Being married is immensely hard! It doesn’t come with a manual, and romantic movies can only teach you so far about the ins and outs of becoming a good wife.
All around the internet, there is so much information about what it takes to foster a successful marriage.
But what does it really take to be a good wife? Does it mean wearing sexy lingerie every day?
Does it mean loving football? Or spending hours in the kitchen cooking your partner’s favorite meal?
While those things may help, the secret to becoming a better wife lies in understanding how your partner thinks and knowing what they need in the relationship.
To get you one step closer to your goal of becoming a better wife, we’ve compiled this in-depth guide to help you.
A good wife is not just faithful in a relationship. She can also be trusted in all aspects.
She understands the importance of honesty, and she will never divulge secrets to anyone even when she is not on good terms with her husband.
When it comes to being a good wife, this is one of the most important qualities she must have.
A good wife respects her husband, and she will never humiliate him, nor undermine his decisions for their family. Even if she doesn’t agree with something her husband says, she still respects his principles and values.
No one will stick with a person who does not treat other people well. Chances are, your husband wants a wife who is kind to other people, including his friends, family, and colleagues.
This quality proves to your husband that you want to be part of his life and that you are able to love those who are important to him.
4. Good listener
The truth is, marriage is not a bed of roses. There will be many times when you think nothing seems right. Although husbands are known to be resilient, they still need a wife to lean on during tough times.
A good wife is willing to listen to the problems of her husband even if she is unable to give a solution to his struggles.
Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, even men. Just like you, your husband needs someone he can trust to show his vulnerability.
A good wife is someone who will not nag her husband whenever they encounter a problem.
Instead, she comforts him and does her best to lift him up.
An immature and insecure wife repeatedly asks her husband to prove his love for her.
However, that is not a quality of a good wife. A wife understands that she should not be a burden to her husband.
Instead, she is someone who knows that her husband has already exerted efforts to pursue her and although the honeymoon stage has passed, he still loves her as much as he did on day one.
30 Ways to Become a Better Wife
As years go by in your marriage, you may think your version of “happily ever after” is not as great as your favorite movies.
However, you need to remember that marriage takes effort. After you say “I do,” there is more need for you to strive hard to become a better person so you can be the best wife.
Here are some ways you can do this.
1. Always assume the best
Whether you’ve been married for two months or two decades, you may have already found out that disagreements and fights are completely normal in healthy marriages.
Whenever you are having an argument with your husband, always assume that he has good intentions.
According to Paul dePompo, founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Institute of Southern California, giving your husband the benefit of the doubt will help you seek clarification better.1
More than that, it can also help you learn from your partner and move forward in your marriage. Although your husband may take a different approach that you don’t initially like, always assume that he has good intentions.
2. Have sex at least once a week
Can you still remember how often you had sex with your husband during the early months of your marriage? As years go by, life and priorities may get in the way of having an intimate moment with your loved one.
However, sex releases feel-good hormones also known as endorphins. According to a study published in 2015, couples who have sex at least once a week are the happiest.2
As a wife, keep in mind that you have to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but that doesn’t mean having sex every single day.
So what can you do? You can talk to your husband about scheduling sex, or try to surprise him.
Keep in mind that most men are reactive, and if you make him feel like you are craving for intimacy, he will respond.
3. Make an effort to celebrate good news
Did your husband get a promotion at work?
Make it a big deal.
Take him out to dinner, pamper him, or post about it on your social media (with his consent).
It’s not enough that your husband knows you take pride in all his compliments.
You need to show it. Making even the smallest achievements a big deal can boost the health of your marriage in a lot of ways.
4. Remember the five to one ratio
Every marriage has bad moments, and yours is not an exception. But how many good moments do you need to make up for all the negative ones?
It turns out, science has the answer. For every negative moment, there must be five positive ones.4
Of course, you don’t need to keep track of everything. In real life, no married couple can keep a tally of negative and positive displays since there are probably hundreds of them that happen in a day.
But if the scale is skewed to favor negative ones, the chance of divorce increases.
In a practical sense, this tip means that you should make an effort to do good things for your husband and make him feel special.
For example, did you raise your voice at him?
