You’ve probably heard the saying “happy wife, happy life” and, according to a study from Rutgers’ University, marital contentment was strongly related with whether or not the wife is happy. When she rated herself as feeling miserable in the marriage, her husband responded unknowingly of her responses that the marriage was miserable. These results were not true if the husband was miserable in the marriage; in fact, the researchers found that the relationship did not suffer. When the wives were happier in their relationship, their husband’s score of marital contentment was higher and happier than their happy wife.
While it’s true your wife’s personal happiness is not your job, when wives are unhappy, they typically tend to share it more and confront their spouse. The number one reason wives listed for being unhappy with their husbands was a lack of emotional connection and communication. Women felt happier and closer when their partner shared vulnerabilities, goals, and dreams.
Movies, social media, and advertising can easily mislead you with what makes your wife happy. Your wife may further confuse you when you ask her what makes her happy by saying, “You should know.” Unfortunately, no one can read your mind, so wives must directly communicate and tell their husbands what they need, and husbands have to clarify and check in. Telling others you are miserable in your marriage is not a solution for resolving marital unhappiness. If you feel as though you’d like your marriage to be closer, here are 5 suggestions experts agree on that helps wives love their marriage.
1. Prioritize communication. When your wife talks, put your phone down, turn the television down, and acknowledge her.
2. Be attentive and appreciate little things she does for you and the family. You may not notice all the little things your wife does for you and the kids; taking time to observe and use words of appreciation makes her feel noticed.
3. Work with her to come up with a division of labor for household tasks. Wives who do it all feel less content and satisfied in their relationship. Instead of waiting for your chore list, be proactive, make a list with her, and step up to do your part.
4. Value your emotional connection as much as you value your physical one. Emotional intimacy, when valued as much as physical intimacy, heightens libido and helps your spouse feel close to you in and out of the bedroom.
5. Tell her every day one thing you love about being married to her. Telling your spouse a hurried, “I love you,” cannot compare to telling them once a day why being married to them is so fantastic. She needs to hear it, and you need to say it.
Having one committed person who loves you and is sharing your life is the essence of emotional intimacy. We often forget what we started together on our wedding day, and we begin losing that special emotional connection. Reminding each other every day what you love about your marriage is important for you and your wife’s health and happiness.
• Attention: If you have serious unresolved issues in your marriage, it is advised that you seek a licensed professional counselor. Focusing on your behaviors is important but resolving the issues that are tearing you apart requires a professional licensed therapist.