The idea that there are certain qualities of a good wife seems a bit arcane.
Indeed, if you researched “Qualities of a Good Wife 19th century” you’d find the following criteria: obedient, discreet, pretty but not too pretty, plain was highly regarded, wide hips for easy childbearing, devoted, faithful, loyal, well-mannered, not too educated so as not to challenge the husband but able to maintain a conversation.
Today, if one were to describe the qualities of a good wife, the traits would be as varied as the number of people responding.
Let’s take a look at what men are answering when we asked them the question, “Qualities of a good wife?”
Toby is 27 and a strict follower of the Mormon religion
“My religion played a huge role in my choice of a wife. First, she had to be pure. In other words, we did not have premarital sex. That was not an issue since we follow the Church’s doctrine. So our sex life at the beginning was rocky, and we had to kind of learn as we went along. Another quality I wanted in my wife was someone who embraced her Mormonism as much as I did.
So, someone who would not have an issue staying at home with the children while I devoted my professional life to making us financially comfortable. We now have three children and that is working well for us.
One of my wife’s qualities that I value is that she is pretty but not super glamorous. I don’t want a showy, Kim Kardashian wife.
She’s natural and has no need for makeup. She’s also an awesome cook, especially for cakes and cookies, which I love. I guess I’d sum this up by saying my wife fits all my criteria for a good wife: pretty, a great mom, good cook, and for whom our religion is important as a guiding force in our lives.”
Grant, 45, describes his version of a good wife
I had a couple of wives before I found ‘my good wife.’ What makes my current wife good?
She’s my equal.
When I was younger, the idea of my wife being my equal was far from my mind. I saw myself as her superior, as the sole breadwinner, and that she should listen to me because my way was the right way. That’s not a healthy marriage.
Now, I am eager to get my wife’s opinion on everything from current events to the best way to recycle our plastics.
We have deep conversations from which I come away learning new viewpoints. We split household chores evenly, and I don’t assume she should do the ‘more feminine’ things such as cooking and cleaning.
We are very gender-neutral in that regard. I guess I could say that my vision of what makes a good wife has really evolved through the years.”
Ray, 39, tells us what he thinks makes for a good wife
I married my wife when we were both 20. We were high school sweethearts. At that time, I had no formal idea of what I was looking for in a wife, or what constituted a good wife, but I knew that Anna, my wife, was it. And that hasn’t changed in 19 years. She’s been by my side through better and worse.
We lost our first baby, and often that can break up a couple. But not us. If anything, this devastating experience brought us closer together, and that is entirely due to Anna and her excellent communication skills. I shut down but she opened me up and we lived our grief together. I’d say that “ability to communicate well” would be high on my list for ‘what makes a good wife’.
Matthew, 42, has yet to find his “good wife”
I have a certain ideal in mind when I think of what kind of wife I want.
She has to be super hot. I want other guys to look at her and think I must be the luckiest man in the world to have her as my better half. She needs to be smart, but not smarter than me. I mean I want to have conversations with her but she needs to recognize I’m more educated than her.
Above all, she should be a good mom, staying home with the kids and keeping the house clean and tidy, and my dinner ready when I get home from work. I want her to be adventurous in bed but not slutty.
My friends tell me I’m way too demanding and my expectations are unrealistic, which probably explains why I’m still single at age 42!”
Mike’s version of what he thought made for a good wife.
“I’m 55 now, and our kids are grown and gone. I married my wife when we were in our early twenties, and I’m sure what I thought was a good wife has changed since then.
At that time, a good wife for me was someone whom I could trust to raise our children correctly, to be good citizens. I also needed a partner, which my wife was and is, someone whose values and ethics aligned with mine.
Now that we have an empty nest our sense of partnership is still very present as we prepare for retirement. We still enjoy our conversations, our sex life, our travels and now our grandchildren. I’d say that marrying someone you know you can go the long term with would be one of the qualities to look for when looking for a good wife.”
We’ve seen several different examples of what men search for when describing the qualities of a good wife. It is clear that everyone’s vision is different. What is important is that you remain true to what you are looking for in a wife, so that when you find it, you know it.
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