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How to be a good wife: 14 helpful tips to make your relationship thrive

If you’re about to get married, or recently got married, you may be wondering how to be a good wife.

I’ll let you in on a secret—it’s not what you think it is.

From spending time together to being a supportive partner, what is it that truly makes a good wife?

In the 1950s, you would’ve gotten a sexist answer of things like, clean the house, take care of the kids, and always look your best.

Here’s what I have to say to that: Thank you, next.

It’s the 21 century, and (thankfully) things have changed. So when it comes to being a good wife, the answer lies in the little things, and they’re all qualities a good husband should have too.

Keep reading to find out the top five qualities you should have as a good wife—no included

Why you should want to be a good wife

You want your partner to be a good partner, right?

So, shouldn’t you also be a good partner?

We hear the words “be a good wife” and we’re like, huh? Be a good wife? Why should I have to be a good wife when my partner isn’t a good partner?

But that’s the thing—everyone should strive to be a good partner. And if you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel like things are equal…positivity breeds positivity. If you start being a good partner, chances are so will they.

Plus, we all know that wives are awesome. Seriously, we make the world go round. And with that comes a lot of pressure. So what is wifey material?

Wifey material: Do you have it?

If you haven’t heard the term “wifey material,” then it may be time you get out more. People upload things on social media with captions of “wife me up,” “wifey material,” and other clever things.

But one thing stays the same…it’s always about the wife.

And why is that?

Because, again, wives are notorious for being great.

But there’s a secret about wifey material that people fail to mention…

It varies for each person!

Some partners may want a wife that is funny. Other partners may want a wife that likes to go out on adventures. More partners may want someone who likes to sit at home, maybe Netflix and chill more often than hitting the bars.

So, wifey material changes depending on who you’re with.

And if you think that you don’t have the material to make a great wife, I’m here to tell you that’s a lie.

If someone says you’re not a good wife, then you need to find that person who appreciates and desires the qualities you have.

Everyone has the qualities to be wifey material. But you’re not going to be the perfect wife for anyone—especially if the two of you aren’t compatible.

Expect every wife’s good qualities to be different. Just because another woman has a quality that you don’t have doesn’t mean that they’re a good wife and you aren’t.

It simply means you’re different. But, there are a few qualities that every person should have if they want to be a good wife and partner in their current or future relationship.

The 14 qualities every good wife should have

If you want to have an amazing relationship with your partner, there are 14 qualities that you should possess to be a good wife. Once you have these qualities, you can expect a better relationship.

1. Honesty

Honesty is the number one quality that you should have to be a good wife. If you’re not honest, then your relationship isn’t going to go very well.

Your partner needs to know what’s going on with your life. You have to be open and honest with them. When you get married, you should always put honesty first. Even with uncomfortable topics, it’s best to be honest.

If you want to be a good wife, tell your spouse everything about you. This person should know your vulnerabilities, fears, and more. As much as they should know your happiness, they should also know your sadness. So, be honest with them.

2. A sense of fun

No one wants to have a spouse that’s a drag. But the thing is…everyone has a different definition of what’s fun.

Some couples may like crazy adventures, like skydiving. Others may enjoy staying in and reading a book. Whatever it is, make sure you have some sense of fun.

Chances are, you and your partner aren’t going to be the exact same person. You’re going to like different things and have different interests. And guess what? That’s okay!

When you’re open to having fun with your spouse, you will be brave and courageous in the things you try. That doesn’t mean you should do things that you’re uncomfortable with, but be open to doing things with them that you maybe wouldn’t do yourself.

Imagine that you love seeing movies. Your spouse? Not so much. But, don’t you want them to see a movie with you?

Now imagine that every time you asked them to go to the movies, they said no. It would suck.

So, let’s say that your spouse loves sports. Maybe you aren’t a big sports person. It doesn’t mean you have to be on the sidelines of every sports game, but it does mean you should try it once or twice before making your judgment.

Relationships work best when there is a mutual respect for the other’s likes, desires, and hobbies. If your hobbies don’t completely align with theirs, try something new.

Who knows, you may enjoy it and have even more fun!

3. Trigger this in your husband

If you trigger a certain instinct in your husband, you’ll enable the most noble aspect of his masculinity, and ensure you have a loving, long lasting marriage.

What is it?

There’s a new concept in relationship psychology generating a lot of buzz at the moment. It’s called the hero instinct.

And it explains why men fall in love with a woman, who they fall in love with, and how they stay in relationships. And I think it’s important to understand if you want your marriage to thrive.

I first learned about it from my friend Pearl Nash, who also writes for Hack Spirit. The hero instinct completely transformed her own love life.

