Open thread: Happy wife, happy life.

Wibbins asks:

Dal, I have a question, when I hear the phrase “happy wife, happy life” it’s like hearing nails on a chalk board, it usually comes from men that let their wives make all decisions and just let her do everything, is there any way to push back on this concept?

I have some thoughts but they aren’t as pithy as I would like.  This seems like a good topic for an open thread, so I’ll share my less than ideal responses as a seed for better replies by others.

One thought would be to reply with a question: “What makes a wife happy?” This is an opening for a conversation that may happen immediately or may happen at a later date.

Another thought comes to mind, and this is that the offending phrase is actually a reframing of Proverbs 21:9.  Offering the proverb back would be a reframe in kind:

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

However, this is also more of a conversation opener than the kind of retort I think Wibbins is asking for. It also would only be effective for a limited audience.

One last submission to get the ball rolling:

Wimpy husband, miserable wife.

But I’m sure there will be much better suggestions forthcoming in the comments.

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142 Responses to Open thread: Happy wife, happy life.

  1. Ben says:

    A happy wife is indeed a necessary condition/indication of a man’s happy life, but it doesn’t follow that a man should focus preeminently on his wife’s emotional state in order to bring about her happiness.

  2. Bike Bubba says:

    I think the question is simply what makes a wife happy. As far as I can tell, figuratively “wearing the pants” in the relationship is not it. To building Proverbs, what is the contentious woman contending about? Answer; she obviously wants everything her way–to wear the pants.

    Maybe “submissive wife, happy wife, happy life” might be a good place to start?

  3. It’s corollary: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. Presents an easier and still appropriate target. The wife has the ability to be contentious, if she is everyone is miserable. The feminist has learned to turn the Proverbs couplet on it’s head. Do what I want or I’ll make you miserable.

    We’ve know the problem with this construction for years, that is, nobody TRYING to please a woman makes a woman happy. They can’t deliver on their end of the deal. Feminists are always going to be miserable contentious witches, thus “happy wife” is a unicorn chase and we get to pick out prime locations on the corner of the roof no matter.


  4. or maybe all females unhappy.

  5. In another sense suggesting “happy wife, happy life” suggests that OTHER people are responsible for their happiness. This is an open admission, and a passing off of women’s agency. So much for strong independent women.

  6. Scott says:

    Like I said in the previous thread–this trope appears to be an indicator of something I think may be happening on an epidemiological level.

    It is my contention that although personality (and it’s disordered forms) is generally considered to be made of static variables (or “traits”) that are the lifelong result of an interaction between innate temperament and the environment, I think we have driven pathology of the Borderline variety into an epidemic level of women over the course of several decades.

    In no healthy relationship should one party have that much power over the happiness of a household, yet this is considered an essential feature of the American family experience.

    But you can’t fit that on a bumper sticker.

  7. Happy Wife Powered By Unicorn Farts?

  8. greyghost says:

    Wife: I’m not happy
    Husband: fuck you I don’t care.
    Truth be told my wife pulled in a fit this and the answer was “fuck you I don’t care” As bad as that may look to you all that seems to strangely work wonders.

  9. The Question says:

    Happy man, happy clan.

    No wife chubby means happy hubby.

  10. Jodaph says:

    This is my go-to when I hear that:

    “Happy King, Happy Kingdom”

  11. Boston to Providence says:

    Others have commented in the past on the idea of men having a significantly greater ability to be content in a marriage than women. Thinking about this earlier today, this seems to me not only a natural result of women having a greater degree of swing between, and possibly range of, emotions, but also of their similarly greater capacity for quality of sexual experience. Men can find expanded pleasure in seeking multiple concurrent partners, but ultimately our orgasm quality doesn’t vary as much as women’s, suppressing the potential reward in acquiring new partners, as does the fact that seducing a woman entails real effort from men.

  12. Gerald says:

    To rephrase the original question in terms of formal logic:

    Premise 1: “Happy wife, happy life.”
    Premise 2: A wife will be happy if she makes all the decisions and her husband bows to her every whim.
    Conclusion: If you want to be happy, let your wife be in charge.

    Stated this way, the flaw is obvious: Premise 2 is simply not true. While greyghost may have been more extreme than most would find comfortable, “Fuck you I don’t care” really is a better answer than “I’m so sorry baby, what can I do to help?” A man who has confidence in his own worth, a plethora of options, and the strength to lead and protect his family, that is what makes for a happy wife.

    It seems cruel to those who lack understanding, but the more a man tries to please a woman, the less pleased she will be.

  13. Cane Caldo says:

    Friend: You know what they say: Happy wife, happy life!

    You: If she wants to be happy then she better get them biscuits in the oven and her buns in the bed.
    Friend: You know how it goes: Happy wife, happy life.

    You: No, I don’t know how that goes.
    Friend: You know what they say: If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

    You: She better wake up!

  14. greyghost says:

    Do what I want or I’ll make you miserable.

    The best way to keep your head as a husband is to stop concerning yourself about her happiness. emotionally get that out of your head. Give her hugs and kisses and make sure the lights come on as a standard you have as a husband regardless of what bitch you are married to and remind her of that with confidence. If you have a son give life advise to him in front of with any regard to what she thinks. ex. “38 year old women are for booty calls son especially if she is some skank single mom.” A joke for a wife to hear. “Craigslist ad you will never see….Successful bachelor seeks 40 year old single mom” “will take a fat one” ha ha ha ha
    Ignore her shit and keep it on frame don’t even ask for sex.

