From Resistance to Repression: The Four Stages of Relationship Break Down

Every relationship break down goes through these four stages. If you become aware of the situation at any of these stages you can choose to make things better or move on. Different people will experience these stages differently. There will be times when you will find yourself feeling frustrated and going insane all over. Your perception and willingness to work at the relationship will decide the outcome.

  • Stage One – Resistance

Often we don’t even realise that we hit this stage in our relationship. When really if we become aware of what is happening, it is very easy to fix things from here.

Resistance happens in us when our partner says or does something that we don’t agree with, we feel frustration or disappointment regarding what just happened, but we choose not to raise our voice to release these feelings. These little resistances build up and create the next stage over time.

If you don’t become aware of what is going on for you at this stage we can say that you have already embarked on your journey to move on.

  • Stage Two – Resentment

This builds over time on the foundation created by the small resistances you sweep under the carpet. Resentment is a dislike of the other person or their behaviour even though not that long ago you used to love them.

When we are in this stage we feel that we give more than what we get in the relationship and we feel that is unfair. We feel that it is not right and we are not getting what we deserve. We put our feelings down to their behaviour, but really it is our reaction to the situation, and really we just feel unloved and we are not dealing with this feeling.

Once we release our negative feelings in a constructive manner, we will be ready to let the love in again. It is hard to do so at this stage as resentment is accompanied with anger and tension and through it you emotionally separate from your partner. If you don’t take time to work through this then you hit the next stage, rejection.

  • Stage Three – Rejection

It is a slippery slide from here. You are pushing your negative feelings down, you are trying to hide them, but your relationship cannot thrive in this situation. To emotionally connect with your partner would mean to deal with the negative feelings you are holding on to. This scares most of us as we awfulise how bad this can become.

Once you are at at the rejection stage, you find that you are always arguing. About everything! Even the tiniest little thing like him leaving the toilet seat up. If you look back at the beginning of the relationship, you used to be able to work these out.

Divorce usually happens at this stage, unless you do one of two things. One is to face your feelings and deal with them or let things go as they are and keep putting up with pain. Which will lead you to the next stage.

  • Stage Four – Repression

It is the most dangerous stage, the reason for that is because negative emotions that you don’t deal with turn up as illness. At this stage you have pushed so many negative feelings under the carpet that you have become numb. You loose enthusiasm and aliveness.

You may even look happy in your relationship outwards, but really you don’t even remember what happiness is really like.

You don’t want to get this far, instead learn to practice awareness and find ways to constructively discuss your real feelings when things arise.

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