One of the things that I work on with couples when they come into therapy is making sure that they understand that our relationships go through stages. Those stages are dependent on what’s happening in the relationship dynamically and what’s happening in our lives.
Many couples come to therapy in some measure of distress. They either have an ongoing fight or they’re fighting a lot, or they need to work on communication. They’re in distress and they want to stabilize. In those couples they often don’t see that there’s something beyond stabilization. They just want to end the discomfort that’s happening.
Sometimes I get couples that come in and are stabilized, but they realize that there is something more that could happen in their relationship that has yet to be achieved. Wherever a couple is, I want every couple to know that what comes after stabilization is harmony and bliss. Even though that sounds wonderful and beautiful, it doesn’t mean that it’s a stage that is void of conflict. What it means is that once you’ve arrived at harmony and bliss, you’ve figured out how to effectively have conflict and you actually see it as a form of intimacy.
There are 3 components to harmony and bliss that I think are important to point out:
One is that synergy happens. You may have heard of synergy in other areas, but what it means relationally is that the energy and essence of one person and the energy and essence of the other have come together and created an even greater energy. That energy is palpable meaning that the couple feels it and others can see it. It can manifest in how you raise your kids, it can manifest in how you serve your community, or in how you help create and build each other’s dreams.
A second component of the harmony and bliss stage is a healthy interdependence. By the time couples reach this stage, they have figured out how to navigate in and out of independence and interdependence. I want to note that interdependence is different than codependence because it means that you rely on each other in a healthy way and you realize that you help each other meet one another’s needs.
A third component is emotional availability. You’ve probably heard about emotional intelligence and the importance of that in our lives and that holds true, especially in relationships. Our emotions are our internal barometer for whether or not we’re feeling fulfilled in a relationship. So, knowing our own emotions and knowing how to communicate and convey them is essential in order to be emotionally available or capable of that with our partners.
Those are 3 different components to harmony and bliss that are all super important. I think the reason why we do relationships is to get to that place. Many of us just don’t have the tools to get there or know what that looks like. That’s what part of coaching and therapy can help with.
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