Monday, January 24, 2005

Informal Poll: What's in a Good Wife?

Comments welcome and appreciated.

Guys, what qualities (character traits) make for a good wife for any man? What do you want in a wife that would complement you specifically (rather than just any man)?

Single guys, what do you want in your future wife?

Married guys, what qualities/aspects did God provide in your wife that were tailor-made for you? Did you know, when you were looking for a wife, that you needed those things in her? Or were they qualities that God knew you needed and you didn't know you needed?

Please think about more than her looks and what's she's willing to do for you and to you in bed. I'm wanting to know about the quality of your partnership and your companionship within your marriage (or what you want/need when you get married, if you are single right now).

Keep your comments SFW: safe for work---free from expletives and vulgarity. Thanks!

26 comments:

Ivan Lenin said...

Before I answer, I must say I'm a divorced guy, so my view might be distorted by my past.

* patience. Marriage is not easy for anyone, so when you say "I do," you'd better be prepared for some hard times.

* maturity. That's something I didn't have when I was 18 and got married. I know a lot of girls in their 30s here in New York City who are not ready for marriage. Actually, being 30, I doubt I'm ready, myself. On the other hand, I know younger girls, who have been brought up in a traditional way, who really want to get married, but who haven't figured out who they are in life. In my view, they are not ready, either.

* commitment and loyalty. When two people get married, they each become part of their new self, the marriage, and dedicate themselves to that whole. I think it's more serious than most people realize.

* With me personally, if I get married, I want my wife to understand my shortcomings and wierdnesses: I'm an artsy-fartsy type. I'm more concerned with writing a good song, than having a nice apartment. Now, girls may like hanging out with guys like me, but being in a serious relationship, let alone marriage, is a different beast. From a woman's perspective, I don't take life seriously. A guy who is really into what he's doing, whether it's science, art, or politics, rarely makes a good husband. Even if he's successful, which most artists are not.

So, I don't know if I ever will get married again. I want to have a family and kids, but having a family takes more than wanting one. I'm certainly not looking for a wife; I can't imagine myself doing that, like shopping for a car. I hope that if and when I meet a woman who is meant to be my wife, my heart will be pure enough to recognize it.

Anonymous said...

Elena,

Don’t discount what men think of sex as it applies to marriage. To a man it is large part of the reason for finding a wife. For a Christian man, his wife is the only lawful way he can fulfill his God given sexual desire.

Most guys learn sometime before marriage that women don’t think of sex the same way. So when we’re asked, “what do you look for in a mate”? We don’t say something dumb (read counter productive to getting sex) like, “a nymphomaniac with big hooters”.

Every man expects that his wife will fulfill him sexually, even if he has no realistic idea of how that will work, or what it will be like. A female that projects a little feminine mystique and a healthy curiosity towards the subject will go along way towards getting her man. She need not give out free samples, or compromise her morals.


Some vox regulars are talking about a rafting trip to CO in May, drop me a email if your interested.


Res Ipsa

Anonymous said...

“I'm wanting to know about the quality of your partnership and your companionship within your marriage”

Yeah that’s the female prospective on relationships. Guys like it when their gal does stuff with them. It might be fishing or golf or sports, whatever he is interested in, go do that with him. Some guys like it when their girl watches them do guy stuff, like work on the car. Admire, praise, flirt and tease a little. Be interested in him as a male creature. Creature may not be quite the right word, animal may fit better.

A man that knows his wife is intrigued and tantalized by his manliness will go to the end of the world (his perspective not hers) to please her. Sometimes this means doing stuff he would never do if it wasn’t for her. Like:

1. talking about feelings
2. talking about relationships
3. talking about life
4. talking
5. talking, talking, talking
6. shopping
7. having her parents over
8. watching hallmark movies on tv (ok we know that this will get male need #1 met)
9. quilt stores
10. ballroom dancing lessons

When the man is getting respect and his needs met, he instinctively seeks to meet the needs of his wife, in the form that matter most to her. In a sense it’s a chicken and egg analogy. Companionship in marriage ( for both men and women) is stronger when needs are met. Partnership issues are easer to figure out and resolve when two mate are convinced emotionally and logically that they need each other to live as well as they do.

