Marriage is hard work and no matter how hard you work your marriage will go through phases. There will be lovely easy phases and some that aren't so pretty.
- The loving relationship- It is the early stage where both partners find joy in fulfilling the other's needs.
- The honeymoon hangover- In this phase you learn how to manage disappointment and pain.
- Retribution- Anger stage begins. The honeymoon phase is missed and this may create a power struggle. Fights typically revolve around money, sex, or time spent together.
- Commitment without Caring- Spouses facing separation divert their attention to others aspects of life rather than addressing conflict.
- Growing as an Individual-Spouses acknowledge the fantasy of expecting the other to fulfill their dependency needs and this increases independence and self confidence. They then as individuals seek gratification alone.
- Growing as a Couple- The final stage is an acceptance of reality, with a shift in focus to the present. Success in this stage involves accepting responsibility for one's pleasures and pains and an increased availability to relate to others, especially their spouse.
For more information Forbes.