How To Be The Perfect Wife
No one is “perfect” although, having a little confidence never hurt anyone. I chuckle at the statement of “How to be perfect” because I am far from being the perfect wife. In fact, I have literally made every mistake possible when it comes to being a good wife. I have failed so many times. I like to think I am failing my way to success. I did not have good role models growing up on how to have a successful marriage. Over the years my clients have shared their stories and given me advice and suggestions regarding my relationship with my husband.
I am sharing some tips that work for me. Now why tips on how to be the perfect wife? I am not telling you a bunch of baloney to get you to bow down to your man. Yes, relationships take work on both parts. Annnd you never know…. In the near future I just might have a blog post on “How to be the perfect husband”.
1. “Tell them what they want to hear, not what you want to hear”
I was under the impression that if I told my husband he was hot, sexy, desirable, and complimented what he wore that he should do the same for me, right? Come on ladies, be honest, you know exactly what I am talking about. Men don’t want to hear that you think they look good in what they are wearing. Men want to feel like they are your hero. Lift up his ego. It’s true what they say, a little compliment goes a long way.
Chase and point. My husband drives to Downtown LA five days a week from Murrieta. If you’re from Southern California you know how brutal of a drive that is. Two hours to drive to work and over two hours to get home in horrible traffic. It’s a crazy long and exhausting drive. I tell him that I can’t relate to what he goes through during all of the driving he does day in and day out, but that I appreciate that he puts up with the drive to help provide for our family. I know he gets pissed off when he is driving. Who doesn’t get a little road rage from time to time? But when he walks through the door he ALWAYS has a smile on his face.
My husband takes care of the yard and I take care of the house. He takes pride in how our yard looks and I thank him for that. I see his face light up when I compliment how great our grass looks. Just like women…men also want to feel appreciated.
He treats me like a queen and rightfully so I treat him like a King. He takes care of us and provides a roof over our heads, makes sure my car is in good condition so I feel safe when driving. He fixes anything that breaks in the house. He is on top of it so I don’t have to worry about those things. It may seem like little things but they add up to him being a badass in my opinion. I make sure he knows that I appreciate those things and how good it makes me feel to be protected by him.
Ladies, I am telling you this is HUGE! Test it out! Tell him one thing every day that you appreciate him for and watch the magic happen!
2. “Put your husband before your kids”
One of the best things you can do as a parent is having a good marriage. Your kids grow up and eventually move out. Don’t wait until your children grow up and leave the house to make your husband a priority. Taking time to be with my husband lets him know that he is important to me. Putting your husband first doesn’t mean you are a bad parent either. Of course my children are important to me. It’s about having balance. During the day when my husband is at work… it’s all about the kids. When my husband comes home it’s all about us as a family. When the kids go to bed… it’s all about my husband. And yes, there is also time for me.
3. “Physical Contact”
This advice came from my client Kim. “Plain and simple…. Give him sex.” When my husband is on edge or being super grumpy (I joke with him that he gets his own monthly man period) I give him sex. Easiest way to turn his mood around and it works every time.
I am not a touchy feely person so I have to remind myself that when my hubby gets home I greet him by giving him a hug or kiss or both. I didn’t even think about that until my husband brought it to my attention.
We don’t snuggle or spoon in bed. We both like our space. My husband will kill me for saying this and he knows I tell everyone, but he has a body pillow which he named “Martha” (Why? I have no idea) and that body pillow is the only thing he spoons at night and I am confident in saying that I am ok with that… Until she gets in the way of us having sex of course. Then the body pillow has got to go!
4. “Stop wearing Yoga Pants all the time”
I am repeat offender. I work from home and I want to be comfortable and I have kids. I make every excuse possible to justify wearing my “comfy” clothes all the time. Men don’t think leggings or yoga pants are sexy. Get yourself dressed and put yourself together. Sometimes I do this about an hour before he gets home. Husband should love you no matter what you look like or wear but it shows them that you are making an effort and they appreciate that. Or at least that is what my husband says. This helps boost my mood as well. I feel better about myself when I take the time to doll myself up. Lipstick… a little mascara… or lash extensions in my case… and a cute top definitely motivates me a little more.