Anonymous said...

The 2nd Anon was me.

Res Ipsa

Curt said...

Your questions spurred a post on my blog. I may not have answered your questions specifically, but maybe there's something of interest anyway.

http://www.atimelikethis.net/2005/01/whats-good-in-wife.html

Anonymous said...

I'm a girl and I want to state for the record that I would NEVER in a million years go into a quilt shop.

Nate said...

We want a wife who:

1) is Happy.
2) is Secure.
3) is Pretty.
4) is Uninhibited sexually. We want to marry an innocent little virgin and turn her into our personal sex fiend.
5) doesn't nag. Honey. Honey. Honey. 1000 times honey. Never vinegar.

6) who likes our friends, and supports our hobbies.
7) who has a reasonably low undivided attention quota.
8) who doesn't mind when her friends flirt, and we flirt back. This goes with security.
9) who likes hot chicks as much as we do. (more security)
and above all:

10) Who is a GIRL.

The Last Man said...

I have finally met that woman and will soon wed...

1. Attractive to me without qualms, not perfect either.
2. Sexual: "Enthusiastic about the project."
3. Intelligent and educated. Nothing extreme needed.
4. Healthy and lives that way-and encourages me here.
5. Likes kids and is good with them.
6. Easy to get along with.
7. Productive, employed or similiar gainful activity.
8. Honest, moral, decent.

Robin Munn said...

Hmmm. I don't really know how to express what I'm looking for well. The only "must" on my list is: she *must* love God wholeheartedly, and be committed to Him. Beyond that... Well, some of these do approach the "must" category, too.

Nobility of character. Someone who you could trust to do the right thing in whatever circumstance.

A deep trust in God, no matter what comes.

A cheerful character. Someone with that sparkle in her eye, who can find the good and the humorous in life. A beautiful smile and a ready laugh. A sense of fun. (These are really all descriptions of the same trait, so I've lumped them all together).

That's about as far as my list goes as far as actual character traits. The rest of it is more along the lines of a portrait of how I picture our relationship:

I want to occasionally look at her and wonder how in the world I got so lucky as to end up with this wonderful woman.

I want to be able to make her burst out laughing with a private joke, or a silly pun.

I want to be best friends with her, able to share our deepest thoughts and feelings without embarrassment. (Yes, this *is* a guy writing this.) I want to know her: not what she does, or facts about her, but to know *her*.

This wouldn't be an honest list without mentioning sex at least once. (See? Proof that this is a guy writing. :-)) I like how a previous commenter put it: "Enthusiastic about the project". While we're engaged, I want her to be looking forward to our future sexual relationship with excitement, not apprehension.


Finally, a few traits that she's going to need if she's going to be able to live with me:

She'll need to be somewhat naturally organized, without having the "neat freak" need to have everything in its place. If she's a "neat freak", living with me will drive her mad -- and if she's naturally as badly disorganized as I am, we'll never be able to find anything in our house. I don't plan on abandoning my ever-ongoing quest to be better organized and leaving it all up to her (what better way to let resentment creep in, eh?), but an honest evaluation of my success so far says that she'd better be better at it than I am.

Oh, and she needs to be able to understand run-on sentences like the above, because that's how I talk. :-)


That's about all I can think of. If I was married, or even seriously dating anyone, I'm sure my list would have a lot more items along the lines of "Why she's so wonderful" -- but that will have to wait on when God allows her to come into my life, which He hasn't allowed yet.

Nate said...

When was it decided that Christian Men must be insufferable prima-donnas?

Drop the touchy feely crap people. You don't really feel that way, and if you do, the women you think you're impressing are going to end up hating you.

They don't want to be married to a woman. They don't want you to sit around talk about your relationship. They want a man. They want reality.

