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What Do Executive Wives Want From Their Husbands?

What Do Wives Want From Their Husbands?

This post is a summary of “The man behind the woman: A qualitative study of the spousal support received and valued by executive women.” The study aimed to understand the support 20 senior and executive-level women valued most. 

Emotional support

Support in the form of encouragement and understanding was the most reported type of spousal support. A prominent example of emotional support was the husband's communication skills, particularly his ability to listen.

Help with Household

Help with the household was the second-most cited category, including cleaning, cooking, taking care of bills, and a willingness to spend money on help. 

“Lots of times I think families divide things along what I'd call stereotypical gender roles. Well, it takes a lot less time to mow the grass or shovel the sidewalk or wash the car than it does to keep the house clean, keep the laundry done, go grocery shopping, and prepare the stupid meals every night and clean up afterwards.”



Help with Family Members

In addition to the concrete assistance with family members, the women appreciated the reduced mental load of managing the household.

“[He] allowed me to never have to ever say to a manager that I couldn't do something because [of] home. I never had to say to anybody at work, ‘Well, I will have to call and ask [my husband] to see if he is available to watch [the children] so I can go someplace.’”

Esteem Support / Career Support

Those who receive self-esteem support feel validated and respected. A number of positive attitudes and behavioral expressions of support for the wife were identified based on the data, such as the pride a husband felt in his wife, his belief in her abilities, and his appreciation for her work.

In order to understand the support your spouse needs, you must approach your conversations after work thoughtfully. To help your spouse cope with work challenges, consider the following three options. 

What Do Wives Want From Their Husbands?

Husband’s Career and Lifestyle Choices

Women with high-profile occupations reported feeling particularly supported by their husbands' career and lifestyle choices. Some husbands of the participants supported their wives in their careers by staying at home with their children, rearranging their work schedules, or relocating with their wives.



What Do Wives Want From Their Husbands?

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