3 ways wives bear a special influence on husbands

Often, behind every great man is a supportive and loving wife. A wife's influence on her husband is significant, affecting many aspects of his well-being and longevity.

Ideally, a husband cherishes his wife. He loves her and wants to ensure her happiness, and many of his choices are subconsciously based on pleasing her. This is, of course, a best-case scenario in a marriage, and it also goes both ways. Wives should work to make their hubbies happy, too.

What power a wife wields when she can channel her influence into helping her husband become the best man he can be. Much of this advice rings of “1950’s housewife,” so try to set any cynicism aside. Remember, if you love your husband, this is all for his good.

Wives can help ensure their husbands live longer

If you’re a wife who does the cooking, you make food choices that influence your family’s longevity. When you bring home grocery sacks filled with processed meats, white bread, potato chips, soft drinks, and sugary treats, you’ve got easy snacks and meals on hand, but you’re probably not considering the years you may be deducting from your husband’s life. More than likely, he eats what’s available in the kitchen. By adding nutritious alternatives (whole wheat bread, fruits and veggies, dairy products), you’re setting up your husband for a longer and healthier life.

Along with healthy food choices, a wife can help temper her husband’s reckless activities — if he has any. For example, maybe your husband’s penchant for motorcycles sends you into cardiac arrest. If your man likes living in the danger zone, address your concerns and offer suggestions for alternative hobbies. If motorcycles are your thing, too, at least you can live on the edge together and be there for each other in the hospital.

A wife can also encourage her husband to get off the couch and exercise. Helping him find a sport or workout routine, encouraging him to play ball with his friends, and complimenting him on his toned physique all go a long way in promoting his physical health.

Wives can help refine their better halves

It’s a rare guy who always looks well-groomed and pulled together, or maybe I just don’t know many men of that type. My husband doesn’t think about his back-of-the-neck stubble; if he can’t see it, it’s not there. His shirt and shorts ensembles are sometimes — interesting, and he has a couple ripped-at-the-seams neckties that he holds on to relentlessly.

Dress and grooming issues aside, a wife’s influence can spread to her man’s choices in speech and topics of conversation, entertainment (books, music, movies, TV, video games), and in other ways. She can help him become a more spiritual person by encouraging church attendance and prayer. She can lift him emotionally by being his greatest cheerleader, which sounds awfully cheesy even though it’s true. Notes, hugs, compliments, and words of encouragement are important for kids and adults alike. Part of the job description of “wife” is to boost her husband’s morale.

Wives have the power to help their husbands be better fathers

As a parent, your guy may or may not magnify his role as a father. If he’s emotionally or physically absent, that’s sad; the same can be said for mothers, too. But sometimes a wife can provide gentle nudges.

For example, my husband is a great guy and an excellent husband. He is a conscientious provider; he’s also wise, talented, and hard-working. Because he is so busy, sometimes his interaction with our kids slips down his list. Unless it includes our kids’ sports activities, he doesn’t always make time to be involved. He wants to be engaged with the kids, he just doesn’t always know how to squeeze it in.

So he didn’t mind when I introduced a plan to encourage more dad and kid time: a monthly “date with Dad.” Our four kids rotate months participating in an outing with their dad, which they love. Frozen yogurt, a movie, or a game of golf are some of the activities my husband has used to enhance his relationships with our kids. Of course, it’s more about the one-on-one time spent together than the activity, itself.

It also never hurts to suggest helping with homework or playing a quick game of catch with one of the kids. Sometimes it takes mom to throw out ideas to help strengthen those father-child relationships.

It’s also important to remember that a child’s emotional health and well-being are largely determined by the happiness and success of his parent’s marriage. So much of a child’s life is affected by the love and respect displayed between the parents.

A wife has the potential to subtly influence and help her husband become the best guy, husband, and father he can be. Her role is to love and support him. Rather than nag and berate, she can use her influence to bolster her husband’s health, habits, and heart.

This article was originally published on FamilyShare.com. Check out these other related articles: (http://familyshare.com/honoring-the-women-who-influence-us?Itemid=631), (http://familyshare.com/6-unique-reasons-to-thank-your-wife?Itemid=631) and (http://familyshare.com/ways-to-celebrate-all-women-on-mothers-day?Itemid=631#.UYkx6StAR7Q).

Megan Gladwell

Megan Gladwell, a freelance writer and sometimes teacher, lives in beautiful Northern California with her husband and four children.