Ups, downs test of unions

Every marriage has ebbs and flows, highs and lows, “for better or worse.” It’s how we handle both the good times and the bad that influence a marriage’s success.

In her book, “The 7 Stages of Marriage,” Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist, discusses the seven stages (passion, realization, rebellion, cooperation, reunion, completion and explosion) and how each stage influences the risk of divorce and the long-term success of the marriage.

In her recent blog about the book, DeMaria summarizes each stage:

“The ‘falling in love’ (passion) stage begins before marriage for many couples. About 10 percent of couples in this first stage who plan to marry don’t. The good news is that they recognize their issues while they are in this stage before life becomes complicated. The passion stage can continue into the early year(s) of marriage, depending on when children arrive (if they do).

“The realization stage is next when some people realize that they made a mistake and tend to divorce within the first year or so. Other couples have realistic expectations and start to navigate their life together quite well.

“The rebellion stage is a time for couples to learn to negotiate their differences and the basics of problem solving. By this time, couples have been married about three to seven years, and divorce takes place in about 40 percent of the couples who will ever divorce. This is a high risk time.


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