I’m glad you’re back for Part 2. If you missed Part 1, I’d encourage you to take a look back so as to check out her first 5 points–and my more mature (said with a bit of an upper crust British accent) assessment of each.
Coach Amy North from British Columbia, Canada, is sharing 16 ways to be wife material. I’m giving you an overview and critiquing her advice from the perspective of a long-married woman with a recognition of the changes that have occurred in the modern world since I was moving into marriage, yet not neglecting universal truths.
We’re on #6, “You have shared values.”
She begins with, “This one can be a tough one because some people have hardcore, set values that they can’t change. But it’s important to hone in on the core values that you DO share together.” Her first example is, “Are you both family oriented?”
Core values are paramount. These can’t be glossed over. Religion, politics, and, as Coach North mentions, family values are huge. If there are major discrepancies in any of these three crucial areas (and more) put the brakes on. Go slowly in the relationship and see if you can come together in these areas. And I don’t mean come together because you FEEL in love and are willing to do a surface change, but because you genuinely do change your opinion or find a good, workable solution to your differences.
This is where I sense that Coach is subtly encouraging you to be the one who changes to be more like your potential husband. This may work in the moment, but not in the long run. Don’t fall into this trap. I did in my first, short marriage.
The bottom line is that Coach Amy believes you should be seen as his teammate.
#7 “You call him on his BS (without nagging)”
“Honesty is the backbone of any strong marriage… and if you’re always telling him the sweet stuff, he’ll trust his instincts and run for the hills. Guys value that upfront attitude.”
So very true concerning honesty, but I don’t necessarily believe that “guys value that upfront attitude.” It seems to be prevalent today to be “honest” when you are really being brutal. And not everything needs to be hashed out. Some things just need to be tolerated. A small example: he makes a sandwich and leaves his dirty butter knife on the counter until after lunch, but you want it in the sink immediately. Unless you have an ant problem–who cares?
She continues, “That means if he’s dropping his responsibilities around the house, call him out on it–but be kind. If you and your man can calmly work through your problems, he’s more likely [to] see you as wife material.” Good advice, however…
…Coach North is assuming you are living together which I do not recommend for a second for so many reasons that I’d have to write a separate treatise. Suffice it to say that a man’s primary motive for marriage is sex and a woman’s is security. “No,” you shout! Taken to its most basic level, this is it. Trust me.
Now, a man who can get a woman to have sex with him outside of marriage, or better yet live with him so he has a better chance of escaping STDs, getting his house cleaned, and home-cooked food on the table, has little need for marriage until he wants a solid family. Not all men mind you, but plenty of them.
A woman who wants a family, on the other hand, has no security outside of marriage–none. Women need security even in today’s world largely due to child rearing. Bologna you say! True, not all women are looking to have children. If you do, what today’s woman tends to not understand is that bearing and raising children, especially young ones, is very taxing.
Devoting yourself to this task for a few years will pay off handsomely for your entire family. Advanced pregnancy can be difficult and exhausting, not to mention nausea in the early months for many, infants mean lack of sleep for both you and your husband, and young children are much work if you are a good parent. THE most important job in the world, bar none, is raising children. It is a selfless task–me-ism needs to die when you are a parent. Look around you at the world and tell me if I’m not spot on.
Climbing off my soapbox, I’ll move on to Coach’s #8, “You’re fun to be with.”
“Remember, in marriage, you’re going to be with this person for the rest of your life. That means the day to day drudgery is going to take its toll at some point. If you’re able to see the lighter side of things, he’ll value that… and he’ll want to spend more and more time around you,” opines Coach Amy.
She is spot on. She continues, “There are plenty of ways you can make him see your value and what makes you wife material. I created my Devotion System for women who want to stand out from the crowd. I’ve found the formula that men look for in their soulmates and how to keep him interested for the long haul.”
Here, I’m willing to give Coach the benefit of the doubt. I haven’t seen the Devotion System, but I suspect it is just good advice on how to be a kind and caring person. Her suggestions should surely go for your potential husband, too. If you sense that she is trying to get you to go beyond self-improvement to changing to please your man for its sake alone, then I strongly caution you.
Let’s recap these three with my older and wiser perspective, while, hopefully, recognizing that life is different than it was in my day.
#6 “You have shared values.” – Be on the same page in the major things. As you date and become closer and more attuned to each other, you or he may change some opinions and you may become more compatible. Make very sure you do this before marriage, not after. If you are a liberal and he is a conservative, as you have long discussions, you may find you have lots in common politically. You may each move to the middle, one of you may help the other to see a better way. Mary Matlin and James Carville apparently have made it work, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
#7 “You call him on his BS (without nagging)” – Honesty is always the best policy, but this doesn’t mean bluntness or cruelty. If you know you should always be honest, you will not do some of the things you might otherwise have done, because if asked about them, you will be honest. The “upfront attitude” of some is off-putting! You are not all that; he deserves respect.
Don’t live together. Period. Why buy the cow when the milk is free?
#8 You’re fun to be with” – Be a fun and pleasant person to be around. Nobody likes a nag, a screech owl, or a depressive, negative Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame. Would you?