Last week I offered advice to middle-aged husbands–now it’s the wife’s turn. Ladies, do you seek to restore positive emotions and to scale fresh new mid-life horizons? Are you plagued by a husband who considers himself the primary bread winner with a built-in prerogative to relax or pursue personal interests at night and on weekends leving you with the bulk of domestic and child-rearing responsibilities? You love your husband and want him to renew with along you but no longer are you willing to accept a subservient role.
I know we husbands often fail to acknowledge you as a full and equal partner, take you for granted and can be a royal pain in the rear but please do not attempt to reform us overnight. Especially, I beg you to be beware of constant nagging! I know the man you married may not fit your current image of the perfect husband but please don’t try to blame him for everything wrong in your life today. You will never attain ideal life or marital balance by continually sparring with your chosen life partner.
Your initial step is to define for yourself clear and precise personal, career and relationship goals. These are not necessarily what your husband or anyone else says they should be. Exactly what do you want out of the remainder your days? Your next task is to share those goals with your husband in a loving, non-threatening, give-and-take exchange of ideas. As you descibe your aspirations, you must make it clear that you will never attain your goals without your husband’s unqualified support, including willingness to share mind-numbing domestic and child-rearing tasks. Even better, ask your husband to propose his own creative ideas which can help ease your burden.
As a husband myself, I can assure you that I would not remain fulfilled for long were my wife to sacrifice all of her aspirations for my benefit. Because I love and admire my wife, I naturally seek to acknowledge her desires and to make personal sacrifices on her behalf.
As a twenty-first century wife, your best bet is to cease all nagging and complaining and to begin this very day conducting yourself as a positively focused, fully equal life partner. You can demonstrate personal initiative in making those essential career and life-style decisions which should have been yours all along. Once you begin sharing your career goals and dreams and routinely behaving in a forceful yet compassionate manner your husband will catch on. Should he steadfastly refuse to adapt, we all know that women today have a wide variety of career and relationship choices.
I dedicate several chapters of my recent book, A Mid-Life Challenge, Wake Up!, to evaluating and improving long-established martital and family relationsips. I would love to hear from some wives: what steps have you taken to create a loving partnership in your marriage? Please e-mail your response to email@example.com.