While it is true that no marriage is perfect, you can always strive to make it work.
Marriage comes with hard work and both parties have to commit to become better and grow together.
Hence we asked 12 experts, how to be a better wife and improve your marriage?
Discover helpful insights below.
Certified Women’s Health Coach | Professional Organizer
“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”– Anais Nin
When you choose to see your husband as your greatest spiritual teacher, you begin to see that each upset in your relationship becomes an opportunity for personal growth and for you to grow closer together as a couple.
Read related article: Best Marriage Books for Couples
When I was first married, my husband and I would get into a lot of arguments about maintaining and cleaning our home. I was a professional organizer and his idea of being organized was when his piles of clean and dirty clothes weren’t overlapping on the bedroom floor. This drove me crazy and I felt totally overwhelmed by his messes.
At first, it was easy to blame him for how I was feeling. But that didn’t feel great and it definitely didn’t fix the clutter problem. It isn’t always easy to do, but when you are willing to take 100% responsibility for your own feelings in a relationship, there is usually a tremendous amount of growth and healing available.
When I considered what was going on in my own life that was being mirrored back to me through this challenge, I realized that there were projects and things that were sitting in metaphorical piles, neglected and unfinished, much like the piles of clothes and papers that were strewn about our home.
I then realized that the piles weren’t a sentence to live out my days in a messy home, but rather an opportunity to slow down and notice the role that distraction was playing in my own life.
Once I recognized this, I got curious about it. Next, I addressed it by committing to overcoming my own distraction and mental clutter. And finally, I did my own “cleaning up” by having an honest conversation with my husband where I owned my part in the upset and communicated vulnerably, honestly and openly about how I was feeling and what kind of support I needed from him.
After that, two things happened rather quickly. First, the minor messes around the house stopped feeling so dire to me. And second, without any prompting from me, my husband started making a bigger effort more consistently and our home started to look and feel better.
When you are willing to take full responsibility for your own feelings and upset in your relationship, you will not only be a better wife, but intimacy and trust will start to blossom and your marriage will flourish.
Read related article: How to Have a Happy Marriage (3 Secrets of Happily Married Couples)
Create a vision board or an ideal scene (with or without your Husband)
When you get in the car to go somewhere and you don’t know exactly how to get there, the first thing you would do is enter the address of the destination into the GPS on your phone or in your car’s navigation system. If you don’t know the address, that will make it kind of tricky to get there.
It’s the same way with your marriage. If you want to be in a different place in your relationship with your husband, start by picking the destination.
A vision board or an ideal scene can be a fun way to paint the picture of where you want to go in your marriage. You will want to choose imagery that represents experiences you want to have or ones that evoke the feelings you want to have together.
You can also add words that represent the qualities you want your marriage to have or the values you want to live by as husband and wife. Put your vision board somewhere you will see it each and every day. The reason why vision boards work is because you are essentially engaging in visualization throughout the day when you look at it.
Thoughts become things. And before long, you’ll wonder if your name is Alice and you’ve just “stepped through the vision board,” because you’re now living in your very own personal wedded wonderland.
P.S. Your husband doesn’t have to do this with you in order for it to work. But if he’s game, grab a bottle of wine, your favorite Spotify playlist, and prepare yourself for an awesome date night in!
Color-code your calendar
Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management said,
“Tell me what you value and I might believe you, but show me your calendar and your bank statement and I’ll show you what you really value.”
I often encourage my clients to get out their calendars during coaching sessions because the way we manage and relate with our time has a huge impact on all areas of our life.
Husbands included. When you consistently set aside time for your significant other, your marriage will naturally improve.
Last year, I started color coding my calendar so that at a glance, I can see how well I am managing my time and if I am living according to my values. Appointments in green represent time spent with loved ones and I make it a priority to have a healthy amount of vibrant Kelly green on my calendar each week including one full day each week blocked out as a “no plan zone” when my husband and I are both off.
This day is my commitment to us spending time together and having fun together. The appointment and color (which resonates with the heart chakra) are visual cues on my calendar each week that remind me of what is important to me and remind me that focusing on my marriage is a daily commitment, not just a something to be celebrated on anniversaries.
And go ahead and let go of any pressure around this now. It doesn’t have to work out perfectly each week. Perfection is not the goal. Progress is.
Have sex every day for a month
If you haven’t yet heard of “Sexy September,” go ahead and Google it now. I’ll wait. On second thought, I’ll save you the embarrassing search history, and the suspense.
Sexy September is exactly what the name implies: a mutual and consensual commitment between you and your partner to have sex for 30 days in a row during the month of September. A sort of marathon of physical intimacy, if you will.
