“ My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”
Sir Winston Churchill
“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.”
Proverbs 5:18 NLT
12 Ways to Have a Happy Wife sounds like a big promise doesn’t it. I want to make a promise to you, read this article and pick two or three of the 12 Ways to Have a Happy Wife, and let me know how it worked
One of the keys to having a resilient, long-lasting marriage is to do what you can to make sure your wife feels good about your relationship.
As a man, I had no idea how ignorant I was when I first got married! Mom and Dad were great examples, but about three weeks after Angie and I were married, I felt like a complete idiot.
While we have experienced all the seasons of life together, some with grace and others as a “hot mess,” we have never quit. We have been in and out of counseling, read scores of books, and attended more than a few seminars and retreats
I believe that as you read this article, 12 Ways to Have a Happy Wife, you will be able to discover some nuggets of truth that will help you develop a more resilient marriage.
12 Ways to Have a Happy Wife
- Be as attentive, fun-loving, and adoring as you were during courtship (or close to it).
I know you can have rough days. I spend my days with people who are in various states of crisis. I know it can be tough to be upbeat some days but do what you can. Remind yourself what’s good. Practice the kind of gratefulness that leads to optimism. Studies of optimistic people show that they are less affected by adverse events and bring about brighter responses in other people.
- Show her respect.
She needs to feel respected, valued, cherished, and secure. You demonstrate this when you love her thoughts, beliefs, feelings, opinions, workload, and time.
Remember, she is not your buddy. She is your wife, your partner, the woman you pursued to fulfill your life.
- Be more affectionate.
Before we talk about expressing affection to your wife, I want to review the job description of being a good husband.
- Love, honor, and respect her.
- Be sexually and emotionally faithful to her.
- Listen without being judgmental.
To your wife, affection means more than cuddling or holding her hands or having sex. She desires a sense of closeness from you because knowing you are close to her is paramount for her to stay in a relationship with you.
For those of you that might need this simplified: if your wife does not feel connected to you, she will leave you at some level.
For additional insight, why don’t you both take the free 5 Love Languages Test?
I can almost guarantee you that after taking this fun little quiz, you will be able to love her in ways that are more meaningful and significant to her.
- Understand it is okay if she processes things differently than you.
This can be a daunting challenge for guys.
There is a growing body of research that indicates women have more hemispheric connections in their brains than men. This might help explain why women tend to have different cognitive and emotional styles and different methods and approaches to problem-solving. These differences can make you a stronger team . . . unless they’re in competition with each other.
- Support and nurture her ambitions inside and outside the home.
Roles are changing, and that is not a bad thing. More men than women work outside the home, but more and more women are either entering or re-entering the workplace or are starting home-based businesses, either due to personal choice or for economic reasons. As opportunities open for your wife to pursue her own dreams, will you be there to support her?
- Try to understand how she is different emotionally.
Guys, once again, your job is not to change her to be more like you, but to acknowledge and respect your differences.
7. Be honest at all times and always do what you say you will do.
To be clear, when I talk about honesty, there is no room for lies about infidelity, addiction problems, or other vital matters that reflect who you are (such as belief systems or underlying medical issues). Instead, you need to be accountable for the core issues, the crucial stuff, your promises. In other words, when you tell the truth you do not have to recall what you said.
- Share in childcare and domestic work.
If you want to mess this up, just come home from the office and tell her you have already worked enough. Or instead, catch your breath and be a part of your home. Participate in the work it takes to keep your household functional and comfortable, without any drama.
No matter where you have been in your marriage, you can show up for work today. You can begin right now to protect your career as a husband by treating this day as if it were your first day on a new job called marriage.
- Help her feel special. Find ways to build her up.
The more you encourage and appreciate her and all she does for the family, the more likely it is she will do the same for you.
Remember the Golden Rule? Your marriage is a great place to apply this vintage principle.
Be determined to get better at this job of being a husband.
- Maintain your appearance!
This may sound a bit juvenile, but guys, watch your hygiene, shower regularly, and remember your favorite “hang around the house” clothes do need washing. Angie reminds me that my closet space is beginning to smell like a locker every now and then. Just remember, this does not take much effort.
Here is a special way to enhance intimacy—take a shower and shave.
- Plan some “us time” getaways.
This does not mean inviting her to your elk hunt or boy’s weekend. It could be a weekend at a bed and breakfast, or maybe a day trip to a nice place. You could see where the cheapest “Southwest Airline Getaway” airfares are and go there. Being able to put some miles between you and the day-to-day grind (and even the kids sometimes) can go a long way in refueling both you and your wife.
- Learn ways to maintain romance and specialness in your relationship.
Spontaneous flowers and quality chocolates never hurt. Post-it notes and cards have never broken. So do what you can to make her feel special.
As we move into today’s action plan, I want you to consider which of the 12 Ways to Have a Happy Wife will you be willing to try?
To use a baseball metaphor, no Major League hitter bats 1000, but they are being well-compensated if they are hitting 325. To be clear, we are not talking perfection, but intentional, measurable progress.
Forget Hollywood and Hallmark Channel stereotypes, and don’t try to be a hero in some romance novel. Instead, apply some of your natural strengths to your job as a married man and see immediate improvement.
Focus on the benefits of marriage, not the day-to-day frustrations.
Show your wife the same traits that make you valuable as an employee: focus, discipline, reliability, devotion, loyalty, stability, intelligence, and flexibility.
Be determined to get better at this job of being a husband.
Learn from your mistakes, and don’t get your eyes stuck in the rearview mirror of regrets.
Commit yourself to the mission and responsibilities of your marital job description and reassess your progress as you go along.
If you need relationship coaching or counseling, then take the time and make the investment.
For those of you who are Christ-followers, “Love your wife as Christ loves the Church.”
Ancient Insight for Husbands
“ In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
Listen to my Resilient Solutions Shortcast on this topic!
I help couples enhance their communications and enrich their intimacy by sharing faith-friendly, resilience-based principles.
To learn more just check out www.johnthurman.info. Take advantage of a free consult by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling me and leaving me a message @ 505-343-2011. I will get back to you usually within 24 hours. From there we can set up a time to talk either on the phone or via Facetime or Duo.
Would you like a free copy of my ebook, 21 Ways to Improve Your Marriage? All you need to do it text the phrase 21ways to 33777.
Next week – 10 Ways to Have a Happy Husband.