The qualities of a good wife in the 2020s are not the same as a good wife in the 1950s. Back then a good wife was said to have dinner on the table when you arrived home from work. She always ensured the children were clean and quiet. She would put her husband’s needs before her own.
Well, a good wife in the 2020s is quite a bit different. She is independent. She is able and willing and more than capable of working. Plus, she is her own person partnered with a husband, not owned by him.
A woman can do a lot of things to be a good wife today, but none of those things should make her feel uncomfortable or less than her husband.
[Read: Healthy relationship boundaries and what the best love life really looks like]
What you may consider to be a good wife might not be what your partner considers a good wife to be. Similarly, your friend may have other ideas, or your boss. It’s a personal view and something that doesn’t really have a wide set of so-called rules. But, we can generalize to give you an idea.
What you should remember however is that in order to be a good wife, you need to be happy and you need to always be yourself.
A good wife respects her husband, and herself. [Read: Why you keep having the same fight and how to break out of the unhealthy cycle]
Yet, many still believe the outdated idea that a wife should abide by her husband’s rules. She should know her husband’s needs and meet them and keep any issues in the marriage private. She should always look her best for her husband. That’s some 1920s stuff going on right there!
When you initially look around online for the qualities of a good wife, you will see things like – shares your beliefs, selfless, attractive, and loves you unconditionally. This is an actual list of the so-called qualities of a good wife that’s commonly accepted.
But honestly, not one of these things is an absolute requirement to be a good wife. These things do not make a good wife, they make a bad husband in many cases. [Read: The signs of a disrespectful husband that must not be overlooked]
There are plenty of successful and happy marriages where a couple has differing religious beliefs. No one is selfless. And unconditional love is wildly dangerous. These things hold women up to an unattainable standard when there are no requirements of a good wife.
A good wife is one who does her best and expects the best from her husband. It’s a two-way thing. A woman cannot and should not be a good wife to a man who doesn’t attempt to be a good husband to her. [Read: 17 qualities of a good husband and why these traits always stand out in a man]
A good wife will demand respect from her husband and return that respect. She will have bad days where she needs more attention or space and will be there for her husband on his bad days too. She will be herself and be honest with her husband.
A good wife is what works for that particular marriage. There is no firm definition of a good wife. Sure, she is respectful, loyal, and kind, but beyond that, wives and husbands will differ based on their relationship and what it needs. [Read: The secrets of a happy marriage that can make or break your romance]
No one is perfect. Okay, maybe Mother Teresa was, maybe she wasn’t, who is to tell. So, what does a good wife look like?
If you are asking how to be a good wife, there is a good chance that you think you aren’t good enough. But that’s very unlikely to be true. The fact that you’re looking at this feature shows that you have very good intentions, and want to know the traits that make a good wife.
Take heart; the fact that you even care makes you pretty damn amazing.
In truth, the biggest tip for how to be a good wife is just to try to breathe and take life as it comes. But then again, if that tip doesn’t give you all the information you need, here are a few more tips for how to be a good wife, whatever that is to you. [Read: How to be a good girlfriend – 27 ways to make a man love you more than ever!]
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]
Most likely, if you are asking how to be a good wife, you have subscribed to the notion that there is such a thing. 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 us, whatever you think another woman has over you, she doesn’t. She is probably just better about hiding the crazy or displacing it elsewhere. [Read: 16 commonly accepted relationship tips that ruin your love life]
When we were younger, we 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 false idea leads many women to constantly diet or overwork their bodies.
Translation… they make themselves miserable.
Our 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 you are, or how beautiful you try to be, in the end, all your partner will want is a happy woman staring back at them.
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 to figure out how to be a good wife end up making us feel less than, out of sorts, and lead us to be a less than happier version of ourselves. A man wants to feel accomplished by having a loving partner 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]
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. Maybe he needs a pick me up, so be there to pick him up. If he isn’t feeling well, be there to coddle him.
On the days when 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]
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. [Read: How to make a man addicted to you – 17 secrets to leave him mesmerized]
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 fix him or make him perfect. Guys are difficult creatures.
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, he is who you fell in love with, trust your decision, and even if he isn’t perfect *according to you*, stop trying so hard to change him. The truth is you aren’t perfect either, and there is likely a lot of things he would change about you if he could. [Read: Why won’t he change – Your man says he will but he never does?]