The idea of having sex for 30 days straight might sound easy to one person, and impossible to another, even two people within the same marriage. It takes commitment, creativity, and communication to fulfill this challenge. And at times, it can feel like kind of a chore (even if you think your husband is smokin’ hot).
So why do it? Well, I think how you do one thing is how you do everything.
So if you are going to be practicing commitment, creativity, and communication with your husband in the bedroom, that experience is going to play out in your life outside the bedroom as well.
This will definitely come in handy when you need to sit down to talk about last month’s credit card bills or how you’re going to handle the holidays this year.
So, do you have to wait until next September rolls around to get started with your rolling around? Not at all. I say don’t let Pope Gregory and his calendar get in the way of a good time if you prefer to start now.
The most important thing is to be open to learning new things about your husband, about yourself, and about your marriage.
Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation and the Ziva Technique says,
“We don’t meditate to get good at mediation, we meditate to get good at life.”
And I think the same notion applies here. You don’t do Sexy September to get good at having sex together, you do Sexy September to get good at doing life together!
Learn a new language
When I got married, my bridesmaids gave me a basket full of goodies that they thought would be useful for my new life as a wife. Tucked in with a pretty robe, monogrammed wine glasses and a cookbook was “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I read it in one sitting and I asked my husband to read it as well.
In the book, Chapman explains how each one of us gives and receives emotional love in a relationship differently.
The five “languages” are “Words of Affirmation,” “Quality Time,” “Receiving Gifts,” “Acts of Service,” and “Physical Touch.”
After reading the book, we identified our primary love languages through a simple quiz and made “cheat sheets” that helped us identify the most impactful ways to express love to each other.
For example, if your primary love language is “Acts of Service,” you might feel most loved when your husband takes the garbage and recycling out and add that to your list. But if your primary love language is “Quality Time,” chances are high that you’d probably rather he leave the garbage where it is and come join you on the couch for some conversation and cuddles.
Your partner may feel unfamiliar with the language you receive love in if it isn’t his primary love language or if he didn’t grow up in a household where love was expressed in that way. If so, I recommend being patient with your man, as it can literally feel like he is learning a foreign language.
I also started checking in on how loved my husband was feeling on a scale of 1-10. Chapman suggested asking your partner “how full their love tank is.” I like to ask this question a few times a month and when my husband responds with a number lower than 8, I ask him what I can do to bring that up to a 10.
And if his number is on the higher end of the scale, I ask him why so I can continue learning how to speak his language more fluently.
Principal, MMS Brand Consulting, LLC | Founder, Mimi Strawberry
Have the drive to stay in a happy state while being married
As someone who has been a wife for the last 14 years, I’ve certainly experienced ups and downs in my marriage. Overall, there is no two marriage to be the same nor is there a perfect marriage that exists in this world.
The only truth is how happy both spouses are in their marriage. And that happiness is not going to be the same each day. Some days are happier than others and other days may be frustrating like never before.
The most important thing is to have the drive to stay in a happy state while being married. Below are three areas of focus that can help achieve or maintain that happiness of mindset:
The first and foremost step to being a better wife is to have self-awareness. It’s important to understand what makes you happy and what you expect and desires from your spouse.
For example, if there is a habit from your spouse that bothers you, it’s helpful to know how and why that habit bothers you. Is there an alternative action that can be taken that will make you happy without asking your spouse to change? Or is there a compromise that you both can agree on that will ease the situation?
Life is a journey, and so is a long-lasting marriage. Evolution is only natural if you and your spouse are in the long-haul. It’s important to know that people will change, circumstances will change and so will the dynamics of the relationship.
With all of the changes, it’s essential for both parties to be flexible and apply more empathy towards each other. Empathy will help create understanding resulting in a deeper level of connection.
Too often in life, conflict in a relationship arise base on a lack of communication. For every successful marriage, active communication is the most vital skill to adopt in the relationship.
Never assume that your spouse knows what’s on your mind or what is bothering you.
Just because you may have been in a relationship with someone for a long time doesn’t necessarily make them an expert of you. Be generous in sharing your thoughts and be open-minded to theirs.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Birmingham Maple Clinic
Soften your startup
John Gottman’s research shows that women who start conversations without harsh negativity are less likely to end in divorce.
That is complaining without blaming, avoid criticizing the person and speak to the facts, avoid judgement and evaluations just speak to what happened and what you would like instead, use “I” instead of “you,” and take care of your physiological and emotional reactions so you can remain calm, polite, respectful and appreciative.
Give specific directions instead of sarcasm or vague passive-aggressive remarks.
Give 5 positive, appreciative, grateful remarks for each 1 negative
Do this even if it’s only in your head and not aloud. Research shows maintaining the 5:1 ratio of positive interactions is helpful for relational success but also for the individual’s own wellbeing.
