Every marriage is different, but there are some predictable stages that most couples go through:
-- Romance: The first one to five years involve discovering one another and building a foundation of affection and passion. Besides enjoying yourselves, it's a good idea to realize that the rest of your marriage will be patterned on what happens now.
-- Coping: For some couples, reality sets in quickly with the birth of a first child. Other couples may go a few years before the romantic stage fades, often triggered by a major life event such as a job loss, a move, or a parent's death. The marriage tends to take a back seat to making a living, caring for a family, and other commitments.
-- Rediscovery: Sometimes it takes couples therapy and hard work to get to this stage. Other times it happens naturally, as the kids grow up and the jobs settle down and you both begin to plan the latter part of your lives. The work of this stage is to let go of old resentments and appreciate the person you married.
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