the intimate-sexual sphere is no longer as important, and people who love each other try to:
- Complete the stage of getting to know their soulmate as a person
- Demonstrate themselves as a person
- identify with each other
- find common interests, values, hobbies, views
By three years of life together the couple may have children who will significantly affect the usual way of life, its values, its rhythm, rules, boundaries of responsibility.
Yes, in addition to the intimate sexual sphere, there are other values in the relationship. In the life of a couple are important spheres: personal identity, social activity, external attractiveness. Also, we should not forget about the domestic, emotional-psychotherapeutic and parental-educational spheres. The more discordance in each of these areas, the greater the probability of the build-up of tension and, as a consequence, conflicts. And prolonged, unresolved conflicts can lead to a breakdown in relations.
This is the crisis – the formation of different spheres of life of the couple, the family as a system. And in any formation can be disagreements based on the difference in the claims and expectations of each other.
To overcome discord means to overcome the crisis and to move to a new stage of relationship that is more mature.
Examples from life
Let’s consider examples of how discord in the spheres of family life can influence the formation of relations in the couple and lead to crisis.
The sphere of personal identification with the other half.
We are completely different people. I didn’t even realize we were so different! Why didn’t I notice this before? Well, yes, I have higher education, I have traveled a lot, I speak four languages fluently. When we met, I realized that he was a college graduate and had never been outside of Moscow. But I didn’t think it would be such a problem. He never even asks me about work. He’s not interested. And listening to him retell stupid stories from the welder in their workshop, I can’t take it anymore.
We don’t have the same outlook on life. That’s it! There’s nothing more to say. I’ve set some goals in my life, and she just goes with the flow. She says she’s more comfortable that way.
I like outdoor activities, but my husband prefers to spend his weekends in front of the TV. Why? I do not understand! After all, we used to walk together so much, go camping with tents. Where did it all go? He was never an athlete, of course, but he could go on adventures for my sake. What am I supposed to do, stay home all weekend for him?!
Mismatches in the area of personal identity, as you can see from the examples, can make life difficult for a couple, “open your eyes” to “incompatibility,” lead to disappointment in your partner, in yourself, in your marriage.
And the following examples of discord can also serve as areas of conflict that negatively affect family life.
Sphere of social activity .
She doesn’t have many girlfriends. I used to be even glad about it, because my ex-wife without the advice of her “girls” did not decide anything at all. On the contrary, I have a lot of friends. And now I do not know what to do. I can not give up on friends, and she does not want to communicate with them.
I love fun company! I’ve always been active and sociable, I graduated from the theater. In my line of work I meet different people, I know how to find a common language with everybody. I am very loved and appreciated at work, I have the most wonderful friends! I have admirers, too. They sometimes give me signs of attention that irritate my young man. He’s not as sociable as me, and he doesn’t have many friends. I’m okay with them, but lately he’s been speaking unflatteringly about my surroundings. Maybe he’s resentful or jealous?
Every weekend I ask, “Come on, let’s go somewhere, to the movies, to the theater, to a museum, to a concert. Let’s go out!” And he doesn’t want to.
The field of external attractiveness.
She stopped taking care of herself. Before, always with makeup, high-heeled shoes only… And now I look at my wife and do not recognize her
I’m not attracted to my husband anymore. We used to work out, go to the gym. After a back injury, he gave up physical activity. The injury was minor, but after recovery he did not want to resume our workouts together. Now I go to the gym alone. I enjoy watching other men there. I understand everything! It’s not the body that counts, it’s the soul. But I started to hate watching my husband. He stopped eating right, he gained a lot of weight. I want to tell him I’m afraid he’ll be offended
My wife does not know how to dress tastefully, so she and I do not go to events that are arranged by my firm. I prefer to say that she is sick or that she has other plans. For her, dress up beautifully for the event means: to put on a lot of tinsel, put on makeup, like an Indian before the fight, the dress must be sure to ultra-short and certainly very bright. My wife and I were at a corporate party about two years ago. I went out for a smoke, overheard a conversation of several colleagues, there were both men and women. They were discussing my wife’s “outfit” and laughing. I remember how embarrassed I was at the time. Don’t think I’m not stingy! I earn good money, many times suggested to my wife to go and buy an exquisite dress, but she says that spending so much money on “ordinary rags” is nonsense, and that all such dresses can be a hundred times cheaper to find in an ordinary market pavilion
He doesn’t help me around the house. Never! He just says, “It’s not a man’s job, in our house my mother did everything herself. And it’s hard for me, I’m pregnant. He says, “Hire a housekeeper, she’ll do everything.” Why spend money, let a stranger in the house? How hard can it be to help?!
