The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have
Dr. Steven Craig is a clinical psychologist, charismatic radio personality, and expert contributor to national programs and publications including ABC World News Tonight and The New York Times. His book, The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have is new way of seeing marriage for what it is—a decathlon, not a marathon.
When I heard that Dr. Craig wanted to talk about The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have, I was thrilled, I mean, who wouldn’t want to have 6 different husbands? But then I read the fine print, and Dr Craig’s book The Six Husbands every Wife Should Have actually helps couples identify the six different people they need to become over the course of their relationship in order to grow together rather than apart. Dr Craig says marriages don’t fail when people change; they fail when people don’t change.
STAGE 1: GETTING STARTED – This is when it is essential to honestly assess the long-term viability of the relationship, and to avoid lopsided “compromises” that will be poison in the future. The husband-to-be ought to be a Good Catch, young at heart but mentally and psychologically strong, while the wife-to-be needs to be a Girl of My Dreams, full of energy and life while remaining grounded about who she is and wants to be.
STAGE 2: THE YOUNG MARRIED COUPLE – The honeymoon is over, and the new husband and wife must now blend their worlds together and see themselves as a team, one that puts the relationship first—above friends, families, and fantasies. He must be a Team Player, with his stability and sense of commitment trumping (but not eclipsing) his sense of fun and adventure. She must be a Relationship Builder, competently handling the new challenges before her and resisting the impulse to run to her friends or her mother for constant guidance.
STAGE 3: THEN COMES BABY– In this, the most difficult and emotionally taxing stage in most marriages, both spouses are required to drastically revise their priorities, values, and goals. He must be an Ally, who realizes that the new member of the family is as much his responsibility as his wife’s, from daycare to diapers. She becomes a Chaos Control Manager, who understands that a positive atmosphere at home is the most important thing for her baby, and she can always tell a real crisis from a false alarm.
STAGE 4: FAMILY TIES – The dust has settled, and if they made the necessary changes, husband and wife have made it out of Stage 3 in one piece. Now the focus is on running the family as a well-oiled machine. The husband becomes the Family Man, shifting from explosive bursts of energy and endurance to measured expenditures of work and wisdom, careful not to burn out while still meeting his obligations. The wife becomes the Chief Operations Officer, learning to perform an awe-inspiring juggling act that is the key to the machine running smoothly.
STAGE 5: EMPTY NESTING – Now that the hardest and most thrilling part—raising children—is over, many married couples fall into a troubling “now what?” mindset that can lead to boredom, depression, and worst, resentment. It is essential to re-focus on each other, as first happened in Stage 2. The husband needs to be a Revitalizer, a constant well of new ideas for ways to spend quality, intimate time together. The wife has to be a Renewer, taking interest in her husband’s hobbies and passions, while re-creating herself as someone who fascinates him.
STAGE 6: THE GOLDEN YEARS – This is when the roller coaster is slowing down and the end of the ride is in sight. Nothing is more important than being a dependable Companion, the role that must be equally fulfilled by both husband and wife now. With patient caretaking and a bit of selective amnesia, the final years together can be the most joyous of all.
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