Wife is always right?


Many relationship books and anecdotal advice say that “Yes, dear” is one of the key secrets to a happy marriage. Perhaps many of us have have heard of the adage, “Happy wife=happy life.”

But what can I do in my situation? My wife makes really bad choices sometimes…should I just stand by and say “yes, dear, if you think this is right…” Example: over the past couple of months, my wife has dropped almost $3,000 into a jewelry business. We are not rich. Before she did it, she consulted with me (which means listening to what I have to say and then doing whatever she wants anyway). This is one of those “business at home”, multi-level marketing deals that few people succeed in. She doesn’t even have a spreadsheet to keep track of expenses/income!!! So far, she’s only pulled in about $100 of profit, but that’s only because friends and family have purchased some of her jewelry.

So what do I do? Say, “yes dear?” If I don’t, she gets angry and says I’m not being supportive. She is very stubborn and almost never admits she’s wrong.

What are the limitations to “the wife is always right?” It would be helpful if you indicate if you’re married in your reply. Thanks for reading!


Do you sit down together to do the family finances?
Is she aware that finances are tight?
Is she willing to work to make the business successful?
Or, is this just a hobby?.. If so, you too should be able to have $3000 sunk into your own personal hobby. Explain the situation to her just like that - I’m sure it doesn’t sound “practical” anymore…
If she’s wanting to help the family with some additional income, there are plenty of careers that don’t require an initial investment… although they may not be as “glamorous” as in-home jewelry sales.

If you two cannot sit down and have a pro/con discussion about her choices then I would suggest counseling…

Editing to add… I am married, with 3 kids, and work full time. :wink:


Thanks, but what do you think about "the wife is always right?"


"Yes dear" does not translate to the wife is always right because that is clearly not the case. "Yes dear" just means, don't make everything into a battle. Sometimes, it's better to let your spouse be "wrong" and have their way. If nothing else, they will learn something from the consequences and might start heeding your advice. Clearly you've got to pick the times that are right for this, and spending $3,000 when money is tight, without a real plan, probably isn't the right time to adopt a "Yes dear" attitude.


[quote="TheAdvocate, post:3, topic:183590"]
Thanks, but what do you think about "the wife is always right?"


It gets a laugh on a coffee mug.

Only one wife was always right, that was Mary. The rest of us are human beings who make mistakes.

Your wife got suckered by a MLM scheme. Find out the reason. Does she want to bring in money? Then encourage her to look for a traditional job. Is it wanting her own business? Start with some courses on business at your local community college. Does she just like jewelry? Same with classes, but, this time jewelry making.


As a woman, I would amend it to “the spouse is always right” - unless it’s an issue of direct concern to the other. (For example, he can do anything he wants with his woodworking stuff, except put it in my dresser drawers. But if he chooses to strew them across the living room floor for some reason, I will not “nag” or get upset - although I would probably call my Mom and say, “Now is not really a good time to visit, since we have a bit of clutter in the house at present.”)

The secret to my happy marriage is the ability to step over things that have mysteriously migrated from the garage to the house, quietly and without comment.

As far as your wife’s business venture goes, it always takes a bit of time to get these things off the ground. Is she an aggressive sales-lady (or likely to become one when the wolf comes prowling around the door)? Just encourage her, and remind her that she got into business to make money; not to lose it. Leave the details to her; she will learn as she goes along about spreadsheets and the like.

Help her out by not saying anything negative or acting grumpy when she has customers over to the house, and saying truthful positive things about the product, if you are called upon to comment. (This is what we wives are taught to do when our husband starts up a new business, and I see no reason it wouldn’t work for a husband whose wife has started up a new business. We are also told to “gaze at him and smile prettily” while he is giving his sales pitch - do with that advice whatever makes the most sense to you.)


I don’t agree with the wife is always right, and I’m female. But the husband isn’t always right either. All humans make mistakes and are wrong about one thing or another.

As far as the spreadsheet goes, I would highly suggest helping her start one. If she’s doing this as a business, she needs to be keeping track of income or lack there of for tax purposes. If you’re found out that you’re running a business without paying taxes on it, you can get in trouble with the IRS. So it isn’t only about seeing if she’s making money, it’s also about being responsible.

But I would suggest talking with her about it. I’m a believer that the male is the head of the household, and as such, you should be able to talk with her about things like this.


