Be faithful

It may be stating the obvious, but sometimes the line between being faithful and unfaithful can be blurred, particularly if partners have different sets of values. Being unfaithful to your spouse may not be as blatant as having an intimate relationship with another person.

It is important to establish, early in your relationship, what you consider to be “being unfaithful.” You may consider having a coffee with a female colleague after work to be perfectly innocent on your part, but your wife may feel differently. Or your wife may have a male friend, who has been an important part of her life for many years, and they go to the movies together or meet for lunch occasionally, and you may be fine with that. As husband and wife, you must state what your expectations are of each other and what you will be happy with and what you won’t.

That said, if your wife doesn’t want you to keep meeting with that female colleague for coffee, you continuing to do so is, in fact, being unfaithful to her, even if it is a purely platonic situation on your part. You may have no interest in anything other than friendship with the woman, but if it makes your wife uncomfortable, it should not continue. Should you decide that your wife is being unreasonable and you continue to meet the woman without telling her, you are creating a whole new set of complications that creep into unfaithful behaviour whether that is your intention or not.

People say that unfaithfulness in a marriage may stem from a number of factors. This may be true. However, there really is no need for it to happen. The basic principle is that you have made a vow to your spouse to stay faithful. If you are not happy in your relationship, if you feel something is lacking, if you feel your partner is cheating on you – discuss it with your partner, seek help or end it. Unfaithful behaviour is never justified, whether you are feeling neglected by your wife or not.

Being unfaithful eliminates the element of trust from your relationship. If it happens once, as far as the other party goes, it can happen again. It is hurtful and can permanently damage a relationship.

Staying faithful to your wife means you don’t give her any reason to be concerned about what you are doing or where you are. Likewise, you should trust her and not question what she does and where she goes if she is with her friends.

As mentioned above, establish the ground rules, and don’t break them

Be active

To most women, there really isn’t anything overly attractive about a man who sits around watching TV all weekend and doesn’t play with his kids.

So it stands to reason that if you appear to be unmotivated and uninterested in spending time with your family, your family won’t want to spend time with you. You sitting around the house reading the paper while your wife takes the kids to their sports on weekends is just a recipe for disaster, especially if it happens on a regular basis.

If you find that you are spending much of your time just laying about, not working in the yard, not interacting with the family, it might be worth a talk with your wife or a visit to a doctor, as there could be underlying issues. But neglecting your health and thereby neglecting your family will make your wife feel resentful and, rather than communicate with you, she will probably start bottling her feelings up and they will come out in negative ways when you least expect it over seemingly trivial things.

Go to the kids’ sports as a family, wash the car, mow the lawn, fix the garage door. Get up, get out and do some things that get the blood flowing and enable you to bond with your wife and kids.

Ask her if you make her happy

It’s as simple as that. When in doubt, ask.

Rather than guessing and getting it wrong on so many levels, just come out and ask her. If your relationship is strong you will be able to talk about the issues she raises and accept them constructively.

Sometimes your wife just won’t know what is wrong unless it actually happens and she is able to show you. Sometimes she will just feel things and won’t be able to put them into words when you want her to, so it may be that you need to be patient and understanding. But if she knows that are happy to listen and understand, the words may flow a little easier for her and you can grasp her meaning easier.

If you ask you wife is something is bothering her and she gives you a one word answer, try another question. It may take a few questions, but she will open up. She mightn’t open up on the first “are you okay?” because she is testing to see if it is okay to let it out, and if you really do care or not. If you take her “yes” as the end of the conversation that will be it, and she won’t tell you anything. But gently probing questions will reassure her that you are interested, and she will open up.

Acknowledge her parents’ birthdays and anniversary

In-laws are sometimes a necessary evil of being married. And sometimes you love them, and sometimes you don’t.

Something that many people don’t stop to think about is that, without those parents your wife would not be in your life today. So why not celebrate that?

Your in-laws are people with feelings, too, and more often than not they want to be accepted by you as much as you want to be accepted by them. As with anyone involved in your life, especially
your own parents, it is an act of goodwill to try to remember their special days, such as birthdays and anniversaries and acknowledge them. By offering a voluntary wish of “Happy Birthday” to your father-in-law you are extending courtesy, respect and acceptance to him that is indicative of the respect and courtesy you feel for his daughter. Wishing your in-laws a “Happy Anniversary” shows them that you understand that their marriage is special to them, as is your marriage to their daughter and that, if not for them and their happy marriage, you and your wife may not even be together at all.

Acknowledging your wife’s parents’ special days also shows your wife that you are accepting all aspects of her and her life and who she is, thereby giving her a sense of security and contentment
with her marriage.

