Happy wife, happy life?

happy wife

Every time I hear the utterance of the phrase, ‘happy wife, happy life’, I sigh a little bit at the poor schmuck saying it. Last night I was watching a cooking show, (so shoot me; I like cooking), and this brow-beaten beta male with a genuine harpy for a wife rolled it out no less than three times. So let’s have a look at what’s going on with this phrase.

Listen to me now – you can’t make anyone happy. Now repeat that out loud a few times. Trying to make someone happy is a zero-sum game. There is no conclusion. It will only end when you leave each other or one of you dies. A man who is living a life of ‘wife-supplication’ is not a man in his wife’s eyes, (and not in many other eyes either). And every time you utter this phrase in front of your wife both of you die a little inside. You die because living a life of servitude to the whims of someone else is a humiliation. She dies because every time you say it you prove to her that she lacks a man for a husband.

Here is a ‘study’ that apparently proves this catchphrase to be true, from the Huffington Post no less. Just a couple of quotes to analyze:

Husbands who rated the quality of their marriage a one but whose wives rated the marriage a four were happy with their lives overall, while husbands who rated their marriages a one whose wives also rated the marriage a one reported low overall well-being. The inverse wasn’t true for wives: Women’s happiness didn’t seem to be affected by husbands’ satisfaction with their marriages.

Translation: if you’re miserable but your wife isn’t she doesn’t give a fuck.

As for why women’s happiness doesn’t seem to be affected by their husbands’ marital satisfaction, Carr conjectured that wives generally have no idea if husbands are happy with marriages or not because men aren’t socialized to discuss feelings, good or bad.

Translation: even when the wife is being a bitch it’s the man’s fault for not complaining loud enough.

“If a marriage is good, it often is due to the stuff the the wife is doing, the love and support that she’s giving,” Carr said. “Consequently, that means the husband gets more.”

Translation: If a marriage is happy it is due to the wife.

Worthless studies like this aside, there is, surprisingly, a large truth in the phrase. ‘Happy wife, happy life’, does not mean that you need to make your wife happy.

It means you need to find a happy woman and marry her.

Common to all the great marriages and relationships that I personally know, (and there aren’t many of them), both partners are genuinely happy people. They wouldn’t think about taking their frustrations out on their partner or making them demean themselves for their own short-term contentment. They are marriages of equals. The husbands do not have to ask ‘permission’ to do something. The idea of asking my wife for permission is completely alien to our relationship. I simply let her know what I’m doing. She in turn is happy that I’m having a good time.

Only children require constant external stimulus to be temporarily happy. If your wife needs such stimulation, unfortunately for you, you’ve married a child. In that situation you have two options. Leave her, and know that she’ll take you for just about everything that you’ve got. Or take a stand and begin to be a man in her eyes. It will be painful in the short term, but in the long term it just might work out.

12 thoughts on “Happy wife, happy life?

  1. Adventure and Business

    You mention you like cooking. You should write about cooking from the male perspective. I don,t mean bacon and beer either. Food network use to have reasonable male cooks like Emeril Lagasse but now it’s only buffoon men like Guy Fieri.
    Keep up your blog. It is becoming one of my favorites.

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      1. Adventure and Business

        cool. I look forward to it. I think there is a big manosphere market for cooking, gardening, and home improvement stuff. The mainstream networks don’t produce stuff for men other then ” boobs and bacon” ( phrase I read somewhere). I’m in the U.S so I only know here.
        Video/ podcast stuff is a bit of work. I’m trying to start a video/ podcast and I had a lot of minor tech things but it’s doable.

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    1. Windy Wilson

      Jacques Pepin is the Fred Astaire of TV chefs. Emerald Lagasse is the Gene Kelly of TV chefs . I’m still trying to figure out who is the Donald O’Connor or Van Johnson, but I’m already sure Guy Fieri isn’t either one.

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  2. Rob

    I saw that show too Adam. Upset me because I know the feeling. Been there done that. Not being the man ends in tragedy, guilty as charged. But then after, I had a 3 year relationship where I didn’t “show” I cared if she was happy. Went too far to the other side of the bell curve, which I regret even more than my failed marriage. She was great and didn’t deserve indifference. So a balance has to be set I think, without losing dominance. Your thoughts?

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    1. Absolutely. If you find a happy person be happy with them. Your job is not to make them miserable and as you found out you don’t protect yourself by doing so.

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  4. Windy Wilson

    “Happy Wife, happy life.”
    That’s something I’ve only heard from Sexist Shrewish Misandrists for whom the infant’s creed, “see to my every need, want and whim or I’ll make your life miserable” is their technique for approaching everything in life.
    They would never say, “Happy spouse, happy house” because that would require them to consider the feelings of another whose feelings they have already deemed unworthy of recognition, never mind consideration.

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  5. BTampa

    When I just want some calories, which is 99% of the time, I leave the cooking to my wife. When I want something spectacular, I do it myself.

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  6. Brittny

    The absolute best advice I got upon being married wasn’t from my mother or grandmother, wonderful and wise as they are (though they did teach me in a roundabout way that speaking ill of one’s spouse leads nowhere good) it was from one of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s books.

    I forget which one. Most have pithy titles. I think this one might have been the Care and Feeding of Husbands.

    I was struggling as a first time mother in my early twenties to settle my society-indoctrinated views on what a woman was entitled to versus what made men happy. Sex was a sad bone of contention – not that it was bad or infrequent, just not as frequent or enthusiastic as the husband would have desired.

    The advice? Have sex even when you don’t feel like it.

    Novel! Serendipitous! But wasn’t it terribly anti-feminist to ‘give the goods’ without some sort of transaction? Be it a dinner, a massage, or blast it all even a compliment? This didn’t make any sense, and I poo-pood the advice for some time. Until I didn’t.

    Wonder of wonders. Biology is a marvelous thing, and I found that when I said ‘yes’, or even instigated relations myself…I became interested as a matter of due course. None of the waiting around to feel ‘in the mood.’ Since then this simple bit of advice has nourished an eleven year marriage that has given us three sons and the deepest, most fulfilling friendship and love of my life.

    Honestly…I wish it was acceptable to give this tidbit out at bridal showers. Sometimes I still scribble it in the scrapbooks and letters given to new, presumable virginal brides. Honey…don’t make him wait until you are ready, or when the stars are aligned, or when you are perfectly coiffed (though it would be good to get in the habit of always striving to look like dynamite, you never know). I know…dishes need to be done, children will shriek, bills need to be paid. Trust me….

    Always say YES.

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