  15. The Abdication Imperative:

    In an era when women’s sexual selection has been given exclusive control to the feminine, in an age when hypergamy has been loosed upon the world en force, social conventions had to be established to better silence the doubt that hypergamy makes women even more acutely aware of. And nowhere is this doubt more pronounced than in the confines of a monogamous commitment intended to last a lifetime. Thus we have the preconception “Happy Wife equals Happy Life” pre-programmed into both gender’s collective social consciousness. It’s as if to say “It’s OK Hypergamy, everything’s gonna be alright because we all believe that women should be the default authority in any relationship.”

    When you disassemble any operative feminine social convention, on its most base, instinctive level the convention’s latent purpose is to facilitate and pacify hypergamy.

    As I covered in Hypergamy doesn’t care,.. it isn’t enough to profess love, promise support, exemplify dedication, etc., no, in a social context hypergamy demands a total pre-abdication of authority. Hypergamy wants social assurances before it makes a decision it has to live with. And even under the condition of total contrition hypergamy will not be pacified, but feminization, since the sexual revolution, has defined society in hypergamic terms, and that imperative will insist that the general populace internalize that “Happy Wife equals Happy Life.”

  16. BradA says:

    “So what will wife/momma do to make herself happy? She has the final word on her own happiness, especially if she claims to be a Christian.”

  17. “Happy wife, happy life”

    Translations: “I have so few options and intimacy has always been so scarce an occurrence in my life that my best recourse is to continually ensure my wife’s sustained happiness at the expense of my own.”

    IOW: Dread Game for wives.

  18. Boston to Providence says:


    I hear frequently enough that autism affects mostly men, and is graded on a spectrum upon which we all fall somewhere. Perhaps BPD is similar, but with regards to women. There must be many differences, due to the potential genetic basis of autism, but I need to bring this up, since I’m curious to hear more of your thoughts on personality disorders, here or on your blog.

    I can’t help but agree with the idea that our environment continues to affect us. Society has become a permissive parent, a sad reality as society continues to raise us as children even as adults, we just don’t notice it due to our empty spaces being filled, our declining plasticity, and the subtlety of the havoc this incompetent parent raises in the lives of young adults. Hard to say though whether incidence of BPD is increasing, or if finite levels of BPD in individuals are being rewarded by a confused society, and thus accentuated.

  19. pancakeloach says:

    There’s an old song for that, and it says: “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife.”

    Or, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

  20. But, but, but BradA. Don’t you realize that you need to Man-Up and spin the hamster?

  21. praetorian says:

    A few tries:

    > Submissive wife, happy life.

    > Wife needs a husband’s lead.

    The “no hymen, no diamond” shiv is brutal.

  22. greyghost says:

    A good comeback line
    “happy wife happy life”
    “Unhappy wives get indifference.”

  23. praetorian says:

    > He commits, she submits

    > Quiet ann keeps her man

  24. scientivore says:

    How about some agree & amplify biscuits with reframe gravy?

    BP: “You know what they say: happy wife, happy life!”
    RP: “So true, and a spanking a day keeps the crankies away.”

  25. Anonymous Reader says:

    IOW: Dread Game for wives.


  26. I agree greyghost. The position “HWHL” is so ridiculous on it’s face, so non sequitur to reality it deserves at least as ridiculous of a response. Who said “A sammich a day keeps the hamster at bay.”?

    Or to back it around to something that may actually be appropriate. The things that make me happiest are a job well done. A role that God has uniquely equipped me to do and knowing that I am an instrument in His hand. What has God uniquely equipped wives to do? UNIQUELY.

    Unhappy wife? Time to get to the bedroom woman, God has a plan for your life.

  27. praetorian says:

    Any response to this tripe *cannot* be more than a simple rhyme. This is rhetoric, so if you are explaining you are losing. If your response is longer than the original rhyme, you are losing.

  28. Is this pithy enough? 1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives- 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

    @Jodaph – Happy king happy kingdom – nice! puts the focus on life in the kingdom of Christ and not on personal happiness.

    @Question – Happy man, happy clan is at least as true as the harpy wife happy life line.

    See also – “Life is a bitch when you are married to one.” “A sexless marriage is like saying go f*ck yourself”, ” A nag a day keeps the man away”, “God made your husband the head, now get on your knees and give him some … sammiches”, “The secret to a faithful husband is a full stomach and empty balls”, “Unhappy wife, pass the beer-nuts” and “Bitchy, fat and frigid is no way to go through life!”

  29. DT says:

    How about:
    “Shut up!”

  30. Cane Caldo says:

    I may have related this before, but last spring I was on a work email chain to organize a department campout. One poor bastard wrote: “I’ll have to ask the boss”, meaning his wife. I replied to all: “What.” Another coworker replied all: “HAHA! I knew Cane couldn’t let that pass!”

  31. jeff says:



  32. @praetorian, trying for brevity? Masculinity? Action over words?