Be honest and truthful

Honesty is extremely important in any relationship. It makes up one of the many strong foundations upon which we live our lives and is one of the first qualities we expect from our partners.

As her husband, one of the main things your wife will want from you is honesty. You need to be honest to your wife, your children and, just as importantly, yourself. If you aren’t truthful with yourself you are holding back who you really are. You need to be honest about your expectations of yourself and your wife and you need to be truthful about where you are and who you are with.

Being truthful about the everyday, small things in life is how you build the basis for the bigger, more important issues when they arise. If your wife can’t trust you pay the bills on time how can she trust you to make sure your home is financially secure and you are protecting your family? The occasional little “white lies” that may seem inconsequential because you don’t want to upset her at the time can start to wear away the trust she has for you and when something important happens and you want her understanding, it just won’t be there.

If there is something you know your wife doesn’t like you doing it’s best you don’t do it at all, rather than do it and lie about it. Ask for her understanding, explain what you want to do and why you want to do it. If you disagree and you decide to do it anyway, tell her that, rather than do it behind her back. She will have more acceptance for your choice than she will of your lack of honesty.

Whatever your expectations of each other, be honest with each other about them. Talk often about your feelings, because your true feelings will help keep the marriage together and strong.

Change your own behavior first

Unfortunately, we really can’t try to change our partner’s behaviour without changing our own. The harsh reality of life is that sometimes we just have to bite the bullet, swallow our pride, and take a good hard look at ourselves before we start to focus on others. We have to get real about ourselves.

If there are problems in a marriage it will rarely be because of just one party. It might seem that way to you, and yes, it may be that certain things your wife has done have led to you acting a certain way. But how long will that go on for if it’s not working and both of you are unhappy? You call into the vicious cycle of playing the blame-game and pride prevents one or both of you from taking the first step to fixing things.

But if you are going to be truly honest and want to know that you have given your wife and your marriage everything you’ve got, you have to start looking at yourself and how you may have influenced how things have turned out, whether you have intended to do so or not. It may be that your wife has been snarling at you and for what you think is no good reason, or you may have been trying to help around the house and have tried to implement some of the advice in this book, but to no avail. So, at some point, you have to look at what you are doing and try a different approach. Even if you think you are “right” is being right getting you where you want to be?

If your partner is unwilling to try discussing any problems you can always seek help yourself. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of effort on the part of one partner for the other to see the motivation and become inspired to change as well. Sometimes it’s a bit harder.

Obviously, you can’t change into a new person. But you can change how you handle certain situations and how you react to things your wife says and does.

A communication problem doesn’t usually come from just one person. You might think that what your wife says is clearly making a certain point, but the language barrier between men and women is a lot wider than many people think, and if it’s not understood it can severely impact on how we interpret what our partner means in relation to what they say – they are rarely the same thing. By understanding how men and women are different it may be easier to understand how the communication problem you have has arisen. Do some reading, speak to counselors, and try to get some understanding of how you can make a difference, rather than just expecting your wife to make the changes. If changes in the marriage are necessary, they will come from any changes you make yourself.

You don’t have to be wrong to make the first move.

Carry the bags when you get out of the car

There are so many times when this will apply, from the few day-to-day bags of groceries to the trips away with loads of luggage.

If you’ve been on a picnic with your family, you will know that there are several items involved in the outing – the fold-up chairs, the esky, the picnic blanket, the bag with the kids’ toy cars, the bag with the nibblies, your wife’s handbag, the kids’ hats, etc. The majority of the items you have with you are for all of you, not just your wife, whether you think most of them were necessary or not. By getting out of the car and walking away to find your friends or a shady spot and leaving your wife to carry the majority of the luggage you are sending a very strong message that you have no thought or respect for how she will manage to get everything out of the car and over to the picnic area, that all you are concerned about is what you want to do – not what is best for both of you. When you get out of the car, take the heavy items, and offer to come back for another load rather than her straining herself. It is a small way of showing that you respect her, but it is one of the small tokens that will mean the most, and help to make your wife feel a bit more content within herself.

Bringing home groceries from the shop is the same. If you are home, it is just good manners to help your wife bring in the shopping. There’s not much point in you sitting there watching TV while your wife makes numerous trips to and from the car bringing in bag after bag of shopping. Again, this is just a matter of simple courtesy and manners. Think about how you would like to be treated and treat your wife accordingly.

Can one candle really do all that?

Never underestimate the power of a candle.

Yes, one of those little waxy things that you set fire to. Think about all those movies you’ve seen where the couples have dinner by candlelight – there’s a very good reason for that: candlelight romance. What’s one thing that always makes a woman say “oooh” and makes her snuggle against you that little bit more? A candle. The more candles, the more the “oooh” factor. Picture every photo of an expensive resort or restaurant you’ve ever seen and you can be sure you’ll come up with one common theme – candlelight, perhaps with a garden setting, perhaps with a beach setting, perhaps just at a dinner table. But there they’ll be, gently flickering in the breeze, ready to capture the attention of every woman around.