No one is always right. Some groups in Western societies practice matriarchy. Well, those are wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:


I'm going to assume that this 3,000 buckaroos came from joint money - in which case, you certainly should not be ignoring the problem. Doing whatever she wants, even after hearing your objections (assuming they are valid, which seems to be the case) is really rude and inconsiderate. :(

I also agree with getting a spreadsheet set up - you don't want trouble with the IRS especially if you file jointly because then it's your problem, too. Perhaps you can bargain with her - "honey, you can try your hand at this for x months, putting x amount more money into it, and if you don't make x amount of it back (not counting sales to family and friends, because they'll get tired of buying from her) you need to shelve this project." Encourage her to get books on spreadsheets or web design if she doesn't know how to use excel or make a webpage, and books on how to run a business. This sounds like an amway type project, where she doesn't actually MAKE the jewelry, but perhaps she can try to sell some stuff at a flea market or craft fair?

You may need to take a look at how your money is allotted, as well. Does she work? If she doesn't, how is it figured how much money she has to spend? She should not have complete free reign over the money. Allowance is a crude word for adults, but that's essentially what it is. She can't spend whatever she wants whenever she wants. If she does work, does she have a certain percentage of her income that goes towards paying debt/bills, a certain percentage that goes into savings, a certain percentage that goes into an IRA, and some left over for fun stuff? If this is the scenario, she needs to only be using her "fun stuff" money for this. Even if you are the only one who pays the bills, you need to sit down with her and go over the numbers. Point out exactly why dropping 3 grand is worrisome to you.

I absolutely do NOT believe the wife is always right, nor "her money is her money, and my money is her money." Some people are just idiots with money, and will never get it, no matter how many times you show them graphs and spreadsheets. Not entirely their fault, but keep them as far away from the finances as possible.. those are the people that end up in debt up to their eyeballs!:whacky: This is an important topic you both need to discuss, perhaps with a financial adviser. Money issues are a HUGE reason for divorce/unhappy marriages. :eek:


OMG, if my husband said "yes, dear" all the time I'd bean him with my rolling pin. :D

Seriously, I'm not sure you are reading the right books!

The man is the spiritual head of the household and certainly financial decisions are joint. And, if the wife is not working I think it's more than joint... the man gets more weight in the decision if he is solely providing and the wife's proposition could put them in financial danger.

How long have you been saying "yes, dear?" If you've been doing that for a long time, you might give her a coronary if you say "no, dear." But, really, you have to start somewhere.


[quote="TheAdvocate, post:3, topic:183590"]
Thanks, but what do you think about "the wife is always right?"


It's a stupid idea and very bad advice for how to have a happy marriage.

I suggest you read Greg Popcak's book For Better... Forever.


*Hi TheAdvocate;

I’d look into getting her into a networking business group, for small businesses. Maybe she could take some business/money mgmt classes to help her understand what it takes to start up a small business. I don’t see this as a ‘‘yes dear’’ ‘‘no dear’’ kind of situation, actually. Sounds like your wife wants to become successful while working out of the home, but if it continues in this way, you’ll be in the poorhouse before long! :o I would highly encourage her to take those steps, because it doesn’t sound like she is going into making a small business work, in a wise way.

In a general sense, marriage is a partnership. ‘‘The wife is always right,’’ is a line out of sitcom maybe to get some laughs, but doesn’t work in practicality in marriages. :o Your wife needs to realize that she needs to include you in these business and financial decisions–you are a partnership, and hopefully, you can convey that to her. I’ll be praying for you both. *


A tricky situation. Does your wife work, was it money she earned that she invested in the business?


I think it contradicts “the husband is the head of the household.” That doesn’t mean that he is always right either, but if he thinks his wife can’t manage a home business, and that 3 grand is going to be wasted, he probably should speak up and prevent her from making a big mistake. :blush:


My heart bleads for you because these ‘Oh this one isn’t a pyramid - but everyone know it is’ business are one where the best manipluators make money off of the poor people.

I also think the reason most people join these businesses is because they are being told what they want to hear. eg you can be succesful. Even if you get her to stop, if she does not face her underlying insecurity, there will be another headache down the road. And my heart bleeds mostly because if she is not willing to change, the more you nag, the less results you will see.

As for ‘the wife is always right’. The first time I heard it, I though it was great. I was planning on using it on my boyfriend at the time to have him listen to me. Now I see it as TOTALLY degrading to women. If a man said ‘Yes dear’ to everything I said because a book told him to do so, I would be offended. It makes it sound like women are babies and whenever they throw a tantrum, just give them any old toy to shut them up.

If you are the only bread winner and your finances are so tight that you have to have all the money in your name and cut up all her credit cards, do it. Of course I trust your judgement on whether that step is necessary or not. Only you know your exact financial situation.

