April 16, 2021

What Makes a Perfect Wife?

When my wife and I went to get married, we took some premarital counseling classes from the Youth Pastor at my church (the man who did most of the ceremony for us). He had us work through a book and video series that must have had 13 different steps. Along the way, we met with him and reviewed our answers. There were a few things that stuck with me from those lessons, and one of them was that both we should both attempt to continue to do the same types of things that we were doing when we were dating after we were married because we would expect it.

This is indeed a hard thing as I have found. Nothing makes it more difficult to get a night out then to have a few children, have a small budget because you’re trying to get out of debt, and falling out of practice.

So, it came as no surprise to me that when Carol Midgley of the Times went on the search of a good wife, she found that one of the chief most complaints that a man has is the difference between who his wife was before they were married and after. It’s right up there with the stress of parenting. There is something in both the man and the woman that longs for consistency– and I think the reason there’s a difference can be explained by this paragraph:

Val Sampson, an author and a couples counsellor, has launched relightmyfire.org, a website dedicated to helping couples to find their passion again and make each other a priority. She says: “I see a lot of people who have lost sight of fact they are a couple and see each other only as Mum and Dad. Women in particular get a lot of affection energy from a child. They turn to the child for cuddling, touch and sensual needs. They become almost absorbed by the child. It is like a grenade exploding in a marriage.”

Simply put, she doesn’t need to cuddle with you any more, because she’s cuddling with her children. She doesn’t need touch any more because she’s getting it from her kids. In one way, this is terrific, because she’s getting her needs met, but what has her husband become?

This whole problem becomes exacerbated if the woman works outside the home.

Some experts believe that as modern life becomes more demanding, what defines a good partner has not only become obscured but has been pushed down the pecking order. So much emphasis is now placed on being a Good Parent that being a Good Spouse comes a poor third after a) the children and b) the job. Marital conversation is reduced to “Have you got the juice?” “Yes, have you got the wipes?” The advice given by her mother to Jerry Hall that to keep a man a woman must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a [Prostitute] in the bedroom seems ever more quaint now that housework is increasingly outsourced, food is fast and marriages become increasingly sexless (witness the emergence of books for the sexless marriage with titles such as Okay, So I Don’t Have a Headache, I’m Not in the Mood and For Women Only , which lists techniques that wives use to avoid sex). Has the race to raise the brightest child, get him/ her into the best school, ferry him/her around to the highest number of improving activities actually put marriage under strain?

I would say that the answer is yes. And this is what I believe is the primary cause for men deciding not to get married– especially if they can get sexual relations without vows– or for divorces. The couple just doesn’t realize how important their lives together mean for their kids and for each other.

So, what makes the perfect wife? Same thing that makes a perfect husband. Two people dedicated to their marriage, and willing to put the other one over their children and to choose to love each other no matter what.

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7 thoughts on “What Makes a Perfect Wife?

  1. About that cuddle & touch thing. I have found from personal experience that not only do women get enough touch from their children, they get too much- especially while living as a nursing mother. Nursing a baby 10 times a day plus taking care of the other children’s cuddly needs is indeed a sensory nightmare for some women. By the end of the day it is sometimes very difficult to hold my (grown) babies before bed…let alone desire to “cuddle” with my husband.

  2. There is a book on this topic that I really enjoyed. It’s Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by: Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

    I have found that it is helpful for me to remember that we are partners. My wife completes me. As I commented over at Home-Steeped Hope the other day, that is just another way of saying that we are different. But being different is good because it puts us in a position to add to one another. My father told me that the best thing a man could do for his children was to love their mother. I took that to heart, and I think it helps a person to keep the marital relationship in proper perspective. God, Wife, Kids, everything else.

    Affiliate Link by MInTheGap

  3. As you’ve notice from my comments (and could someone please change my aviator it’s Rob in Madrid not Robin in Madrid) I usually don’t’ agree with your comments (and today is no exception) but don’t get me wrong in spite of my aviator I’m not a troll. I do find them thought provoking even if I don’t always agree anyways. It is very natural that the marriage progress from the excitement of engagement (hot sex before living together or if you’re a Christian than the excitement of getting as close to the edge as you can without going over) to the drudgery of being married, Even without kids it’s natural that your sex life tends to get in a bit of a rut. For the wife sex quickly becomes doing her duty and for the husband (particularly if you have kids) it’s about what happened to our sex life. Even if you get past that if it often comes down to the act vs cuddles. The wife often only wants or needs cuddles (and it you lucky once in a while…..) And the men well don’t need to go into details here. The good news is as you age and head towards your 40s your sex drives (unless you just starting your family) tend to merge. Wives come to an understanding that men have needs and Men learn that you don’t have to have it 4 times a week. (your sex drive wanes which helps a lot) for the marriage to stay healthy. As well as wives learn to accept that romance at the best of times is hard to find.

    The other thing is I find your posts about working wives vs stay at home Mums to be a bit simplistic. First off a lot of wives work for financial reasons. In cas you haven’t noticed it’s getting harder and harder to find good paying jobs (regardless of education) that can support a wife and kids) Many wives have no choice but to work. Secondly and more importantly no husband resents or envies a wife who stays at home with young kids. That would drive me mad, they would go into daycare no question, I couldn’t do it. But what happens is over time as the kids get older the husbands carrier begins to take off that he begins to resent that he’s killing himself providing for the family while his wife has built up a great social life while the household has fallen to the wayside. One wife when asked if she ever got around to getting rid of her teaching stuff (was a panio teacher for years) said no, this was 5 years latter. No wonder husbands begin to resent their wives. For example my brother in law resent the fact that he was killing himself working 80-100 hours a week (he was an admittedly a bad businessman) while his wife enjoyed spending all day visiting with friends chatting over coffee etc. House work forget it. It took 3 years of arguing and fighting and the threat of divorce before she finally broke down and started working. Today she works fulltime and enjoys it. In other case as my student put it, “she refused to work now she has too”. He divorced her.

