10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

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There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if I’d gone through it without being able to say I’ve learned a thing or two.  My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong – our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it.  We’ve learned better, so now we do better.

And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips – from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce (and if you’re interested, my husband also wrote one from his perspective).

  1. Respect your husband.  - Notice how it doesn’t say “Respect your husband if he has earned it”. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife.  The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.
  2. Guard your heart.  - The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling – relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough.  There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.
  3. God, husband, kids…in that order.  - I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive  (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
  4. Forgive.  - No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit – for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances (every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on the bathroom counter ;)) – you will keep resentment from growing.
  5. Over-communicate.  - I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard “You should know why I’m mad” game, and that’s just downright unfair. Men are not wired like women, and they DON’T always know that they’ve been insensitive. I’m still growing in this area, and there are often times when my husband has to pry something out of me, but I’m trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.
  6. Schedule a regular date night.  - This one isn’t new, but it’s very important. Never stop dating your spouse.  Even if you can’t afford dinner and a movie (which we seldom can), spending some regular one-on-one time with your spouse is essential. Don’t talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Frankie and I often daydream about our future, or plan our dream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other – even after four years.
  7. Never say the “D Word”.  - If you’re gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. I’m not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.
  8. Learn his love language.  - Everyone has a love language. The way you perceive love is often different from the way your spouse perceives love. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever his love language is – learn it and USE IT.  Edited to add: If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind love languages, you can learn more about it here.
  9. Never talk negatively about him.  - I learned this lesson the hard way too. If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counselor. Family counseling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one-sided and they often build up negative feelings toward your spouse, which usually doesn’t subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that you’re close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective.  News flash, ladies – your mother cannot be objective!
  10. Choose to love.  - There are times in a marriage that you may wake up and not feel in love anymore. Choose to love anyway. There are times when you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose to love anyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. They don’t say “if you have bad times”. They say “in good times AND in bad”, implying that there WILL be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. He’s worth it.

Read 7 Keys to a Happy Wife written by my husband

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952 thoughts on “10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

  1. This is wonderful! and I also did the 5 love languages test and I plan on showing this to my husband as soon as he gets home. We have grown alot in our two years of being husband and wife, and its been hard. Alot of the times I think we both dont understand what the other wants, I think this will help him decode what I have been saying for a while now. And I too have alot of growing to do, I have made a lot of mistake I didnt know I was making according to this post, its always good to get another perspective. :-)

  2. If god’s marriage vows are so sacred then why have you been married 3 times. What are your credentials to be giving marriage advice? And are you a mother? Because if you were you would not put anything or anyone before your children. So you fully believe you should just forgive your husband for all he does wrong? What if he is having an affair? I highly doubt you just forgive and forget. The trust goes out the window and the problems start. I believe that you believe these ‘ tips’ work but I don’t think you should be giving marriage advice with a track record like yours.

    • Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus”.

      I did not choose to end my first OR second marriages, but even if I had, there is power in the testimony of a person who walks under the grace of a redemptive Savior, which I do.

      Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.

      God doesn’t call the qualified – He qualifies the called.

      • Bravo Karen. Gotta start with grace for each of us or we’re all done. For the typical Jen, I wonder how things would go if before the “offender” is analyzed, we all could start with God’s opinion on what we need to be forgiven for just so we’re all in balance from the get go. (Note: If the attitude is “the children first and foremost always”, the cultural misandry is oozing out before any specifics get looked at.)

  3. This seems very one sided. What if your husband is abusive? What is your advice? Forgive him? Stick it out? Don’t mention the D word. Is there a list of tips every husband needs to hear?

    • Bethany, my husband wrote 7 Keys to a Happy Wife that address the men in the marriage. It’s linked at the bottom of this post. Also, I believe I addressed abuse. Abuse should NEVER be tolerated. EVER.

    • If your first response is to get defensive and attempt to poke holes in the idea with hypothetical counterpoints, you’re doing it wrong.

    • Abuse was addressed in bullet point 3. She specifically said that abuse shouldn’t be tolerated. Did you read anything beyond the bolded statements?

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  7. What is this D word you are talking about? Wink Wink

    My wife and I removed the D word from our dictionary before we got married. We agreed that we could work through anything. We have had some very rough times. Probably some that others would not have been able to get through, but we have stuck it out for 17+ years now.

    Another thing we live by is that marriage is not 50/50. It is 100/100. Both husband and wife have to give 100% to the marriage to make it work.

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