We all know communication is key when it comes to relationships. One quality of being a good wife is to communicate when it’s easy and when it’s hard.
Talk about the good stuff but don’t avoid the hard stuff like finances, disagreements, and other things that come up. Communicating through the hard times is what strengthens the relationship. [Read: Here’s where to start if you want to improve your marriage]
Support his career, his goals, and even his hobbies, but realistically. You don’t need to be a cheerleader. You do not live solely for him.
Let him know if his new love of motorcycles worries you or if his commitment to the office is taking too much time away from the family.
You can be supportive and caring at the same time. Support isn’t divided from worry.
We should help our partners be better. We want them to challenge us when we are being lazy or inconsiderate, so we should do the same. Call him out. If he ignores you for the game or says something inappropriate, call him out and let him know why you’re doing it.
You can help each other be better people in and out of the relationship. [Read: 33 dirty, cute and funny real relationship goals most couples have no idea about]
Make sure to take time for yourself. A good wife knows when she needs a break. A good marriage doesn’t mean you’re always together.
If you don’t put the energy into your own self-care, you won’t have the energy to focus on nourishing your marriage.
Something we often forget is to listen. We may remember to communicate our feelings but forego hearing the other person out. Even if you strongly believe you’re right in a situation, hear him out. Listen to what he’s saying and ask questions.
Some fights can simply be sorted by understanding where the other person is coming from. [Read: Here are 14 tips for learning to be a better listener in your relationship]
Tensions run high in marriages. When you live with someone, it is no surprise something will get on your nerves, but don’t let little pet peeves make you forget all the things he does right.
Take time each day, even if just a few minutes, to appreciate the little things he does. Whether it is bringing you coffee in bed, surprising you with your favorite dessert after work, or helping you build that IKEA dresser, those things mean something. [Read: 30 special compliments for guys to make them blush and make their day]
White lies like, “honey, I love your new tie,” are not going to get you into hot water, but beyond that, honesty is really the best policy.
A good wife will tell her husband the truth even if it is hard to hear. She will be polite and kind with the harder truths, but will be there for it all.
This is something both you and your husband need to focus on, but if one of you is stressed or busy, the other should step up. If he is overwhelmed with work, take the time to plan a sexy night in. Recreate the early dates you went on.
A good wife should want to keep the spark alive throughout the everyday routine. [Read: How to make your man happy – 30 sexy ways to leave him smitten and hooked for good]
Try not to take everything so seriously. Sure, it is important to get to business and take care of bills and things, but relaxing and laughing together brings you together like nothing else.
A good wife knows when to turn off the seriousness and just let go. [Read: How to have playful banter with your partner and keep the flirting alive forever]
If you think your hubby looks sexy in his new suit, tell him. Or if he smells good, tell him. If he did a good job cutting the hedges or even remembered to get all the groceries home, compliment him. And if you think of something nice, say it.
It may seem silly, but those small compliments will make his day just as they would for you. [Read: 25 easy ways to make your man feel appreciated and cared for]
Small gestures make up most of married life. Most couples aren’t flying each other to Paris or going for carriage rides every weekend to keep the spark alive. Take small moments to think about your husband and make him feel special.
Anything from making his favorite meal to rubbing his shoulders or just kissing him longer than you normally would before leaving for work will do it. [Read: How to be the power couple that all your friends are jealous of]
So many couples struggle because they assume the other person should know them well enough to know what they want or need, but people, especially men, are not mind readers.
If you need more support, attention, or time with your spouse, tell him. It is important that you give him the chance to make things right and make you happy. [Read: How resentment can grow in a relationship and how to weed it out]
You may have asked your husband to pick up his dirty clothes a hundred times. Perhaps he started to, but one night he got home late and dropped his dirty socks on the floor.
Instead of making a federal case out of it, choose your battles. Is this one tired night worth a fight? [Read: How to be chill and learn to live a happier life as a result]
Realizing that nothing is perfect is the first step to finding perfection as a couple.
There’s a lot of pressure to be the perfect wife, just as there’s a lot of pressure to be the perfect husband. And it’s hard to be a perfect couple without a lot of empathy and communication as well.
But 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.
To be a good wife, your man needs to be a good husband, and you both need to love each other and care for each other. Start with this, and the rest will follow.
[Read: First year of marriage – surprising truths no one talks about]
If you follow these suggestions 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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