There’s many a wife sorely tempted at times to buy her husband the book Women are from Venus, and Men are Wrong. For while marriage is a thing of luminous beauty, men can get a little lost navigating its obscurer pathways. In an attempt to help confused husbands, Cape Town radio station 107.5 CCFm asked a number of women to send in their best advice for a man wanting to make his wife happy. Here’s a selection of the responses they got, summarised by HELGA VAN NIEKERK*

AFFIRM! All women need to be affirmed, be told they are beautiful, clever, talented, helpful. Tell her she’s wonderful, the best thing that’s happened to you. Tell your children their mother is a star. Affirmation every day, once at least, several times is better! Think she doesn’t need it when she gets to 70 or 80? Rubbish – she does! Women also need to be thanked. Whether she’s cooked supper, done the housework or gone out to work all day, start saying thank you, and say it often!

IGNORE THE MELTDOWNS! This is a HUGE one. Many women are emotional and hormonal. They need their husbands’ unconditional acceptance and support when they have a meltdown, seemingly for no reason. Guys, you may not understand a flood of tears, an unreasonable outburst or a snappy retort, just give them some understanding and acceptance. ‘It’s going to be all right,’ is often all they need to hear. Emotional support is essential for a wife to feel happy.

LISTEN! This was a biggie for a number of women craving their husband’s attention. And they meant full attention when discussing something. They don’t want to be competing with TV, cell phones or computers. They want husbands to stop what they’re doing to listen to what their wives are saying. Wives want to be heard. Women like to talk!

TALK! Wives wanted to know what you think, what’s going on in your life. She wants to know. Communicate with her about work, golf, family and how you are feeling.

HELP! Division of labour is always going to be an issue in the home that needs negotiation. Women need help to meet both their physical and emotional needs. The best kind of help is that which is offered. Wives don’t like continually asking to have something done until you actually do it. Look for what needs doing, and do it. It’ll make all the difference to your marriage.

THINK! Many women love surprises and when a husband surprises his wife, she knows she has been thought about during the day. An unexpected gift at an unexpected time goes a long way to keeping a wife happy. A phone call in the middle of the day. Making a cup of tea, asking if you can help them with anything: you’ll have a happy wife! Don’t ever forget birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and OF COURSE, your anniversary. Make a fuss. Women love it.

HAVE INTEGRITY! Wives admire a husband with high integrity. This includes avoiding even the appearance of bad things. So don’t turn to a woman who’s not your wife for anything that may even look as if you’re doing things together, eg a meal, game of squash, jog, discussion about your wife, business deal… The women I spoke to want their husbands to follow what they believe is God’s design for marriage, and many also want them to rely on Him for help and direction.

*Former CCFm presenter Helga is now living the blog life at www.helgavan.com

Division of labour will always be an issue for negotiation… | Photo: Tonya Hester
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