My girlfriend is a terrible cook. After work, I have dinner at my mom’s place. It’s a good thing she doesn’t live far from us.
We have our own house. It was a wedding present from my parents. The house is not new, we have to do some work all the time. And my husband is a designer, he’s not used to this kind of work. Recently, the faucet in the kitchen broke, so my husband said that he could not fix it. I had to call a master. My father has always done everything himself. You need a man’s hand in your house.
He would never listen to me! No matter what topic of my troubles I bring up: something happened at work or an argument with my mother – he never listens to me. He sits and nods, and I can see that he doesn’t care!
My wife is always accusing me of something, blaming me, even in situations where I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I’m tired of her piggyback attitude toward me! I have to get a divorce.
My first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. I was so looking forward to his support and sympathy. I didn’t get out of bed for almost 24 hours, didn’t eat anything, cried all the time. And he said: “What are you killing yourself for? We’ll try again.” How could he say that to me? We lost the baby!
He doesn’t help me with the baby. Our daughter is eight months old. The moms live nearby, but they work and aren’t going to quit their jobs. They take turns helping on weekends. Thanks to them! At least I can wash normally and even get a good night’s sleep. But he’s gone to work in the evenings, it’s like he’s in no hurry to get home.
I met my man four years ago. A year after we met, we started living together. He got married very young. The marriage “on the knockoff” was a failure. His daughter was six years old when he left the family. The daughter is now a teenager. In the beginning she and I had a good relationship, but now I began to notice that she was using his guilt for divorcing her mother, for leaving the girl fatherless. And recently she instigated a fight between us. I love him, but I’m afraid of what could be next.
I got into my second marriage two and a half years ago, we dated for seven months before the marriage. I married a very good woman, I love her very much. Her son was 9 years old when we all started living together. The boy was growing up without a father and I made the decision to adopt him. Now our boy is 11 years old, soon he will be 12, he is a difficult age, but he is not like his peers. All the guys in his class are active, most of them play soccer, hockey, there are even a couple of bullies, but that’s age. I was a teenager myself and I’m not a goody-goody. And ours is overweight, doesn’t go for walks, isn’t interested in anything, just sits on the computer, plays shooters, and has almost no housework – once a week he cleans his desk, takes out the trash. I’ve told my wife many times, let me take care of him, but she has a bunch of excuses for every suggestion: he has poor eyesight, physical activity is contraindicated for him. Don’t take him fishing, he may catch a cold, his health is poor, and so on. He refused to do any of the men’s housework himself. I do not know why. Maybe he was afraid he would not be able to do it, or maybe he was just not interested. A week ago, I went over and turned off his computer because he was ignoring my requests to do his homework. He yelled at me that I had no right, I was nobody to him, then he told me to fuck off altogether! I slapped him on the mouth, and then gave him a smack, just like my father used to give me a smack for a similar prank. My wife ran in, saw my crying son, rushed over to him, and started yelling at me that I had beaten up her boy. I gathered the necessary things and left, I didn’t even bother explaining anything. My brother had just gone on a business trip and left the keys to the apartment. I decided to stay with him for a couple of weeks. I love our boyfriend, and I love my wife, but how can I convey to her that she ugly parenting and custody? He’s not a little boy anymore!
