How to be a Good Wife – A Grandmother’s Advice

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Feminists around the world would be up in arms if they were given marriage advice on how to be a good wife. Be pretty, stand tall and of course make sure your hair is neatly coiffed before  he arrives home tired from work expecting you to meet and greet him with a simple peck on the lips and a full face of make-up, rouge and all. The 1960’s was the time of the girl next door, the Bree Vanderkamp of the past. To be a good wife, one had to plan ahead, scheduling and timing was everything, especially when it came to the steaming hot freshly cooked meals that welcomed him. And don’t forget to make him comfortable. Fluffing his pillow and making sure he was leaned back comfortably in his favorite chair while you carefully took off his shoes and produced him with his newspaper and tipple of his choice. Oh, the women of today can do a little happy dance, thankful that they were not married in the times when instruction manuals taught eager and somewhat naïve women on how to be a good wife. Most women today, married or single, would disregard such manuals as utter nonsense and laugh at the sheer absurdity and criticize the blatant sexism – and why shouldn’t they? Why should they rub their man’s feet and wait until he speaks first? Most men of today would also mock the 1960’s housewife.

In saying all of this, however, relationships have gone from one extreme to another. It’s gone from women practically being enslaved and acting in servitude to the men of the house to well, practically nothing. There’s no way this is a feminist rant, although there are some values that were instilled in the past that just fail to exist in the modern marriage. What can we learn from our grandmothers and great grandmothers when it comes to being a good wife? Actually quite a lot – but not in the slave like sense you’re thinking, it’s related to common core values that women of the past had and still hold – and look at their relationships now, if they’re still lucky to have their spouse alive, there are very few women of that generation who are divorced.

As we moved on from the 20th century into the 21st morals and values began to slowly wane, however, our grandparents and great grandparent are proof that it’s necessary to instill such values into a relationship in order to maintain harmony and love.

Respect was perhaps one of the most highly rated values of the past. Respect between man and wife was mutual and if you sat down with your grandmother today she’d surely tell you that the key to a successful marriage and being a good wife was respect. Today respect in all areas has gone out the window – you can just look at the youth of today to see that. It’s not uncommon to see couples swearing at each other in parking lots nor is uncommon to hear of husband and wife belittling each other in front of others. When it comes to respecting the man you love it means treating him in a particular way that makes him feel important. Now, this is not a message for you to get down on your knees and bow to the almighty king as he walks through the front door – and of course the same goes for men. In short, if you respect your partner and he respects you, your love and adoration for each will sky rocket. You will enjoy more romance in your life and love will be renewed, because no matter what they say, love cannot die, it’s killed.

Service to your husband is another way that you can be a good wife. This of course does not mean waiting on him hand and foot and dropping everything to be at his beckon call – it’s far from it. Serving your husband can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Small selfless gestures are one of the best ways to arouse and reignite those romantic feelings, yes, they are there, but we do need to dig a little for them to emerge. Your service to your husband could mean just doing a few little chores that you’re not particularly fond of or it could simply mean doing something that interests him. By just taking more time to be involved with him and his life will give you a big gold star next to your name – but these are things that we shouldn’t have to be told, we should want to do them. And of course, actions speak louder than words. When we are more consistent and pay a little bit more attention such actions will be reflected back to us – the result? A healthier and happier marriage!

Bringing back some of the old fashioned values to make our relationship last should be on the top our list. When we took those vows we promised in sickness in health, yet these vows are being forever broken. There is no shame in reading about how to be a good wife. Being a good wife doesn’t mean tying yourself to the kitchen sink and speaking only when spoken to. Being a good wife is all about loving your partner and bringing back the old-fashioned romance that our grandparents enjoyed.

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