Learn your own and your partner’s love language
To help catch more opportunity for gratitude it’s helpful to know what your love language is as your partners so you can translate loving gestures and don’t miss well-intended behaviors of connection.
Your love language profile can be found at The Five Love Languages. They are gifts, quality time, acts of service, physical affection and words. When you know your partner’s language you can give them love in the way they recognize it and you can receive it knowing their style may be different than yours.
Professional Relationship Expert | Strategist | Life Coach, Love Me Right
Use the K.N.O.W. method
Four ways to improve your marriage and become a better wife using the K.N.O.W. method!
#1 Know what type of wife you want to be
There is not a preset role that you can step into as a wife because you are always evolving and growing. I learned very early on in my marriage that I needed to determine the type of wife I wanted to be based on my strengths, weakness, desires and the needs of my family.
It took courage for me to choose and change my role as a wife because it was different than how I started as a wife. Although the change was difficult once I fully embraced it, my marriage improved and allowed me to better connect with my husband.
#2 No. The word “no” is a complete sentence
Wives must learn to say no when it’s appropriate. It is easy to become a husband-pleaser and lose yourself by always feeling compelled to say “yes” and it should be a polite “no”.
However, that is the quickest way to get burned out and become bitter and resentful. Learning to have boundaries and being able to enforce those boundaries will help you become a happier wife.
Always be looking for opportunities to create win-win situations for yourself and husband. Most people teach you to learn how to compromise in a marriage. After years and years of compromising your wants and needs, you become bored and detached.
Learning to create win-win situations for you and your husband will allow you to deepen the bond in your marriage.
Wisdom is required to have a great marriage. A wife that shows good judgment when she speaks and acts will win the heart of her husband.
Vania Nikolova, Ph.D.
Head of Health Research, Run Repeat
So here are my top 3 pieces of advice, that has made the biggest change in my marriage:
Align priorities with your husband
It’s important to know where the other person is coming from when you have differences, and this brings more understanding in your communication.
Learn what the small stuff is, and learn not to sweat it
Men are usually brought up in a different way compared to women, so they don’t pay attention to things as all the cutlery on the table to be from the same set.
And in the grand scheme of things, this is not all that important – so instead of picking on him about this, just let it go, or just buy one type of cutlery. Your life and your marriage will be much better if you realize that he just doesn’t see these types of details and he’s not being careless just to piss you off.
Leave him some breathing room and let him be himself
Let your husband have time for the things that are important to him. Allow him to have plans on his own, without you knowing every detail – he’s not a child.
Treat your husband as a separate adult, show some trust in his judgment, and respect his needs, even if you don’t quite understand them. I promise you, he’ll be grateful.
Sharea Farmer, LCSW
Create a clear form of communication that allows everyone involved the ability to feel heard
One way to do this is to never assume your partner does not hear you or understand your needs. Instead of complaining, ask for what you want in concrete, clear and measurable terms.
Don’t get caught up in thinking that “sex doesn’t matter,” it really does
If sex is a part of how you express intimacy it is an important and healthy part of a successful marriage. So be honest about what you enjoy sexually. Communication will help strengthen your experience and allow the intimacy outside of the bedroom to blossom into something you both will enjoy.
Remember to create a high level of how you show gratitude
It’s important to focus equally if not more on the “bright side”; this will help you build what I call healthy emotional storage. The goal should be to have at least a 3 to 1 ratio of positive statements to not-so-positive ones.
Katie Ziskind, LMFT
It starts with having a healthy relationship with yourself
Being a better wife doesn’t necessarily mean making more money or changing too much too fast.
Instead, begin to build a loving, healthy relationship with yourself. As a woman, it’s important to have a circle of female friends outside of your marriage that you can go to for feminine support.
Additionally, to be a better wife, you need a self-care practice and a routine for restoring and rejuvenating your mind, body, and spirit.
Commit to exercising with a group every week or put a yoga class on your schedule, so that you can return refreshed as a wife to your marriage and continue to bring the playfulness, curiosity, and support your partner as they need.
Lastly, make sure that your energy levels are balanced by always having good nutrition and healthy foods throughout the day. If you skip meals, your partner will feel your emotional abandonment and emotional instability because you have no brainpower.
Make sure that you’re on top of your nutrition so that you can be cheerful and energized around your partner.
Leigh-Ann Larson, M.Ed., LMHC
Founder and CEO, Elevate Counseling Services
The ideal marriage has two people who are genuinely engaged and interested in supporting their spouse in concrete tangible ways that say “I love you” and “I respect you.”
The best couples work toward demonstrating their mutual love and respect toward each other. You should be thinking about and executing behavior designed to make your spouse feel this love and respect.
Ask your spouse what they need from you to help them feel loved and respected. Ask your spouse what you do or say that makes them feel disrespected and change that behavior.