5. “Keep the house picked up”
A husband who has been working all day doesn’t want to walk through the door and immediately be greeted with a messy house. My goal is for my husband to come home and feel relaxed. Does this happen 100% of the time? No! I just try to have it picked up so that when he gets home I am not spending the rest of the evening picking up and cleaning the house. I also make sure the house is picked up so after his long day of work he isn’t having to do a bunch of Honey Do jobs.
6. “Cook for him”
I do my best to make at least three meals a week. The key to this happening is meal prepping. A simple and easy way to a man’s heart is through food.
Husbands love their Mama’s cookin and my husband is no exception. I reached out to my Mother-In-Law years ago and she gave me recipes that were some my husband’s favorites. Over the years I have tweaked the recipes and made them my own. I think he even likes my version better now. Don’t tell my Mother-In-Law that though.
I know some wives who don’t cook and their husbands do all of the cooking. That’s ok. I have a solution for that too. When my husband first became an Electrician he would tell me that all of the wives made his co-workers lunch every day. I would tell him, “Good for them, but I am not doing that.” At the time I was working a full time job away from the home and I didn’t have time to make my lunch let alone his lunch. Eventually, I came around and would occasionally make a sandwich for him. I will at times even add a short love note. This always makes his day! Maybe even try making a simple breakfast or plan an impromptu dinner date at his favorite restaurant.
7. “Stop the nagging”
AKA Bitching Queen! Me, me, me! Of yes, definitely me! I don’t like to call it nagging. The only reason I have to nag my husband to death is because what I am needing him to do isn’t getting done in a timely fashion. Or I have repeatedly asked…. My solution was to make lists for him and when I need it done by.
Another way I used to nag my husband to death was when we were in our 20’s he would go out and I would blow up his phone. “When are you coming home?” “You’re late!” “What are you doing?” “Why aren’t you helping me with the baby?” “You never pay attention to me!” “You’re always doing the wrong thing!” The dreaded “Always and Never words” are my husband’s two least favorite words in a sentence when I start to nag at him.
Now in my 30’s, I say it once, ok maybe twice and that’s it. Maybe, I am just tired of fighting about it. Because if I start nagging he completely shuts down anyways. So continuing to nag is just more work for me with no real end result.
8. “Allow him time to decompress”
I get it, you’ve been home all day with the kids and you are watching the clock just waiting for your husband to get home so you can pass the kids off to him so just maybe you can go to the bathroom without a kid hanging on you while you do your business.
When we went to a therapist my husband had said, “Walking through the door after work always stressed him out.” I didn’t understand that statement at first. I kept a clean house, I made dinner. How on earth could him being home stress him out? I was expecting him to take the baby and give me a break. She suggested giving him thirty minutes to an hour to breath and decompress. I fought this because I wasn’t given that same courtesy. And if I wasn’t being given the same courtesy, he for sure wasn’t. We would fight constantly as soon as he got home. I eventually decided that I would give him thirty minutes to do what he wanted or needed to do. I couldn’t believe what happened…. he started being more helpful. Over the years our jobs have changed and now both give each other time to decompress and it works really well for both of us.
9. “Never emasculate a man”
Now if you wear the pants in the relationship you are probably guilty of this. I used to want to be the to be the Alfa in our relationship. I was like an attack dog, relentlessly tearing down my husband at every opportunity. And for what purpose? To let him know I wanted to be in charge?
It was also my defence mechanism. If I could emasculate him and tear him down that would give me the power. I cringe knowing that I used to do that. Now I stick to fact telling when we have disagreements. I let him know that his action hurt me or angered me instead of telling him he is a loser, or a terrible husband.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Remember hearing that line growing up? Well it still reigns true to this day. Lift each other up with kind words. You’ll have more success by lifting someone up then by kicking them down.
10. “Let it go” (Build a bridge and get over it)
THIS IS BY FAR THE HARDEST FOR ME!
Bare with me here. I have a couple things to go over relating to “Let it go”.
