How to Have a Winning Relationship with Your Wife

If you win your wife over, you win big time in your family life. Like all things important it won't be easy, but here are three simple ways to score big with your wife.

Happy Father’s Day! You have made it to another year of parenting! Look how far you have come in investing into another generation of humanity. I want to commend you for investing your life into your marriage and family, relationships that are precious and truly, priceless.

Image of satirical card

I have had the privilege of leading moms groups for the past 18 years. You can imagine the countless stories I have heard these women’s husbands and children. Stories of joy, pain and the breakthroughs these women have experienced in managing their marriages and families.

I suppose my experience with these women allows me to share some tips on what you can do to win your wife over. They might not be the easiest and most natural thing for you to do, and it might mean having to go out of your way and putting others before yourself. But hey, if you win your wife over, chances are, you win big time in your family life. So here they are, three ‘R’s to score big with your wife:

Recognise her love language

A Chinese ancient saying goes, “If you know yourself and your opponent well, you will never be defeated.” Knowing the love language of your wife is a sure win way to build her up. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, reveals that there are five love languages:

  • Quality Time,
  • Acts of Service,
  • Words of Affirmation,
  • Physical Touch, and
  • Receiving Gifts.

Each of us has, at least, a primary love language, i.e. something that expresses love to us the most. You can discover your wife’s love language by observing her or simply do an online quiz.

My primary love language is Quality Time, and my husband’s is Acts of Service. “If you know yourself and your opponent well, you will never be defeated.”At the start of the year, I asked my husband, “What is one thing I can do in order for you to know I love you?” After contemplating for a week, my husband finally replied, “Just ask me every other day, ‘How can I help you today?’ (to do an act of service)” I did as he told me. He would tell me plainly how I could help him and I would get it done. After two months, I wondered if I was indeed speaking his love language since I did not get any word of thanks from him. Then in April, he surprised me with this email while he was overseas:

Hi my love,

Today, God reminded me that I wrote a note on u when I was in Amsterdam on 14 Feb 2017. Good for me to let u know what I told God.

Today is Valentine's Day.

First time in recent years, I was not in S'pore to celebrate Valentine with my wife.

I thanked and praised God for my wife who always believe in me and supportive of me.

I admired her choice she made to follow God and obeyed His words wholeheartedly. She chose to die to herself at time so that she can play her role well as the wife and the mother.

I have so much to learn from her - simply taking the initiative by asking me. "What is one thing I can do so that you know that I love you." This is so revolutionary yet powerful way for expressing love to me. I'm touched!

God, indeed, my heart is filled with gratefulness for providing me a lovely helper, full of wisdom, full of the Spirit woman in my life. Lord, teach me to know how I can express my love that will make sense to her.

Do you know your wife’s love language? Love her the way she prefers.

Respond to her at once

In my recent meet up with some mommy-friends, one wife highlighted that when she asks her husband to do something for the family, she expects her husband to acknowledge her request immediately. All the women exclaimed with a resounding “precisely”! What is funny is that most wives would not express that they want their husbands to respond now, yet they expect it.

Husbands, I am not saying that your needs are not important, but it only takes a few seconds to respond to your wife. Your immediate response may extinguish her possible anger, and more importantly, those few seconds translate to care and attention towards your wife. After responding, you can then assess whether you want to do it immediately or suggest a specific time to get it done. If you suggest a later time, make good on your promise.

Imagine with me… You are watching an exciting soccer match while your wife is cooking dinner. In the middle of the game, she shouts from the kitchen, “Dear, could you help me get some eggs from the supermarket. I need them to prepare dinner.” After thinking through your options, you could say, “Let me finish this last part. I will go and get the eggs in two minutes.” Be sure to get those eggs after two minutes!

Reflective Listening

“The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them,” advised Dean Rusk, the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969. As a parent, we all desire our children to embrace our life values. As my children grow older, they want to have their feelings and opinions heard by mommy. It is really tough for a talkative person like me to listen. Yet I have discovered that when I choose to listen my child, he/she will be more willing to listen to what I have to say. Here’s a technique (reflective listening) and an attitude (empathy) I have tried to employ.

Whenever your wife is pouring out her heart to you, she desires empathy. What does empathy look like? This little story in Chicken Soup for A Mother’s Soul might help. Dan Clark shared, “Here’s a story a friend of mine once told me. In her own words: One day my young daughter was late coming home from school. I was both annoyed and worried. When she came through the door, I demanded in my upset tone that she explain why she was late. She said, ‘Mommy, I was walking home with Julie, and halfway home, Julie dropped her doll and it broke into lots of little pieces.’ ‘Oh, honey,’ I replied, “you were late because you helped Julie pick up the pieces of her doll to put them back together.’ In her young and innocent voice, my daughter said, ‘No, Mommy. I didn’t know how to fix the doll. I just stayed to help Julie cry.’”

“A man’s safety is in production. A woman’s safety is in connection.”
–Alison Armstrong

More often than not, a woman do not need solutions to fix her problems. She just wants you to feel with her. Empathizing with her means listening to understand, not jumping in with suggestions. Do reflective listening, i.e. paraphrase what she said. For example,

Wife: “I am very frustrated when my supervisor…”

You: “I hear that you are very frustrated when your supervisor…”

Reflective listening is a simple technique, but it could require you to restrain yourself from speaking your mind and simply, listen.

Whatever stage of life you and your wife are in, fulfilling these three “R”s will form the bedrock of your communication with your wife. Will you choose to take action to love your wife?

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