The word "enigma" is often used when describing women, relationships and marriage. What makes a marriage work can be a mystery in itself. It stands to reason, therefore, that you would benefit from a little insight into what your potential wife is looking for in a marriage. There are many key elements of interest to women when making a lifetime commitment, but there are 10 that stand out as the most important things a woman wants.
Respect and Consideration
Two of the most important things a woman wants in a marriage, from which all other factors stem, are respect and consideration. When you respect a woman, she feels valued and empowered, knowing that you would never do anything to cross boundaries and disrespect her. Being considerate lets her know that you care about her feelings, interests and well being. This leads to healthy compromises between her interests and yours. Neglecting your wife's concerns is one of the major reasons for divorce, according to William F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. in his article "Why Women Leave Men."
Listening and Communication
Two other factors high on the list are listening and communication. For women, especially in a marriage, feeling heard is crucial for feeling understood. Being attentive and using eye contact are important signs for women that you are really listening. How you communicate with a woman is equally important, illustrating your concern, kindness, understanding and directness. Women want to see your power exerted healthily through honesty and direct communication with assertiveness, not aggression.
Gratitude and Loyalty
In a marriage, women want to feel appreciated and honored through your gratitude and loyalty. Loyalty is obviously an important element in any relationship, but especially in the intimate, life-long commitment of marriage, allowing you and your wife the ability to feel safe and open through that trust. Gratitude is important to a woman because it shows that you recognize and appreciate her and her efforts, even for the little things: Handling an issue well with the children; juggling work and family; showing love and support when you need it.
Partnership and Equality
Women want you to be a healthy, strong and loving partner that can handle some things on your own. In such a marriage partnership, women also want to feel like equals. Whether a woman is a stay-at-home mom, works part-time or full-time, she wants to know you recognize her contributions as equally valuable to your own within the relationship.
Emotional and Physical Affection
The last two marital aspects important to a woman arise from the other eight items listed above. When a woman's emotional needs are met, physical affection naturally follows. According to W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven L. Nock of the University of Virginia, in their article "What's Love Got to Do with It? Equality, Equity, Commitment and Women's Marital Satisfaction," the emotional quality of a marriage is a high-level deciding factor in the success of a marriage. When a woman feels emotionally connected, she is satisfied with the marriage and more physically responsive.
- side view of woman holding & staring at a ring image by Jane September from Fotolia.com