The evolution of the wife, per phase, is intriguing. It is both private yet universal and the pros and cons weigh in on a daily basis. Wives today are modern and powerful, and at the same time reminiscent of wives of decades past. A sampling of my research includes:
Wives in Phase One: Passion and Longing
Young wives today are as invested in love ever after as any wives who precede them. It begins with their wedding day, which is the ultimate packaging of passion with marriage. Brides today are often more outspoken and view their wedding as theatre.
Wives in Phase Three: Child Centricity
A popular kind of marriage today is one where wife and husband are fully involved with their children to the point where the children rule the marriage. Although half of the wives with whom I spoke realized they were in child centric marriages , they were resistant to change and thought the children were ‘the glue’ of the relationship.
Wives in Phase Five: Distance: Two Beds/Two Rooms
Arguments kick in and both wife and husband may wonder if they still share the same goals. For enough women, there is the decision to not divorce but to remain committed to the marriage. These wives have separate lives and interests. Other wives have extramarital affairs by this juncture, and others hang in despite the friction, unable to give up their marriages.
Wives in Phase Seven: Second Chances – Remarriage and Renegotiations
Wives by this phase are true believers in marriage and have been at it for years. Some are able to accept their partners for who they are while others feel ready for another kind of marriage. We see a blend of conforming wives from Phase Two with Phase Seven wives who have now hit their threshold and demand change. The choice is to revise the present marriage or to leave it behind and, for some, there is the chance to remarry. Either way, these women believe in marriage and the role of the wife.