The Best Thing You Can Give Your Wife And Kids

Ready to invest in your wife’s joy and your family’s happiness? Here is the best thing you can give your wife and kids.

Photo by Gustavo Fring

They say happy wife, happy life. Unfortunately for many, wives and husbands and their kids aren’t actually happy. At all. And that can be a true nightmare. After all, most people get married to improve their lives, right?

A recent-ish study from 2024 by the Institute of Family Studies discovered that married people are 12-24% more satisfied and happy in life than those who are in a domestic partnership, unmarried or divorced. It’s one of the many reasons why I still believe that marriage is awesome.

However, if we are to zoom in inside the lives of married couples, is it every marriage where people are actually happy? Well, according to another study in 2019 by the Pew Research Centre, 58% of married people believe things are going very well. The remainder say they think things are going fairly well, or actually bad. Given that’s just shy of half, that’s a lot of us. And even the ones who would report happiness or that things are going well, we all know what it’s like to go through times or seasons of struggle.

And when your marriage is going well, I truly believe it’s the closest thing to heaven on earth. But when it’s not, it can be the closest thing to hell on earth.

And if you were to ask TikTok, Facebook Reels, Instagram Stories, certain TED Talks, ABC News or the anecdotes of the friends you know, they would label the blame squarely on the men.

As a man, and a married man and a father at that, I think, really? I hope not.

And yet so many people have extensive stories of struggle and pain with the significant man in their life. There are also heaps of websites and services from mainly red pill alpha male type content creators about telling a man how to be a real man, how to be the boss in his family, how to dominate as a true head of the house. As an aside, I did tackle the topic of what it really means to be the head of the house a while ago.

After reading a lot of books, watching and attending conferences and seminars, talking to people and writing about relationships at length for many years, and being married for quite a while myself, I think I can zoom in on the one thing that is the best thing a man can give his wife and kids. The summary if you will of what could make a marriage as happy as possible from a man’s contribution to his family. First I’m going to have a look at some that we are regularly told or even think of ourselves as the best thing we can contribute, leading to the core of the best thing.

And folks, I’m a married man, hence the perspective is from a married man’s perspective. Feel free to read this content relevant to your own relational circumstance.



Even in 2024, as guys we still gravitate towards the need of desire to be the primary or at least a significant breadwinner for our family or marriage. And that still seems to be psychologically important to a man, not just his family, that he has a sense of purpose, direction, and income. More on that and what the research tells us on that in the aptly named Why Men Need Purpose, Direction, and Income

It’s a big issue, and it’s becoming bigger every day with the state of the global economy. The war in Ukraine and the attacks of the Houthis on merchant ships continue to wreck havoc on global inflation and uncertainty, and the decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the economies of the world alive are finally starting to have their lasting impact on house prices and standards of living.

I know for me it’s been particularly rough over the last year or two, or perhaps more accurately “humbling”, to have worked so hard in my career to reach a top level percentile of work income only to have it not mean as much when trying to buy another property or expand investment opportunities. And I know I’m not the only one – it seems every man and indeed every woman and family I speak to is feeling the weight of it all in new ways, from those on substantially more money than myself to those anywhere along the chain.

In truth it can leave a lot of men feeling like all they’re really worth is their financial contribution. Or lack thereof. If wifey earns more money than you, which is increasingly the case, is that the reason why your marriage isn’t happy? Is your role in life just to be a paycheck, a child support payment, a money basket? Is that what she and your kids really want from you?


High profile former pastor Carl and Laura Lentz went through a fairly public rort when it was discovered that Carl had been having an affair. When it was made known, they abdicated their leadership positions and pulled away from all public influence, until recently when they have started a super brave podcast called Lights On where they are very openly tackling what happened, why and how they stayed together, and all the thoughts that went through Laura and the kids’ heads as it was all happening.

In their most recent episode at the time of writing, they took a deep dive into the topic of how their own sex and intimacy may or may not have been a factor in Carl going to have an affair. In their case, their bedroom was pretty good by their assessment and Carl still made the wrong choice. I definitely recommend their podcast as their openness and vulnerability is an assistance, a warning, and a healing message for any and all who want to be or are or were married.

But it’s a pretty real and daily consideration a husband and wife face in their married lives. After all, even those who believe in abstinence before marriage didn’t get married in order to stay absistent afterwards. In fact quite the opposite.

Doctor Esther Perel is an excellent speaker on the topic of marital sexuality in her umbrella of resources “Mating in Captivity“, where the astutely surmises that married people do want to be able to be their full sexual selves with their partner and still somehow enjoy all the other dimensions of a longterm relationship. Safety and eroticism at the same time – a dichotomy that exists nowhere else and yet can be a real struggle to maintain or discover.

Is sexual fulfilment the main dealbreaker in a marriage? Is your wife going to stay unhappy until you give her an earth shattering set of orgasms every time? I am notorious at and around weddings for dropping the marital advice to husbands pretty regularly “she comes first”, because it applies in and out of the bedroom. How should you treat your wife? Like she comes first. And how should you treat her in the bedroom? Like sh… you get it.

And in truth, there is quite a lot of disparity here. A 2018 study by the International Society of Sexual Medicine found 89% of married men orgasm during sexual encounters but only 49% of women did. That’s shocking fellas. That our heart would be to only ever make sure we get looked after without being willing to ensure the fulfillment of our wives is not great. Or at least in 51% of the cases.

But, is this the dealbreaker? Is the Biggest O a woman could ever imagine and the sexual fulfilment and overall contentment of mum the best thing a man can give his wife and kids?

Chores and housework?

