How to be a Good Wife? 9 Qualities of an Ideal Wife

by Anamika

You want to be a wonderful wife to your husband, but what does it take to be a good wife? What are the qualities of an ideal wife?

How to be a good wife to your Husband? The Good Wife's Guide and Neetisaram has outlined some characteristics or qualities a wife should have in order to be an ideal wife.

How to be a Good Wife to your Husband?

Qualities of a Good Wife

Many married women wonder what it takes to be a good wife.  In the year 1955, a magazine called Housekeeping Monthly published an article called "The Good Wife's Guide" which gave tips for women on being a good wife. It is said that the text of this article which attracted a lot of opposition from Modern Women had been circulating from the time of publication. However, there is no proof that the article which is seen now on the web as a reproduction of the old article which appeared in the Housekeeping Monthly is authentic. According to the Wikipedia, the article may not be genuine as the image on the article looks as if it is digitally created. Also the article mentions the open fire which was not in existence in the 1950’s. Anyways, I am sure that the article would have made many men happy that they kept on circulating it for women to see it and follow.

The 6 noble virtues a house wife should have are described in an equally controversial verse from Neetishastra written by an Indian Poet who lived during the 13th century. According to the verse a good house wife

  • Should work like a servant at home
  • Should give advice to Husband like a Minister to the King
  • Should feed food to the Husband like a Mother
  • Should please the Husband like a courtesan in Bed
  • Should be beautiful like the Hindu Goddess Laxmi
  • Should have the patience like Mother Earth

Though the verses were written keeping in mind the married women in the 13th century who were not employed outside the home, it is a pity that men in the 21st century expect the same virtues from his wife even if she is employed. Now the role of a wife has completely changed from what existed in the 1950's. The Modern Women are known to manage both home and office efficiently. However, the efforts and contribution of a woman in the family is often taken for granted. She is neither acknowledged nor appreciated, thanks to the typical male mindset. Having said this, what according to me are the traits or qualities of a good wife as a woman of today?  I consider woman as a nurturer and an equal partner in the marriage.

A video on The Good Wife's Guide Article

The Good Wife's Guide Article rumoured to have been published in the Housekeeping Monthly
The Good Wife's Guide Article rumoured to have been published in the Housekeeping Monthly
The Good Wife's Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet

In The Good Wife's Guide New York Times best-selling author Darlene Schacht encourages women to joyfully serve their families. In doing so she offers reasons for achieving a ...

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The Good Wife Guide: 19 Rules for Keeping a Happy Husband

A man’s home is his castle, and as such, he should be treated like a king. And this fun, retro volume shows wives how to keep his royal highness happy. When he returns home ...

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9 Traits of a Good Wife

Good Wife Qualities

How to be a good wife to your Husband? Given below are some characteristics or qualities I think an ideal wife should have.

  1. A Good Wife is Supportive of her Husband :A wife should be supportive to her husband not only in good times but bad times as well. She compliments her man on his accomplishments and motivates him when he is down. She supports his career choice and hobbies though it may not be something she likes. However, it does not mean that if the husband has a bad habit the wife should support it or if he makes a bad choice she should not attempt to correct it.
  2. A Good Wife respects her Man : A wife should not belittle her man or hurt his ego in front of others. If you expect respect from your man, learn to be respectful towards him. Never resort to name calling, hitting, spitting or any other type of disrespectful behavior. If you do not respect your Partner, how can you expect your children or others to respect him? This does not mean that you have to agree with everything your Husband says and should not express your opinion even if you disagree with anything. State your facts in front of your Guy in a polite manner and let him know you don’t agree. Respect his opinions. Do not take any major decisions about the family without consulting with husband.
  3. A good wife is pleasant and understanding : I often have friends telling me that they feel better after talking to me or stepping into my home. A smile, pleasant talk or a warm hug from a wife has that power of making a person feel better even after a hard day. Maintain a neat and clean appearance. Give your man time to relax and talk before you unburden your problems to him.
  4. A good wife makes sure that her home is clean and hygienic : I don’t think anyone wants their house to be smelling like that of a dustbin. A clean and hygienic environment is not only welcoming but also essential to stay healthy and be free from diseases. Keep everything at home in order. If you are not able to do it, hire a maid servant or take help from other family members.
  5. A good wife finds time for Husband : A wife should attempt to spend quality time with her husband. She will be honest to her husband and maintains a good communication with him. She listens to him patiently and shares her feelings and problems with him. She would not try to involve a third person when fights happen but would try to resolve it between themselves without delay. She does not resort to nagging to get things done her way.
  6. A good Wife gives space to her man : Just because he is married to you do not mean that he has to give up his family, friends, likes and hobbies for you. Just because you are married does not mean that you have to let go of everything either. A good wife would not try to cling to her husband at all times demanding his undivided attention but gives him the required space. She lets him hang out with his friends or indulge in his favorite sport while she takes time for herself.
  7. A good wife expresses her love and affection for her Husband : Men like expressions of love too! A wife could plan surprises for her husband, buy him gifts or do things which he would appreciate as an expression of her love and affection for him. A surprise could be anything from arranging a birthday party or holiday or preparing a favorite dish of him. Pleasing the husband in bed too is an expression of love. It is noticed that many woman do not care much about their looks and appearance once they are married. If you love your husband, you should try to be the best for him.
  8. A good wife would be loyal and committed to her Husband : Marriage is a lifelong commitment between couples. A good wife would not betray her husband by cheating on him.
  9. A good wife is a good Manager : A good wife maintains the peace in the family and takes care of the health and well being of family members. She is also wise with money and ensures the smooth functioning of house hold activities.