It is no secret that my husband and I split up for some time. I say it like I don’t know exactly how long, but I know. A woman keeps track. I was angry and hurt for so long. Seven long and painful years as a matter of fact. I told him I forgave him but that I would never forget. When I say forget, I mean I would never let him forget. I took every opportunity to bring up the past and throw it in his face. I will always remember when he told me he was done apologizing. He said as kindly but as stern as possible in an effort to get his point across that he had apologized for seven years and he was not going to apologize anymore. I obviously had issues with the past and I needed to get help on how to deal with my emotions and feelings. I had a breakthrough shortly after he had told me that. Kind of an Aha moment. Bringing up things he had done in the past didn’t do any of us any good. I learned to stick with the present. It didn’t happen overnight, I am still a work in progress here. I have to pat my husband on the back because he is good about this. When he gets irritated with me or mad about things I do, he tells me and quickly moves on. He doesn’t hold it against me, he doesn’t bring it up constantly, or throw it in my face the next time we argue about something else.
Another powerful piece of information my mother has given me is that sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is nothing at all. You can choose not to react. What a concept, right? This was difficult for me at first. If my husband and I would get into arguments I used to want to win. No, I had to win and I didn’t care at what cost. I was always right and he was never wrong. My goal was to get him to admit he was at fault. Sometimes even when I knew I was in the wrong.
My new favorite “comebacks” to say when he says something that he knows is going to get the hair on my skin to stand up or my blood to boil are “Thanks for sharing, isn’t that interesting or you’re probably right.” Again, kudos to my mom for those lines. She may not have had a successful marriage, but she sure does know how to help with mine.
11. “Stop being needy”
I learned this and how to use it to my advantage. From time to time I feel like my husband isn’t paying attention to me. I used to complain and say, “You don’t love me” or “You don’t want to spend time with me.” I would say these comments hoping to get him to give me the attention I wanted. It would do the exact opposite. He would retreat! Men will do anything to avoid conflict. A little trick I learned that was when I feel needy…. I will message my girlfriends to go to Happy Hour or to see a movie. I used the gym as my escape too or even the occasional shopping trip. He quickly responded with the line, “Where are you going? I “need” you.” See how the tables have turned? I am not suggesting to use this in a manipulative way. It’s more about thinking about focusing on yourself instead of the other person.
12. “Don’t use the D Word”
This used to be my go to line, “I want a divorce!” I used it so often it was like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. After a while it lost its effect. But why use it in the first place if you are only trying to get a reaction out of your husband? My husband used to ask me not to say it and I ignored him anyways. Then I got a taste of my own medicine. Hearing the line thrown at me felt like my heart had been stomped on. We agreed not to throw that line out at the drop of a hat. Arguments happen, but every argument shouldn’t have the “D” word thrown into it. Especially, if it’s over something silly like always leaving the toilet seat up.
13. “Communicate without blowing up”
In an effort to not argue about all of the annoying things my husband does, I will “try” to let it go. Until I get to a point that I can’t take it anymore and I explode!!! It’s a vicious cycle and we are both guilty of this. Recently, while sitting by the fire pit we had a discussion on how to better communicate. My husband suggested that we just let each other know when something is bothering them and we don’t get butt hurt (or hurt feelings) about whatever it is. His words… not mine. But you get what I am saying. Simple enough, but it does take some practice. This also goes back to “let it go”. When I think back on ridiculous arguments we had… I can’t even remember what the heck we were arguing about in the first place. SO I am learning to pick and choose my battles and learning to build a bridge and get over it!
I end with this… My husband and I have dealt with just about everything you can imagine. For a while there it seemed as if the scale tipped on the side of having more bad days than good. Until, I realized that I had to stop trying to change everything about him and work on who I was. The scale has tipped in the other direction and we have far more good days than bad. Being a quote unquote “Perfect Wife” isn’t solely for my husband. I didn’t make changes in my life for the purpose of someone else. I used to be a bitter, angry, passive aggressive, selfish, and destructive person. I allowed myself to become this person that I didn’t like looking at in the mirror. Today, I can confidently say I am better than I was yesterday. It has helped me not just to be a better wife, but a better friend, mother, and all around better human being. I am just trying to be the best version of myself for my kids, my husband, and for me.
You may agree with me or completely disagree and I am ok with that. These tips are what have worked for me and my marriage. I will continue to keep learning as I go along and find more useful tips. I invite you to try one tip or try them all. What has worked for you? I would love to hear from you!