I suggest reading “The 5 Love Languages” By Gary Chapman to help you figure out how, as a couple, you intuitively give and best receive love. Then speak to each other in that language.
Blogger, Life Love and Blog
Always be respectful of your husband
My top recommendation for women who want to be better wives and improve their marriages is to always be respectful of their husbands.
If you don’t have respect for your husband, then other aspects of your marriage are likely to suffer.
So often I hear wives criticizing and speaking disrespectfully of their husbands in public. Sometimes when the husband is present and sometimes behind his back.
They may do this because they are speaking out of frustration with certain behaviors or habits the husband possesses or may be out of their own set of insecurities. In the end, it is the wife who comes across as looking bad.
Also, I’ll wager to guess that if they are speaking so ill of their husbands in public, that they speak that way in private as well.
Regardless of when, why, or where, it is wrong for one spouse to be disrespectful to the other. By doing so, you are undermining your husband and your marriage.
Steve and I don’t always see eye to eye. Sometimes we get angry with each other. Sometimes we may not like each other, but we always love each other. We are always respectful of each other. Periodic spats are resolved and we move forward. Disrespectful words undermine and hurt our relationship.
So, whether we are in the privacy of our home or out in public with family or friends, we are always respectful of each other.
Dr. Brie Turns, LAMFT
CEO and Founder, The Family Therapist, LLC
Intentionally date and get to know one another
Learn you and your spouse’s love language! Communicate in his love language and tell him how to communicate in yours. Also, spend time having FUN together, not just chores or housework or parenting issues.
Next, continue to intentionally date and get to know one another!
Finally, if something is bothering you, gently bring it to your partner’s attention and tell him what you would rather have him do instead rather than picking out the flaws of what he did.
Entrepreneur | Author, The Makings of Me Keepsake
Be a better listener
I have been married for 9 years but my husband and I have been together for 18yrs. We met in September of 2000.
We were kids trying to start a real relationship and boy did we. When we got married we had already been together for 9 years. Ideally, we didn’t think it would change our relationship or roles much because we already felt like we were a married couple. We were wrong.
We had a whole new respect for one another and I remember feeling like I got the chance to start life over now as Felicia Harris. As I now knew it there was no more Felicia Carson.
I remember while I was young and searching for love I always told myself that I would be a great wife to any man.
My idea of a great wife was cooking, cleaning, tending and being intimate with my husband. I had a lot to learn.
A few years after we got married I noticed something was missing on my part. My husband was happy but I felt lacking in the wife department. It was small but I figured out what it was, Listening.
After a while of being together, my husband became a better partner because he started listening/watching me closer. He learned what made me tick and what made me cry or hurt. It was easy to know what made me happy but studying me to know more about me turned him into the best husband ever.
So now it was my turn. I was doing everything expected as a wife except listening to my husband speak.
I would hear him all the time but I was never really listening. He would tell me about his day and I would half-listen. He would give me pointers or his opinion and I would half take them because I disregarded his advice. He would tell me the stove was hot and I would say no it wasn’t and get burned.
At some point, I saw a need from my husband for me to be present more. Physically I was always there but I wasn’t very vocal or cooperative in the relationship. I was more concerned about myself and what I wanted or needed.
As long as he was fed, tended to and sexually satisfied I was happy. I began to notice he wasn’t talking to me as much or talking to others who listened better. That’s when I decided to be a better listener.
I stopped worrying about my small concerns and listened to everything.
I listened to how his day went in the car after work. I listened to his business proposals and even gave feedback. I listened to his advice and stopped asking others theirs as well or instead.
I listened to his parenting advice and stopped acting like I always knew all the answers myself. I listened to his goals, dreams, and stories and made some of them mine as well.
Once I started listening we became a bigger force. Now we’re working together and getting to know what teamwork is really like. All along it was him learning me and now it’s my turn to learn him.
I know what makes him tick, what grinds his wheels, what makes him smile, what his heart desires in life and how his mind works. We are no longer just husband and wife we are now married.
Founder, Perfection Hangover
Communicate your needs
Oftentimes, couples fall into the comfortability trap. Life becomes routine, and self-care and romance go out the window. It is so vital for us, as women, to take care of ourselves.
Take some time away from the spouse and kids to treat yourself. You can do so by making a massage appointment, taking a drive-by yourself for 30 minutes, or making it a priority to have a girls’ night or weekend.
We also tend to shy away from telling our partners what we truly need and want from them and asking them what makes them happy. By communicating our needs and offering that which we desire to our partner, we are drawn closer to our spouse, reigniting the spark.
- Get professional counseling from a licensed therapist.
- Individual and couples counseling. Anytime, anywhere.