How can a relationship change dynamics? (5 stages)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “How can a relationship change dynamics?” and explores the concept of relationship dynamics,  the process of changing relationship dynamics with regard to romantic as well as non-romantic relationships and the process of adapting to changing relationship dynamics to find the 5 stages through which a relationship can change dynamics. 

How can a relationship change dynamics?

A relationship can change dynamics through the following 5 stages –

  • The “honeymoon” or infatuation period.
  • The stage of coming together.
  • The stage of power struggle or disillusionment.
  • The stage of commitment.
  • The stage of co-creation.

What is a relationship dynamic?

A relationship dynamic is a predictable pattern of contact or communication between a couple, which I refer to as a cycle. It’s similar to a cycle. 

Negative cycles are self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating communication patterns that begin with a triggering message or action from one spouse and end with the other partner’s predictable negative response of anger or shut down. 

The relationship dynamic or loop eventually causes partners to become estranged. The purpose of couples counselling is to turn a negative dynamic or cycle into a good one.

Your relationship suffers if you are locked in negative cycles or a self-destructive negative dynamic, and this can eventually lead to emotional and physical detachment.

Couples frequently split up or look for emotional connections elsewhere. Some couples will remain emotionally estranged for a long time, but this is harmful and can lead to sadness, anxiety, and medical illnesses.

One thing is certain: this does not generally improve on its own; you must either actively work on it on your own or seek expert treatment. Relationships naturally evolve as they grow and develop. 

Understanding your spouse and knowing how to handle differences are the first steps in dealing with change. One of the most difficult and complex elements of the human experience is navigating relationships with intimate partners, friends, and family members.

Although change is inevitable in any relationship, it can be difficult for one or both parties to grasp why it is happening and what to do about it. The ensuing frustration and conflict may make you believe that your relationship problems are unsolvable. 

The good news is that you can learn to work through relationship change together if you spend some time studying the core issues. Relationships, particularly close ones, progress through numerous stages. 

You and your spouse may also be dealing with stressful life events such as health challenges, financial troubles, or disagreements with friends or family members while this is going on.

Moving to a new area or starting a new career are both wonderful life events. Positive stressors, on the other hand, might generate relationship issues. Stressors, whether internal or external, can have a detrimental impact on relationship satisfaction, according to a study published in 2017.

Some changes in relationships have a greater influence than others. Big changes might include, for example –

  • One of you has decided that having children is no longer a priority.
  • Your companion wishes to live somewhere other than where you do.
  • Your partner learns they’re not monogamous, identifies as a different gender, or no longer share your sexual tastes.
  • Your companion is diagnosed with a new physical or mental illness.

However, even seemingly slight changes might cause associations to alter. Among them are –

  • Your companion begins a new activity or joins a gym.
  • Someone among you makes a new acquaintance.
  • Work schedules for you or your partner change.
  • For the first time, irritating behaviours emerge.

Many of these changes are just the consequence of a relationship’s natural stages as it develops. So knowing what these stages are and how you might feel as you go through them will assist. 

What are these 5 stages through which a relationship can change dynamics?

A relationship might go through the following five stages in order to develop and change dynamics.

The “honeymoon” or infatuation period.

The “honeymoon” or infatuation period is the intoxicating and all-encompassing stage of a relationship when you can’t get enough of each other. Although the emotion is wonderful, this is also the time when both individuals are at their best, making it impossible to detect any flaws in the other. It’s possible that this is where the phrase “blinded by love” came from.

The stage of coming together.

You both understand your love for each other at this point, and you begin to integrate your lives. You may let people know about your relationship by posting it on social media, and you can start talking about long-term life objectives like marriage or cohabitation. 

Small changes may indicate that you and your spouse are entering the next stage of your relationship at this point.

The stage of power struggle or disillusionment.

Natural changes characterise the stage of power struggle or disillusionment, which can be challenging to handle. What was previously appealing about your partner might now be bothersome.

Differences in values and life objectives become obvious, and the infatuation stage’s love blindness is replaced by 20/20 vision. Most couples will rethink everything about their relationship at this point, including whether it should continue.

The stage of commitment.

After the difficult road of the previous stage has passed, your partnership may enter a phase of mutual respect and understanding. You both acknowledge that you can’t change the other and begin to accept your differences. 

Of course, life pressures will continue to present obstacles, but you and your spouse are now better prepared to deal with them as they arise.

The stage of co-creation.

As your partnership matures and has withstood a few storms, a sense of teamwork emerges. You and your spouse understand each other as a committed team and begin to take on the world together.

This phase is not without its difficulties. However, according to a 2014 research, the longer a couple has been together, the less likely they are to break up.

When a relationship evolves, it’s not always a terrible thing, depending on how you and your partner manage it. Change may be beneficial, such as gaining a new job or adopting healthy lifestyle choices such as joining a gym. Adapting to any form of change may be difficult, even if it is a beneficial one.