GEEZ.

Robin Munn said...

"Insufferable prima donnas"? Where are you getting that from?

"Touchy feely crap"? Uh huh. Sure. *laughs*

Listen. I don't know where you got the idea that women don't want to be married to someone who enjoys talking things over, but my advice to you is to drop that idea like a hot potato, right NOW! Women. Want. To. Share. What. They're. Feeling. And they want their husband to do the same -- the most common complaint that a woman has is "He won't talk to me!" By which she means, "I have to guess what's on his mind; I wish he'd come out and tell me."

That is not the same thing as "talking about your relationship", though. That's a scary phrase -- "talking about your relationship" means talking for hours about how many dates you've been on, and who called whom on the phone last time, and other inanities. Um, yeah -- why don't we *not*? If that's the kind of conversation you're having, the relationship is shallow and is based on nothing but... the "relationship". It's headed for a breakup, fast.

No, I'm talking about talking about *yourself*. And listening to her talk about *herself*. Dreams for the future. Fears and worries, that you haven't yet managed to completely trust God to handle. What lessons you've seen God teaching you recently. That's the kind of talk I'm talking about.

May I make a suggestion? Go read the book "As for Me and My House: Crafting Your Marriage to Last", by Walter Wangerin, Jr. One of the things that he mentions as helping his marriage immensely is when he finally decided to set aside an hour per day to just talk to his wife. About whatever. He says it was immensely hard at first, but they both grew to look forward to those times -- and the intimate knowledge of each other that grew out of those discussions helped tremendously.

You're right: women want to be married to a man. But you need to get the idea out of your head that "wants to talk" = "not a man". Being a man is about strength of character, integrity, and servant leadership, not about fulfilling the cultural stereotype of the "strong, silent type". I'll grant that talking about one's feelings is more natural to most women than to most men. To some men, it's almost a foreign language, while to others such as myself, it comes more naturally. (Perhaps it's having grown up with a sister, or perhaps it's my naturally outgoing personality, but I find it easy to share what I'm thinking and feeling with others -- not just in romantic relationships, but also with friends of both sexes). But it's a language that you're *going* to need to be fluent in -- so start learning to speak it, and enjoy speaking it, now.

Anonymous said...

Robin,

Nate is married and a stay at home dad so his wife can be a doctor. He has one boy and another on the way. So far he’s ahead of you on the successfully married part. Listen to what he is saying. Our society projects a image of what a woman wants in a guy, its largely crap.

Men are to be male and woman female. When they start mixing up the basics of maleness and femaleness you get problems. If I could stand every Christian marriage author my wife read before we were married up against a wall and shoot them I would. You need to understand that marriage books are written and marketed to women, and what your reading is designed to please the larger female audience, 95% of the time it’s based on psychology not biblical perspectives.


While I’m on this little rant. You said: “I don't plan on abandoning my ever-ongoing quest to be better organized and leaving it all up to her”

If it involves the house young man, you better be prepared to leave it up to her. It doesn’t matter if you bought the home before you married the girl and paid it off. You get married, the house is hers. Now you might get some say over a room or two, and the garage but that’s it. She will figure out her system and you will obey. Its part of being female, I don’t get the why of it, its just better to give in and fight for more important stuff latter.

Look women want men, not a women with a hairier chest, at least the straight ones don’t. Men want women, preferably woman who are secure in being female, not ones that have to be in competition with them. It works best that way. If you’re male, work on being a man of charter, not a whimpy say what I think the feminists want to hear, so I can get laid in a sensitive and emasculated way wuss. If you’re a female, be a woman, do girly stuff, guys love a girl that acts like a girl, we don’t understand it 99% of the time but we like it.

If you decide to get married, learn to enthusiastically enjoy and promote your mates interests and desires; be they sexual, hobbies, interests, tv shows, talking, whatever. It doesn’t matter what your mate enjoys (unless its immoral, your fault for not addressing this pre marriage) find a way to help them enjoy it. If you can’t go with them, than encourage them to go themselves. Goes for men and women both.

