What do men want in a wife? My top 10



Let me say this up front: I’m not looking for a wife. At least not now.

After two divorces, I’m not sure marriage is for me.

But, honestly, I still think about what qualities I’d want in a wife if I ever married again.

I saw an article recently that addresses this topic – a man’s checklist for a wife.

“Beauty? Brains?” it asks. “A good cook – or good in bed?”

Those questions are a good start. I think they’d be at the top of most men’s checklist for a wife.

So, without further ado, here’s my top 10 list of traits I’d want in a wife. (Given my dismal record in marriage, feel free to say I’m full of crap.)

The Top 10 Things I Want in a Wife

  1. Looks. I’m not saying she has to be an absolute scorcher. She doesn’t have to be Hollywood starlet beautiful. But she has to be extremely attractive to me. It’s a mistake to pretend that looks are secondary in a wife. Come on, you’ve got to wake up next to her every morning. If she’s not hot to you, you’re in for a long, miserable ride.
  2. Commitment to marriage. If I ever marry again, I want it to be forever. I’m not interested in changing wives as often as some people change cars. Marriage is hard. It can be miserable at times. But a good marriage can also be the greatest thing in the world. I’d want a woman who understands that marriage isn’t always a joy ride and can handle the bumpy, scary parts.
  3. Intelligence. I’m no rocket scientist, and I’m not looking for a woman who is. But we have to be roughly on the same intellectual plane. I’d prefer a college graduate, but a degree isn’t a necessity. Mainly, I’d like a wife who can carry on a conversation about current affairs and ideas.
  4. Physically fit. I’d like a woman who has a regular exercise routine (and watches her diet) before we get married. In other words, she practices preventative maintenance. I don’t want a woman who is beautiful on the wedding day and balloons up a few years later – then spends the rest of her life trying to get back in shape.
  5. Spiritually similar. I’m a Christian. I think faith is important to have a firm foundation in life. I don’t want a woman who is overtly religious. But I want someone who is grounded spiritually and shares the same general outlook on faith and life as I do.
  6. A good mother. I’d prefer that the woman’s kids are grown. But I still think it’s important how she relates to them. If a woman has a bad relationship with her adult kids, I think that’s a red flag about her character.
  7. Not needy. I’m not interested in being a daddy figure to a woman. I don’t want to provide for her every need and soothe her feelings all the time. My wife would need to be secure in herself and independent to a large degree.
  8. Someone who doesn’t have a meddlesome family. I fear the crazy, controlling mother-in-law. But I also fear siblings who would bend my wife’s ear and offer opinions and judgment about our marriage. My wife would need to be free from unhealthy emotional ties to her family.
  9. Wise with money. I’ve written about financial infidelity. I think money can cause more problems in a marriage than any other issue. I need a woman who understands the general concept that you don’t spend more than you have. If she’s a shopaholic, I wouldn’t even think about marrying her.
  10. A golfer. OK, I’m only being half-serious. But I love golf. It’s a relaxing outdoor activity that you can play even when you get old. A woman wouldn’t have to be a great golfer to be my wife. But she would have to at least understand my interest in the game and not resent the time I spend on the course.


Even if you’re in no hurry to marry, it’s good to think about the qualities you’d want in a wife. Why? Suppose you meet someone and there’s instant chemistry. You could get too involved too quickly if you don’t have a wife-to-be checklist to consult. The greatest sex in the world is no predictor of a successful marriage.

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About Ed Housewright

Ed Housewright is the chief cook and bottle washer at Single Dad House. After three decades as a newspaper reporter, he’s trying to adapt to the social media world. He’s matrimonially challenged with two divorces under his belt and is trying to do a better job at raising his 12-year-old son, Connor. Follow Ed on Twitter: @singledadhouse.