You've probably heard that a happy wife equals a happy life. So what can you do each day to make sure your wife — and your life — is happy? Here are ten simple tips that are certain to yield high returns when it comes to your wife's happiness.
1. Tell her you love her
Cliché, you say? I beg to differ. How many of us fall into the rut of the old farmer who, after exchanging wedding vows, explained to his wife, "I've told you I love you. If anything changes, I'll let you know"? We may think expressing our affection verbally is unnecessary; but she thinks the opposite, and will love you even more once you realize that.
I've heard a very successful, accomplished husband talk about an evening he spent with his wife when they had grown old together. His wife quietly whispered to him, "You have always given me wings to fly, and I have loved you for it." Building your wife's confidence in her abilities is certain to lead to her happiness. In particular, avoid sarcasm with her. It is demeaning and will not build her up.
3. Give her some space
While your wife loves your company, she also values her independence. Sometimes what she really needs is a little time to herself — without the kids, and yes, even without her hubby. She will appreciate you being aware of her feelings, and recognizing that some alone time is needed. Offer to take care of things while she has some personal time — whether it be a walk in the park, some quiet reading time or a visit to the salon.
4. Look nice for her
Classic rockers ZZ Top had it right when they sang that "every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man." That includes your wife. Shower, style your hair, put on something nice. Your wife will notice and appreciate when you look good.
5. Don't make her hangry
My sister-in-law hates when my brother solves her overwhelming, complex life problems with a little good food. "I like to believe there's more to my problems than just my being hangry," she laughs, "but I'm always amazed at how often that's the problem." Even if it's not a case of being hangry, good food can change a mood and be the perfect pick-me-up. Wise husbands with happy wives keep the chocolate stash well-stocked.
Knowing she's your one and only is sure to bring your wife much happiness. Show her that commitment through your actions, when you're together and when you're not. Be true to her, even in your thoughts. Don't ever make her feel inadequate or unloved.
7. Know what she (really) likes
In the movie "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," the paranoid giraffe Melman confronts Moto Moto, the desired mating companion of every hippopotamus at the watering hole. As Moto Moto attempts to woo Gloria, the newest female on the scene (and Melman's secret love), Melman confronts him, saying "Listen, Mototo ... [Y]ou have found yourself the perfect woman. If I was ever so lucky to find the perfect woman, I would give her flowers every day! And not just any flowers, OK? Her favorites are orchids. White. And I would bring her breakfast every day. Six loaves of wheat bread with butter on both sides. No crusts. Just the way she likes it." Happy wives are married to husbands like Melman who have taken close note of what their wives really like.
8. Think about her
How often throughout the day do you let your wife know she's on your mind? A quick call at lunch, a text message in the afternoon or even a special delivery will let her know you're thinking about her. I can relate to husbands who get sucked into their work and lose track of time without checking in; but I've also heard of other husbands who set alarms on their phones to remind them to send a thoughtful email or note.
I know of a daughter who asked her father what he thought she should look for in a husband in order to have a happy married life. The father's advice surprised her. He didn't tell her to find someone that was rich, handsome, strong, funny, smart or anything that she might have expected. Instead, the father said, "Marry someone that will get up and go to work for you every day." Whether your work involves donning a hard hat as you head to the construction site, or getting the kids out of bed and ready for school while your wife heads to her job, get up every day and go to work for your wife.
10. Make her a priority
Your wife needs to know she is your priority. This is often accomplished by spending quality time with her. Set the phones aside, and let her know you are focused on her.
Chandler is a husband, father of two, and graduate of Harvard Law School. He and his wife are co-founders of Bookroo.com, a startup making it easier for moms and dads to spend more time reading with their children.