I was married at the ripe, young age of 25. I don’t know why, really — except I met someone who I actually liked and was a decent man. Of course I loved him, but I also loved South Park and cheese fries. I just knew he was the only person who had better ideas than me, and that together we had the best ideas. Also, he was level-headed, practical and funny. I am only one of those things — I will let you guess which one.
Fifteen years, two kids and a round of marriage counseling later, I cannot believe he has survived living with me. Granted, I am funny (ha! I bet that’s the trait you guessed above) and organized with really nice penmanship, but none of those really make for a great wife. On the eve of our 15th wedding anniversary, I sat down to figure out what really does make a wonderful wife (or in my case, a really okay one).
Don’t Be an A**hole.
This was hard for me. I’m a jerk. I don’t intend to be, but I have a thick, candy-coated shell and a snarky, grumpy center. I had not-so-nice parents and moody friends. So, I naturally thought I would just be me to my new husband, because that’s who I was when we dated. Makes sense, right? And then… KIDS! Ugh, the kids. No sleep makes me cranky. So guess who got my lousy attitude? My hubs. The guy who was going to work everyday, supporting our family and just wanted a pleasant wife when he came home. It was amazing when I started being not-a-jerk to him. “But Jessica, it’s not that simple. My husband is [insert negative adjective here].” Yeah, it is that easy. Try it and you’ll see.
Stop Complaining About Everything.
You are probably noticing a pattern here. I swear, I am a likable person, despite my lack of fondness for hugging. But man, did I complain. I griped about the kids, my job, the dishwasher, commercials. I was always negative. And guess who was my sounding board? Yep, you guessed it. The same guy I was a jerk to most of the time. When I made a conscious decision to stop complaining about everything, it left me with more time to listen. Ladies, if you are upset your husband doesn’t communicate much with you, did you ever stop to think it is because you just won’t stop complaining? And fun fact, the men in our life take much of what we say as a compliant vs. a statement. “But Jessica, I’m with the kids all day and he gets to do grown-up things.” Yeah, so? Grown-up things aren’t that great. Just stop complaining, and I promise things will improve.
Have Sex with Him.
One of my best friends told me that her favorite Jessica one-liners was, “If you don’t have sex with your husband, someone else will.” Now, granted, that is extreme, but think about it. This man took vows to you and promised to only do the deed with you. So what if you decided, with all your jerkiness and complaining, not to make love to him? Kinda sucks for him, doesn’t it? And I know, I know — we are all fat and tired and sex is probably that last thing on our minds. When is the last time you shaved your legs? Spoiler alert, he doesn’t care! The fact that you would actually be interested in sex (and not lay there like a wet noodle) is turn-on enough for him. Men are not complicated, but we women try to make them so. I dare you, have regular sex with your hubby, and I can promise you your relationship will be better than it was without sex. Again, just try it!
I could write a novel about more things to do to be an okay wife, but these three things are the pillars of okay-dom. Don’t be mean, stop complaining and get naked. Pretty solid advice if you ask me, and I’ve been successfully married for 15 years.
What advice do you have on being an okay wife?