When I chose to write about how to be a good wife, all I could do was roll my own eyes. If you asked my husband if I was a good wife, I am quite sure he would say “maybe,” but only out of fear. We all want to be the perfect wife, don’t we?
We want to be the woman we all grew up watching on television who is kind-hearted, who laughs when her husband fumbles something, or is okay when he goes out seven nights a week with friends. The problem is that being a good wife is an illusion that destroys the way we see ourselves as well as the way that men think their wives should be.
How to be a good wife – The 7 things that make all the difference
No one is perfect. I mean, maybe Mother Teresa was, maybe she wasn’t, who is to tell. All I know is that when the kids are crying, I have been locked in my house all day, and my husband comes home and pretends that I don’t exist, it is really, really, hard to be a good wife.
So, what does a good wife look like? Well, I say all the time that when I come back in my next life, I want to have a wife. When I envision the perfect wife for my next life, she possesses these 7 qualities. [Read: How to be a good girlfriend – 10 things you have to do]
If you are asking how to be a good wife, there is a good chance that you think you aren’t good enough. Take heart; the fact that you even care makes you pretty damn amazing. If I had a dollar for every time that I saw a woman berate her husband, make a honey-do list that takes up the entire weekend, or say goodbye every weekend to go for another “girls getaway,” I would be a very wealthy woman.
Did I mention that if I had a lot of money I might be more apt to be the perfect wife because I could sit around, let someone take care of the kids, the laundry, the house cleaning and also make me look pretty? The biggest tip for how to be a good wife is just to try to breathe and take life as it comes. Here are 7 tips for how to be a good wife.
#1 Take a breath. It is hard to not freak out when the kids are running around, the house is a mess, you are late for a meeting, and your husband can’t be bothered with what you have going on. The thing is that anyone would freak out in your shoes.
If you want to know how to be a good wife, give yourself a break and take a breath before reacting. It is typically when we are in the heat of battle that we snap, and the most likely candidate to get the brunt is the guy we said “I do” to. [Read: 21 things men do that’ll turn any woman into a crazy girlfriend]
#2 Don’t think that marriage is a fairytale. Most likely if you are asking how to be a good wife, you have subscribed to the notion that there is such a thing. I have been alive for a long time, and what I do know is that the notion of perfect is… not perfect.
The couple that you think is perfect, the husband that you think is perfect, and, yes, even the wife that you think is perfect, isn’t. She may be more patient than you, but that is just her personality style. Trust me, whatever you think she has over you, she doesn’t. She is probably just better about hiding the crazy or displacing it elsewhere. [Read: 16 common relationship tips that ruin your life]
#3 Stop trying to be perfect. When I was younger, I used to think that a good wife was the woman who came down in a nightie and no matter how many years had gone by, she still had a baby face and a perfect body. That led me to constantly diet or overwork my body.
Translation… I made myself miserable, which made me misbehave, which led to my craziness. My point is that the more you try to attain the picture that you have in your head of perfection, the less likely you are to be the perfect person for your mate. No matter how thin I was, or how beautiful I tried to be, in the end, all my husband wanted was a happy woman staring back at him.
#4 Be happy. Happy wife, happy life. If you are continually worried about being the perfect wife, you aren’t just enjoying the ride. If you want to know how to be a good wife, then stop trying to live by the book, be Martha Stewart, or give your husband some singles for the strip club on the way out the door.
All the ways that we try figure out how to be a good wife ends up making us feel less than, out of sorts, and leads us to be a less than happier version of ourselves. A man wants to feel accomplished by having someone waiting for him at home who is happy. A good wife loves her husband and her life, not either/or. [Read: One year itch – 25 tips to avoid marriage problems early on]
#5 Do the small things. It isn’t about being everything or doing everything. Being a good wife is about putting the time and energy into doing the small things on a grand scale.
If you find something missing in your husband, seek to fill it. If he needs a pick me up, be there to pick him up. If he isn’t feeling well, be there to coddle him.
If he isn’t happy, be the girl who takes him out for a drink to take his mind off his problems. It is in the fine and small details where you find the person who really loves you. The best way to figure out how to be a good wife is to know how to do the small things that make a big impact and make even the worst day turn around. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
#6 Put it on hold. As women, we are anxious creatures. Fixers by nature, we not only have to solve everything, but we also have to solve it now. Instead of getting on it and over it immediately, go to bed mad, stew for a bit, and allow him not to talk for two days. And be secure enough to walk away and know that there is time in the future to tackle whatever is going on.
Guys are different from girls; they need time to process. The way to figure out how to be a good wife is to give him some space, create some distance, and stop pushing and pressing an issue that leads down the road to misery.
#7 Just love him. This seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? It isn’t. What you say to your husband, and what he hears, are two very different things. When you give “constructive criticism,” there is nothing constructive about it. If you want to know how to be a good wife, stop trying to make him perfect. Guys are difficult creatures. [Read: 12 subtle signs of a loveless unhappy marriage]
You can’t change them, and the harder you try, the more they hear rejection. Instead of thinking, “if he would just do what I want everything would be perfect,” allow him to be perfect in his imperfectness.
You married him for a reason, trust your decision, and even if he isn’t perfect, stop trying so hard. The truth is you aren’t perfect either, and there is likely a lot of things he would change about you if he could.
Realizing that nothing is perfect is the first step to finding perfection. You are never going to be the perfect wife, he is never going to be the perfect husband, and I am just going to say for the record, you are never going to be the perfect couple.
The good news is that there is nothing awesome or exciting about being “perfect.” In fact, perfection is by the book, it follows the rules, it is predictable, and it doesn’t stray or go outside the boundaries.
[Read: First year of marriage – surprising truths no one talks about]
So, if you follow these tips for how to be a good wife, you’ll do just fine. Your husband just wants a happy wife, a happy life, and someone who believes that, even in his imperfection, he is absolutely perfect.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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