Simply put, men want to be your hero. This drive is deeply rooted in their biology. Since humans first evolved, men have wanted to provide for and protect the woman they love.

If you can trigger the hero instinct in your man, he’ll have deep feelings of love and devotion towards you. Because you’re providing him something he craves.

You can learn more about the hero instinct in this unique video by James Bauer. He’s the relationship psychologist who first coined this term.

I don’t often get caught up in new fads or pop psychology. But after reading about the hero instinct myself, I think learning about this new concept can help a lot of women.

Making your man feel more like a hero is an art but can be a lot of fun when you know exactly what to do.

Because there are phrases you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can use to trigger his hero instinct.

To learn exactly how to trigger this instinct in your husband, check out James’ free video. Some ideas are life changing. And when it comes to relationships, I think this is one of them.

4. The ability to admit you have faults

Ooh, let’s talk about a tough one. No one wants to admit what’s wrong with them, right? It’s not fun. But, it’s necessary for a good relationship.

You aren’t perfect. Just like your spouse isn’t perfect, you both have faults.

It doesn’t matter what your faults are—you have them. But, you should be able to admit that you have faults. Maybe they’re something small. Maybe they’re something big. Whatever it is, it’s okay.

But be able to talk about it. When your partner comes to you with something, don’t immediately get defensive.

One of my favorite pieces of advice is breathe, pause, and then respond. We’re so quick to respond to people, and that’s another fault that many of us have. Instead of firing off with a quick response that may be hurtful, take a breath, then pause.

In that pause, recognize what your partner is saying. Could you have the fault they are talking about?

If so, it’s something you can work on!

We want our partners to work on their own faults, but it’s not fair for us to expect them to change and us to remain the same. We all have things we can be doing better, so be open to talking about your faults—even if it’s uncomfortable.

5. Compatibility

I think being compatible with someone else is a quality that both partners need to have—and here’s why…

People are different. You can date someone the complete opposite of you and still have chemistry. Or, you can date someone that’s really similar to you and have chemistry.

But you choose how compatible you are with another person. While it may be easier with someone who is more similar to you, you still have the choice.

You can focus on everything that’s different with you and your spouse, or you can focus on those similarities and foster those. Even the things that are different can be talked about and respected with an open mind and heart.

Choose to be compatible with the person you’ve married. Listen to them, respect their own choices and opinions, and choose to see the positive.

If you’re not yet married, make sure you’re compatible with the person you’re dating. Constant bickering or arguments isn’t something you want to live with. A lot of this can be avoided by talking about your views, morals, and future plans before marriage.

6. Authenticity

And the final quality that all wives should have?

Authenticity.

Because you deserve to be your true self and be loved for it.

Be real about who you are. Don’t cover up or hide things based on what you think your spouse or others want from you. The best quality to have is the ability to be real, no matter who you’re with.

Talk openly and honestly. Know what it is that you want and why you want it. Figure out who you are and use that in your relationship.

A relationship between two authentic people will be more fulfilling for both partners.

If you don’t feel like you’re being your most authentic self, there are many ways you can work on it. Though it can be hard to find authenticity, once you do, you’ll feel a sense of relief.

7. Appreciate him

Too many women make the mistake of thinking that their partners are invulnerable to pain, precisely because their men.

Despite the tough guy act, men are riddled with insecurities, too. And just like us, they need a confidence boost once in a while.

Make him feel good about himself by giving him a compliment every now and then. Men are socially conditioned to give out compliments and not receive them.

However, the fact stands: it’s always nice to hear nice things about yourself, regardless of gender.

Don’t stop at compliments. Let him know that you acknowledge his efforts and appreciate him for the person that he is.

8. Listen to him

There will be days when all he wants to do is come home to you and tell you about the horrible day he’s been having.

Remember what we said about the tough guy act? Underneath that facade is a human being needing a companion who will listen to his stories.

Guys are simple beings: sometimes all they need is a box of pizza and you right by their side. So the next time your guy comes over in a bad mood, lend him your ears and simply listen.

This is especially the case if they’re experiencing anxiety or emotional issues. Guys are afraid to speak about that stuff so it make it comfortable for them.

9. Develop your own hobbies

Nothing kills a relationship faster than people who do nothing else but obsess about the relationship.

Sure, you love the other person but don’t forget that you’re still your own people, which means you should still maintain your own personal lives and nurture that individually.

In simpler terms, take the time off from hanging out all the time and do something else.

Nothing is more attractive than dating a person who is set on doing his or her own things, whether it’s writing a book or starting a new business venture.

You don’t want your identity to revolve around being his girlfriend. Trust us, no successful, happy, and mentally healthy person would want to date someone who is 100% invested in the relationship and nothing else.

10. Make him feel essential

Men thrive on solving women’s problems.

