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Resilience in Difficult Relationships

Understanding the Phases of Connection, Disconnection, and Rejuvenation


Relationships can be complex, and couples often find themselves at a point where they enter an unwanted phase of cohabitation. This is a critical juncture where many couples lose motivation and struggle to maintain their connection.

However, recognizing the importance of continual effort and seeking personal growth within the relationship can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling partnership.

Today we explore the psychological dynamics involved in maintaining a thriving relationship and the significance of understanding the cycle of connection, disconnection, and rejuvenation.

Validation and Buffering:

It is essential to acknowledge that it is natural for individuals to experience moments of unintentional hurt or “friendly fire” within a relationship. Recognizing this and creating a buffer zone to absorb such incidents is crucial for emotional well-being.

By validating ourselves and our partners, we understand that occasional setbacks are part of being human. Unlike the psychological resilience of figures like Jesus, who could quickly bounce back from hurts, we must accept our mortal limitations.

However, there are steps we can take to prevent stagnation and ensure continuous growth.

The Cycle of Connection:

Drawing inspiration from Jesus, who had a cycle of maintaining sanity and purpose without burning out, we gain insights into navigating the phases of a relationship.

While specific details may differ, we can observe a pattern in Jesus’ interactions with others. He would enter spaces, attempt to give, and often face rejection or indifference.

This cycle repeated throughout his ministry. Notably, he would occasionally retreat, spending time away from people, likely seeking rejuvenation and guidance from a higher power, his Father.

This phase of decompression is vital for emotional well-being and preparing for the next stages.

Identity, Purpose, and Reluctance:

One critical aspect of the cycle is revisiting one’s Identity and Purpose. Jesus, in his moments of Reflection, likely confronted his own reluctance and questioned the significance of his mission.

“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” 

Matt 26:39

These internal dialogues help individuals realign with their true selves and understand their purpose within the relationship.

Reluctance, when viewed as a normal response to challenging circumstances, can be a catalyst for reaffirming one’s commitment to personal growth and the relationship as a whole.

Psychological Stages and Emotional Rejuvenation:

Similar to athletes who engage in rituals to prepare for their respective sports, individuals in relationships can and should also go through specific stages to navigate their emotional landscape.

After decompression, it is crucial to enter a phase of rest and rejuvenation, prioritizing self-care and connecting with their higher power.

I'm Not Okay, You're Not Okay, but That's Okay book cover

This stage serves as a reminder of one’s Identity and Purpose and allows for introspection and replenishment of emotional resources.

Avoiding Dependency and Developing Resilience:

While it is natural to desire connection with others, it is important to avoid developing an excessive dependence on others for emotional well-being.

Humans, with their inherent limitations, cannot consistently meet our Celestial-level cravings for connection.

“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh”.

D&C 1:19

Instead, relationships should be viewed as opportunities for Interdependence and Synergy. Developing emotional resilience and embracing the cyclical nature of psychological growth allows individuals to find pleasure in serving, connecting, and engaging with others.

The Importance of Survival Protocols:

To navigate the most challenging moments in a relationship, it is crucial to establish and practice survival protocols. These protocols help individuals respond accurately and effectively during difficult circumstances.

By developing mental muscle memory through deliberate practice, individuals can navigate challenging situations without being overwhelmed. Positive attitudes are essential, but they must be supported by practical techniques and strategies to ensure success.


Understanding the psychological cycle of relationships is paramount to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling connection with your partner.

By recognizing the phases of connection, disconnection, and rejuvenation, individuals can navigate the complexities of relationships more effectively.

Lazarus Lectures

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