Don’t hesitate to say sorry for your bad behavior.
5. Don’t forget your friends
Contrary to what many people think, marriage should not be treated as a cocoon where you are only focused on your husband and nobody else.
Not surprisingly, one of the ultimate ways to become a better wife is to keep your friends and family in the loop.5
Although your marriage should be your number one priority, it should not be the only thing that you care about. That’s not only unhealthy but also unrealistic.
When you regularly see your friends and family, you can put less emotional demand on your spouse.
Remember that the most successful couples are the ones who have support and interest beyond their marriage.
6. Support your husband’s friendships
It’s not only important for you to have friends. Your husband should maintain his friendships with others as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of husbands give up their friendships with other men after they get married, and that’s a shame.
One thing you can do if you want to be a better wife is to encourage him to hang out with his friends because the truth is, men get something from friendships with other men that they can’t get from marriage – and there’s nothing wrong with that!6
Generally, friendships with other men are an outlet for your husband so they can be more carefree and take less responsibility. When they get this boost, they too can become better husbands.
7. Make time to communicate
Married couples who argue and apologize over text have been found to be less happy in their relationships compared to those who communicate in person.
Keep in mind that in-person communication is just as important as physical touch in building trust in your marriage.
When you talk in person instead of relying on technology, you can empathize more with your partner and see their genuine feelings.
8. Do not react immediately
Women are notorious for reacting immediately when conflict occurs. However, try to dwell on your feelings first before you react.
There is a growing amount of research that proves meditation is an important healthy practice that can help you exercise self-control.8
When you take time to meditate on your feelings, you can shift your focus and attention to better things.
Of course, controlling your emotions during a challenging conversation with your husband can be extremely hard, but through meditation, you can move the argument towards a less destructive path.
Considering this, think before you speak. This way, you can articulate your feelings and express your concerns better.
Instead of speaking in a jumbled and overwhelming way, think of how you can clearly explain why you are feeling that way.
This will help your husband understand you better.
9. Stop blaming your husband
If you want to be a better wife, you need to stop putting all the blame on your partner whenever conflicts occur.
Stop saying “you.” Instead, focus on “I.” This way, you can take better ownership and accountability of all your actions and feelings.
When you converse this way, your husband will not feel like you are placing the blame on them, and it will be easier for them to see your concerns because there is no need for them to be defensive.
10. Practice mirroring
A good wife knows the importance and benefits of mirroring.10
This social phenomenon happens when you mimic another person’s gestures, words, and posture, and it is considered as a form of empathy.
When you mirror your husband’s words, they will feel more heard. However, words are not enough.
You should also mirror their body language so you can get a better sense of how your husband is really feeling.
By adopting and understanding your husband’s body language, you can empathize more with their perspective.
11. Don’t dwell on the past
Instead of dwelling on the past, including the previous mistakes of your husband, try to maintain a healthy dialogue in your marriage.
Be present and look into the future of your marriage.
Instead of telling your husband “why do you keep doing this?” ask him “What can we do so this problem doesn’t happen again in the future?”
After all, the cost of rumination is not appealing.
More than that, stop inserting all the mistakes your husband committed in every fight.
According to research, when you constantly overthink what happened in the past, you will only get stuck.11
12. Don’t hold grudges
This tip should be done in coordination with the previous one.
If you want to be a better wife, you should realize that holding grudges in your husband will get you nowhere.
If you find yourself always bringing up past issues in your present arguments, make a conscious effort to stop doing so.
If you’ve already forgiven issues in the past, there is no point in bringing them up again. What happened in the past should stay there.
Understand that when you hold a grudge, its emotional toll can have a physical manifestation, and this will only worsen the situation.12
13. Stop prioritizing material things
You may have heard of the song “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles. As expected, they were on to something.
A study by Brigham Young University found out that marriages that have a higher level of materialism have less satisfaction.
In the study, over 1,300 married couples were involved and the takeaway of researchers was that materialistic spouses are only seeking happiness in possessions, instead of their partner.13
When you constantly ask for material things from your husband, it means you are less likely to invest time and energy into making your marriage successful.
Even if your husband has money, do not rely on gifts for your happiness.