    Point at the bedroom and say “SEX NOW”.

  33. Anonymous Reader says:

    Any response to this tripe *cannot* be more than a simple rhyme. This is rhetoric, so if you are explaining you are losing. If your response is longer than the original rhyme, you are losing.

    Absolutely. Here’s one possibility:

    “Uppity wife, sad life”.

  34. Solomon says:

    Part of the problem is that “happy” is a garbage word. It comes from “hap”, such as mishap, or happenstance. It is a fleeting, abiguous thing. People should be disabused of the word entirely.

    Switch to the word SATISFIED. What will satisfy a wife? What sort of behavior brings satisfaction?

    If you teach a woman that shooting for “happiness” is an immature, short-sighted thing, and get her to learn to seek satisfaction and contentedness… then you can guide her to operate in such a way that will achieve it. Discipline is a vehicle for joy, and fleeting ‘happy’ moments of whimsy are useless. Good, consistent actions bring satisfaction. Controlling destructive urges. Controlling one’s speech. Working hard and not shirking tasks. Accomplishing actual, meaningful things. Giving of one’s self to others in need, materially, spiritualy or otherwise… and this satisfaction must start at the individual- being satisfied with ourselves first.

    In this context, what brings a sense of satisfaction in marriage? Pretty much the same stuff, now towards each other. Are her expectations wacked? Does she want Disney dreams, or does she want actual, well-earned self-esteem? Dalrock is right, wimpy won’t cut it, not for either party.

    If she understands that a stable, reliable man is satisfying and preferablle to the whirlwind of some dipshit bad-boy, now you can get somewhere. An oak tree of a man, not a peter-pan-flute act. An admirable man. THIS is what will satisfy her. Then just be that. Also, she will be satisfied if such a man can lead her so that she becomes admirable as well. Her best self, in a way of substance, that is actually real.

    Satisfied life, *then* satisfied wife.

  35. scientivore says:

    It’s corollary: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. Presents an easier and still appropriate target.

    That one is an opportunity for popularizing dread game:
    “If Momma’s a bitch, it’s time to ditch.”

  36. SirHamster says:

    Any response to this tripe *cannot* be more than a simple rhyme. This is rhetoric, so if you are explaining you are losing. If your response is longer than the original rhyme, you are losing.


    “Happy wife, happy life”
    “So go make me a sammich”

    I’m liking this one the more I think on it. It accepts that a wife should be happy, but that a wife’s happiness is in serving and pleasing her husband, so she should go and do that.

  37. greyghost says:

    As something else to keep in mind. A wife will never say she is happy or proud of you. That is asking way to much from todays stink holes. She will stop complaining or leave the porch light on so you can see the lock on the door when get home from work at night. Leave food out for you. A good sign is she starts trying to shop cheaper to save money for other things.
    There are things in your own household you will notice. That is about as good as it will get.

    The bottom line is my children are doing very well and we’re complimented often on our children. And I myself couldn’t have drawn up better kids with the latest auto CAD. Even the wife is educated and doing well as a school teacher.

  38. Don’t get married, happy life.

  39. greyghost says:

    Don’t get married, happy life.

    Hey, I’m saving that for my son

  40. shadescale says:


    You really made my day with those sayings. Now if we could only get those on Sunday morning….


    For even more brevity and masculinity:

    1) Scoop the wife into your arms, and throw her over your shoulder while carrying her to the bedroom.

    2) The John Wayne School of Shrew Taming:

  41. WittyDude says:

    Skinny wife, fat sex-life.
    Happy wife comes from her submissive life.
    A passive husband gets no lovin’.

  42. Yeah, I thought of that too shadescale, for those whose wives are small enough to actually pick up.

  43. SirHamster says:

    Alternative parallel saying for contrast:
    “Bitchy wife, bitchy life”

  44. Griffon Z says:

    There is a sense in which this trite saying is true. If a man wants to be happily married he should pick a woman who’s happy. If she deals with her situation and circumstances well (the original meaning of happy) then she is likely to be good marriage material.

  45. desiderian says:

    “Wimpy husband, miserable wife.

    But I’m sure there will be much better suggestions forthcoming in the comments.”

    Nope. That about covers it.

  46. Man cave is a location not a marriage strategy.

  47. desiderian says:

    “Don’t get married, happy life.”

    Meh. I married a woman with a good-hearted mother who tends to be a little too bossy. I just remind my wife when she starts acting like her mother. She blushes, we have a laugh, and she’s back in line.

  48. theasdgamer says:

    Chasing wife, happy life. True in Proverbs, still true today. But the standard response among you churchians is to ignore truth.

  49. jsr says:

    Smack her buns and have some fun.

  50. Gunner Q says:

    Silent wife, happy life. So what’s the happy wife cooking you for dinner? But you don’t look happy.

    Let me guess. She’s the titan of industry and you’re the big-breasted secretary.

    I didn’t ask if her life was happy. I asked if YOUR life was happy.

    Who says that? She should be happy if you are happy. You’re the boss and she needs to respect that.

    I gave my wife everything she wanted. She wanted a divorce.

    Behind every good man is a good woman. Behind every good woman is a man holding her leash.

    If momma ain’t happy then she gets sent to her room.