Elena said...

Nate, was that last one you?

I LOVE that y'all are commenting. I should have allowed anonymous commenting a LONG time ago.

I'm busy with writers conference, so I'm saving my longer comments and my response post(s) for later.

For now, I'll say...I think good character (which really only comes from the Holy Spirit's transforming a person into Christlikeness and from the Christ-follower's cooperation in this process) and the fruit of the Spirit (which includes love: see Gal. 5:22-23) are what drive a Christian woman to meet her man's needs and wants and to do so joyfully. She who does so sees serving him "as unto the Lord." Well, OK, certain things you wouldn't do TO or WITH God, but you do them with your spouse as a celebration of your love and with thankfulness to God for each other. You know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Elena,

Sorry that post was me not Nate.

Res Ipsa

Anonymous said...

Hey why don't you have more links to this page, I didn't see one on pink kitty?

Ivan Lenin said...

I too am glad you allowed anonymous commenting: my comment was getting lonely up there. I must say I don't understand about 80% of what people said, though. I mean, I understand what the words mean, but I don't understand how people can think about marriage or love using such words as "companionship", "partnership", and "fulfillment". They all sound like they are from a textbook on psychotherapy. To me, love is so much more than an emotion that can be psychoanalyzed: love transcends emotion just like it transcends reason. Trying to fit it into the realm of reason would drive me crazy. How can one experience something so subtle AND talk (or think) about it all the time?
I also don't understand how people can talk about God in such a mechanical manner: I mean, "transforming a person into Christlikeness and from the Christ-follower's cooperation in this process" sounds like the person talks about engineering. I don't understand how people can rationalize their feelings or their faith so much - and still have any feelings, or faith. I don't mean to offend anybody, or question their Christian credentials, or to say they have no real feelings. Instead, I'm talking about what makes me feel alien in America - which I am, and probably, will always be. Sorry if this is off topic.

Elena said...

I didn't put a link within the post at Pink Kitty's because I don't know how to insert one into the text. On this blog I choose the setting that "turns on" the "Link field," which means I can turn the blog entry title into a link. That's all I know how to do when it comes to linky stuff. As for HTML, I do know how to hypertext for bold, but that's it.

Pink Kitty has me on her blog roll, and so does Miss O'Hara (a Xanga user). I'm in blog rolls on other blogs (not-so-widely-known blogs, that is). But I don't know if that's what you meant, Anonymous.

Did all that answer your question? :o)

Anonymous said...

Oh I see now.

And Anon is me sorry.

Res Ipsa

Nate said...

1) I would never anonymously post just to defend myself.

2) Let me tell you exactly how far that "Sensitive Male" crap will get you. My wife as a good friend at the hospital... This adorable little blonde is married. She's been married for 4 years. She married a "sensitive male".

He has set aside every saturday afternoon for their weekly "Talk Time", where they sit and talk about their relationship.

Each day when she gets home from work, (he always gets home first) he has to sit down and "talk about her day" with her.

He will not do anything, unless she wants to do it as well.

Oh... and he's a neat freak.. continually cleaning up the house... doing dishes..laundry... all of it.

Now... according to the Feminist Handbook, this man is the perfect "male" and he should have a happy marriage right?

In about 3 or 4 months he's gonna be divorced. She complains about him all the time. She refuses to have sex with him... because she says... "Well duh.. I'm straight!"

She wants a man dude. They all do. She has no respect for him at all. I've seen this time and time again.

So listen up kids... if your wife wants to vent... let her. Put her on the couch with some hot chocolate, and rub her feet while she rants... of course... the chocolate and foot rub pretty much negate her need to rant in the first place... but that's our little secret.

She wants you to be a male. She wants you to like her. She wants you to be affectionate with her.

But she also MUST be able to respect you.

Anonymous said...

