Many women I have interacted with recently have been asking questions like, “What can I do to be a better mom? What can I do to be a better woman in my career? What can I do to be a better wife?” And it seems like many women feel less confident, less excited, maybe less happy in their roles, and want to know what they can do to be better. So, I find this very interesting. And I’m going to explain and ask you a key question that you need to hear in just a minute, but first, let me explain to you who I am.
My name is Kimberly Holmes, and I am the CEO of Marriage Helper. I also have my Master’s Degree in Psychology, and I am currently getting my Ph.D. in psychology. I’m also a wife. So I’m a mom, a wife, a businesswoman, and I’ve definitely asked myself these questions and felt like I needed to do something to be better. But we’ll get to that again in just a minute.
There’s been something going around recently that has been called imposter syndrome. And when I first started hearing about it, I thought, “I don’t get that. It doesn’t jive with me.” It didn’t make sense to me until I interviewed a woman on my podcast about feeling under-qualified. Now, those words resonated with me. With those words I thought, “Yeah, I have definitely felt in many different areas of my life like I was not qualified. Like I could do better. Like I wasn’t enough.” And there was something that I needed to change within me to live up to the expectations expected of me in those roles; sometimes even being a wife.
And so I understand that there could be many women just like you out there who are asking, “What can I do to be better?”
But the key question that I want to ask you is this: what does better look like for you?
What would have to change so that you would feel like you were a better wife? And I think that there are three categories that your answers could fall into here. So I was hoping you could take some time to think about that question. Maybe you pause on reading this article and write some things down. Or, if you’re a quicker processor like I am, you probably already know what some of those things are.
Maybe it’s that you would know you are a better wife if your husband would respond more to you or if you did date nights more. If you were talking to him more, or if you were making more of an effort to step out of your comfort zone and do more for him. Whatever that is for you, you probably have an indication. But here’s three things that I want to point out first, no matter what came to your head.
Are comparing yourself to other women?
You don’t feel good enough because you’re just looking at everyone else’s highlight reels on social media and how they have done all of the things while wearing high heels and pearls and dancing backwards, and you feel like you can’t live up. The first Christmas that I was a mother, two years ago, I realized very quickly that I could not do all of the things.
It was December, and so I was in the middle of trying to buy Christmas presents. Plus, both of my kids were in school. They were in two different schools because they were in two different preschools so they could have childcare all week long. So I had eight different teachers to buy Christmas presents for, four different Christmas parties to go to, plus everything else going on in the middle of December.
And I realized I couldn’t do all of this. And I was looking at the things that other moms were sending in; these perfectly Pinterest curated goodie bags to take home from Christmas parties. These elaborate cakes they would bring to these events. And I was just good enough to show up…forget bringing anything! I was the mom who was like, “Sign me up for the paper plates because I can order that from Kroger pickup and actually just show up on time.” And I felt like a bad mom.
I felt like I needed to be a better mom. And I know we’re talking about being a wife, but hear me out here. There are instances like that in my marriage and that you’ve had in your marriage, that you’ve had as a mom where you just feel like you can’t do enough and everyone else is doing more. So stop comparing yourself; look to what you can do. Look to what can make your marriage better. Stop comparing it to everyone else’s. It’s never going to look the same, and focus on what you CAN do.
Maybe you realize some things that you need to change, and you are wanting to make an effort to begin changing them.
I had a friend several years ago who realized that she had been extremely unsupportive and maybe even controlling of her husband. She realized that she had been telling him that she didn’t think that the things he did were good over the past decade. If he wanted to enter into a new business venture, she would question him and just play the devil’s advocate.
He didn’t feel supported, and he kind of felt controlled. Like she was the one trying to get her way and get her things to happen. It’s not helpful for a marriage, but here is what’s great: she wanted to be a better wife. She realized what she needed to do. She needed to be more supportive, she needed to be there more for her husband, and she began to do it.
When women say they want to be a better wife, they usually mean that they want a better marriage.
They want to feel better, more secure, more fulfilling, more satisfied in their relationship, but they’re starting with themselves, which is good. But I think many women don’t actually want to make the changes for that to happen.
Take the situation I just told you of the wife who’s not supportive, who was constantly second-guessing her husband and what he was doing and what he wanted to do. Well, she could have very well realized that she was doing that and justified her actions. Justified what she was doing by saying he needs to hear it. He needs someone to double-check him and make sure that he’s not making a mistake. And if you just justify your actions and continue doing them, you’re going to continue to get the same results you’ve always gotten.
So whatever it was that came up for you, here’s what I want you to understand. First of all, stop comparing yourself to other people. And second of all, you know what you need to change, more than likely at least the ones that are most surface level, and you can begin to start doing that. So don’t justify continuing to do them. If you and your gut know you need to change something, then start to make a plan to change it.
Here is what men need…
Men want to feel like they are providers and protectors. It is part of the way that they’re made. The way that God has made men is to want to have that drive within them. And that’s great. That doesn’t mean men should only be the providers and protectors, not at all. My husband has been more of the stay-at-home dad in my marriage, and I’ve been more of the working mom, and it works for us. But here’s the key: I shouldn’t treat him that way. I still need to understand that he has that internal need to provide and protect. And I need to respect him and treat him as such.
And so, for me to be a better wife, I need to be supportive of him. It’s understanding what his needs are and me meeting those. Even when I’m coming home from work after a hard day. I’m coming home to him having spent most of the day with the kids, and I still need to support what that is. It looks different for all of us, and it’s going to look different for you. So that’s what men need. They need your respect.
We need respect, too, as women. I’m not saying that what men need isn’t what women need as well, but there are some slight differences. They might need respect and need to see respect from their wives a little more than women look for in their husbands, even though we both need respect. Men need to feel like that provider and protector. Men need, just as women, to feel supported.
Now there’s so much more that we could go into with this, which I don’t have time to in this short article, but I hope this at least gave you a baseline of what you can start doing to be a better wife. So first of all, stop comparing yourself to others. Second of all, realize what you need to change, begin to make a change, and begin making a plan to do so. And third, understand what your husband’s needs are and ask yourself what you can do to start helping meet those.
I even hesitate to say it that way because I feel like words like that have been used to berate women and put women in a specific role over the decades, and that’s not what I’m trying to say. Both genders have needs, but we are talking about you as a wife and what you can do for your husband in this video. And so that doesn’t mean that your needs aren’t important. They are. It just means right now, we’re focusing on what you can do for your husband.
It’s a big subject. There’s so much that goes into being a better wife. This is just a quick thing that you can do to get started. But the best thing that you can do to be the best wife that you can be is to understand how to have the best relationships. And that is what we do at Marriage Helper. We teach people how to have amazing, long-term, and satisfying relationships. The best way to help you do that right now is by this free mini-course that we have to teach you how to attract your spouse toward you and how to become more attractive towards them.
You will also learn how to speak to each other in a way that will be helpful for your marriage. You can click this link to get access to that free course, which you should absolutely do. And it’ll go even more into depth about some things you can do to become a better wife. You can be the best wife possible for your husband. You should be the best wife possible for your husband, and you can do it. We can teach you how.
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