  51. knepper says:

    Submissive wife
    Blissful life.

  52. Miserman says:

    “Happy wife, happy life” is deceiving because many wives are happy when they are not happy.

  53. Han Solo says:

    Caring wife, happy life

    Takes the focus off of the man having to make her happy and onto how the wife should act and what kind of woman should be chosen to be a wife.

    Some others:

    Generous wife, happy life
    Kind wife, happy life
    Grateful wife, happy life

  54. Some oldies but goodies:

    An excellent wife who can find? Proverbs 31:10
    An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4
    Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
    The woman Folly is loud; she is seductivec and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13
    A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;Proverbs 27:15

  55. Han Solo says:

    Comment in moderation.

  56. Han Solo says:

    Caring wife, happy life

    Kindly wife, happy life
    Grateful wife, happy life
    Generous wife, happy life

    Takes the focus off the man having to make her happy and puts it on what kind of woman should be chosen as a wife.

  57. ManlyMan says:

    Life is a three ring circus.

    Engagement ring.

    Wedding ring.


  58. Mike says:

    Wife proclaims, “Happy wife. Happy life.” (this a shit test extraordinaire).

    Husband says not a word, and calmly walks to the nearest door of the home which leads outside (and that his wife can see), He opens the door, as if letting the cat out, and makes direct eye contact with his rebellious wife, “Get out.”

  59. Pingback: Open thread: Happy wife, happy life. | Reaction Times

  60. Cane Caldo says:


    The Proverbs are great responses.

    And the response depends who is posing the “happy wife” hostage situation. I assumed another man; coworker, church mate, whathaveyou.

    A woman in nag-mode is a different story. My most common retort is to bark, “Peace, woman!” It works cumulatively as well as in the moment because it sets the goal as well as stating the command. She’ll realize that she doesn’t have peace, and that is the real issue; not me.

  61. Mathetes says:

    Helping/helper wife, happy life. Gen 1-2.

  62. Exfernal says:

    I would prefer:
    “Busy wife, tranquil life.”

  63. feeriker says:

    WIFE: “Do what I want or I’ll make you miserable.”

    HUBBY: “More than you already do? Not possible.”

  64. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Down with Han Solo, I am…

    Virtuous wife, happy life
    Faithful wife, happy life
    Excellent wife, happy life
    God-fearing wife, happy life
    Devoted wife, happy life
    Submissive wife, happy life
    Committed wife, happy life

  65. nick012000 says:

    @feeriker: I don’t think daring your wife to be even more insufferable is going to solve the problem, dude.

  66. Qof the Great says:

    Happy wife, happy wife.
    Wife’s a bitch? Use a switch.

  67. Qof the Great says:

    *first should be as in the post.

  68. stevesam221 says:

    well fucked wife, happy life. That’s been my experience at least.

  69. feeriker says:

    A wife will never say she is happy or proud of you.

    There are rare (and precious) exceptions to this statement, but in general you’re correct. By telling you that she’s happy or proud of you, she effectively relinquishes her threat point leverage. Once ceded, that’s very difficult if not impossible to reclaim. More likely the reason, though, is that women are hardwired to complain about pretty much anything and everything. That the average wife could even conceive of happiness with or expressing pride in her husband is about as likely as a cat being able to bark like dog.

  70. feeriker says:

    @feeriker: I don’t think daring your wife to be even more insufferable is going to solve the problem, dude.

    “Insufferable” is binary. She either is or she isn’t. The word itself clearly means “unable to tolerate.” The degree of bitch/harpy/nag/shrew is irrelevant. Whether a little or a lot, she exceeds the threshold of pain with her presence.

  71. Tom C says:

    Show me an unhappy man and I’ll show you a man with women troubles.

  72. feeriker says:

    momma ain’t happy then she gets sent to her room.

    Hmmmmmm …

    “You go to OUR room, right this minute! You take every stitch of those clothes off, get on the bed – NO COVERS– and wait for me! Don’t let me catch you dressed!”

    There just might be something to that approach. Can anyone here comfirm or deny from experience?

  73. Nah they got it but not very close. It is:

    “Happy Life, Happy Wife. If you are happy and including her in your fun and exciting life it is likely she is happy. Or as happy as they can ever be.”

    Do the “they” with a dismissive sneer at the nearest woman in earshot for full effect.

  74. Paul Murray says:

    Power is being able to do whatever you want. But a woman’s “horizon” is limited to the people immediately around her – the co-stars in her little soap opera. The individuals she communitaes with personally. For women, therefore, power is being able to treat the people immediately around them badly without consequence. Power is having ladies maids that you can freely face-slap and verbally abuse. Power is being able to make other people miserable the second you feel any degree of unpleasure for any reason. Somply being able to dump on the people around you until they fix it.

    “Happy wife, happy life” is a statement of a wife’s ideal life: that the people around her should live in smiling-faced fear.

  75. crowhill says:

    What if you just turn it around. Happy life, happy wife.

  76. bkilbour says:

    Gamed wife, happy wife. Submissive wife, happy life.

