HOW TO SURVIVE THE 9 STAGES OF MARRIAGE
How does a marriage move from “I do” to “I shouldn’t have“? How many women, if confronted with the opportunity, would marry the same man again?
We loved this story in Britain’s Daily Mail about the nine stages of marriage.
According to a new book, though every woman cuts her wedding cake with every hope that her marriage will last forever, almost 6 out of 10 women later admitted that they wouldn’t marry the same man again.
Image via The Art of Romance.
The Nine Phases Of Marriage: How To Make It, Break It, Keep It was written to guide women through the nine distinct stages of being married and having kids. Author, Susan Shapiro Barash explains that if women can identify which stage they’re in, it helps them to understand how they can make their relationships stronger.
Stage 1: Hopeful Bride
This is the most idealised phase of a couple’s life together when you’re still enjoying the three key ingredients of a happy marriage: passion, intimacy and commitment.
Although you may have weathered a few storms already, you faced them together. At this stage you believe your man is your rock, and that romance will last for ever.
Susan says: ‘Wives in this phase aspire to keep the passion alive. Some spoke of how determined they were to get their marriages right because their parents were divorced.’
Prescription: Passion and intimacy are easy to come by at this stage, but you also need to develop friendship to sustain your marriage.
Image via onewed.com.
Stage 2: Perfect Wife
Before the wedding, there was an understanding that after you tied the knot, you and your husband would share the household chores.
But two or three years in, you are starting to feel like social director, housekeeper and errand runner, all rolled into one.
Susan says problems start to arise in Phase Two because many men feel they’ve already shown enough commitment by walking down the aisle.
In an age when more wives than ever go out to work, women are often left feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.
Susan says: ‘Many women never expected their husbands to have the habits they do.’
Prescription: When bad habits surface — whether it’s dirty socks under the kitchen table or overflowing rubbish bins — it can be a shock. But remember no marriage is ideal. Work out what you can tolerate and what you can’t.
Stage 3: Child-centricity
Once baby comes along, a woman’s attitude tends to change. Some women lose interest in their husband because he has served his procreative purpose. Others train their men to become hands-on fathers.
Many women lose sight of who they are, and say adult conversation and intimacy can dry up, which creates distance between a couple.
Prescription: Never lose yourself in the role of mother: take care of your relationship, as well as your children. If you’re both happy to have a child-centric marriage, talk to your husband about how you want to raise your family.
Terrible tots: Child rearing can take its toll on your marriage so spare some time for your husband too
Stage 4: One bed, two dreams
In this phase — usually nine or ten years into a marriage — many wives report that a few days apart from their partner feels like a welcome break.
Susan’s research found that even if wives are determined to stay married, resentments are starting to build. Common flashpoints include money and how to bring up children.
Prescription: Lower the bar. You will be less disappointed if you roll with the changes that marriage brings, and manage your expectations.
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