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The Relationship Hourglass

Updated on December 23, 2011

walking thru life together takes work

Think about this; in relationships there are several phases a couple goes through as they go thru years together. We all realize that in the beginning of a new relationship that you go thru the hot and heavy phase. Where all you do is think about each other, talk all the time and the sex is hot and passionate. Then there are several more phases that we all go thru, some couples survive past the bad ones and some don’t (more often than not, don’t.)

I surmised a theory years ago about relationships that I have shared with others and most tend to agree to my point. It is what I call, “The Reverse Hourglass of Relationships.” I will try to explain my points by referring to my drawing below. (sorry for the quality of the pix, unable to scan image into system.)

The top of the reverse hourglass is narrow, this shows the beginning of the relationship, this is the closes part of the relationship. This when you first meet and thing are great, you concentrate on each other and can’t wait to see each other again.

As we make our way down the hourglass the distance between us begins to spread. This usually when a couple has been together for three to five years and often are married or living with each other. This is the area in time when the people involved in the relationship are either working all day, building a career or in activities that consume more and more of your time.This is when the calling every hour  just to say,”Hey” has stopped and you realize that you have you to worry about too. Often during the last part of this we get the, so called “Seven year itch” period, things can get pretty dicey here.

As time goes by the hourglass widens, until it reaches its widest point. This the toughest part of the relationship. This is when, you are working all the time, raising kids, struggling with bills, time for each other gets short and stress is high. This is where most relationships fail; one or the other in a relationship may feel more neglected than the other. This is where most spouses cheat or look for comfort from other sources. These sources can be anything from drinking more, to doing drugs and of course having an affair. Consider yourself one of the determined ones if you make through this part of the Hourglass. Once you been through this, your relationship may just survive for a long time after. This is where about ninety percent of the divorces take place, people just give up, they can’t put up with each other anymore and forgiveness is a non factor.

As you can see, once you past the widest point of the Hourglass, it starts to narrow again. This is where you start finding each other again. This can take many years though, once thru the widest part there will be wounds made that will need to heal. But, as they heal, your relationship will start to become stronger again. There will be a lot of forgiving, a lot getting over things that you thought you would never get over. When you finally realize, that your where you want to be, you see each other differently again.

Then at the bottom of the Hourglass you begin to realize that it is just of the two of you again. The kids are grown, stress has been reduced, bills are not what they used to be and retirement is getting close, or has already started. These are your so called “golden years”, where you spend a lot more time with each other, you learned through the years how to put up with each other, and it’s working. This is the part where most couples make to the “till death do you part” portion of the wedding vows a reality. Nothings one hundred percent, but the percentages are on your side that you will live out the rest of your life together if you have made it this far.

I hope you agree with my Reverse Hourglass Theory on Relationships. The time lines can vary of course depending on the couple. Some couples reach the widest point in the relationship sooner than others some will find their way back to each other quicker. But, I feel that the concept is correct.

If you would like to leave a comment on your observations, or where I may be wrong I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment on my comment page and I will respond with my opinion back.

reverse hourglass


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