It is said that what we give is what we get in return. If you treat your Husband well, he would be obliged to treat you well too. If you do not like the way your Husband is treating you then it’s time you seriously look into your own faults if any and correct it. Marriage is a two sided relationship and you have to play your role perfectly if you expect your Husband to be an ideal one.

The "Good Wife's Guide" is a magazine article rumored to have been published in the May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly, describing how a good wife should act, containing material that reflects a very different role assignment from ...
Updated: 02/28/2012, Anamika
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katiem2 on 06/21/2012

Interesting how times change and role reversal comes in to play when it comes to being a good wife. I think if people take the time to find the right person for them, someone they are compatible with and love, truly love the good qualities come out in the marriage.

Tolovaj on 06/05/2012

It is very interesting to see how roles of both sexes changed through centuries and how both sexes adapted (or failed to adapt) to new roles. I suppose 'good wife' is very similar to 'good husband'. They both have to show respect, have to listen each other and in my opinion with all equality and everything we should never forget there are areas where men excels and there are areas where women excels. We are not so different, but we are not the same and will never be. And this is good thing!
Thanks for your article:)

LadyGuinevere on 04/22/2012

Wow these are the traits that I thought a good wife should have and then.....I got married. I learned the hard way that when it says slave that is exactly how some men treat their women and somewhere in that mix true love and compassion vanished never to be seen again. There should be a give and take, not an all take and never give back. Not that it is expected but no one can live by giving all the time and not get anything back. Animals and children alike will lie down and die if they get no response from those they are expected to give to all the time.

Jerrico_Usher on 03/20/2012

WOW, I read the (real, ethical version) list of what a good wife is like and Michelle is ALL THAT and more. One thing I realized is that this list is not JUST for the wife but is a two way thing. In all the relationships I'd been in I never got recipricol respect after a while, but Michell gives me the most amazing respect and I her. Communication and respect are paramount. We've been together for 2.5 years and not once have we disrespected each other, in private or in public, no fights, no bs, just bliss.

When I think about the way things were in the 50's it makes me cringe. I couldn't fathom treating a woman like that, women should be worshipped (as should men) by their mate not pilliaged and used.
These points you made are the secret suace of a blissful relationship and an all around stress free life. WIth Michelle by my side and I hers, there is nothing we can't survive or get through.
Great article! (as always Anamika!)

By the way.... We're expecting our first child in 8 months!!!!! We're hoping she's a girl and we want to name her Zoey Madison Usher-Thompson!

Anamika on 02/22/2012

@Pinkchic18 We can thank the almighty that women are treated much better than earlier times. Thanks for the comment.
@Sam I also think of marriage as an equal partnership. But the truth is that still men have an upper hand in relationships even when the woman is working and handles office and home effectively. I do write a lot on dowry harassment, bride burning and many topics which are a shame to the society. Thanks for the comment.
@TerriRexson Marriage is just a piece of paper if the couples in the relationship do not seriously take the vows and are not committed to each other. Thanks for sharing!
@Bhavesh Yeah, I too agree with Lissie on that point. A man and wife can share the chores on the basis of what they are good it. As far as the manager part is concerned, the housekeeping funds are handled mostly by the woman and if she is not wise with the funds things can go bad.

Bhavesh on 02/20/2012

I came here thinking may be I can recommend the page to my wife! (Just kidding!) Funny, I am with Lissie on this one, despite the fact that I was raised by an Indian mom who tried to fit the "good wife" qualities. Old habits die hard - I can't cook to save my wife life, for example - but I do the best I can to play an equal role. A nice list. (Yours with 9 items. About the other list, oh well!) I do disagree with your item that says that the wife should be a "good manager." I think either the wife or the husband can either be a leader or a manager and most couple end up marrying their opposite in that regard.

TerriRexson on 02/20/2012

We've been happily not married for nearly 20 years. We didn't like the idea of getting married and some how being obligated to each other. It seems like such a strange old-fashioned notion. We practice equal parenting which works brilliantly, much better for everyone than the traditional husband/wife set up.

Sam on 02/20/2012

Good grief! A good wife always knows her place? In our partnership, yes, we are married, but we still consider it a partnership, things are like this: My husband washes and irons, because he is better than me at doing this. I am doing all the technical stuff in the house, like keeping the computers up to date and running ( yes, we have several of these, five at the last count) - because I am better at that then he is. As for 'he coming home and needs relaxing'? You are kidding, right? I work from home, 8 -12 hours a day, my work is as strenuous as his, so why should he have priority about relaxing and sharing about his day???
I sense you are coming from India, so why don't you add also something about the dark sides of that role model like 'sex selective abortion / Female infanticides', 'dowry death and 'kitchen fires'' and 'sati' (suicide of the widow)?

Pinkchic18 on 02/20/2012

Wowza. Boy this makes me sad that it used to be this way. The whole 'a good wife always knows her place' at the end of that video made me want to laugh. That is just ridiculous. I'm glad that society has come a long way since this.

Anamika on 02/15/2012

@ Lissie I like your arrangement and that is how it should be. It is a pity that many husband's consider household chores and taking care of children as the responsibility of the wife.

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