  77. Tom K. says:

    Her: I want a divorce.
    Him: Where do I sign?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: What are you doing wrong?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: What’s your point?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: Why are you telling me?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: What do you expect me to do about it?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: I am.
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: What’s your problem?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: Did I ever say I’d make you happy?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: When did that become my problem.
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: That’s your problem.
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: What are you going to do about it?
    Her: I’m not happy.
    Him: Then maybe you need to leave before you infect the children.

    Each of these and all together represent the only wisdom I have for dealing with feminine emotional instability. Don’t touch it. There is nothing you can do about it.

    Back in my blue pill days, my young-but-over-18 daughter had a boyfriend whom, when she told him she was having panic attacks and crying jags and that she was feeling emotionally overwhelmed, told her, “I know what you’re feeling. I went through that kinda shit when I was your age (he was 24). I can’t help you. You just have to work through it on your own.” When she told me this I was SHOCKED!

    I was about to leap into a phone booth, reveal the big red “S” on my chest, and promise to save her when she said, “He was right. That was the best advice I’ve ever received. It took me a couple of months but I worked through it. I still get panicked and scared sometimes, but now I know I can handle it.”

    P.S. He was still an ass and I was glad when she broke up with him.

  78. Spike says:

    I second greyghost
    (October 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm)

    While I’m not quite that brutal, the only way to get peace is to ignore the wife’s wishes, because those wishes constantly change and can never be accommodated. Husbands need to re-define themselves as men in the absence of not just their wives but all female influence. Many here have talked about getting fit and lifting weights; joining a martial arts club; picking up that electric guitar she told you had to go; start sailing again. If that works for you, fine.
    She will rage. Good. Let her. If you have a family, do what is right for them. In doing so, you show you have the high moral ground, you have frame and no amount of domestic terrorism is going to stop you occupying the high ground.
    Any wife with any sense will quickly come to her senses that you aren’t a pushover. It works.
    Any woman who doesn’t take the hint, well…

  79. Dave says:

    OK, gentlemen, can we agree on one thing, that Christianity has failed, at least in the West? The societal effect of Christianity is an elevation of moral standards, and, as far as the West is concerned, quite the opposite is happening.

    We can only conclude that the West needs to be re-evangelized for Christ.

  80. praetorian says:

    > No sex makes an ex

    > Bitch and nag makes a lonely hag

    > Wives who act like brats end up alone with cats

  81. Forge the Sky says:

    Crowhill’s was best – just reverse it. Happy life, happy wife. It throws the words back but reframes the issue.


    Happy man, or shit hits the fan

    eh, maybe 😉

  82. BradA says:

    God is Laughing,

    I might kick the hamster wheel enough to make it spin quite a few times, but I don’t think that is what she would want.


    I would not want my wife to say she was proud of me. That sounds far too trite and patronizing. Exhibiting that respect is more important.


    Christianity has failed

    Nope. Men’s version of it has not done well, but you should study Church history quite a bit if you think it was perfect before. Read the letters Jesus wrote to the churches in the Rev 3. All but one had at least some bad news.

    Humans are humans and I believe it would be even worse without the base Christian Church, even if it is living well short of its potential. We really do need Jesus to return and rule with a rod of iron, we cannot do it ourselves.

  83. embracingreality says:

    “You know what they say: happy wife, happy life”

    Can any woman on the planet ever respect a man that can never tell her ‘No’? A wife will never be happy with a husband she can’t respect and a Man will never be happy with a wife who doesn’t respect him.

  84. JF says:

    “Happy wife, happy life”


  85. The Original Laura says:

    Griffon Z wrote:
    “There is a sense in which this trite saying is true. If a man wants to be happily married he should pick a woman who’s happy. If she deals with her situation and circumstances well (the original meaning of happy) then she is likely to be good marriage material.”

    I read many years ago of a study of men with spinal cord injuries who were paraplegics. Within six months of the life-changing injury, their happiness level had returned to whatever level of happiness that they had had prior to the injury. It is also fairly well known that when a non-depressed person spends time with a depressed person, the mood of the non-depressed person darkens, while the mood of the depressed person is not lifted.

    When choosing someone to marry, you can’t be too ruthless in weeding out the people who are never satisfied, moody and unpredictable, foul-tempered, etc.

  86. jack says:

    Happy dick, happy chick.

    You want flowers and cards and vacations and spontaneous love notes?

    Well, I want something too…

  87. Observasaurus Rex says:

    Bitchy wife, happy girlfriend.

  88. Chris says:

    “Happy wife, happy life (implying the man’s life)”

    “It’s the other way around.”

    i.e. If the man is happy and solid, that gives room for the wife to also be happy.

    I remember many years ago when a male coworker spouted this phrase to me for the first time, and a female coworker who used to live in Russia instantly commented, “But what about the husband?”

    I was so impressed with that response, I haven’t forgotten it.

  89. Lena says:

    The best things a husband can do for his children is to love their mother.

  90. Lena says:

    “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  91. BradA, all but one of them had a problem with women. Defiled garments, tolerating Jezebel, the doctrine of Balaam…….all female problems. (Spiritually speaking).