I’ve been wanting to write a full post about this one for a while, but I’ll settle as a subsection here for now. The topic of the “unseen load” or “hidden load” is absolutely repeated to death in Australian and international news media, and it always scores them hundreds to thousands of comments and clicks every single time.

What’s the unseen load? It’s the notion that women are always carrying an extra load in the relationship that goes unnoticed, mainly around housework or family affairs. Statistics do back up that women even in our modern age do spend a bit longer on housework and chores than men do.

So men, is she unhappy because you won’t do enough around the house?

Now this is an interesting one, because the news media does not actually report on this with the full picture in mind. The Institute of Family Studies in 2019 zoomed in on this topic with some detailed research in their fascinating Myth Of The Lazy Father and found that when you include paid work, chores, time with kids, and other social and family duties, men actually did more than women, by a whopping… 1 hour a week. Yeah, it’s not really that much of a difference. Another set of studies from the Pew Research Centre I found put the difference at 1.1 hours a week, again in men’s favour.

So when the averages all work out and there’s all these big fights about who’s doing more than the other person and I work all day and well I look after the kids and work and clean and you don’t and yes I do and I do all these other things and look at all this stuff that you don’t do and that only I do and rah rah rah, we’re actually only really fighting about an hour on average in terms of time investment. It’s like “take that women men do actually more!” and then in the next breath you realise it’s not really that much more at all so you shut your mouth.

In other words, men aren’t Fred Flintstone anymore, and the time of the 50s working dad who puts his feet up and does nothing with the kids is long gone… on average. Forums, social media, viral TikToks and the comments section of any news site post about family chores will show you that this isn’t the case 100% of the time. But from widespread research we find the lazy men are actually the outlier inasmuch as I’m sure there are outliers on the other side that would make some people feel uncomfortable as well.

So men, is it that you’re not doing enough around your home? Are you an outlier when the average married man in our society is actually doing (very slightly) more in their marriage for their family?

PS. I fully think men have their own “hidden load” and that it’s dismissive and borderline gaslighty to say that only wives carry things that you can’t see. But… I’ll save that one for another time 😉


Maybe it’s a lack of presence? If the previous topic doesn’t hit home based on chores, maybe it’s because hubby isn’t spending enough time with yourself or with the kids? He’s a closed door, disinterested in the lives of you and his young or not so young ones.

This one can still very much be the case, unfortunately. There’s a whole ton of stats on the impact that the non presence of a father has and can still have on the lives of his kids – more in It’s Easy To Be An Absentee Father, Be A Dad Who Stays. And while hours-wise we’re adding up and doing our part, it’s all too common for dad to put the time in but be distant emotionally.

More than the stats and details above, I remember reading On Becoming Babywise by Dr Gary Ezzo (which has successfully helped get two very different kids of ours sleeping well) before I was about to become a father, and the difference even specifically to learning outcomes by the presence or the non-presence of the father are harrowing.

We’ve got to turn up. And if we do, is it this one that is the best thing you can give your wife and kids?

The summary issue is: give the best version of yourself

Here it is folks. The central issue. There are so many more things that get raised by people – having good role models, providing safety, dealing with your anger, being a good listener, being available, time management, all the rest of it – but the root of it is that the best thing you can give your wife and kids is the best version of yourself.

Now this seems like a copout, catch all for every particular dimension of a marital and fatherly relationship that you could think of, but it’s really not. Because it’s our willingness to be our best selves that is the central attitude that generates success or failure in our marriages and for our kids. All these other issues stem off this central one.

It’s a heart decision that translates into the way you live your whole life.

The more I’ve read about deadbeat dads or loser husbands or all the terms we slam men who we’re disappointed with or even the times when I’ve found my own self less than as a husband or a father, the truth 100% of the time is that he has stopped improving himself, stopped being willing to learn, stopped being accountable or open or willing to change.

Another way I’ve seen this worded is The Gottman Institute’s extensive research has them describe the number one predictor of divorce being contempt – a persistent, burning disappointment with your partner that you refuse to get rid of, or reasonably address the reasons for.

Or as the prophet Jesus put it – the main, or only, reason for a marriage to break down is because of the hardness of heart.

Men, once our heart is hard, once we’re unwilling to learn, once we stop becoming the redeemed versions of ourselves, our true selves, that’s when our wives shrink in sorrow, our marriages die, and our kids suffer.

“Well, what about her?”. Bro, you can’t control what she does. That’s the risk, that’s the vulnerability, that’s the dance of marriage. You can only control you.

The best thing you can give your wife and kids is a man who continues to learn, continues to love, continues to discover and address the faults in himself, continues to stay soft instead of becoming hard and harsh and calloused and cold and a closed door.

What about all the rest of these things? Well, the man who remains open does not close his ears to improve or contribute or improve his balance when he discovers he could and should be doing more in one of these. He’s also not a pushover who gets bullied or devalues himself to the point that he completely neglects his own needs to the point of uselessness.

In fact, the man who is whole, healed, alive in his purpose, aware of who he is, strengthened by love, who does everything from approval and not for approval – that’s the man who can and will change his marriage, his family, and indeed his world.

That’s why if you’ve never found out who you really are, if you still feel unloved, if you don’t know you’re called or chosen or valued or created for a purpose, if you’re shackled and overwhelmed by insecurity and guilt and pain and distrust and have no idea who you’re supposed to be, it’s time to prioritise finding that out. The best time to do that would have been yesterday, the second best time is today, and the worst time would be tomorrow.

Husbands, love your wives. Fathers, love your kids. Men, become who you were born to be. Manifest your true self. Anointed, appointed, called, chosen, kings and priests.

You are the gift. Give it well.

And once you’re there, you give your world the ability and the freedom to do the same.

How about you? What do you think is the best thing you can give your wife and kids?

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