    I was a house husband for five years while my wife’s job took her all over Europe. While I didn’t mind staying at home I am more than happy to be working again. I don’t work fulltime and Chris doesn’t want to either but she’s appreciative of the I can understand when she’s tired on the weekends and I also like contributing to the household budget.

    Wives choose to go back to work as the kids get older for a variety of reasons, some like having their own money, others like to contribute to the household. Some enjoy getting out of the house. Regardless though in this day and age we need all the tools we can get to keep marriages together.

  4. This is sooo good! It explains a lot in my marriage. I don’t have kids, it explains about our emotional and sensual needs.

    This also reminds of the most precious thing we can give our children: To love and honor our spouse.

    God bless you!

  5. “This is indeed a hard thing as I have found. Nothing makes it more difficult to get a night out then to have a few children, have a small budget because you’re trying to get out of debt, and falling out of practice.”

    Dead on man. A real romance killer.

  6. Rob, I’ve updated your avatar. I’m sorry you didn’t see the link below the comment box that let you change it. I need to do something better when someone new comes along than to give them the random one.

    I can definitely see your point about how sex can get dull for the wife– you just have to work more at atmosphere and making sure that you aren’t serving just yourself.

    I don’t know about the point you’re trying to make about stay at home moms. First, I believe that a majority of families could afford to have their wife stay home if they didn’t have to “keep up with the Joneses.” This may only be in the States, though. For the most part, people with even a median income in the U.S. could do without things in order to stay home.

    And I don’t know many wives that are able to expand their social horizons as you say. Especially when their children are young. In fact, I have personally found it the other way around– where the man has been able to make social contacts more than the woman since he is in the workplace and she is at home with the kids.

    A lot of what you say is a difference in perspective and that’s fine, but there are a lot of people (esp that read this blog) that are choosing to stay home with the support of their husbands for the good of their family.

  7. Rob,
    I stay home. I never want to go back to work, and my husband would be embarrassed if I had to. I have a four year degree, I’m smart, I’m aggressive (though I despise this part of my personality and long for a meek and quiet spirit) and a “go getter”. I do not neglect the care of the house and consider it my duty (third in importance after, care of husband, and care of children). The reason so many stay at home moms get a bad rap and are seen as “doing nothing but building their social network and chatting over coffee” is because that is what alot of moms do! That is NOT the purpose of staying home. if a woman declines working in favor of staying home and being a social butterfly and lazy, she is not holding up her end of the deal. She is not following Proverbs 31, or Titus 2. She is not being a”keeper at home” neither is she “looking well to the ways of her household”. She isn’t a value, she is a liability.

    What I do at home adds value to my family. In fact, what I do at home would cost more than I would make (if I were to work) to pay others to do for me. If I paid a housekeeper to come and tidy up EVERYDAY, and do all our laundry and paid a high quality daycare to watch my kids (because only a high quality day care could ever come CLOSE to teaching my children everything I teach them, and to care for them as a mother would), I would eat up my whole salary, and that doesn’t include car number two, gas, work clothing, makeup, hair cuts, social outings for networking etc…

    But the real reason I stay home? Because God’s word says I ought to. Go read Titus 2… go read Proverbs 31… (the woman in Proverbs does produce income, she buys and sells not only clothing but property, but you will notice that nearly all of her work is at home. Going into the market place and selling her wares does not make her a working out of the home mother. I go to the grocery store and buy stuff, and if I wanted to I could sell some produce at the local Farmers Market and no one in their right mind would call that working out side of the home.)

    Regarding this article, I have to say I disagreed with most of it. I don’t think that the problems in marriage should be solved by maintaining a date night or keeping up with the cuddles. I think that these problems mostly result from improper behavior prior to marriage. If a man works at wooing his bride by buying outrageous gifts and taking her out, and being physically intimate with her, there isn’t anyway he can keep up with himself. Because it will require newer better gifts, more dates at better places, and more physical novelty. If however we were to return to a more normal relaxed way of meeting and marrying, I think one would discover that the thrill of physical intimacy was heightened in marriage, and that since we never went out before but were instead engaged in real life with each other such as side by side work, there wouldn’t be anything to maintain! Every gift would be considered valuable. A flower from the meadow would be a wonderful and acceptable expression of love if the woman hadn’t received three dozen roses to impress her before she was married!

    Now that all said, I do realize that the competition out there is fierce. The man is competing against other possibly more “thrilling” men. (So are the women… they compete against other women who show more and “promise” more sexual gratification.) I don’t think that is how the Lord intended it to be however. It would seem to me that the worlds view of dating and such pretty much makes godly marriage look boring. When in fact the opposite would be true. It has been my experience that the couples who never kissed before they were married, have a much better sex life far longer than those who went “all the way”. I think that we would find this to be true in varying degrees, based on depth of previous physical encounters….
    Those who live together before they are married are more likely to divorce(statistically speaking) and so on and so forth.

    I say, forget dating, lets get back to the basics. Stop presenting ourselves as movie stars and porn stars to get the guy, and start enjoying the less “thrilling” life, what God calls the “sober” life. The physical intimacy scenes in movies isn’t even real! It’s faked and hyped up.. They are pretending. Somehow we have been brain washed into thinking that is how it is supposed to be. You want to know how it is intended to be? Go read Song of Solomon (old testament). You think that God intended us to deceive each other in order to get married? I do not think so.

    Ok Ok, I better hush before I write a whole post myself!

    Mrs. Meg Logan

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