I got married at the age of 19. Bright eyed and bushy bossy I was ready to tackle marriage by storm. And my modus operandi? As long as things go as I want, we’ll be A-Okay. My happiness meter quickly ran down as the reality of marriage set in.
Those who are married know it’s tough, demanding, difficult, testing, challenging, arduous, and utterly trying. It takes hard work—daily. And yet, there are a select top few who are ecstatically happy. HOW?
15 Secret Practices of Happy Wives
#1 She connects romance and intimacy-
There was an Enjoli perfume commercial in 1980 which featured a redone version of Peggy Lee’s 1963 hit song with a beautiful blonde model: “I can bring home the bacon! Fry it up in the pan! And never, never, never let you forget you’re a man! ‘Cause I’m a woman!” You go girl!
Get my drift? Enough said on that.
#2 She lets things go-
In marriage we all get our feelings hurt—way beyond what we could have ever imagined. “Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can with reverence, serve you. I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:1-5). Without the Lord’s forgiveness, we are helplessly condemned. Whether her man is gruff or forgetful or absentmindedly unkind, even when her heart aches, she forgives. Let it go, let it go, she forgives completely, as God forgives us.
#3 Sometimes the kindest gesture she can make is to NOT talk-
Silence can be a gift of love. Many women out-talk their men and can inadvertently cause damage to her relationship. Healthy communication, yes. Oversharing, no. How do you know the difference? Just ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you. Don’t confuse this with the “silent treatment” because “he needs to know I’m mad!” NO, only cheerful quiet here.
#4 She is patient with him-
For illustration let’s go back to Peggy Lee’s original song, I’m a Woman. “I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you! ‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again! ‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N…and that’s all.” Point: WE ARE ALL IN PROCESS. A wise happy wife knows to give him room to be himself, and to get out of the way and let God mold him.
#5 She offers time for him to retreat to his man-cave-
“Do you need some time to yourself?” Those are magic words for a husband. She knows them. She uses them. She follows through.
#6 She says THANK YOU often-
The more she uses the words thank you the more she’ll see much to be thankful for. When a man hears, thank you, it charges him up. Thank you to him means, “I trust you,” “I appreciate you,” “I love you.” Thank you flows from her lips often.
#7 She can be trusted with every deed and every word spoken-
“The heart of her [an excellent wife] husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the day of her life” (Proverbs 31:11-12). Her husband is never concerned with what she does in “secret” and he knows she’s touting him to her friends. She loves telling others how wonderful her husband is, and refrains from complaining about him, whether he’s there or not.
#8 She is blind to his mistakes-
We all make mistakes! A wise happy wife knows to refrain from pointing out where he messed up.
#9 She begins each day on a mission to put love in action-
She loves him in such a way that he ends his days thinking, “I’m the luckiest man alive.” Love in action is not self-centered and looks for ways to honor and bless him—daily.
#10 She kisses him not only in the morning but throughout the day-
Again, I’m a Woman with Peggy Lee, “If it’s lovin’ you’re likin’, I’ll kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits.” She always remembers the goodbye kiss, and offers kisses like running water.
#11 She knows he’s not responsible for her happiness-
Empowered happy wives take responsibility for their own wellbeing. Her joy comes from the outpouring of love she has within herself because God keeps her full. She knows it’s not her husband’s job to supply her with joy and contentment.
#12 She doesn’t badger him when he doesn’t ask for directions-
Car fights? She knows they can be avoided by letting him figure out his way, only helping when he asks. She sits back and enjoys the ride.
#13 She expresses her delight for him at the end of a long day-
Cheers. Celebration. Applauses. The person she is most happy to see is her husband, and he has no doubt about that.
#14 She laughs at his jokes-
Even the lame ones. No one enjoys being around a curmudgeonly stubborn fool. She knows that having FUN with him refuels their relationship. Playfulness. Laughter. Light-heartedness. She finds ways to have fun her man, and show appreciation for his sense of humor.
#15 She names him her hero-
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land” (Proverbs 31:23). She believes in him in such a mighty way that he feels safe to venture out and excel in the world. Not only does he know he’s her hero, the world knows, too. She praises him, encourages him, looks for the good in him, and refrains from criticism, especially in public. While at home she lets him open the jam jar for her. Every man desires to please his wife and be her hero. “Men inherently possess a desire for greatness,” states Doug Fields in his book 7 Ways to Be Her Hero. Happy wives make sure he is always hitting home-runs at home, and particularly in the bedroom. He may dribble or fumble or wipeout on occasion in life, but at home he hits grand-slams.
Well, there you have it. As I began to practice these 15 principles I realized I had a lot of control over how happy I was in my own marriage. We only have control over ourselves. Focusing on being the best version of the wife we can be will get us closer to our best self and our best marriage.
Want to be a happy wife? Pick up (at your local bookstore) or order a copy of “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be” by Lucille Williams. Subscribe to Lu Says today and get regular updates. Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Visit Lu’s speaking page.