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How to Become a Better Wife

Becoming a better wife is a matter of anticipating problems and avoiding them if possible.

For instance, know that certain subjects are rife for controversy. Some of the top offenders are money and how to spend it, who is responsible for certain tasks around the house, whether or not to keep the cap on the toothpaste, and who gets up in the night if the baby is crying.

All these subjects can easily be solved by setting down some ground rules at the beginning of your marriage.

If this hasn’t yet been accomplished (and you’ve been married for a considerable amount of time), it’s time to sit down and (1) establish a budget and stick to it; (2) make a list of household chores and post it with the name of the one responsible beside it—with a place for check marks when it has been done each week; (3) either get a house with two bathrooms and each use only one, or have designated areas for individual items each person uses—and don’t touch those that belong to the other person; and (4) take turns getting up with the baby (or other children, if necessary).

Here are some other hints that may save some unhappiness in your life:

Teach your husband that he doesn’t always have to solve the problem. When most husbands listen to their wives, they immediately think, “What does she want me to do to fix this?” That’s the typical male response in business and in life in general. They are tuned in to how this can be solved and have no idea that you just want him to listen while you vent.

He is correct in believing that there are times when he does need to solve the problem. For instance, if you announce that you believe someone is trying to break into the house, but if you are just discussing the fact that one of your friends offended you by making a remark about how much weight you had gained, he’s just supposed to listen and assure you that you look absolutely terrific no matter what she said. He is definitely not supposed to confront your friend and tell her she’s got a lot of nerve saying that to you when she outweighs you by forty pounds!

Again, you have to teach him what kind of response you are expecting.

Never attempt to discuss an important subject when he is engrossed in watching a football game or other sport. First, he will never hear a word you say, and two, nothing is more important to him at that moment than whether or not the Titans are ahead.

Don’t even dream of standing between the television and him to give him information unless the house is on fire or a drive-by shooting is occurring in your neighborhood. It had better be life and death if you interrupt when someone is making a goal!

Never buy him a tie unless he is still wearing the ones he had in high school.

Do teach him that stripes, polka dots and plaids do not always go together in the same outfit. If he is color-blind, pick out his clothes for him on a daily basis.

Remind him that he too is capable of buying groceries on his way home and make sure this happens often enough so that he knows where to find the milk and bread in the store. If you are working outside your home too or even if you’re not, every adult who eats should be able to buy groceries.

Tell him every day how much you love him and how happy you are to be his wife. Don’t ever take for granted that you are the only woman in his world. Just look around at your friends who discovered after 20 years of marriage that their husbands had strayed from the nest. If you aren’t keeping your husband happy, many other females out there will be glad to fill in the gaps.

Try not to lose your temper when he tells you how his mother always cooked a certain favorite food of his and, of course, it’s not the way you fix it. After all, he learned to eat at her table and he’ll always compare foods to that early experience. It’s not an insult to you, just a reminder of what he used to eat. If his mother is still around, see if she’ll share her recipe with you and try to make it the same way. It’s a much easier path to take than telling him what you really think about his remarks!

Keep a sense of humor at all times. Men do not think like women do. They are rarely capable of the type of multitasking you take for granted every day. If he gets a bad cold and tells you every few minutes how bad he feels, just remind yourself that he’ll get well soon and this will all be in the past. He’s not able to take pain the way you are so don’t expect him to.

Life is too short to have major disagreements over minor issues. If you do have an argument, say you’re sorry and forget the whole thing. Holding a grudge is the first step to divorce.

Remember to love the one you’re with. Someday one of you will be gone—and you’ll be missing the days you had together. Make every one of them count.

Sue Freeman Culverhouse
Sue Freeman Culverhousehttp://culverhouseart.com/
Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others. Sue is the winner of two Virginia Press Awards in writing. She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney. Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University. Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students. Sue writes "Uncommon Sense," a column in the Robertson County Times, which also appears on Clarksville Online. She is the author of "Seven keys to a sucessful life", which is  available on amazon.com and pubishamerica.com; this is a self-help book for all ages.

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