Marriage is teamwork. And it requires both the partners to put in their individual efforts to make things work.
Just as you would want a ‘good husband’, your husband would want a good wife. Modern, progressive women may have a tough time accepting the idea of a ‘good wife’. But wait. Don’t jump to raging conclusions that being a good wife is about creating a stereotypical persona of a married woman. Because, it is not.
In this MomJunction post on ‘how to be a good wife’, we explore the different ways women can make their marriage a success. Read on.
Qualities Of A Good Wife
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to being a good wife. But there are certain things you should and should not do in a relationship to be a great partner. Here, we list down a few character traits that can make you a good wife.
1. Express your love
Do you love your husband? Do you feel happy and safe when you are with him?
If you have committed to spend a lifetime with a man through nuptials, you must love him. But loving is not enough. A relationship thrives on the expression of that love, among other emotions. So if you love your husband, tell him and show him how much he means to you.
You don’t have to make elaborate expressions of love every day. It could just be little gestures such as a kiss or a peck on the cheek now and then, or making his favorite breakfast once in a while or picking a movie he likes to watch together.
In any relationship, communication is critical. And marriage is no exception. Throw away the misconceived notions that a partner is supposed to know what the other one thinks and wants. Your husband cannot read minds, just as you can’t. You may know about each others’ likes and preferences but not necessarily what they are thinking or feeling.
Open communication in the marriage means that you tell your husband what you think or feel and what you expect of him. Talk to your husband – ask, say, and discuss. Avoid the silent treatment, which can make things worse. Don’t leave your husband guessing about what you want, and avoid assuming or imagining things about his behavior.
3. Be supportive
Be it a career, a hobby or anything else that your husband pursues, he’d need and want your support. Being supportive in a marriage is not just about being there when the partner is having a difficult time. It is about appreciating or praising him when he achieves a milestone, or when he overcomes his fear and tries something new.
Supporting is not always saying good things. It is also about offering constructive criticism to encourage him to improve in whatever he is doing. For example, being supportive of your husband’s new business idea when you are financially comfortable is a good way to boost his confidence and strengthen the relationship.
4. Be his best friend
The best marriage is the one where the couple is each other’s best friend. Nothing is better than being in love with your best friend. This is a love that is deep, strong and genuine. Allow a healthy friendship to develop between you and your husband, and see what difference it makes to your life.
5. Respect the person he is
The best marriages are those where the partners respect each other. Your husband is his own individual, with flaws and all. Respect the person he is, not for what he does for you or the family. Mutual respect in the marriage is a must. This reflects in the way you speak and behave with each other. Do not belittle, humiliate, strike or harm your husband, whether in private or public. A little teasing is alright, but insulting is not okay. So watch what you say and think before you speak.
6. Show an interest in his interests
Not everything that your husband likes could interest you. You don’t have to do things that he likes, but give your husband the space to pursue his interests and show some curiosity about what he’s doing. Ask him about the game, book or hobby that he is interested in. Do a little homework and learn about the things he is interested in so that you can have a conversation about that too.
7. Respect his need for space
‘Space’ is a concept that few people understand. Every person needs his or her own space. Even married men need their space at times and may want to retreat to their man-cave. Respect that and give him some space, and allow him to pursue his hobbies and interests. Restricting your spouse’s freedom and space can be suffocating for them and have a negative impact on the relationship.
Listening is critical for effective communication, and perhaps more important than talking. So make a conscious effort not just to hear, but listen and understand when your husband is talking. Pay attention to him during a conversation. Put away your phone, turn off the TV or turn down the music that could be distracting you. Giving your husband your full attention when he is speaking shows how much you respect him.
Listening does not mean you have to agree with him. But even to disagree, you must listen to what he is saying.
9. Be appreciative
Men, too, have this need to be loved, appreciated and praised. Tell him how much you appreciate the little things he does for you, for the children or in the house. Praise encourages him to do more for you, and also sends the message that his efforts are recognized. You don’t have to sing his praises to show appreciation. A simple, genuine ‘thank you’ will suffice.
10. Pick the right fights
Do you know of any married couple that doesn’t fight?
Marriage is about two different, unique individuals who will have differences. The disagreements and differences can sometimes lead to fights. And those fights, if too many, can strain the relationship. That doesn’t mean you compromise every time. No.
It means you have to think and pick your fights wisely. Ask yourself – ‘Is it worth fighting for?’ What’s stopping you from compromising and let your husband have his way sometimes? If it’s a trivial issue, let it go. Do not let your ego come in the way of a happy, loving relationship with the man you love.
11. Be honest
Honesty is the base for a trusting relationship. Marriages that last are based on honesty and open communication, with no place for cheating or lying. Your husband deserves honesty and truthfulness from you, just as you do from him.
Being truthful won’t always be easy. Sometimes your honesty might upset your husband and may even lead to fights. But dishonesty can damage a relationship so much that the partners will have a tough time trusting each other again. One lie or betrayal and your husband may always have a lingering doubt about your truthfulness.
12. Be your true self
If you are not comfortable with who you are, you will not be comfortable revealing your true self to your partner. Be your true self in a relationship, right from the beginning. Being true to who you are is also about being honest with your husband and that helps build a trusting relationship.
13. Have fun
Not every day of marriage is exciting. Somewhere along the way, the boredom sets in. You get into a routine and do the same things day in and day out. When ignored, boredom can lead to unhappiness. So what do you do?
Have fun and do not let boredom creep into your relationship. Go on dates, picnics, road trips and tours. Or plan movie nights, cook dinner together, watch a TV series, be silly together, take yoga or dance classes together, learn a language together and do something that will help you two get out of your comfort zones.
14. Step up the romance
Marriages that lack romance tend to fizzle out sooner or later. So step up your romance by a notch or two and get back to the basics. Get flirtatious, tease him, touch him lovingly, kiss him spontaneously and lead him in the bedroom. Taking the first step in romance or lovemaking does not mean you are needy and it will not make you any less than the man. So if you’re in the mood for something romantic, go ahead and do it. Surprise him!
15. Get creative in bed
One thing that all men want to know is that they are good in bed. They need to hear it often, to boost their confidence and make them feel like ‘da man’. That said, most men may not be comfortable asking what they want in bed. But in a marriage, you should be able to talk about your wildest fantasies and try them out. So, don’t worry about getting creative and trying something new with your husband. It could be something that you like, or he likes. Just do it without worrying about being judged.
Being a good wife is not all about being a submissive or obedient wife that caters to every need of her husband (hello! This is not the ‘50s). It is about being the perfect partner who contributes equally to the relationship and complements the husband’s personality. Marriages are mutual, so if you want a good husband, you have to be willing to be a good wife.
What is your opinion on being a good wife? Let us know in the comment section below.
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