5 Things A Good Wife Would Never Do To The Man She Loves

Keep him around.

couple hugging on the ship of a deck, man in a vibrant green sweater ProWeddingStudio / shutterstock 

Ideally, a woman wants to keep her man happy and madly in love with her, so there are many things that a dedicated woman wouldn’t do to the man she loves.

Unfortunately, many women can lose sight of those things, especially women who have been in long-term relationships and are super busy — especially women who have children.

Oftentimes, when women are in a long-term relationship, they take their partner for granted. They lose sight of what their man needs to be happy, both in life and in the relationship. And, before they know it, their relationship falls apart, and women are left wondering why.


To prevent this from happening and to keep your relationship strong, it’s important to understand what a good woman wouldn’t do to the man she loves. Using these tips can keep you from causing your man pain and keep him from moving on (without you).

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Five things a dedicated woman would never do to her man

1. Treat him with contempt.

The number one complaint that I hear from men who are in long-term, unhappy relationships is that they hate the way their wives treat them with contempt. This is a constant theme with almost every man I have talked to over the years.


I know that, when I was married, I treated my husband with contempt starting soon after our daughter was born. Why? Because after she was born, in my perspective, he started letting me down. 

My ex-husband didn’t parent with me the way I wanted him to. He wasn’t able to understand that I needed a break sometimes. He never did what he said he would do. Sometimes, he just drove me nuts by being around.

Unfortunately, instead of talking to him about all of the things that frustrated me, I treated him with contempt.

When he came home late from work every night, I told him he was rendering himself obsolete. When he made a suggestion about something, I shot him down without even considering it. I didn’t respect the choices he was making and told him so in a passive-aggressive way.


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2. Belittle him in public.

This is a big one. It is one thing to treat your partner with contempt at home (which isn’t a good thing) but to treat him with contempt, to mock him, when out with friends and family is a truly horrible thing to do.

We all care what people think about us, but men are particularly sensitive about getting the respect of those around them. With my ex-husband, I had a very active social life; teasing my husband around our friends was something that I regularly did. As a matter of fact, all of my friends did the same with their husbands.

We looked at it then as good-natured teasing, but, in retrospect, we were probably passive-aggressively talking about things our husbands did that drove us nuts.


I used to make fun of him for putting work before family. My friend teased her husband about the time he spent at the gym, probably getting fit for other women. Another used to tease her husband about his relationship with his mother.

I know that all of us women were prone to teasing because we found it funny then. There was always laughter when men were mocked (but rarely when women were). But, almost always, the teasing was born from things we were frustrated with.

In retrospect, I wish that I hadn’t teased my husband in public. I know it is probably what he hated most and what made him the most unhappy. So, know that teasing him, mocking him, even if it seems good-natured, is something a  woman dedicated to making her man happy would never do to the man she loves.

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3. Make him her last priority.

I remember very clearly my dad telling me that, in our family, he was priority number five — after the three kids and the two dogs. That made him very sad, I know, and he ultimately found someone who could make him a priority (and who had no kids and no dogs).

I promised myself that this would not happen to my family. That my husband would always be my priority. That lasted exactly 15 minutes after the birth of our first child. I looked at her and knew that I would always put her first, before everything.

And this, I know, for a man who had been my priority for all of the years that we had been together, was most likely devastating.

I have to admit that I knew that I was doing this. As the years went on, the kids always came first. My friends came second.


When we moved to Boulder from Maine, I brought my friends to look at houses, not my husband. My dogs were probably third, my work fourth, and cleaning the house fifth. He definitely came in at least 6th, maybe even 10th, because there are things that I am sure I have chosen to forget.

As I said, for years, my husband was my priority, and being demoted was a horrible thing for him. To no longer be important to his wife was something that he really struggled with for a long time.

And I knew this, and I tried. I truly did. I wanted to make him a priority because I knew that it was important to him. But I didn’t try hard enough and, eventually, he found someone who could!

So, make sure your husband is a priority. He doesn’t have to be #1 over the kids, but definitely work to make him #2.


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4. Hide things from him.

Imagine finding out that your husband had been hiding something from you — something big or something small. Perhaps it’s that he buys himself an expensive cup of coffee every day, using cash, in spite of the fact that you guys are seriously budgeting.

Perhaps a woman has joined his biking group, and he hasn’t told you because he is worried you would be jealous. Perhaps he takes the kids to McDonald's for milkshakes when they do Saturday errands. These are all little things, but wouldn’t they piss you off?  So, if the same thing is important to you — don’t hide things from him.

I have a client who loves to shop but whose husband does not support this habit. So, when she went shopping, she would hide the things that she had purchased, knowing that he would get angry. He always found out about them, and he was angry, but he was often angrier that she had lied to him about the purchases.


This happened more than once, and eventually, he said that if he couldn’t trust her about this, he couldn’t trust her about anything. And, without trust, any relationship is doomed.

Are there things, big or little, that you are hiding from your husband? Are you not telling him about things because you are trying to protect him from something? Do you find that sometimes you lie to him by omission, and sometimes you straight out lie if he asks you about something you might be hiding?

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5. Keep him from doing the things he loves.

When my kids were both under 3 years old, my ex-husband decided that he wanted to run the Boston Marathon. This was big deal and required a lot of time and training. Adding that time and training to the hours he spent at his job was a lot of hours that he would be out of the house, and I was not amused.


Unfortunately, instead of speaking clearly about my issues around the race, I quietly simmered, passive-aggressively being un-supportive. My behavior didn’t keep him from running the race, but it did damage our relationship.

A few years later, he decided to pursue his Executive MBA at Duke. He was gone every other weekend for 2 years. I behaved exactly the way that I did around the Boston Marathon. Not good.

I remember my husband saying that he wasn’t going to stop living his life just because we had babies. That he had one life to live and was going to live it. And he encouraged me to do the same.


The thing is, I didn’t choose to do the same. Instead, I gave up everything for my family and, truly, I was miserable. And I was resentful that he wasn’t as miserable as I was.

So, make sure you encourage and support the man you love to do the things that make him happy. And make sure that you are doing the same. After all, we do have only one life to live.

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I know there isn’t a woman in the world who sets out to be unkind to their partner.

We tend to fall into it as life gets busy, as we get complacent and take our partners for granted, and we often continue the behaviors because our partners don’t speak up about how much we are hurting them.


Treat your husband respectfully, both at home and out in the world. Put him near the top of your priority list, and don’t hide things from him. Make sure he does the things that make him happy (and do the same yourself).

Staying ahead of relationship trouble by making our partners happy is much easier than trying to repair things after the fact when it might be too late!

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Mitzi Bockmann is a certified life and relationship coach. She has over 10 years of experience helping people find happiness in life and love.