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We’ve all heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life!” When you hear this phrase, maybe you laugh, or maybe you roll your eyes. Even though the expression may be trite, ultimately, promoting your partner’s happiness can lead to promoting your own.

Knowing how to further your wife’s happiness requires first understanding what she appreciates. Asking a question and listening to her is the right place to start.

To help promote an even happier wife and happier life, here is a list of 8 things your wife is longing for you to say to her.

1. How are you doing? No, how are you really doing?

Humans often need help from their partner to process their emotions. With all your wife has going on, she may need much more than a “How are you?” to satisfy her emotional needs. Ask your wife how she really is doing, and take the time to listen.

According to an article from the RELATE Foundation, men and women benefit from reflecting on how they are feeling about life and their relationship. Additionally, as partners reflect, they may even identify problems in the relationship that need addressing. Once your wife is telling you how she really is doing, you’re ready for step two.

2. Would you like me to listen or to offer advice?

Some men have a tendency to want to fix things. Cars, computers, video game systems, children, wives—you name it. However, more often than not, your wife needs someone to listen—not someone to fix or offer advice.

Another FamilyToday article suggests letting your wife talk as long as she needs. Before letting your wife talk as long as she needs, consider asking her what she needs from you—someone to listen or someone to offer advice. You may be surprised how often all your wife really needs is for you to listen.

3. Tell me more.

Humans crave to be understood. Even more so in a marriage, both partners fundamentally want to be understood. According to a recent Family Perspectives article, understanding your wife more may be as simple as saying something like, “Tell me more about that.” More than just being understood, your wife wants you to be curious about her—what she is thinking and experiencing. By asking for her elaboration, you can understand her better and be more interested in her life.

4. Ask her what you can do to help.

Sometimes, you may find yourself lying on the couch while your wife is tirelessly doing something around the house. To access one of the keys to your wife, ask her what you can do to help. And, after asking, do what your wife says! More than just asking once a day, ask your wife several times throughout the day what you can do to help—followed by actually doing it—and you may be amazed by the wonders this simple phrase followed by action can do.

5. How has sex been for you?

Due to biological, social, cultural, familial, and perhaps other factors, men and women—most of the time—have different pathways to sexual satisfaction in marriage. Even if you feel like ‘the sex is great,’ ask your wife how sex has been for her. Depending on if sex really has been great for both of you or not, discuss what might help sex to be better for her. Even further, consider taking FamilyToday’s free assessment on if you and your wife are on the same page sexually or not.

6. Are you satisfied with how we use our money?

According to Insider, conflict about money is one of the most common reasons for divorce in the United States. In order to avoid this pitfall, ask your wife if she is satisfied about how you are using your money as a couple. After her response, ask her why. The more you understand about her attitudes and feelings about money, the more you may be able to avoid frequent conflict about money—and other relationship problems.

7. How is our work-family balance?

Regardless of your family employment situation, ask your wife how satisfied she is with how both of you balance work life with family life. Based on what she says, discuss together what things could improve and what things you have done she wants to see more of.

8. What can I do better?

Perhaps even as frequently as each week, ask your wife what you can do better. As with the previous points, really listen to what your wife is saying, and resist the urge that may come to ‘fix’ something your wife has brought up. Also, consider what your wife is saying and why what she has suggested may help her, you, or both of you. If you do not often ask for your wife’s feedback on how you’re doing, you may be amazed by how complementary her insights may be to your own ideas.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

While these sayings themselves may make your wife’s jaw drop in disbelief, what really may improve your relationship is acting on what you say. While these phrases may at first feel weird or awkward, you may find that acting on them leads to an even happier wife and an even happier life.

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