Couples move through four overall stages of development, the initial stage being defined as “forming,” and the subsequent three stages being defined as “storming,” “norming” and “performing” — to borrow terms used by Tuchman.
Love Lingers Here: Enduring Intimate Relationships VII. The Marker Event—Establishing A Commitment as A Couple
It is critical to know and understand the circumstances and sequence of events associated with the decision of two people to become a couple. The defining moment in the life of a couple is critical as a way of defining an orienting difference.
The first myth that we are likely to embrace when we are looking for and establishing an intimate relationship concerns …
There are many couples in modern history with a much longer history than the couples we interviewed. What do these Methuselahs of Coupledom have to teach us about how to stay together as a couple?
LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVIII. PLATE FIVE: SEPTEMBER SONG (GROWING OLD AND FACING MAJOR LIFE CHALLENGES AS A COUPLE)
This final plate moves to center stage during the years when either a couple have reached their senior years or one or both partners face a major intrusive life event.. In either case, the partners are faced with the task of preparing for major changes in the ways they relate to one another.
LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XVI. PLATE THREE: DECIDING WHAT’S IMPORTANT (IDENTIFYING SHARED VALUES)
The values plate is closely tied to the individual developmental stages of the two partners, hence this plate often continues to change throughout the life of the couple.
LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XV. PLATE TWO: BEING A BREADWINNER (PRODUCING SOCIO-ECONOMIC VIABILITY/CAREERS)
Today, the economic function is equally as important, though infinitely more complex and even contradictory. In many states, the economic “reality” of a couple is formally defined by community property laws.
LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XIV. PLATE ONE: BUILDING A NEST (ESTABLISHING A HOME TOGETHER)
The domain of daily living and the common place is no more plainly evident than in the small decisions made by and actions taken by men and women as they establish a home together.
With the establishment of effective, working norms, a couple is prepared to begin performing its new developmental tasks. The couple typically will experience a period of harmony and fulfillment, at least with regard to a set of predominant issues in their life.