Nate-

The man you talk about -- the one who insists on blabbing about himself every day, refuses to do anything without company, and incessantly cleans up the house -- sounds like he'd be pretty damn insufferable as a woman, too. A virtue is a virtue and a vice is a vice; I don't care who possesses it.

-Creeping Jenny

Nate said...

Jenny... I apologize sweetheart... I must not have been clear...

He doesn't hard talk about himself at all. He can't. He has nothing to say. He has no hobbies. He has no friends. He only talks about her.

Everyday when she comes home from work, he's sitting on the couch waiting expectantly for her. Expecting... her to plop down nex to him and talk.

The poor girl fumes constantly. She wants a man. She wants a guy who watches football, and rides motorcycles. She wants a guy with friends. She wants a guy who has poker night.

She said it best.... She married a woman.

Elena said...

Amen, Nate. Yes, we want MEN. We want men who will listen and talk with us...but not who will be like puppy dogs following us around and begging for whatever scraps we'll give them. Heck, we don't even want our gal pals to be that needy. Sheesh!

It's good to need each other, yes. It's not good to be suction-cupped to a person b/c of your neediness.

Take that neediness to God. He's got endless patience, time to hear all your troubles and joys, the solutions to your problems, and all the energy in the world to boogie with you in celebration over the good stuff. No human being can carry the full load of someone else's emotional needs.

If ya want a doggie, buy a pooch. If you need to vent all the time, try blogging or journaling on paper or on computer.

Nate, I like the chocolate and foot rub idea. And then after that if I can nap against him while he watches football and occasionally smile sleepily up at him, and he be OK with all of that, I'll be a happy gal. (Now all I need is Mr. Man to discover me.)

Nate said...

Nap during football? Madness. DrWho is just as into the Titans and UT as I am. She loves Alabama too. Now.. if one of those three aren't on... then she might nap... but then again.. she may just stay up and hope for a big hit.

That's another thing to look for in a wife.

A chick who appreciates football... oo... and if she likes NASCAR too!!! DrWho loves the pitstops.

Anonymous said...

Nate-

[quote]Jenny... I apologize sweetheart... I must not have been clear...[/quote]

Oh! You mean he's /that/ kind of sensitive guy, not the more self-absorbed kind of sensitive guy. I understand better now, and I agree with you that no sane woman would want such a husband.

Where I would still object is the part where you characterize your friend's toadying husband as a "woman". This just seems like a false and unnecessary slander on the female sex.

Generally, I agree with the substance of your remarks. Like Elena says, who wants to marry a golden retriever?

-Creeping Jenny

ashpenaz said...

Okay, as a girl living with 2 male roommates, I have noticed the following: the Guys (at least in this house, I don't know if this rings true for EVERY man)

1)usually aren't good at implementing an organizational system of their stuff that they like and that makes sense to themselves; they really don't care. They don't understand that if everything has a designated spot, then you won't have to worry about finding a different home for it when you clean up.

2)a spill on the floor or a sink full of week-old stinky dirty dishes is not a problem.

3) one's bathroom should warrant a cleaning about once every semester
(eeeewww)

4)why mop the floor when you'll have to do it again next week?

5)manly projects take priority over anything else that needs to be done (I am grateful that one did fix the dryer.)

6) Some just really want a mommy to take care of them so that they are free to play (an episode of Everbody Loves Raymond addressed this, I really don't enjoy the show, but that was classic)

I would just like to meet a guy eventually that will pick up after himself like an adult; I enjoy all of the domestic stuff and I would be happy to sew curtains, cook meals, etc, but once I am transformed into a domestic and/or sex slave, I will resent the guy. I would feel I'd be better off being single.

Hopefully, there are some good, responsible guys out there...

Anonymous said...

I'm 35 and still a virgin. It is difficult to find a good woman who has qualities that I'm looking for.
I want a Christian woman who has good moral character, intelligent, good looks (not that important), still a virgin (is there any woman out there who is still a virgin today?), and can cook. Am I asking to much here?