Here’s what I know from the research, applied and experienced, as well as practicing as a couple’s counsellor: the relationship you were in yesterday is not the relationship you are in today.
Just like you grow, learn and change so do your relationships.
Relationships are not set in stone or frozen in time. They ebb and flow. Life events impact relationships like new jobs, kids, moving. And sometimes, when one party changes, and the other doesn’t, the relationship responds to the discomfort, with more discomfort.
Most long term relationships go through stages. Knowing about these and being aware of the natural changes can help reduce relationship anxiety. It doesn’t feel like it used to? Well, it’s not supposed to.
Most couples go through the following stages:
Power and Control Struggle
Commitment / Partnership
These stages do not, interestingly, predetermine marriage sustainability. But there is some research that supports successful navigational of the stages, not easily I might add, is a major part to relational happiness. Which is the point, I’m pretty sure.