Monday, October 10, 2011

What your wife wishes you knew

I have been conducting an informal survey of wives and what they wish they could tell their husbands. This was triggered by a follower of my blog asking me to write on this topic. I asked a variety of wives from different ages, backgrounds and who have been married for various lengths of time and then collated the results. So this is for you and every other wife out there.

1. We get dressed up to go to the grocery store because sometimes that's the first time we have been out of the house in days.
This is particularly true for wives with small children. This time of our lives features a lot of t shirts, jeans, trackpants and pyjamas. Oh and body fluids that aren't our own. Sometimes we just want to feel pretty and for the rest of the world to view us as such. So yeah, we may take a while to get ready, and you might not mind going to the store in your crusty clothes, but we will feel better if you just let it happen without complaining.

2. Don't ask us where something is unless you have actually looked for it.
This was a comment made by almost every wife surveyed. There is nothing more irritating than having you ask us where something is when you haven't even looked. And not a man look, when you just open the fridge and expect it to jump out and bite you. Move things.

3. 'I invited people around and they will be here in an hour' makes us stressed.
This triggers a stress switch in our brains. There are key parts of our house that need to be cleaned before people show up, even if they are already clean by your standards. Also we will have to feed them which generally means cooking. And we will need to make ourselves look presentable. It doesn't matter who they are, these things need to happen and they take time. An hour is not enough time. Especially if you are arriving with them!

4.Comparing us to your mother is unfair.
According to the mothers surveyed this also annoys them. We are not your mother. Your mother is not us. It may result in us saying 'then move back with your mother'. But I have it on good authority they don't want you back.

5. Pick up after yourself.
Funnily enough, your socks magically making it back into your drawer clean and folded has many steps. Leaving them on the floor is not one of these steps. If you need to know the steps, ask by all means but learn fast.

6. Appreciate us.
This isn't about grand gestures or even giving us stuff (although stuff is good) this is just about telling us you appreciate what we do. It may seem small to you, but it's big to us. We are compliment vampires that can continue to do mundane things purely if we are appreciated.

These are just the common ones that I have heard from the surveyed wives. Please tell me ones you think should be included. I'll add them here if you comment on Facebook (where most of the commenting takes place!). Also if there is a husband who would like to contribute a blog about what husbands wish they could tell their wives let me know!


  1. LOL at "I have it on good authority they don't want you back" and "although stuff is good" :-)

    Another one for me is, asking me for suggestions on what to buy/do for birthday/Christmas/anniversary will never be appreciated as much as thinking something up for yourself. I would prefer to get something that I wouldn't have chosen myself, but that hubby genuinely thought I would like or reminded him of me, than to be asked "what do you want?" I appreciate thoughtfulness more than usefulness, in this particular instance.
    Alisa :-)

  2. Oh so TRUE! Maybe if the guys are struggling, they could ask one of your friends, but at least surprise your wife! :)

  3. Most infuriating? The MAN look! I've even had bosses who couldn't find things that were right under their noses!

  4. Oh the man look featured hugely in the survey. Especially when they are staring in their wardrobe for a shirt!

  5. A post from Facebook.

    Ok, I’m gonna wade in on this one. Firstly can I say, great topic; secondly, I hope Facebook doesn’t have a word limit on posts…
    So this blog is has taken the wives’ view, but from my experience many, if not all, of the points listed go both ways. To give just one example, in our family I’m the main cook. I generally cook five of six nights a week. Every night that I cook, Bridget thanks me for making dinner and says that it was delicious (or something to that effect). This is enough for me to want to cook again the following night. Conversely, when she does the washing and irons my shirts, I thank her – each and every time. Despite the fact that we have agreed on what chores each of us will do, it’s nice to know that the effort is appreciated.
    What I do notice is that all of the points really come back to a few key ideas about relationships. Being partners means being peers. From my experience and observations, strong relationships form when the people in those relationships treat each other as equals; is not about keeping score – who is in credit and who is in debt. They share their thoughts and feelings, their finances (assets and debts) and decisions.
    When partners feel like they are equals in the relationship they should feel comfortable to discuss those things that one does that bugs the other (in a caring and considered manner). Equally, the other partner should feel comfortable enough in the relationship to take that feedback on board and try to change their behaviour.
    The other thing that I think is important is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and think, how would I feel if my partner did this (the thing I am thinking about doing)? This is useful not only for making those decisions, but considering how to communicate with your partner. For example when Bridget comes home from doing the shopping and I ask, “did you get a new lightbulb?” and her response is “damn, I knew I would forget something!” my options are: 1. say, “oh well, we can grab one when we go into town on the weekend.”, 2. Say “if you knew you would forget, why didn’t you write it down?! No one of us is going to have to go back to get one”. I don’t know about you, but I know which I’d rather be on the receiving end of ;-)
    And that brings me to another point. You know the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”? Well as the book goes on to say “its all small stuff”. So you partner forgot a lightbulb and now the hallway will be slightly darker than it would otherwise be – let it go. He/she didn’t deliberately not purchase it just to upset you.
    Well that’s about it from me. Hopefully this will help keep the discussion going, but in closing, Bridget came across another great blog the other day. As well as being quite funny (and only a little bit offensive) it gives some really good advice. I would recommend it to everyone who is in a serious relationship, or one day wants to be. You can find it here:
    Keen to hear what you all think about a) my man’s take on the wives’ blog, and/or b) the blog above.
    Happy posting

  6. Thanks Chris! It is so true! As I'm a wife (and am not a husband) I could only write from the wife point of view so am grateful for the husband's viewpoint (which are, as I suspected, the same). The small stuff only becomes big stuff when it is allowed to fester. None of the wives mentioned 'big stuff' being something they wish their husband knew and they all said they were happy. This shows that while partners may get irritated at small stuff, they are generally happy. :) Thanks again for your feedback. I always value your take on things.

  7. Have I told you lately how much I love you??

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