Here’s a heads up, remember this rule and you’ll be set – Happy Wife Happy Life.
If you go to the Googles you’ll see a tonne of content around the meaning of a happy wife happy life saying. Some argue it’s scientifically proven other’s it’s a load of rubbish. In writing this article I learned a thing or two about the origins of the saying “Happy Wife Happy Life”.
The origins of Happy Wife Happy Life
A long long time ago (actually it was 2014), a study investigated the correlation between happiness in marriage as compared with a person’s perceived quality of life.
The study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that men who are less happy in their marriages may still be happy with their lives overall — as long as their wives are satisfied with their marriages.
Researchers argue when a wife isn’t happy she potentially withdraws from providing emotional support, does fewer household chores and you guessed it, there’s less sex on the menu.
That was the finding that makes people say, “Happy wife, happy life.” But it also cuts the other way, “Miserable wife, miserable life.”
I admit I had no idea this was the origin or the meaning of a happy wife happy life. I thought it was all about the man doing nice things, making an effort and generally engaging in their relationship. With an odd act of love thrown in too.
We’re aiming to avoid the miserable part so we surveyed a pile (very technical statistically accurate scientifically calculated figure) of couples married for more than 10 years, who gave us the following advice.
Happy Wife Happy Life – The Formula
1. Be Interested
Be genuinely interested in your wife’s life. Not your life together but specifically her stuff – her work, her friends, her hobbies.
Showing interest shows her you care about her and the benefits she brings to your life.
Sure you may have no interest in some of the detail, but be assured she’s also not that interested in some of your hobbies despite chatting to you about them whenever it takes your fancy.
Both partners showing interest in each other’s stuff means you’ll have another list of topics via which to connect. If you don’t talk about her things and she doesn’t talk about your things. That takes a lot of interesting topics from the table. It leaves a pile of life admin still on the agenda, which I will assure you, gets really boring really quickly.
2. Everyday acts of love
Love and marriage aren’t about getting married and not needing to woo each other ever again. And wooing doesn’t have to mean fancy date nights and exotic holidays.
Acts of love are making an effort to do or say the little things that make a big difference in somebody’s day.
Gary Chapman’s famous book – The 5 Love Languages is a great read.
Hint: A clever husband reads and decodes the acts of love most important to his wife.
Acts of Love
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- It’s showing gratitude for the things she does that make your life better
- It’s doing the household chore without needing to be asked
- It’s the note left on the kitchen bench
- It’s buying her favourite dessert and bringing it home as a surprise, or better still making it
- It’s the loving text in the middle of the day
- It’s noticing she’s exhausted and lighting the load
- It’s missing your wife and telling her
- It’s putting your phone down and spending quality time together
- It’s suggesting fun things to do together and making it happen
- It’s a kiss every single day before you leave for work
Your preferred acts of love may not be the same as hers. It’s all about knowing each other and tailoring your acts of love in a way that resonates with your partner.
Don’t be that person who chats to anybody and everybody when you’re out socially or at work, only to come home and go into your man cave or worse jump on your phone.
Man cave time is important but once you’re done, refer back to tips 1 and 2.
Everybody is so busy making the most of each day and working hard to get ahead, that sometimes life can get in the road. Life admin is endless and sometimes couples forget to check-in with each other.
I recently heard about “Check-in Friday” where couples pick a day of the week (it doesn’t have to be Friday) and they check-in with each other. NOT, about everyday life admin, kids, careers or social stuff but about their relationship.
1. What’re two great things each did during the week? (And by great, I don’t mean big or expensive).
2. Are there any issues you want to bring up?
Dare I say it, but as guys, some of us don’t love to chat about these things. Marriages don’t happen by themselves. Don’t be that person who has an issue and says nothing until it’s a big issue.
Five minutes once a week can avoid bigger issues popping up in the future. And there are extra points in it for you if you’re the one who prompts “Check-in Friday” to happen.
Marriage over the long term isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It’s one of the most amazing, rewarding, challenging, interesting life experiences you can have.
It’s not about falling in love once and riding that out until the end of your days.
It’s about growing together and finding new reasons to fall in love all over again.
The Bottom Line – Happy Wife, Happy Life, Happy Husband
If you do nice things and be loving towards your wife, she’ll be happier.
And if you’re wife is happy she’ll be nicer to you and do nice things for you.
And then you’ll be happy so you do more nice things for her.
And then she’ll be even happier…I think you get the picture.