Loosely extracted from the book The Commuter Marriage
Growth Stages of a Commuter MarriageYou might be surprised to learn that the changes you are going ghtourhg usually follow predictable growth stages. If you understand what these stages are, you’ll have an easier time relaxing and being patient with the upheaval of change.
- Spectulation. Before you create a major change, communting in your relationship, you must have an idea of what changes you’re contemplating. This is when you research the change you’re about to make, so you know all the benefits and reasons why the change is desirable. Gaving a clear idea of the change you want to make, how it will look and feel, and what you will say and do is a great way to try the change on before you actually implement it.
- Exploration. In this stafe you get more deeply into picturing your life after you implemnt the changes you want to make.
- Preparation. Here you beging to break your proposed changes down into steps that you ca actually accomplish. If the steps are detailed and small enough, they seem easier and encourage you to believe you can actually accomplish what you want to do. Here your proposed change is becoming more real, and this is a great time to anticipate the support you’ll need and where to find it.
- Dedication. Once you are clear on what steps are necessary, you’re ready to begin. Of course, when you actually make your change and try it out you will learn new things and probably have to go back to the drawing board and rethink some of your original plans. But as you get more experience, you’ll find out what works and become comfortable with the changes.
- Expansion. Once you’ve established your new situation, you’ll develop it more fully and deeplt. This is a great time for lots fo discussion and problem solving about the aspects that are not working.
- Completion. If you’re beginning a long-term cmmuter marriage, this is the stage where you’ve figured out how to make it work, you know you can do it successfully, and it becomes easier. If you’re in a short-term situation, this may be the stage where you decide to change back to living together and repeat the stage again to make the transition.
Source: Tessina, Tina B. (2008) The Commuter Marriage, Adams Media, U.K., pp. 143 – 5.