Always remember that in the greater scheme of things, although material things are nice to receive, the love between the both of you should be at the center of your relationship.
14. Ask your husband to take dance lessons
This tip may seem weird, but if you’re looking for a new bonding opportunity with your husband, ask them to do dance lessons with you.
Body language is crucial for communication and the dance floor can be a metaphor for how you go through life with your husband.
Through this activity, you can build more intimacy.
Research has also proved that having physical contact with your partner while dancing can help you experience an increased sense of gratitude towards each other.14
This can be beneficial when it comes to starting a cycle of generosity, and being in touch with your husband’s needs and desires. More than that, dancing is fun!
15. Make an effort to be spontaneous
If you think boredom is not a normal part of marriage, you may have watched too many chick flicks.
Although there is a novelty in routines like spending your evenings at home and ordering pizza or Chinese food, it’s important to shake things up sometimes.
If you want to be a better wife, you should take time to lead this.
Throwing in unpredictable dates and fun moments into your marriage can be very beneficial for the both of you.
Continuing to be spontaneous even if you’ve been married for years will help you and your husband feel like you’re not stuck in a rut.
If adventurous dates such as surfing together or learning a new skill are out of the question, maybe you can buy a new board game or do something unexpected.
There are millions of other ways to bring more fun and excitement into your relationship.
Psychologists emphasize that after weeks of interesting experiences together, you can rekindle love and feel closer to your husband.15
16. Surprise your husband
You may think small gestures mean nothing, but they can go far in your marriage. Giving, volunteering, surprising your partner, or showing kindness can fuel their overall wellbeing.16
Considering this, try to find out the love language of your partner. This can either be:
- Quality time
- Physical touch
- Acts of service
- Words of affirmation
- Receiving gifts
For instance, if their love language is physical touch, try to hug them more often or hold their hand.
If their love language is acts of service, surprise them with a home-cooked dinner.
If they love receiving gifts, get them a new video game. Adapting your partner’s love language will make them feel more special.
17. Start conversations rights
By now, we’ve already made it clear that arguments in marriages are completely normal.
However, what can you do to ensure you don’t have a full-blown screaming match each time you open up about something to your husband?
According to John Gottman, Ph.D., who spent four decades studying more than 3,000 couples, you should learn how to soften the start-up of each serious conversation.17
Be more conscious about your intention and tone. As much as you can, speak in a soft and gentle manner and remember to be polite. Try to avoid saying critical or defensive remarks since it can cause more conflict.
18. Know how to exit and repair the argument
If you want to be a better wife, you should learn how to start better conversations with your husband.
In the same way, you should learn how to exit an argument and repair the conversation before it gets out of control.
In his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman, Ph.D., he dubbed repair attempts as the secret weapon of couples that are emotionally intelligent.18
According to him, the success or failure of repair attempts is one of the major factors in determining whether a marriage is more likely to flounder or flourish.
There are many ways to practice this. You can use humor, offer a caring remark, or make it clear with your husband that you stand on common ground. If your argument gets heated, take a break and approach the topic again when you are calmer.
19. Get more sleep
When you take care of yourself, it can be a win-win for you and your husband.
If you want to be a better wife, you need to make lifestyle changes so you can get enough sleep.
When you are sleep-deprived, your energy, alertness, and mood will be affected.
It also reduces your glucose level, which can negatively affect your self-control.
As you may already know, self-control plays a crucial role in the success of your marriage.
When you have better self-control, you can respond in a more constructive way because you don’t feel the need to become aggressive.19
20. Take care of your diet
In the same way sleep affects your marriage, hunger can also have a detrimental effect on it.
While it’s okay to make plans to improve your overall health and wellness through diet changes, make sure you don’t feel hungry.
Evidence suggests that people who follow restrictive diets can impact their relationship in a negative way.
When you are hungry, you are more prone to aggression and anger.
This is exactly why there is a term “hangry,” which is a play on the words hunger and angry.20
21. Remember the importance of humility
When it comes to fostering a healthy marriage, you should keep your ego in check.
