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In the research for For Women Only and The Kindness Challenge, I’ve seen an overlooked, seemingly old-fashioned secret. If you want to be a wife that your husband adores, practice using an affirming tone and eliminating a contentious one.

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We’ve all heard the saying “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” right? We all agree with that, and most of us try to do that. If we have a difficult relationship with a colleague, we are careful to speak respectfully to avoid making it worse. That step-sister situation is a bit tricky, so we go out of our way to say “Thanks so much” for something she did. With our good friends, of course, we want to speak sweetly, so they continue to like us!  Honey, honey, honey.  

But for some reason, when it comes to how we speak our own husbands, we don’t realize how often our next words have somehow been removed from our vocal chords, dunked in a vat of vinegar, and returned to our mouths…before they come out with a pungent astringency.   

Why does this happen to even well-meaning wives? I see three main reasons – and ways to fix it.

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