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Be a Good Wife

You want to be a wonderful wife, but what does that mean? Well, ultimately, it's up to you and your husband to determine the needs of your relationship and how each partner can do their part to fulfill those needs--and here are some special guidelines to start off.


  1. Be secure in yourself. Putting yourself down in front of him is another way of insulting his taste in women. If he is with you, it's because he wants to be. He will find you sexy even if you don't feel like it, if you act the part. Remember that attitude and willingness are large parts of being sexy. Poor self-esteem and a "void" in your life is terrible for marriage. Make sure you still have a fun and interesting life. If your husband left tomorrow, would you still have girlfriends you see at least once a month, hobby clubs you go to, sports you play? If not, your husband will always be working to fill a void he can not fill, and will feel inadequate and unhappy.
  2. Express your feelings and needs, Except in the rare event that your husband happens to be psychic, don't expect mind-reading powers. If you want something, ask. If something is wrong, say so--but don't accuse your husband of things. Don't drop hints or figure he'll "come around". Communicate calmly, clearly and directly to discuss your needs and goals: including discussing familial considerations, about having children and how each member lives his or her faith and beliefs. Relationships work best when each partner calmly expresses their current emotions without harping on what he has done. Frequently, an "I feel attacked" or "I feel sad" is all it takes for him to step back and ask, "Why?" Then simply say, "When you slammed the door, I felt ignored." Let "I feel" be your guide.
  3. Don't expect the moon. He needs to keep trying, you need to keep trying, but neither of you is perfect. Unmet expectations tend to frustrate everyone. However, if you both keep working on your marriage, you will always be covered, even when one of you comes up a little short. If your expectations are truly too high or unrealistic, then set standards that are obtainable. For example, it is unfair to expect to be lavished with possessions and have the love of your life home for every meal. Should you want more together time, be prepared to have that desire fulfilled at some expense.
  4. Pick your battles. Like many battles, you need not be the combatant, nor the only combatant. Many better tools are available: subtle manipulation of the site of battle, the timing, the physical presence of allies, secret or subtle negotiators, "physical" or other types of gifts (including tape or video-recordings). You have a wide choice before intervening directly, on a secret, solitary confrontation.
    • Nagging and nitpicking can destroy a relationship. As long as the dishes are clean and unbroken, for instance, don't nag about how to load the dishwasher "the right way". Let him do things his own way. Don't sweat the small stuff. Focus on what is important.
  5. Offer sex frequently... (if appropriate; There are many causes which may warrant caution on shared, mutually experienced sexuality: illness, age, disability, cultural or religious clashes, and undiagnosed or hidden psychiatric disorders.)
    • To most men, this is the most crucial area of their marriage and defines the tone of their relationship with their wife. If you doubt this or are not sure if this applies to your man, try reading the next 3 paragraphs to him and watch is head nod, his eyes light up and his entire face smile.
    • Most men have deep emotional (and physical) desires and needs associated with sex, and your willingness to approach him is often crucial to his happiness and your marital success. Many men would like to have sex every day; for some men, once a week is enough. Most normal, healthy men are pleased with 2 to 4 times a week. (this of course varies with every man, ask yours what he likes!)
    • Consider trying especially interesting lovemaking at least once a week, including taking the time to push him for a second (or third) round. Normal, healthy men do require a “recovery time” before they can achieve erection and climax again, but with the right kind of stimulation, this can usually be done.
    • Without the frequent intimate acceptance and love that comes from your lovemaking, a man can and will become dissatisfied, grumpy, and ultimately suffer from feelings of rejection and even anger. On the other hand, if you offer sex to your man frequently he will be content, kind, gentle and eager to please you in any way possible.
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  6. Keep your sex life interesting. Be sure to discuss your sex life with him. Also, don't be afraid to discuss anything you might be interested in. Physical intimacy is as important to a marriage as emotional intimacy. Nurture them both. Skin contact is our largest sensual organ (erogenous zone), so "physical" is not necessarily sexual.
  7. Accept him. Only by accepting him as he is, do you have such deep respect and gratitude for him that you would never want him to change in any way for you. He has so much to offer you if only you give him the space to be himself. He is a growing individual, just like you are. Help him grow in the direction that he chooses, and give him the chance to help you.
  8. Manage stress. Men and women deal with stress all day and every day. Do what you can to help each other deal with the stress of every day life. Making sure that you are able to cope with your own stresses will take pressure off of your marriage.


  • Don't criticize your husband, not in his presence, not in his absence, not when you're in front of people, and not when you're alone together. If you have constructive criticism, practice using "I feel" statements to help you manage the conflict.
  • Be supportive, encouraging, and compliment him as much as you can. This doesn't mean you shouldn't voice your concerns, but there's a difference between expressing your needs and criticizing his ability to meet them.
  • For some couples, it may be helpful for them to seek counseling from a professional that can help with marital conflict resolution or other issues related to marriage.
  • Some couples may find guidance in defining the role of a wife through their faith:
    • For many Christians their faith is important for both of them as a good wife and loving husband to fulfill.
    • Whether you're Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Agnostic, Christian, or Wiccan it is important for you to discuss your faith together. It is not necessary to finalize this for every discussion. Years and decades later the "issue" may seemingly or really disappear by itself, since environments and people change over time.


  • If you're forced to do things, if he hits you at all, if he tries to control who you see or demeans you, it's definitely not a good relationship. Talk things out or see a counselor. If he turns violent, even once, make sure you're safe. Depending on the situation that might mean moving out, or calling the police, or telling someone what's happening - whatever you do, don't continue to suffer in silence, and don't accept abuse (physical or otherwise) in your relationship. Remember--he will come back, as loving as ever, and apologize again and again and again - and the violence escalates each time. Read How to Recognize a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship.

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Sources and Citations

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