A large number of couples suffer a crisis after three years of relationship, after going through a kind of “honeymoon” in the early days. This crisis originates from the accumulation of small facts, added to the fact of reaching a greater knowledge of the couple and can be so important that it can even shake the relationship.
The “you” and the “you never”
Of course, it does not have the precision of a scientific equation, but most experts point out that the three years is a decisive moment in the couple’s relationship. This moment is crucial, since it can culminate in the separation or, on the contrary, in the strengthening of the mutual bond. After three years, unresolved pending issues have accumulated. In addition, we get to know our partner much more on a day-to-day basis, both in the positive aspects and in those that we dislike.
In the first year of relationship, most couples live a kind of “honeymoon”. It is a stage of falling in love, where the defects are softened and unconsciously relativized. In general, we can say that everything looks “rosy” and we remain in a positive mood about our relationship.
After a year, and closer to the second than the first, the couple is usually in a kind of “maturity” or emotional stability. Somehow, the members of the couple accept each other as they are, but differences arise that are not resolved as harmoniously as before. Something happens. It is as if a curtain were drawn and we begin to see our partner in a more realistic way.
At this stage, the emotional maturity of each of the members of the couple and their ability to communicate is extremely important. These are the aspects that will determine this phase, as well as the intensity of the crisis.
If the members cannot accept how they are and begin to accumulate negative feelings towards each other, the reproaches will begin, the “you always” or the “you never”. Irritability flies permanently in the relationship.
“You are always with your friends”, “You never understand me”, You always claim the same”, “You never hug me”, “You always think badly”, “You never share with my family”, “You are always working”, “You never want to do what I say”, “You are always right”, are some of the phrases that arise in this period. The resentment will grow insidiously and inevitably explode after approximately three years of relationship.
In another aspect of this crisis, many couples feel the need for greater individual independence. There is a kind of “nostalgia” for the times of singleness.
If a healthy relationship was not established, with enough space for the individual happiness of each of the members of the couple, they begin to wonder if this relationship of mutual dependence is worth it. This search for space is done without the agreement of the other, which can lead to continuous fights and lead to the birth of jealousy in the couple.
How to deal with this crisis
But it does not end there: if the commitment is not firm and problems continue to arise, the couple will end up in an even greater crisis, in which they can end up separating or, quite the contrary, become stronger, where both members of the couple get to know each other better and accept each other.
It is necessary to say something: there is no couple without problems and crises are part of life itself, necessary even for growth.
Knowing that crises and problems are inevitable, it is necessary to think how to face them.
It is clear that the best solution is always prevention. If from the very beginning of the relationship the couple seeks communication and dialogue, reaching understanding and the solution in the crisis will be within reach. It may even happen that the outbreak of the problem is directly avoided. But if you are already in the middle of the crisis, both of you should be positive and remember, first of all, that every problem has a solution. If both partners do their best, the 3-year crisis is surmountable.
What to do
A series of steps will serve to successfully overcome the crisis of the three years. These are the main ones.
1- Expressing feelings is essential to face a crisis, specifying which are the aspects that cause infidelity and disgust. This helps both of you understand each other and the other.
You may need more space. If you discuss the issue, you will find together the solution that suits both of you. Maybe it just takes a little scheduling adjustment to work things out.
2- Listening to the other, their concerns and what they think, is the only true path at this time. Expressing is important and listening goes hand in hand with it. In doing so, we strive to understand the other and from there, we must be willing to give in to our initial position and change our minds at times, keeping an open mind when facing a couple crisis like the three-year crisis.
3- The idea of the end of the relationship is not a monster to be feared. Crisis is not the same as a breakup: all relationships have cycles and moments in which things get complicated and everything seems to be going wrong, but that does not mean that the couple ends there. In most cases, these crises are the end of a cycle and the beginning of another, which can even be much better than the previous one, since the change involved can strengthen the relationship and bring something new to the couple.
4- When taking solution measures, it should be done as a couple, through negotiation and consensus. In this way, both ensure that they will be effective, lasting and satisfying for both equally, by respecting the needs and desires of both. 5- At all times they must remember the affection that unites them in order to overcome the bad moment, remembering that it is a stage: the most important thing is to have confidence in the relationship to get ahead.
Crises are part of life itself, the important thing is to face them in a positive and constructive way.