My Ex Taught Me What Men Truly Want In A Wife (By Accident)

It was just one phrase but it all made sense.

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My ex Buddy* had come by for a visit recently. He’s had a very rough year or two. Along with grieving the loss of several family members and close friends, he also had to deal with a very ugly relationship.

When my husband and I opened the door, I couldn’t help but realize how beaten down he looked.

The man was always youthful, despite being over half a decade older than me. Seriously. The dude had no wrinkles or grey hair.


Despite this, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look that battered and bruised. Life got to him in a rough way.

The first thing I asked was, "You okay, bro?"

He gave me a tired, withered look — the look of a man who had the world on his shoulders.


Buddy explained to me that part of the reason he was here is because he broke up with a very verbally abusive girlfriend who we’ll call Sharla*.

Buddy was explaining how she would distract him from his work at home, and how she would deride him for grieving the loss of his dad. She made no attempt to be there for him, but rather, would get on his case for trying to decompress.

We gave him a coffee, and that’s when he sighed and dropped the bomb:

"All I wanted was for her to be my peace. I just wanted a wife."

RELATED: 7 Things Men Actually Want In A Relationship (But Are Too Afraid To Ask For)

Something about this quote truly floored me when I thought about it.


I live in a lifestyle that is known for being rough on people. There’s rampant drug use, issues with police, and the works.

And yet, these guys occasionally marry women — despite most people coloring them as "not the marrying type."

The women I’ve seen them marry are not a monolithic block of people. They are sometimes impoverished. Sometimes, they’re addicts. Other times, they’re fairly stable and just outsiders to the scenes we’re in.

The one thing they all had in common was that, for one reason or another, the guys who married them saw them as a source of calm. Let me explain:

  • Andy* married Rachel* because she represented a form of normalcy that he never had growing up. He just wanted a wife to show that he could be a good husband because his own father was abusive to his mom. She, by just being there, calmed him down as proof that he was not his dad.
  • Deebo* proposed to Sarah* because she seem to be the only one to talk sense into him. She’s also a yoga instructor, which I wager might be why he can suddenly Downward Dog with the best of them. From what I heard, Sarah was also one of the first women not to judge Deebo for his occasional pill use.
  • Link* married Francine* because he felt confident she wouldn’t cheat. He always felt other women were out of his league. I’m not saying this is a good way to think, but he openly admitted that this was why he married her.
  • Max* married Mindi* because she has a deep love for animals, Disney, and cooking. Mindi also is one of the only women I know who can put up with all the crazy antics that Max carries out. She, by and large, is the most maternal friend I have.
  • Brad* married Carla* because she reminded him of his hometown. Brad has long yearned for a girl who came from the same background as we did — the WASP-y upper crust. Most women ran when they’d meet his friends. Carla could handle both sides of the equation. He promptly put a ring on it because he felt safe bringing her to raves as well as yacht clubs.
  • Carlos* married Jacqui* because she was simply content with the most mundane of lifestyles. Nothing pleases Jacqui more than going to the grocery store, buying some ingredients, and fashioning them into a meal. She doesn’t want to go out. She just wants to stay at home, cook, clean and take care of her kids. Considering that Carlos spends most of his time in dangerous situations, being with her must feel like a vacation.
  • Leo* proposed to Ani* because she let him be the stay-at-home dad he always wanted to be. Ani is the type of girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes a career. Yet, she wanted a kid. Leo was often derided or even abused for saying he wanted to be a house spouse. Her love of high-powered office positions made him run to get a ring. A match made in heaven, and he gets the peace of staying at home the way he always wanted.

RELATED: Feeling Loved In Your Relationship Is One Thing, But Do You Feel Safe?


In a world that is increasingly hostile towards everyone, it makes sense that men would want someone who makes them feel safe, too.

You know, I write so much about how much women want to feel safe around men, I forgot that men often want that same sense of safety. We all just want someone who can "be our peace," as my ex Buddy* so eloquently said.

Men want to feel seen, heard, and appreciated. They want to feel like someone is in their corner, supporting them. They also want to feel safe being themselves, as in, they aren’t going to be dumped at the drop of a hat.

Obviously, there is a certain level of inner security and confidence a man must have here.


A man who needs another person to assuage their insecurities is not going to be able to marry anyone in good faith. Their insecurities will wreck the relationship — even if the other partner is healthy.

Even so, it’s important to keep that one goal of feeling peace in mind — even if you are not looking for marriage.

Is your partner your peace? Do you feel safe and happy with your partner, or does your partner make you feel nervous? Moreover, do you try to be your partner’s peace?


If you can’t come up with a good answer to that, it may be time to rethink who you’re with.

RELATED: What Women Really Want In A Relationship

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.