In a now viral Facebook post, Harmony Hobbs (aka, Modern Mommy Madness) shared a pic of herself and her husband when they first started dating.
“This was the first picture ever taken of Robbie and I,” she began the post. “It was 2003 and we’d been up all night in New Orleans when this photo was snapped.”
She went on explain that she’d recently read something that had really hit home. It was an article outlining psychologist Jed Diamond’s theory on how lovers’ attitudes towards each other change with time.
“First there is the exciting, falling in love stage; that’s when this photo was taken,” she said. “I’d never met a man like him and we couldn’t get enough of each other.”
Then, inevitably, the shininess starts to wear off:
“The second stage is becoming a couple and building a real life together, which we’ve been doing for the past 12 years. It’s a lot of work. SO MUCH WORK. At one point, I was fairly certain I was going to die of sleep deprivation. I had thoughts of smothering Robbie in his sleep. We loved each other, but… you know. We also hated each other sometimes.”
And if you think Stage 2 is hard, Stage 3 – “disillusionment” – is a really “dark time.”
“Most people get stuck here because disillusionment really freaking sucks,” she wrote. “We see each other for what we really are, and it’s hard to remember why we fell in love. Everything is a struggle, and life has worn us out to the point that any kind of work beyond immediate survival feels like an overwhelming task. Date night?! BITCH, PLEASE.”
It doesn’t necessarily have to mean the end though. Harmony believes that if you and your partner can commit to sticking it out, it’ll only be worth it.
“My advice is to look at YOURSELF and see how you can change or improve your own behaviour,” the mum-of-three told Parents.com. “For the longest time I thought my difficulties were because I was surrounded by difficult people. WRONG! The real problem was me and my attitude, as well as. The fact that I am a high-functioning alcoholic. Getting into recovery was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
She then explained that Stage 4 was about “creating real, lasting partnership.”
“It’s finding the kind of true love and acceptance that comes with breaking down to your worst in front of another person, and HE DOESN’T RUN AWAY SCREAMING,” she said in her post. “Instead of rejecting the ugly parts of me, Robbie is helping me put myself back together again. He trusts that the new me will be even better than the old one, and that helps me believe it, too.”
And finally, Stage 5. The point you reach when together you’ve been through hell and back, but you’re better for it.
“Stage 5 is using the power of two to change the world,” Harmony concluded. “We aren’t there yet, but I look forward to it. I am so, so grateful that we picked each other.”
If that doesn’t warm your heart, we don’t know what will.