  92. Lena says:

    Emotionally mature person (husband or wife) will not expect his partner to “make” him happy, because one is in control of own emotional state (as such behavior too) and state of happiness. In turn, emotionally dependent person needs to be validated by others. That person is hypersensitive when it comes to his/her own feelings, but has no empathy toward others – adult body with childish emotional state. What is inside (inner state creates external reality, not vise versa). Like distorted mirrors, reality can be distorted as well – it is the matter of perception. It is not easy for someone to get out of comfortable zone (or ego-centric perception) and to see three (yes three?) sides of the coin. For one to learn to fly and see horizon, one needs to pass the stage of change (butterfly’s life is a wonderful example of internal stages of change). By the way, happiness can be another good topic for discussion, but simple definitions as follows: happiness is celebrating little things.

  93. desiderian says:

    “What if you just turn it around. Happy life, happy wife.”


    Amused mastery.

  94. MarcusD says:

    Pope reflects on marital fidelity [CWN]

    Concrete ways to promote marriage and family in young people

    Second link might be of interest to those with blogs/websites on that particular topic (e.g. linking). The thread is currently a bit quiet.

  95. yamanous says:

    happy fling happy king

  96. rv says:

    A submissive wife is a happy wife.

  97. Ang Aamer says:

    My logic on this subject:

    Women don’t know why they are not happy
    Women don’t know how to improve their lot in live to be happy
    Therefore don’t bother trying to figure out how to make them happy.

    It’s amazing with all this fem empowerment the default thought in a woman’s head about happiness is that it’s mediated by a man. It’s kind of interesting that people don’t run around to males asking them if they are “happy” or not. This is probably because men tend to do something about their lack of happiness. Meanwhile women will talk about their lack of happiness until they infect other women with the lack of happiness.

  98. feeriker says:

    It’s kind of interesting that people don’t run around to males asking them if they are “happy” or not. This is probably because men tend to do something about their lack of happiness. Meanwhile women will talk about their lack of happiness until they infect other women with the lack of happiness.


  99. Anchorman says:

    “Happy wife, happy life.”

    “Grow a pair.”

  100. BradA says:

    That would be something to ponder GiL. Christians should be ever seeking to be true to the Scriptures and we stray when we do not. Having bad ideas and things we follow in intersexual relations is a key foundation point.

    Christians are also part of the culture they live in, for good and bad. They must constantly watch things there as well, but not be shocked when they find they go with the cultural flow more than they realized.


    That is a worthy aphorism! It pulls from Biblical teaching in a few rhyming words to lay the axe at the root of christo-feminism. It says that true happiness is only found in when in harmony with and obedience to God’s revealed will. It is simple and yet deep. It reiterates covenant headship as a representative of Christ in the marriage and infers the responsibility of the husband as a subordinate to Christ.

  102. mikediver5 says:

    I would stick with what I heard on Everyone Loves Raymond, The character of the father in law, played by Peter Boyle, said,

    ” I learned long ago that nothing I did would ever make your mother happy. So, I concentrated on doing what made me happy, that way at least one of us was happy.”

  103. J1J2 says:

    The trick is to “satisfy the demands of hypergamy”, both “hyper-” and “-gamy”, as much as is possible. You are probably already as non-behaviorally alpha as you can be, so if that does not provide enough “hyper-” for your wife the only thing that is left is to become more behaviorally alpha. I have not read Athol Kay, but he seems to be basically on the right track in encouraging men to be (in his terms) both “alpha” and “beta”. The problem, and it is a very serious one, is that those two objective contradict each other to a significant extent: being alpha is often being non-beat and being beta is often being non-alpha. We are therefore left with a series of difficult judgment calls to make on a case-by-case basis. I would say the basic objective is to produce admiration without producing anger. But it is “easier said than done”.

    Most of what I read on the internet strikes me as a bit too cynical, too much toward the hyper-/alpha. Last I knew, most divorces filled by women were motivated by (in my terms) failure of “-gamy”, rather than failure of “hyper-“. Maybe these days is it becoming more even. But from what one reads on the internet, one would think it is all failure of “hyper-“. Not true, not even possibly true. Hypergamy means what it says, and “-gamy” is (in the long run) just a important as “hyper-“. Women cannot achieve their objective without getting both.

  104. mikediver5 says:

    J1J2 says:

    October 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I am sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about.

  105. gargoylevrigin01 says:

    “Search the pages of the Bible all you will; study history all you please. And you will find one truth that stands out above some other truths. What is that truth? The truth that the spiritual life of a nation, city, town, school, church, or home never rises any higher than the spiritual life of women. When women sag morally and spiritually, men sag morally and spiritually. When women slump morally and spiritually, men slip morally and spiritually. When women take the downward road men travel with them. When women are lame morally and spiritually, men limp morally and spiritually. The degeneracy of womanhood helps the decay of manhood.”

    SOURCE: R.G. Lee, the needful sermon PAYDAY SOMEDAY!

  106. Anchorman says:

    J1J2 says:

    October 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I am sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about.


  107. Draggin says:

    Momma nags? Pack her bags.
    : Teaches responsibility to both sides

    You keep taking momma’s shit and she’s gonna quit
    : For the guy that doesn’t realize that his ex is going to check out on him unless he pushes back on her shit tests.

  108. Vic says:

    “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is the biggest insult you could give to women but they’re not bright enough to get it. Not sure why wives have become such dimwitted extortionists but I hope they keep it up, that four word indictment is saving thousands of men from the hell of entering marriage.

