- Gender and Relationships
5 Ways To Keep Your Wife Happy
Helpful Reads for Husband & Wife
After the honeymoon is over...
At our wedding, my husband's best friend (the best man) made the toast. During his speech he said, "I work at a hospital and get to meet all kinds of people. One of the things that I've learned from older men when it has to do with marriage is this: 'If your wife's not happy, then NOBODY'S happy.'" Everyone laughed, but every generalization or stereotype has some truth in it, isn't there?
Marriage is definitely challenging and takes a lot of consistent effort, compromise, patience, and considering one another's feelings. Complicated as women are, there are 5 things a husband can remember to keep his wife smiling:
1) Eat dinner together everyday.
With the average husband and wife both having to work full-time, sitting down to have dinner together is probably one of the most important things you can do. And by sitting down for dinner--I mean it! No eating in front of the TV--sit down properly at the table and talk to each other about how your day went. This is a good habit to establish, as studies have shown that families who have dinner together are less likely to have children who get into trouble. And while you're at it, why not take it a step further? Take turns cooking for each other. Ask your wife if there is a particular recipe she'd like to try. Set the table nicely and ask her what she'd like to drink with her meal. She'll do the same for you, and you'll both enjoy it.
2) Keep the romance alive with creative little things.
A sweet note hidden in her purse, a small gift, a quick e-mail or phone call telling her you love her and miss her: all these things can still bring the butterflies in her tummy. How about sending her flowers "just because"? Last week my husband was on business travel, but I got a surprise gift from him every day that he was gone. Each day, he would send me an e-mail with a photo clue of where a gift was hidden. The photos were taken at weird angles so I really had to figure out which part of the house to look in! Each little gift (coffee, iTunes gift card, a book) came with a cute card and sweet words. =) He also told me he was coming home a day later than he actually was, so imagine my surprise when he unexpectedly walked through the door! I couldn't stop smiling the whole week.
3) Learn to communicate well.
The number one source of conflict is lack of or mis-communication! Make an effort to read up on communication skills. If you have a problem listening, try ACTIVE listening, where you repeat back what she just said to you so it helps you absorb the information. If you have a hard time verbalizing what's on your mind, take a minute to think of what to say, or use analogies to better explain your thoughts. When your woman vents about her feelings, just let her--don't judge or lecture her about what to do with whatever it is she's complaining about. Unless she asks specifically for your advice, really, she just needs you to be there to help her process her emotions. Finally, no relationship will work without honesty. As a married couple, there should be complete trust and you should be able to say what you are thinking candidly.
4) Practice thinking for two.
Before you were married, you probably spent a good part of your life thinking just for yourself. Marriage is a union, therefore every decision you make affects her. If you're coming home late, call to let her know so she's not at home worrying where you are. Don't spend money on anything significantly pricey without consulting her first. If you get invited to go somewhere, or want to have friends over to watch the game, check with her first! Also, think of how you feel when you're around your in-laws; chances are she probably gets a bit nervous or self-conscious when she's around your family (especially your mother!), so be considerate to your wife whenever they're around.
5) Never, ever take her for granted.
Not being appreciated is probably one of the worst feelings one can have in a relationship. When you love someone, you go far and beyond to do things for them, and it really sucks when that person is selfish and doesn't say "thank you" or return the favor. A relationship consists of a lot of give-and-take, and there should be times when you reflect on all the things your wife does for you and your life together. My husband and I make it a point to thank each other every time we complete chores or remember to consider each other's feelings before deciding on something. I really love it when he tells me he loves me, he's happy he married me, and that I'm the "best wife in the whole world"! Compromise has a lot to do with the give-and-take, too. I support him on his interests and hobbies, and he appreciates that and returns the favor when I want us to do something that I like.
Obviously marriage can be quite a complicated thing. There will ups and downs, good times and difficult times. Just like any other investment, how much you put into it will determine what you will get out of it. Since marriage is a two-way street, be sure to share these tips with your wife as well!