Happiest Wives

What makes wives happiest?

W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock investigated that question. They did a research study and found seven top issues, in order of importance:
  1. A husband’s emotional engagement. (making an effort to listen to them, expressing affection and appreciation on a regular basis, sharing quality time on a regular basis)
  2. Fairness. (housework and other family responsibilities are divided fairly)
  3. A breadwinning husband. (happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income)
  4. A commitment to marriage. (a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage)
  5. Staying at home. (Wives who stay at home tend to be happier in their marriages than wives who work outside the home. This is particularly true for women who have children in the home.)
  6. Shared religious attendance. (attending church or some other worship service with their husbands)
  7. Traditional gender attitudes. (Wives who hold more traditional gender attitudes—e.g., who believe that wives should focus more on nurturing/homemaking and husbands should focus more on breadwinning—are happier than wives who hold more feminist attitudes.)
Many people talk about the top needs of wives, etc. but this study revealed what really makes women happy in marriage, not their spoken needs or felt needs.

Investing in the marriage pays huge dividends for women. Consequently, husbands also reap the rewards.

Our upcoming class, Living Well in Marriage, will give an emotional connection(#1) and show a commitment to the marriage(#4). During the course of the class, couples get a chance to discuss their roles(#7) and how that works out in the family(#2).

For more information on the class.

A Benefit Package

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. Martin Luther

What’s your attitude - are you looking for a payback or a payoff?

In our relationships, especially in marriage, when we are hurt or offended, we often want to pay back the person who hurt us. We may not think of it in those brutal terms. We may think that we have to show them that they can’t treat us that way or we will remind them of the bad habits they have.

How could we get a “payoff” instead of adding more hurt?

The word “payoff” implies that an investment has been made. What kind of investments can we make in marriage that generate dividends?

1. Time together. Nothing can take the place of time together in a marriage relationship. We can spend time doing something fun or doing a chore together.

2. Focused attention. When together, the time multiplies in effectiveness if you focus on each other - talking and listening to the heart of the other person, even if you aren’t interested in the subject. Your spouse receives that kind of attention as a gift of high value.

3. Learning about marriage together - whether it is attending a class or doing a study together. This time investment speaks volumes to your spouse about the value you put on your relationship.

4. Learn a new communication skill. One person often thinks that he knows how to communicate with others but that they can’t communicate as a couple. Part of the responsibility of the one speaking is to speak in a way that others can understand him. We have to learn our spouse’s language to be able to communicate clearly and we have to learn how to listen with discernment.

5. Pray for your spouse. Pray for his/her true needs, not “God, change my husband/wife."

The payoff is a marriage that keeps getting better and better!

Rarely does one person or a couple have all the skills they need for a thriving marriage. Resources are available, see our classes that are available or a list of books or articles to read. Make an investment that will give dividends for a lifetime!

Why not a payback?

Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

When someone talks about paying a person back for something the person has done, he really means that he is seeking revenge.

Most of us would not want to admit to seeking revenge. But when we retaliate or try to punish someone for what they have done, we are taking revenge. Revenge is a strong and powerful action.

Equally as strong and powerful as revenge is the opposite - forgiveness. God says that He is the only one who is to take revenge, but that we are all to demonstrate forgiveness.

Revenge may make you feel better for a short time, but forgiveness will make you feel better for a lifetime. Unforgiveness is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die. The person who witholds forgiveness is the one who is being eaten up inside. Often the other person doesn't even know that he has done anything to cause hurt.

Forgiveness may seem impossible, especially when there has been great hurt. The only way we have a capacity to forgive is because He has forgiven us.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13b