Do you hate the phrase “Happy wife, happy life?” Does it feel manipulative to you? Or does it feel like a wise warning? Regardless of how you feel about it, there is a great deal of truth in it. What’s more, God seems to support the idea:
“If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” [Deut 24:5 NIV]
It looks to me like God wanted men to spend the first year of their marriage focused on learning how to make their wife happy. Granted, you cannot make her happy if she chooses to be miserable, but you can do a great deal to move your wife towards happiness.
What does it take for your wife to be happy?
This is important to all humans, but women desire it more than men and mothers even more than other women do. She needs to feel safe, and she needs to feel prepared for the future. There are many components to this, which I will be discussing in the future. For now, know that if she does not feel secure it is all but impossible for her to feel happy.
She wants to be loved and appreciated. We all need to be needed. We desire to be important and necessary. We want to feel our life has purpose, and that what we does matters to someone. The best place to get this met is from our spouse, but if that does not happen, we will look to have it fulfilled by others. Most affairs, especially for women, are about this need, not sex.
The tricky thing about love and appreciation is we all feel it in different ways. If you do not show your love in a way that matters to her, she will feel unloved even though you do in fact love her. If you show her that you appreciate her in a way that means nothing to her, she will feel unappreciated. If she is not feeling what you intended, you need to find ways to fix that. In large part, this means learning to communicate it in ways she feels. You can also work to help her see the things you are doing as proof of your love and acceptance.
Become a Student of your Wife
The most important thing you can do to improve your marriage is to become a student of your wife. Watch her. Pay attention to what she does and says. Learn to listen to what is behind her words; dig for the feelings and try to understand what motivates her. The better you understand her, the better things will go for both of you.
- If you discover certain words or phrases upset her, you can avoid those.
- If you learn when she is most likely to be stressed, you can help her relax at those times.
- If you can see when she is getting flooded, you can come to her rescue.
- As you learn to tell when she is more open to sex you will not only have more sex, but sex will be better for her.