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All relationships go through different stages and cycles, whether we realise it or not. Are you madly in lust, or passionately in love?

Do you adore or hate each other, or are you simply going through a period of feeling irritated and sick-to-death of one another?

As Denise Knowles from Relate says: 'All good relationships are destined to go through ups and downs no matter if you've been together two years or 20 years.'

So what stage is your relationship at, and where are you heading next? Here's what you need to get through both the good times and the bad.

1. The Romance Stage
2. The Reality Stage
3. The Commitment Stage
4. The Resistance Stage
5. The Resolution Stage

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Paj

We have been married 12 years. But my husband has never asked me to go out with him himself even once. He likes spending time with our three kids and his two nephews. As we all live together, our family and my husbands brother's family who has two boys. From the beginning I have always felt left out and never got asked to go out and spend time with my husband, himself. In fact I feel that I tug along myself with him sometimes when he is taking kids out by himself. This makes me really sad that I'm just here to do all the jobs for him, his family and the kids. But when its time to have fun he likes to enjoy with kids himself. We hardly spend any time together as a family and i think i'm missing out so much on my kids childhood fun. i just get upset and cry myself... as I don't know what to do? We do enjoy our physical relationship but when it comes to mental satisfaction, I don't get that.

JULIA

ITS VERY CLEAR TELL HIM STRAIGHT OR BREAK IT OFF

Di

I'm 45 and have been seeing a now 36 year old man for the last 31/2 years for sex. In the beginig we agreed that we would do this once a month. sex no relationship. we started meeting at hotels then it progressed to monthly weekends at his home, which was nice. My problem now is that he wants to have a relationship and keeps saying so. He is my lover and a really good friend, however, we both run our own businesses and us seeing each other monthly now, is because our schedules only allow this time, I can't understand why he wants to change things as we get on relly well and do all the things a couple would do. Holidays, dinnes, etc. To live with this man would cause us both stress and problems as neither of us are in a position to take a backseat with our businesses to allow a relationship more time.

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