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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

What does it mean to be a “good wife”?

Categories: communication, marriage

1 comment

My favorite newlywed reader sent me an email yesterday with another question for those of us who are “experts.” (Ha. Ha! Haaaaaaa.)

Her question:

What does it mean to be a wife?  The traditional role is not typical in this century, in our country.  I’ve been thinking about what defines me as a wife?  What do I do that makes me a “good wife”?

It’s a loaded question, but I I can tell you what I think makes me a “good wife.” It may not be the same for you, but it’s what works for me/us.

I try to speak to his love language. His love language is acts of service, followed closely by word of affirmation. He is a neat freak and so I will vacuum the floor, or I will thank him profusely for all of the work he does around here.

(We’re not your ’50’s couple.)

I encourage him. He has a demanding job and will talk to me about all that is going on. I will listen to his thought processes, give ideas, and tell him what a good job he is doing. When people tell me how much they appreciate him, I pass it along.

I tell him what I am thinking. In a prefect world, husbands could read our hints to know what we want from them. Alas, they are not superheroes, so we need to communicate. Here’s an example:

My husband and I had been texting back and forth on a particularly bad day I was having. My last text in the conversation was that maybe he could meet me for lunch one day next week. He response was…radio silence. I gave it two days (with many texts in between) and then brought it up. He had been busy with work, responded in his head, and forgot about it.

This could have been a minor issue that would breed resentment, but nope. We’re meeting for lunch next week.

The flipside to the question is, what makes him a “good husband”?

He provides for me. Sometimes it’s by being the primary breadwinner (we seem to take turns). He has renovated every square inch of our home, he tends to our enormous garden, he plows the snow from our driveway, he does so many little things every day.

He speaks my love language. “Words of Affirmation” is my main love language and he knows this. He will tell me that I’m smart, or that I wrote something that he loves or that he thinks I am beautiful.

He encourages me. One example is my work situation. I’ve been struggling with it and have had some down days. He has told me numerous times that if I want to walk away and focus on freelancing that we will make it work, even if we have to sell our home and downsize. Leaving our home would break me, but the fact that he’d be willing to walk away from ten years of blood, sweat and tears to make me happy speaks volumes.

What makes you a “good wife”? Or a “good husband”?

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One comment so far...

  • That last one made me a little misty. I love that he is so supportive of you. I love reading of people who love each other so much they’re willing to make huge sacrifices.

    My love language is quality time, followed closely by words of affirmation. Noah will forego a sports game to spend time with me and I love that. Noah’s love language is acts of service and he also is a neat freak, so I will try to make the house look presentable for him when he gets home from work. This used to be a huge issue in our marriage, and now it is not. He lowered his standards and started helping out a lot more (he did before, but more so now) and I do what I can between driving everyone everywhere and dealing with the demands of a baby boy.

    Mrs. Wilson  |  November 18th, 2011 at 11:05 am