If you recognize yourself in these examples, do not despair!
Mismatch in expectations from the other half and claims from her and himself have always been and always will be. This is the law of life, it’s normal for the development of a relationship, for the personality as a whole. But it is worth paying attention to the number of disagreements in the spheres of family life. If you find conflict zones in at least three areas of family life, including intimate and sexual, which we have not discussed in this article in detail, there is reason to think:
Could these be the symptoms of a crisis in our relationship?
In any case, if you realize it, if your second half is aware of the conflictogenic factors that have a negative impact on your life together, then it is halfway done!
Awareness of the problem areas gives a good start in solving the crisis in the relationship. The scariest thing is when a couple is unwilling to admit that there are problems, but willingly shift responsibility for failures in their life together onto each other!
If you are ready to save your family, maintain love, trust and mutual respect and move on to a new stage of life, talk to our psychologists. Professionals can help you find ways to address your current issues in family or individual therapy.
Crisis of 3 years in a relationship
A banal story: two people – he and she. They met. Then there was a romantic relationship and a wedding. The first three years flew by like a dream. After that, suddenly everything changed. The relationship cooled down a bit, and the couple began to think about divorce.
After three years, there was a crisis in the relationship. What should you do if this happens in your life? The main thing is not to panic. You are not the first, not you last. You can always get a divorce. So try to resume the old relationship, and everything will work out.
What is it?
The psychology of marital relations is very multi-faceted, and therefore it has not been studied up to the end. However, we can say for sure that three years after the wedding, the couple may feel a certain cooling. This phenomenon is called a crisis of three years in the relationship. When the crisis comes to the family, couples either divorce or stay together. The above phenomenon can be characterized as follows: the spouses get used to each other and stop regulating their relationship. In this case, frustration sets in. It occurs if the person has not received what he would like to receive.
When discord occurs between two people in love, their hopes begin to crumble, despite the fact that everything started out so beautifully. After marriage, spouses gradually get used to living together and get to know each other better. Before marriage, many people hide their habits. When people get together and live together, they get used to each other. So they stop being shy. Bad habits are not noticed at first, and then cause irritation. Three years pass and there is a new period in the relationship. Usually by this period, families have children. Spouses are forced to pay attention to them. There is never enough time.
Many young people become disillusioned with their life together, and so they begin to have a crisis in their relationship. At the same time, they feel that their hopes for a bright future together have been dashed.
Family life should involve two people. As long as the family is young, the spouses enjoy each other. Therefore, they have almost no problems. In most cases, however, this does not last long. From time to time there comes a coldness in the relationship, even in exemplary families. Let’s look at what causes it.
Loss of understanding
Spouses gradually drift away from each other. This happens because they stop hearing each other. The habit of being together over time “does” its job. This is often the case. Husband and wife get a little bored with family life. That is why they treat each other with coldness. Further this problem begins to grow like a snowball. At this point, some married people begin to wonder what is going on in their family. By mistake, many mistake misunderstanding for rejection.
It should be noted that this mistake can be fatal. Misunderstandings can be overcome together or with the help of a psychologist. Then things will get better. Why can not be confused rejection and misunderstanding? Because misunderstanding is expressed in the inability of husband and wife to properly express their desires. But the rejection is nothing you can not fix. Aversion occurs when one person ascribes destructive feelings and desires to the other person.
Often a wife becomes bored to live with her husband. More often than not, however, the opposite happens. There are people who, having entered into marriage, stop developing. Let’s look at specific examples.
- The wife, getting a stamp in the passport, ceases to care for his appearance. She always goes around in a bathrobe and nags her husband for the lack of money. Not only that, such a person gives up work and sits at home. She watches soap operas and hangs out with her friends. Gradually her everyday life becomes overwhelming. She becomes a completely uninteresting woman with whom her husband no longer wants to communicate. The man’s love vanishes. He becomes bored with being in the family, and he finds a new life partner.