    Way to go ladies, keep wearing your toxicity on your sleeve, uncounted male lives are depending on it!

  109. Draggin says:

    Ha. Check out my slip above. Now guess my marital status.

    If you can’t turn the nagging and bitchy around quickly, you had better put a lot of effort into positioning yourself for an impending divorce or breakup. In complaining to you, she is actively showing her lack of respect and that she doesn’t care enough about your happiness to actively seek to fix the problem. If she disrespects you enough to be constantly telling or showing you that you aren’t doing enough to keep her happy, she is telling you that you don’t satisfy her hypergamy. It is also a feedback loop in that the more she does it, the more she feels it. Self-indulgence in “bad feelings” coupled with society’s push of “You don’t seem happy and you deserve to be happy” will make you the sum total of all of her unhappiness. Don’t learn this lesson too late.

  110. FNG says:

    I’m new at this so corrections are appreciated. It seems to me that an equally silly rhyme as a retort is stepping into her frame and playing her game. How about agree and amplify? “You make me so hot when you threaten me”.

  111. SirHamster says:

    That the average wife could even conceive of happiness with or expressing pride in her husband is about as likely as a cat being able to bark like dog.

    Ask and ye shall receive:

  112. I was considering that there are two tracks.

    When wife says it she should get a trip post-haste to the bedroom.
    When an acquaintance says it just as “How’s that working out for you?”
    When another man’s wife says it ask the room “Whose woman this is?”

  113. SirHamster says:


    Could be pithier.

  114. Or tell her something as faux-Confucius:

    Silence is golden,
    Duct tape is silver.

  115. Striver says:

    Here’s mine: Happy wife, unhappy wife.

    Women are a circle, get it? (heh) Women can’t be happy the way a man can be happy, it doesn’t make sense to them. They can’t progress, just go around in circles (hamster wheel.)

    Regarding John Wayne, Wayne IRL did not know how to handle women very well. He attracted them fine, but he had three failed marriages. First failed when his very Catholic wife decided to stop babies and intercourse after four kids. Wayne, being a rising Hollywood star, had options and took them. She divorced him, presumably got alimony, being very Catholic didn’t remarry until Wayne himself died decades later. His other two wives were Mexican spitfires he couldn’t handle. Wayne was a masculine Alpha, dominated men, but the same things that work with men won’t work with women.

    Women do need Alpha, but it needs to be Volatile Alpha. They need to be on their toes for some reason or another. But not too much or she won’t get her beta fix.

    The circle element is why younger is better with women. Knowledge doesn’t make women happy, it just makes them harder to please. The less they know, the better.

    With all of this, and given the FI, man can only live his own circle:
    Happy man pump, happy man dump!

  116. Zippy says:

    My stock response is “no woman is happy with a man she can push around”.

  117. Don Quixote says:

    Pastor [and church] wastes $50 million to make a wife happy. Guess what? Didn’t work.

  118. No such thing as a ‘happy wife’.

  119. Joe says:


  120. Show me a ‘happy wife’ and I’ll show you a woman who respects, honors and listens to her husband.

  121. Alex says:

    Since this is right up Dal’s alley, especially the 40+ outcomes, here are some that are neither happy wives, nor have happy lives, and me, it’s our fault!

  122. Money quote:

    “‘Rejecting advances is not something that, at my age, I have to contend with very often but part of my work is teaching young girls that sex should be a reward for men who put them on a pedestal and treat them well,’ says Shirley.

    ‘We’ve come a long way since the days when a woman’s only place was in the home, but we have to accept our biology dictates that when we sleep with a man we want him to commit and nurture us.”

  123. jbro1922 says:

    Those quotes just made me tired.

  124. johnmcg says:

    “So my wife’s happiness and emotional state is something I can and should control?”

    This both points out the faulty premise this line is based on, and forces the interlocutor to either back down, or assent to a sentence where “control” is the verb, “husband” is the subject, and some aspect of “wife” is the object, which most people raised on feminism would prefer walking barefoot across hot coals to doing.

  125. My 2 cents: I don’t think there’s a one-liner that will straight up disabuse someone of the notion, but something that might change the script somewhat is John 16:33, “Be of good cheer,” implying that emotional state is one’s own responsibility.

    This hits both parts of the aphorism: “happy wife” is her responsibility; “happy life” is yours.

    If you want to be mean, you can add the bit out tribulation in the world.

  126. Pete says:

    I hate hearing the “momma’s unhappy, nobody’s happy”. I turn it around and shove it back.
    “You’ve got it backwards –
    Daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy!”

  127. scientivore says:

    It seems to me that an equally silly rhyme as a retort is stepping into her frame and playing her game.

    You can reframe in a rhyme, like my two above.

    Call: “Happy wife, happy life!”
    [frame: Her husband needs to do what she wants.]

    Response: “A spanking a day keeps the crankies away.”
    [reframe: And what she wants is for him to stand up to her.]

    Call: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
    [frame: Daddy better walk on eggshells around her, or she will make him miserable.]

    Response: “If Momma’s a bitch, it’s time to ditch.”
    [reframe: So he’d be better off without her (dread game).]

  128. Coastal says:

    “Happy wife, happy life” is a terrible frame of mind, especially for a Christian man.

