The Good and Bad Years of Every Relationship

The Good and Bad Years of Every Relationship - Just Murrayed

I was thinking back the other day to when a high school teacher who was a new parent told me that Year 5 in a relationship is the hardest. He said it’s usually because Year 5 is when you’ve probably added a kid into the relationship and you are finally seeing a side of your partner that you’ve never seen before. I took it with a grain of salt, because as a know-it-all teenager, I clearly knew everything and I knew that MY relationship wasn’t hard. Oh sure, some things were hard like the distance, but loving someone is easy. Looking back, he was clearly trying to tell me that HIS relationship was hardest during Year 5 because he’d brought a kid into this world and it wasn’t quite what he expected.

If you have been in a long term relationship, you know there are “good” years and “bad” years. Personally, I think you have good years when both people are in a comfortable stage in their personal lives, and bad years happen when one or both parties are unhappy or pulled in too many directions.

But let’s look a bit further into those good and bad years. I think every relationship has three types of years:

Stable Years
What It Looks Like:
1. You’re both happy with friends, family and your career.
2. You’re discovering new and exciting things about each other.
3. You spend LOTS of money just doing things together because you want to be around them 24/7.

When This Normally Happens: These are usually the first couple of years together.
Things to Watch Out For: You don’t get wrapped up in just ‘the two of you’.

Tumultuous Years
What it Looks Like:
1. You are experiencing every emotion. Sometimes at your spouse, sometimes it’s just life in general.
2. Life isn’t always peachy. Maybe work sucks, maybe family sucks but it just plain sucks.
3. Tension brews quickly and you probably are fighting or nitpicking more.
4. You never feel like you have enough time in the day. Especially for your relationship.

When This Normally Happens: Seems to always follow the stable years.
Things to Watch Out For: When you feel like 1000 things are pulling you in different directions and you’re unsatisfied with everyday life, drawing closer together instead of apart is the key to weathering this difficult time.

Restoration Years
What it Looks Like:
1. Work and family is going well. You’re drawing closer together instead of apart.
2. You have a clear vision of how you want your life to go.
3. You’re sharing in your success with each other at work and with family.

When This Normally Happens: Usually after the Tumultuous Years but it can happen anytime something life-changing occurs.
Things to Watch Out For: Make sure to spend time together. Work and family can pull you apart but relishing in each others successes will keep you both happy.

So, now that I’ve told you what I think are the 3 stages of relationships, I should probably delve into when they happened for The Mister and I. After 14 years together, we’ve had LOTS of good times but we’ve also had our share of bad times.

Year 1: Stable Year – Budding Romance
Year 2 to 4: Tumultuous Years – EVERY emotion was experienced thanks to being long distance.
Year 5 to 9: Restoration Years – We rediscovered each other.
Year 10: Tumultuous Years – I was disastisifed with work and I felt like our relationship wasn’t growing because we didn’t have any definite plans of marriage.
Year 11 to 14: Stable Years – We got engaged and then married. We are feeling more fulfilled in our chosen careers and it’s nice to see the fruit of our labours coming together. We have definite plans of our future and it’s exciting to see our plans come together.

Every relationship is different. You know you better than anyone else and you know your spouse better than their own family. My gramma put everything in perspective for me about relationships when we were in engaged. She said, ” When love is easy, remember why you love them. When love is hard, remember why you love them.”

So, now that I’ve told you about the ups and downs of our relationship, tell me about yours! I’d love to hear the good, the bad and the ugly!


6 thoughts on “The Good and Bad Years of Every Relationship

  1. This is a REALLY interesting theory and I definitely agree with you! My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years (this Oct). I call that first 12 or 18 months the honeymoon period. Then it’s followed by the tough, fighting years. And then you slip into comfort. That happened to us. Years 2 and 3 were rough, especially with me being in college and him being home. We got engaged on our 4 year anniversary and we were back to a stable/restorative year, up until things got a little stressful with the wedding and job, etc. Our first year of marriage was stable but I feel like I was second guessing every this past year. (Not our marriage- just family planning and jobs and money.) Hopefully this year we feel restored and on our way to stable again 🙂 3rd Anniversary is April 27th!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely when you’re physically in two different places, it can make a relationship difficult, but I’m glad you weathered the storm and you’re feeling a bit more positive about your relationship and that you never gave up. That’s the difference between good and bad marriages, truly!


  2. My husband and I have been together since 2011 (this summer marks 5 years since our first date!), but we’ve only been married for 2 years. It’s an interesting theory, but not really one I can apply until maybe we’ve been together longer. We started out long-distance, with our first date being just 2 1/2 weeks before I moved for a new job. Almost our entire marriage has been dealing with really shitty stuff outside of our control, like my mom’s cancer, my grandmother’s death, my husband’s job loss, a move to a new state, and my mother’s death. It’s been really stressful and emotional, but it has’t actually affected our marriage. We’ve leaned on each other to get through it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a great point, Brita – sticking together when outside ‘stuff’ is a bit crazy can bring you together, instead of tearing you apart! I’d say that’s the difference between a good marriage and a bad marriage as well!


  3. Me and my husband probably had things happen a little faster then most people. We went from meeting to getting married in a little over a year. We have been married 3 months now and my head is still spinning a little, lol. I do think we moved out of the “honeymoon” period quicker then most couples, but I saw that as a good thing because it meant that we could be more real with each other and learn how to handle conflict in a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so interesting, Sara! I bet with certain circumstances like meeting and marrying quickly there’s a different rhythm to your relationship. I’d wonder if it will always be ‘different’ than couples who take a bit longer to get married.

      Relationships are all so fascinating!


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