But don’t panic, you don’t actually have to take her to one of those places (well, perhaps…). No, seriously, you don’t. Just buy a few nicely decorated candles and put them in your home. These
days you can buy the most beautifully decorated, fragrant, mood invoking candles imaginable, in any shape, size or colour. Just by sitting down occasionally with all the lights off (after the kids are in bed) and having a quiet chat with your wife you can work wonders. Candles soften any mood, relax tension, and create such a warm, glowing feeling that conversations always flow easier.

Talking by candlelight comes more naturally, even if it is just amiable chit-chat, which is sometimes where we need to start. It isn’t always easy to sit down and have a serious discussion about relationship issues so just some light conversation by candlelight might be just what you need to get the words flowing.

By using fragrant candles, such as lavender and vanilla, you can create an even more relaxing environment in which you can both relax and talk, and get back in touch with each other.

Don’t compare her to other women

Even if you think you are just making a suggestion, comparing your wife to any other woman is absolutely taboo.

No-one likes to be told someone else is better than them, and your wife is no different. She is an individual person who does things her own way and looks her own way. She is a unique individual and you must appreciate her for her she is – you love her and you chose to marry her – to imply that she doesn’t satisfy you is hurtful.

If you don’t like her cooking, suggest some things that you do like and ask her to try them. To say that your brother’s wife is a much better cook is not the way to handle the issue. If her cooking really is that bad, why not take over the job yourself? There is bound to be a way to work it out if it really causes a problem in the home. If you don’t like the way she dresses, don’t tell her your mate’s wife always looks nice and has a lovely figure. Offer to go shopping with her and choose a few things yourself and suggest what you like about them (the color matches her eyes, the style makes her look taller, etc.) in a positive way. If * ZAFFAR SAYS * “She is an individual person who does things her own way and looks her own way….” PAGE 58……………5 Steps To Happy Wife & Life Copyright © 2009. Zaffar Publications All Rights Reserved No part of the Book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express consent of Zaffar Publications you think her housekeeping skills are a bit lacking, offer to have a cleaner come on a regular basis to take the pressure off, rather than complain that your neighbor’s home is always tidy, so yours should be, too. If she has, perhaps, put on some weight, offer to go for regular walks with her so you can both get fit, instead of commenting that your sister has lost heaps of weight.

Many women are full of self-criticism and to begin with, and are often lacking in confidence in relation to their appearance or their ability to keep their husband happy. Noticing positive things about other women is always going to hurt your wife, whether you intend it that way or not. Having even the smallest fault put to her in a comparative way is likely to make your wife’s confidence levels drop drastically.

Also consider whether you have been paying her much attention recently. If she feels that you are too busy to notice what she wears, she will probably put less effort into choosing her clothes. If you complain about what she cooks she will feel there is not much point thinking about what to cook that you like because you won’t like it anyway. Negativity brings out more negativity. That’s just the way of human nature. Finding a positive way to bring about changes in your wife is usually going to be better received than comparing, and more likely to be acted on.

Bring in the washing if it’s raining

Think about it. Your wife’s had to go and pick up one of the kids from a friend’s house because he’s sick, and had to stop off at the chemist on the way, and you’ve got friends coming for a barbeque in an hour. The clouds roll in and, inevitably, the rain comes. The kids’ school uniforms are on the clothes line, and you know you’ll all be out tomorrow at your dad’s birthday party. The last thing your wife needs is to come home and find that the washing is dripping on the line, and you’re watching TV, or sorting out your drill bits in the garage!

Even if the washing wasn’t dry yet, it’s going to be easier to get half-dry washing to dry than it is going to be to get rain-soaked, dripping washing to dry. So it will usually be a good bet to bring it in, even if you aren’t sure.

For the sake of just two minutes of your time, your wife will – almost guaranteed – say “thank you” to you for bringing that washing in, probably followed by a smile. If you don’t, the first thing she will say – again, almost guaranteed – when she walks in the door will be “you could have brought the washing in for me! Now I’ll have to…”

It’s all about thinking outside your own world and seeing what happens in someone else’s. You might think it’s no big deal to leave the washing out, it will dry tomorrow. But that’s no good to your wife now. If your car was left out with the windows down and it started to rain you would like someone (probably your wife) to realise that and put your windows up while you were in the shower.

Those few minutes taken to bring the washing in will probably save your wife hours of fussing later, and your wife will appreciate you making the effort to make her life a little bit easier.