Humility is such an important ingredient to a happy marriage because it is associated with forgiveness.21
It can be extremely difficult for other women to stay humble, but remember that marriage should involve a sense of giving and taking. Showing humility can make your marriage work because it creates a loving and supporting environment. It also shows that you care about the needs of your partner.
So how can you show humility to your husband? This can be done by understanding and owning up to your faults and weaknesses, and putting the needs of your partner first.
22. Say thank you to your husband
Feeling grateful is different from telling your husband you are grateful. Expressing gratitude is one of the best qualities of a wife.
When you share your gratitude to your partner, you can multiply his positive perception and willingness to voice out his feelings.22
This enables you to maintain a healthier relationship.
Keep in mind that saying thank you is not enough.
Be as specific as you can.
For example, if your partner bought you flowers, take time to say “thank you for picking up flowers for me even if you’re busy at work.”
Switching gratitude to highlight their positive qualities will make the deed feel more special.
23. Change up your sexual habits
People are creatures of habit, and this is even more evident when you’re been married for a long time.
As expected, habits can apply to your sex life.
Maybe you prefer doing it at night, and your husband prefers doing it in the morning. It’s okay to have different preferences, but you don’t need to dwell too much on it.
A study found out that couples who are willing to make frequent sexual changes for their partners are more satisfied in their relationship.23
Considering this, take time to talk to your husband about their fantasies, and if you’re comfortable enough with it, make some changes in your sexual routine.
However, make your husband realize that the change is your sexual routine doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your old one.
It’s just a way to inject more fun into your marriage.
24. Get help when needed
A lot of married couples think that marriage counseling is a sign of a dwindling marriage.
However, the opposite is true.
Going to counseling means that you and your partner are driven to save your marriage, as well as grow together.
In an interview, power couple Michelle Obama even stated the importance of counseling in her marriage.24
According to Michelle, it helped her and her husband learn how to talk out their differences.
25. Don’t spend too much time on your phone
Nowadays, people are always glued to their phones. If you think you’re spending too much time on your phone, chances are, your husband is feeling neglected.
In a study of over 1,160 married couples, researchers found out that there is a negative correlation between their happiness and heavy use of social media.25
Conversely, couples also create distance when they argue via text instead of solving their problems in person.
26. Laugh together
Can you remember the last time you laughed uncontrollably together with your partner?
If not, maybe it’s time to make an effort to do it.
This phenomenon is called laughter reminiscence.
Laughter is important because it relieves happy memories and makes you feel as if you are in the moment again.
27. Text your partner
Kissy face emojis and “how are you” texts are not just for people who just started their relationship.
It’s also for married couples.
One of the best ways you can be a better wife is to express affection to your husband through texts.27
Even a simple message reminding your husband that you’re thinking of them will be appreciated.
However, using technology to sort out your differences and apologize is linked with having a lower relationship quality.
Only use text for positive messages.
28. Enjoy a drink together
If you think you’re overdue for a date night, ask your husband to enjoy happy hour with you.
Don’t drive, though! Simply call an Uber or Lyft.
In a study among older couples by the University of Michigan, those with similar drinking habits have been found out to have a happier marriage.28
When one partner remains sober while the other enjoys drinking occasionally, it can lead to less satisfaction.
We’re not saying you should drink every day – what we are saying is that if you and your partner are enjoying happy hour, do not require them to be the designated driver.
29. Keep yourself presentable
A lot of women tend to feel reluctant about how they look, especially after giving birth. However, don’t let yourself lose your spark.
Being motherly and raising your kids is definitely hard work, but never forget self-care.
The trick is to change your attitude and make lifestyle changes to maintain a good appearance.
If you want to have a healthy marriage, working on yourself is important.
After all, nobody wants to stay in bed with someone who doesn’t practice proper hygiene.
Taking care of yourself can raise your body image, which can improve your sex life.29
30. Make your husband realize the importance of sharing chores
According to a study, couples who agree to share more chores at home are more likely to be happier in their marriage.30
One of the most important lessons you can get from this study is this:
People who have clearly defined their responsibilities in their marriage are happier in their relationships.
When your husband knows what you expect from them, and when you know what you are expected to do, there will be less confusion and resentment in your marriage.
It will also solve tons of bickering about housework.