- Once married, a man continues to live his life as before. He does not consider his wife’s interests. As before, he goes to work, and upon returning from work, he sits down to watch television. He also drinks beer while watching soccer.
The wife does not feel cared for by her husband. Therefore, gradually she becomes bored to live with such an uninteresting subject, and she files for divorce.
New addition to the family
With the appearance of a child in the family, there are different events. They may be joyful, and may bring grief. A child requires a lot of attention and energy. Some parents are not ready for this. For example: almost all babies under a year are very naughty, they have indigestion, tummy aches, etc. Parents do not sleep at night to soothe their child. At one moment, the father or mother can’t withstand such a load on the psyche and begin to be capricious themselves. A young father can tell his wife: “You are on maternity leave and stay at home all day, which means you have to watch the baby. I have to work tomorrow, and I have to get some sleep.”
That’s the wrong attitude. Both parents must accept hardship and take responsibility for their child and family. If one member of the family abandons their direct responsibilities, misunderstanding sets in.
They are hard to miss. Nevertheless, it is necessary to dwell on this issue in more detail. If you notice that destructive events are happening in your family, then you need to take action. To do this, you should read the following information:
- You and your husband are in a bad mood all the time. Being angry with each other and not talking to each other. Grumbling about the little things can also be a sign of a destructive relationship.
- Spouses have little or no attraction to each other. Starts a boring life without vivid emotions.
- Everyone lives on their own. At the same time there are no destructive manifestations in their family: scandals, quarrels, etc.
- The wife and husband spend very little time with each other.
- They fight every day over little things.
- The spouses are no longer interested in each other’s affairs. If they are around, they are mostly silent because they don’t find common topics to talk about.
- They find out that their views on life don’t coincide at all. They have no common interests.
How to overcome?
Marriage is, by and large, the work of two people. It helps to keep the relationship on an appropriate level. After living in a marriage for more than three years, most spouses may begin to experience some discomfort, which concerns family relationships. To get through such a difficult time, you need to heed some advice.
- Do not be frightened if you feel that your family is in crisis. Remember that the family is a living organism. It develops gradually. Sometimes during the development there are failures, which should be corrected in time. Fix the glitch and move on with your life.
- Recognize the problem. Spouses in equal measure should realize that there are difficult times in the family. In this way, you will come together to overcome this difficult time.
- Don’t keep quiet, talk to each other. Tell each other what you don’t like. Only then will you be able to understand: how there was a cooling between you.
- If you do not have the opportunity to see a psychologist, read some useful literature. In specialized publications, experienced psychologists often publish information that helps to overcome any difficulties in the relationship.
- If you’re having trouble at work besides a family crisis, separate that trouble from your family. The family must come first. So you have to get to grips with family problems. The work will not go anywhere. If it weighs on you, then change your field of activity.
- Determine the root of the problem. Maybe you spend too much time together, or, conversely, stopped communicating. Find out the reason for misunderstanding. Then you will be easier to act further.
- Take a trip together. A vacation together is a great rapprochement.
- Get involved in a common cause. Shared tasks and chores bring you together.
- Stop being angry at your other half. Forgive the other half of all the mistakes and accumulated resentment. Start a relationship with a clean slate. To do this, write on a piece of paper your grievances and claims to your spouse, which you want to leave in the past. Then burn the sheet of paper.
- Do not manipulate. Manipulation will not lead to anything good. Such destructive behavior does not strengthen the family; it destroys it. For example: do not tell your spouse that you will leave for my mother, if he does not comply with the condition you set. Over time, your husband will stop responding to threats. Then you still have to negotiate with him in some other way.
- Do not tell anyone in a row about the problems in the family. Otherwise, there will be unkind people who make you quarrel even more.
Ask the opinion of any psychologist and he will tell you, “All the problems in the family are that people make mistakes. They can be fatal for the family. That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with them.