I agree it’s an odd title, but too many people are unaware they are in a well-defined process heading toward a divorce they won’t want.
So I want to help couples become curious about where they are so they can take action today.
It is essential to understand how to implement the right strategy to help the couple gain the right answers.
Defining where they are is the first step to helping them connect to their truth of what they are capable of achieving.
So what are the six steps – and which step are you in as a couple?
1. Attraction –
This is an early stage where fun, variety, and passion can lead the couple’s energy.
They are usually disconnected from their future problems as they don’t know what to look out for. Attraction is easy at this stage because the couple doesn’t have to do anything for it to happen due to natures chemistry.
2. Resistance –
This is when the couple’s automatic attraction chemistry is running out, normal life is appearing, and they start to butt heads on their differences of communication, needs, values, and fears start to surface.
This is uncomfortable at times, but not enough to exit.
The worry machine will have started as the couple struggle to resolve their problems.
3. Resentment –
This is when the same problems keep appearing, and one or both people can start to resent their experience.
The couple at this point is fighting to keep love and attraction alive as they fight to protect themselves from each other.
Attraction can be in question at times.
4. Detachment –
This is when the resentments have overwhelmed the person, and they will need to detach or self-numb to stop their painful feelings.
The person is in a process of shutting down the bad feelings, but they will be unaware the good feelings are being shut down with the bad.
It’s why people at this stage struggle to find good times with their partner even though they happened.
In fact at this stage the whole relationship can be rewritten to comments like – “I never really loved you”, or “I always had doubts”.
5. Decision –
This is the moment when the person makes the decision to disconnect, it’s the most powerful point and very challenging to reverse.
6. Divorce/separation –
This is when the split is confirmed.
I have helped couples reconnect after each one of these steps and even the last one.
Even divorced people can regret their decision to part ways.
It’s important to know that each step towards – Step 6 Divorce/Separation – makes the process so much harder, but not impossible (to be clear every situation must be assessed as some situations are dead).
It’s also important to know that the process at any step isn’t about blindly fixing the couple.
It’s about helping both people understand what they are capable of achieving with the right information.
Each step illustrated above requires a very different strategy to help the couple through their specific problem.
The couple that enters the process at – Step 4 Detachment – is going to need a reinvestment strategy, trust will have died, and they need safe proof that reinvesting would make sense.
The couple at – Step 3 Resentment – is still invested, just not happy at their outcomes, trust is challenged at this point so they need a strategy that helps them both influence each other positively so the trust can be solidified.
The couple at – Step 1 Attraction – will not be aware of the problems they are heading towards and they will require help to see and avoid the pitfalls so many couples fall into.
The couple at – Step 6 Divorce/separation – This is the process of one person wanting to win their partner back or both people wanting to understand what went wrong and why.
It’s the most complicated step because sometimes, just too much has happened.
In some cases, the partner who decided to leave and start divorce proceedings will allow a process of support just to make sure they have not made a terrible mistake.
The mistake I see so many make is they are not connected to the step they are really in.
Understanding the step you are in is critical
One lady whose husband had an affair was unaware her husband was about to enter – Step 5 The decision. He held back on telling her it was over because he felt guilt.
He knew what he did was wrong and it bought her some time.
She was now acting as if they were both at – Step 2 – Resentment – and she kept tearing into him about his affair and how awful he was.
Instead of protecting and caring for her which is what she wanted, he ended up protecting himself from her and her constant upsets at him.
This process she created was only going to tip him over the edge and so he made the decision and left her.
She made her life significantly harder because she didn’t understand the step they were in or the implications. Now she wanted help getting him back.
You see, unless you are heading back towards – Step 1 Attraction – the relationship will continue to suffer and die.
If this has made sense to you, you are in a struggling marriage and need professional help together or on your own, click here to get started.