Express your feelings and needs. Your husband doesn’t have clairvoyant powers. If you want something, ask. If something is wrong, say so. Don’t drop hints or figure he’ll «come around.»
Send «I messages.» Instead of accusing him of not meeting your needs, focus the conversation on yourself. For instance, tell him, «I feel ignored when I don’t see you until 6:30 every night.»
Listen to what he says. When he tells you something, repeat what he said back to him so that he knows you understand. For example, «I hear you saying that you’re worried about finances, and that’s why you’ve been working late.»
Avoid passing judgment. Let him finish what he’s saying before you respond. After he’s done talking, offer a solution. For instance, say, «I’m willing to live on a tighter budget if that means that I get to see you more often.»
Pick your battles. Some issues are worth fighting about, and some aren’t. If you spend all of your time nitpicking him for minor problems that don’t really matter, then he’s not going to listen to you when major issues come up.
Criticism can destroy a relationship. As long as the dishes are clean and unbroken, for instance, don’t nag your husband about how to load the dishwasher «the right way.» Let him do things his own way. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Avoid criticizing your husband without doing it constructively. Remember to try and be calm and rational, as strong emotions can easily turn a discussion into an argument.
Talk to him at the right time. Don’t just spring your problems on him whenever. Avoid bringing up problems before dinner, while he’s paying bills or when he’s immersed in a stressful situation, like fixing a problem with your car. And never, ever start an argument in front of your children.
Fight right. Don’t let anger take over because it may cause you to say things that you will regret later. Even when you don’t agree with your husband, you need to respect his opinion and his viewpoint.
When you’re wrong, admit it. You need to learn to respond to arguments and remain rational so you can recognize and apologize when you’ve made a misstep.
Understand that you may never agree on certain issues. No couple has an identical set of morals and beliefs, which means that both of you will need to learn to cope with occasions where you just can’t resolve your opinions.
Talk to your husband, not about him. Never talk to your friends or your family and say negative things about your husband if you’re not communicating with him first. Talking about your husband behind his back is disloyal. When you get married, your first loyalty is to your partner, not to your birth family or your social group.
Best Practices for Being a Good Wife
Have realistic expectations. Neither of you is perfect. Unmet expectations tend to frustrate everyone. If your expectations are truly too high or unrealistic, then you need to set standards that are obtainable. For example, it is unfair to expect lavish possessions and have the love of your life home for every meal. If you want more together time, then be prepared to have that desire fulfilled at some expense.
Avoid trying to change your husband. Accept him as he is and let him know 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. Love him for who he is, and he’ll love you unconditionally in return.
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.
Meet your husband’s needs without compromising your own. If he needs more sex, then open your mind to the possibilities. If he needs time with friends or time to pursue a hobby, then don’t be possessive. He’ll be happier, and he’ll be grateful to you for your respect.
Maintain your own identity. Make sure you still have a fun and interesting life. If your husband left tomorrow, would you still have your own friends that you see at least once a month, hobby clubs you go to or sports that you play? If not, your husband will always be working to fill a void he cannot fill, and will feel inadequate. When you’re fulfilled as an individual, then you have a lot more to bring to the relationship.
Be your husband’s best friend. Develop true intimacy and unconditional acceptance. Demonstrate a willingness to be vulnerable, and be confident that your relationship can withstand conflict. Enjoy your shared history and your inside jokes. Forward him articles you know that he’ll find interesting or just sit with him in companionable silence. Even your silence will say volumes when your marriage is strengthened by true friendship.
Roll with the changes. You will experience crises together, from the loss of a job to the death of a parent. You may suffer financial hardship, or you may find yourselves unexpectedly wealthy and unsure of what to do. Your marriage can survive the changes if you’re willing to keep communicating and being flexible.
Create shared dreams. Never lose sight of the dreams that you share. Whether your dreams include retiring to a warm climate or taking a trip abroad for your twentieth anniversary, embrace your dreams, talk about them and take steps to make them happen.
Prioritize your sex life
In most relationships, each partner has different needs and expectations regarding the frequency of physical intimacy. Find a happy medium with your husband. Couples who feel responsible for meeting the needs of their lover tend to be happier in their relationship.
Schedule sex into your life. You may feel that sex has to be spontaneous, but if you don’t add it to your schedule, you may start to neglect it. Without the frequent intimate acceptance and love that comes from your lovemaking, a person can become dissatisfied, grumpy and ultimately suffer from feelings of rejection and even anger. Remember lovemaking gives an intimacy and physical release that is vital for both of you.
Kiss passionately. After a while, you make due with a peck on the lips instead of with full-on French kissing.
Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sex. Ban television sets, laptops and work-related materials. Your bedroom should be dedicated to sleep and sex.
Accept your body. As women get older, they inevitably sport stretch marks, and formerly taut body parts tend to sag. However, your husband still wants you, so love your body. When you’re not self-conscious, you can truly let go, which will lead to more satisfying sex.
Remember to talk things out instead of walking away at the first sign of trouble. You did get married for a reason and you promised you would stay forever for a reason too.
If your marriage is in trouble, seek counseling. Divorce is agonizing for both a married couple and their children. Fight for your marriage by understanding each other’s needs and working to meet them.
Many wives define their roles through their religious faith. However, in marriages where couples have mixed religious backgrounds, partners may not share unified visions of what a good wife does. Also, very conservative messages about submission as part of being a good wife may leave a wife incapable of developing herself into a vibrant partner. Honor your faith, but also honor your needs.
Happily married couples experience more health, wealth and happiness than people who remain single or divorce. Studies show lower instances of heart disease, cancer and stroke. Also, they report a more satisfying sex life and fewer instances of depression or domestic violence.
Never exhibit abusive behaviors toward your husband. Over 800,000 men per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, are battered by their wives. Never allow your anger toward your husband to get out of control. In the same vein, never tolerate a husband who abuses you
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