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You've managed to work out a fitness plan for other areas of your life such as diet, exercise, friendships, finances, etc. But what about the fitness of your relationship?

Take TURNS — Relationships

All relationships are not created equal, but they do go through some predictable stages. Understanding the stages, gives you the tools you need to move through with your loving union intact.

Relationship Stages

Each stage of a relationship comes with its own set of triumphs and challenges.
If you find that the stresses of life are interfering with your relationship, don't be afraid to seek support, both separately and together, depending on the situation. If you feel that you have to work through everything on your own, your marriage may suffer. Get the support and guidance you need from friends, family members, religious counselors or professional therapists.


You've made it past the stage of being just friends and are now officially a couple. Working on your relationship at the outset can save a lot of stress down the road. Set realistic expectations and be very clear about your thoughts. One of the biggest problems that couples face is not communicating their thought properly and completely.


Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. While you are busy planning for your upcoming nuptials, don't forget about each other as a couple. Remain unified against wedding stresses such as obtaining a hall, caterers, future in-laws, etc. If you are experience intense anxiety during this time, outside advice can go a long way.


The beginning year or two of a marriage can be very exhilarating and full of passion. This period is all about the two of you and your intense love for each other. Try to use this stage to solidify your relationship outside the bedroom. Decide what you expect from the rest of your marriage.

Married Life

This stage is also known as the wakeup stage, during which reality sets in. You learn things you might not have known, or simply ignored, about your spouse's strengths, weaknesses and personal habits. During this post-honeymoon, pre-children stage, the two of you can work toward both shared and separate goals but this can lead to power struggles. You need to safely navigate what can be the first hiccup of a young marriage, when too many couples find that their values and goals aren't always the same.

Family Life

Family life is also considered the heart of the marriage. It consists of the years most couples spend raising their families, building careers, buying a home, and working hard to navigate a busy life together. These same things that add to a marriage can be the same things that put tremendous strain on a marriage as well. This is the time to pay close attention to your marriage and any warning signs. Don't assume your relationship will endure the strain automatically. You will need to continue to work at it. Be honest and find time to communicate with each other, even if you have to schedule time together.

Empty Nesters

You've survived the ups and downs of marriage and family life. All the children are grown and out of the home. This stage may be called the empty nest phase but it doesn't mean that it has to be empty of love and support for each other. Use this stage to reunite with each other and get to know each other again. Continue to show each other affection and attention. Have fun, travel, experience things that you can do together and also things you can do apart. Enjoy and get ready for the grandchildren.

Strengthen Your Relationship by Taking TURNS




When Dealing With Conflict