If your computer is acting up, or if you have a problem in life and you simply need some advice, then seek your husband to help out.

A man wants to feel essential to you. He wants to be the first person you turn to when you genuinely need help.

Although asking for your husbands help may seem fairly innocuous, it actually helps to trigger something deep within him. Something that is crucial to a loving, long term relationship.

For a man, feeling essential to his wife is often key to a happy marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable

Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.

Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. I talked about this concept above.

As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.

So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with any woman.

He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in your marriage unless you give him a sense of meaning and purpose and make him feel essential.

How do you trigger this instinct in him? And give him this sense of meaning and purpose?

You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.

In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.

In his new video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.

Watch his unique video here.

By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction but it will also help to rocket your marriage to the next level.

11. Hang out with his friends

There was a time before you, and unless you marry each other, there will be a time after you.

In those different parts of his life, only one thing has remained constant: his friends. These people have seen him through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you want to create a strong foundation for a healthy long-term relationship, keep his existing relationships in mind and start nourishing those, too.

Relationship expert Karen Jones told Best Life that men have a habit of giving up their man friends when they get married which is a “shame”.

She says that “one thing you can do to be a better wife is encourage him to hang out with other men…there’s something they get from each other that they can’t get from women.”

12. Don’t compete with his friends

The previous point goes hand-in-hand with this one.

Most girlfriends choose to isolate themselves from their boyfriend’s friends because they feel like they won’t belong in that group or because they just don’t like his friends.

Remember that his friends are a constant presence in his life which means they’re going to be around a lot.

If you want to make your relationship work, you have to accept that his friends are as an important part of his life as you are, if not more significant because of the many years he has already spent with them.

Don’t be the notorious partner who constantly has her boyfriend pick between her and his friends.

Instead, be flexible enough that you are genuine in accommodating and befriending his pals.

13. Stay faithful

It’s not just about making sure you don’t sleep with his friends; it’s about making him feel like he has no reason to feel jealous.

It’s all about being mentally kind to the person you’re seeing and making him feel wanted, loved, and appreciated.

Faithfulness and loyalty is assuring him that despite the looks and the suggestive advances you get from other guys, there is absolutely nothing in this world that could make you betray his trust.

14. Be an amazing friend

At the end of the day, the solution to becoming the world’s best girlfriend is simple: be his best friend.

You can plan the most amazing trips and be an amazing pal for his friends, but if you neglect intimacy and take for granted his likes, interests, and emotions, you’re forgetting a crucial part of what makes romantic relationships different (and better) from the others.

When in doubt, just ask yourself, “Have I been a good friend lately?” If the answer is yes then congratulate yourself because you’re already an awesome girlfriend!

How to be a good wife quotes

“Love and honesty are the things that make a good wife.” Jada Pinkett Smith

“Of all the home remedies, a good wife is the best.” Kin Hubbard

“A good husband makes a good wife.” John Florio

“For a man wins nothing better than a good wife.” Unknown

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. Don’t forget you’re on the same team.” Unknown

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy.” Socrates

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” Dave Meurer

“A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.” Pearl S. Buck

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” Barbara De Angelis

“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” Unknown

“The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little extra every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” Fawn Weaver

“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” Fawn Weaver

“I think long-lasting, healthy relationships are more important than the idea of marriage. At the root of every successful marriage is a strong partnership.” Carson Daly

“The great marriages are partnerships. It can’t be a great marriage without being a partnership.” Helen Mirren

“A husband and wife may disagree on many things but they must absolutely agree on this: to never, ever give up.” Unknown

Are you a good wife?

How do you know that you’re a good wife? You can sit there and lay out all of your qualities, but if your partner isn’t happy, does that mean you’re doing something wrong?

No, it doesn’t.

If you’re trying your hardest, if you’re being honest and authentic, then you’re a good wife.

There’s nothing worse than feeling down about yourself. You should feel good about yourself in your relationship.

You can read as many articles as you want, but nothing can tell you whether or not you’re a good wife—only you know.

And like I said earlier, both partners need to be good partners. So don’t fret. Try your hardest, and you’re a good wife through and through.

In conclusion

Relationships are important. Your marriage may be the most important relationship in your life. So it’s understandable that you want to be a good spouse to your partner. You showing that initiative just proves you’re on the right track.

Remember, positivity breeds positivity, so if you want a good spouse, try your hardest to be a good wife. In the end, it’ll all be worth it—cause marriage is something worth fighting for.

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Jess Carpenter

Jess Carpenter

I studied at The University of Utah where I earned both my B.S. and M.S. and am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES certified). My favorite spot to write is wherever I can see my toddlers to ensure they aren’t jumping from the second story or coloring on the walls.
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