    Remember the story of David and Michal? (2 Samuel 6:16-23) David doesn’t respond to his wife’s displeasure with “HWHL!”, he instead reminds her of his loyalty to God, and then tells her that his worship will even get more undignified. David goes on about his business and it’s implied that God closes Michal’s womb.

    Unfortunately, most Christian marriage counselors would have told David to buy his wife flowers after she made that quip.

  129. ProtoTrypist says:

    Bad wife, sad life. (Keeps the double rhyme, and suggests the woman can be the problem).

  130. Cane Caldo says:


    My 2 cents: I don’t think there’s a one-liner that will straight up disabuse someone of the notion, but something that might change the script somewhat is John 16:33, “Be of good cheer,” implying that emotional state is one’s own responsibility.

    This hits both parts of the aphorism: “happy wife” is her responsibility; “happy life” is yours.

  131. David says:

    feeriker says: “By telling you that she’s happy or proud of you, she effectively relinquishes her threat point leverage. Once ceded, that’s very difficult if not impossible to reclaim.”

    Not hard for her to reclaim that threat point leverage at all, unfortunately. She can become unhappy and un-proud in a heartbeat. If you point out that she just told you x time ago that she was proud of you, she’s going to say, “But that was before you did (or didn’t do) [whatever].”

  132. RobJ says:

    This response takes a bit of time to sink in, but once it does, it’s powerful: “Love is a decision.”

  133. I’m late to the party, but you’re right in questioning what the “happy” constitutes in the saying. Is a wife happy because she’s getting what she wants, or because she wants what she is getting? This blog and others are quite good at pointing out the power of a change-of attitude.

    I’ve often caught myself during a day when I believed something bad had happened, found out it didn’t, and spent the rest of the day relieved and in good spirits. Nothing changed. My attitude towards something was merely challenged from expectation of something to gladness and gratefulness for what I had. It’s the parable of the lost silver piece, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it explicitly used as a tool for teaching wives to love the husbands they have rather than withholding their affection until they get the husbands they want.

  134. If you let momma’s unhappiness to bother you you aint never gonna be happy. The maelstrom of her feelings is her cross to bear if, like that old saw about God sending the floating log and the canoe etc to rescue the man on the roof in the flood, if she has rejected your flotilla and the relief it canm provide her, its hers to bear

  135. Pingback: Heisenburg on happy wife…Which is it, happy wife or happy life | Empathologism

  136. Chip Haddock says:

    “Women are never happy anyway. May as well do things you like.”

    Or snappier…

    “Oh yeah? Is she happy yet?”

  137. Mike Del Sol says:

    In my experience, happy wife + hot young mistress = happy life

  138. A-Bax says:

    How about a simple:

    “Pushy wife, f*ck my life”. Or,
    “Bossy wife, ain’t got no life”.

    Anything gets away from a rhyme and meter that mirrors the original quip has already lost. The point is to give ammo to beta husbands to use on their wives. A woman will regard any response that’s logical and devoid of lyricism as weaksauce. Engage her hindbrain, get her hamster spinning. She’ll fill in the rest.

  139. I wrote a post on this very subject last summer entitled “Does the Bible teach Happy Wife, Happy Life” and I came to the Biblical conclusion that his is a false ideology. The point of marriage is not perpetual happiness, sometimes we will be happy(both husbands and wives) and other times one or both of us will not be.

    The goal of Christian marriage, as the goal of the Christian life in general is holiness and conformity to God’s design, not perpetual happiness. But any of us who have been Christians for a long time can tell you that doing things God’s way often results in happiness.

    There are going to be tense times in every Christian marriage, but we as men embrace our God given “maleness” and go out and conquer our world and work and then lead in our homes we will be happy. When we assert ourselves with our wives and stop cowering in fear of them we will be happier for it.

    We make clear to our wives their is a correlation between them meeting our needs in the bedroom and us meeting some of their wants and desires outside the bedroom we will be happier.

    When we help our wife to realize the Biblical principle that we as their husband were not made for them, but that they were made for us it is a life changing and marriage altering thing.

  140. Insidious_SId says:

    “Happy Wife Happy Life” is just proof a man is convinced that the marriage is all about her happiness, needs wants and desires, and that he’s summarily handed over his b@lls to be put into her purse. The irony is these fools are often the first to be ditched. Women *think* (and say) they want a submissive, sensitive, and compliant man but the reality is nothing could turn her off more. Most women live in opposite land. If you listen to what they say about what they want in men, what they’re describing is a projection of what they want they really want their GIRLFRIENDS to be like. This is why women tend to TALK about one type of guy and then date and sleep with another. Then, they suddenly want Mr. Stable and Reliable guy to marry, because they know Mr. Exciting will run off with a newer model in a heartbeat. Trouble is, Mr. Stable and Reliable is BORING and does not give her tingles. Women can’t win either, but it’s the men who pay with pain, suffering and financial devastation of divorce when she turns “happily ever after until death do us part” into “Meh, I’m outta here.” Women don’t commit to marriages anymore… they don’t need to.

    Trust me: when a woman speaks of commitment these days, it’s “Commit to me for life, or until I get bored or change my mind.” Very very bad risk, marriage is these days.

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