For example, your partner’s promotion at work may be a positive change in and of itself, but it also comes with long hours. If you or your spouse is having trouble adjusting to your new schedule, it may generate tension in your relationship. However, not all changes are beneficial.

Assume your spouse was affectionate and attentive at the start of the relationship but then became abusive over time. This unfavourable alteration may have an impact on the relationship’s core. 

Consider reevaluating your relationship to see whether it’s no longer a safe condition for you if your spouse has changed in a way that causes you emotional or bodily damage.

What are 4 ways to adapt to changing relationship dynamics?

If anything in your relationship is suddenly changing, here are 4 ways to help you handle it successfully.

Look into the various causes of the change.

Certain changes in you or your spouse might indicate the onset of a physical or mental health problem, such as depression. If you suspect this is the case, approach them with compassion and ask if there is anything you can do to assist them.

In certain circumstances, your partner’s behavioural changes may not be significant. Instead, it may be something they’ve always done, but it’s starting to anger you for whatever reason.

Consider doing some soul searching to see whether this is something you can accept in this circumstance. If it isn’t, try talking to your spouse about it and coming up with a solution or compromise that works for both of you.

Focus on the genuine issue.

Asking yourself, “What specifically about this difference disturbs me?” is one technique to deal with a spouse who has changed. Once you’ve identified it, you’ll be able to voice your worries more effectively.

Instead of saying, “I despise your new friend,” you could tell your partner, “I’m glad you’ve found someone you enjoy hanging out with, but I don’t feel like we’re spending as much time together as I’d like.”

To comprehend, communicate.

When anything in a relationship doesn’t seem quite right, communication is crucial to understanding the other partner’s point of view. For major changes, such as a spouse who suddenly refuses to have children, this may imply looking into the reasons why.

Perhaps they truly desire children but are concerned about their ability to sustain them financially. You may work together to alleviate their anxieties after you grasp the causes behind the shift.

Recognize when changes become deal-breakers.

If your spouse has changed in a manner that you know you won’t be able to live with, or if they’re doing things that are cruel or abusive, it may be essential to stop the relationship. That’s OK. It’s not easy to let go of a relationship, but it’s sometimes the best option for one or both partners.

How can non-romantic relationships change dynamics?

Friendships, family relationships, and even coworker relationships are all subject to change. One of your buddies, for example, may have recently begun a new relationship while you stay single. 

This has the potential to alter the dynamics of your friendship. It’s similar to dealing with change in a love relationship. Honest, honest communication combined with empathy can aid in acclimating to the new normal.

Relationships develop and change with the seasons of life, just like living things. Embracing change and learning to adjust when expectations aren’t fulfilled will help you keep your relationships evolving the way they should.

Consider relationship therapy or marital counselling if you and your partner are experiencing trouble with changes, large or minor. Many couples find that chatting with a skilled expert helps them adjust to changes, resolve disagreements, and cope.

Conclusion – 

This blog post attempted to answer the question, “How can a relationship change dynamics?” and reviewed the concept of relationship dynamics,  the process of changing relationship dynamics with regard to romantic as well as non-romantic relationships and the process of adapting to changing relationship dynamics to determine the 5 stages through which a relationship can change dynamics. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Steber, C. 15 Ways To Change Your Relationship Dynamic If Your Partner Isn’t Treating You Right. (2018, February 21). Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/p/15-ways-to-change-your-relationship-dynamic-if-your-partner-isnt-treating-you-right-8230636#:~:text=In%20order%20to%20change%20an,expert%20Jennifer%20Seiter%20tells%20Bustle.

Douglas, B. Can One Person Change the Dynamics of A Relationship? (2020, January 31). 

Retrieved from https://medium.com/@bdouglasoz/can-one-person-change-the-dynamics-of-a-relationship-e472c602b163

Drake, K. How to Navigate and Embrace Change in Your Relationships. (2021, June 30). Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/change-in-relationships-what-to-do-when-your-partner-changes

Gaspard, T. Be the Change You Wish to See in Your Relationship. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/be-the-change-you-wish-to-see-in-your-relationship/

University of Alberta. “Changing partners doesn’t change relationship dynamics.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2019. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190827123518.htm

How do I change our relationship dynamic? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-change-our-relationship-dynamic

Pace, R. What Constitutes Healthy Relationship Dynamics. (2020, December 17). Retrieved from https://www.marriage.com/advice/relationship/what-constitutes-healthy-relationship-dynamics/

Kift, L. B. 5 Steps to Create Positive Change in Your Relationship. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://loveandlifetoolbox.com/5-steps-to-create-positive-change-in-your-relationship/

Firstein, I. What Is A Relationship Dynamic? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nyccouplestherapists.com/blog/what-is-a-relationship-dynamic/

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