It is going to be an uphill battle, but you must some how figure out a way to support your wife so she will be comfortable trusting you and opening up to communicating with you.

I pray God gives you strenght



[quote="TheAdvocate, post:1, topic:183590"]
Many relationship books and anecdotal advice say that "Yes, dear" is one of the key secrets to a happy marriage. Perhaps many of us have have heard of the adage, "Happy wife=happy life."


I think that in general *there are things that matter more to men and there are things that matter more to women. *Within reason, I think that men need to let women be women and women need to let men be men. Sometimes that translates into, "Yes, dear," even if the other spouse would never otherwise follow that course of action. So men sometimes have to allow the woman to spend more on clothes than a man thinks necessary and women sometimes need to allow the man to spend more for electronics. In the case where finances are tight, both parties need to sacrifice.

You are apparently not dealing with minor differences of opinion about discretionary spending. It sounds like you are looking at a major investment in the family's financial well-being. Starting a business may be a good thing. This business may be a good thing. But any business needs a budget and a means of tracking income, expenses, and profit/loss. And if things are not going well, there needs to be some point where it's best to cut one's losses and give up.

It seems that you and your wife did not come up with some initial agreements about how much money she could invest in this business. This is not some trivial problem that can be solved by saying, "You are right dear," or, "We'll do this your way." Don't let your wife's anger stop you from dealing with this. Some things are a lot worse than a wife's dissatisfaction.


Married woman here, and I agree w/ those saying that this “wife is only right” joke is a saying for coffee mugs and water cooler jesting only. Neither spouse is always right, and if someone says this as anything more than a joke . . . they need to be whipped with a wet noodle!

I also agree with those who say it’s in contradiction to wifely submission. However, neither spouse should be saying “Yes, dear” all the time when the DH loves as Christ loves, even unto death; and the wife submits to her husband’s mission to love her as Christ loves.

The only time this “Yes, dear” attitude might be appropriate is if the other spouse earns it by showing expertise and skill in an area to the point where you would always take their judgement over yours, honestly, with no qualms. I tend to feel this way about DH and outdoors work, heavy labor, or repairs. He feels this way towards me about finances, generally. It doesn’t sound like your wife has earned this in the area of her home business.

Like others have said, there may be an exception if this is reasonably “her” money, or some other argument - but “wife is right” alone certainly isn’t a reasonable argument!

At the same time, if you can afford $3K to be invested for a while, and if you think she will at least recoup expenses . . . it might be worth it. But not because the wife is right.

If she’s saying that you are not being supportive of her business . . . agree with her, if it’s true. You are not obligated to support everything your wife wants to do. Do point out that what you aren’t supporting is her CHOICE, or her BUSINESS, but not HER. Of course you are supportive of HER, she’s a wonderful woman and that’s why you married her! But that doesn’t mean that every choice she makes or every job she tries is just as wonderful as she is.


As a wife who has been married for 13.5 yrs I would say this fundamentally seems to be a communication issue (or lack thereof) which is spilling over into your financial life. As finances are right up there as a major stress/problem in marriage I see this as a Red Flag which needs to be addressed asap.

What jumped out at me was not to address “her unlying insecurity” “make her a spreadsheet” or “cut up her credit cards” but WHY did she want to have her own business? That does not seem to have been addressed by you as a married couple. I think if you examined her REASONS as a couple you could learn a lot.

Does she want independence? A job? To be appreciated? Have her own money? We obviously know nothing about you as a couple so we have no idea. Maybe her anger comes from feeling undermined or dismissed or unencouraged. The finances are a SYMPTOM of something else. If you just go in with all guns blazing “cut up her credit cards!” or basically ignore it “yes dear” then I just see further problems in the future for the pair of you.

Counseling may be in order to help you both find a balance so that your needs are met. As readers of this thread we have absolutely no clue what her motivations are. Finances are basically a neutral thing that we project our desires onto. It could represent a power issue between you, who knows? Talking about it together and getting to the root of her motivations and your own could steer you back on the right course.

As for “yes dear” :shrug: it sounds patronizing to me. My husband and I have a good idea of our strengths and weaknesses and we play to them. When we were first married my husband was terrified of letting me out of the house with a debit card because his own mom is a spendthrift that bankrupted his parents. (His dad was the opposite and refused to spend a penny so it’s easy to see how that became a battle ground and ended in divorce).

While my dear husband would be buying an expensive piano keyboard or computer which was fine with me he would be anxious if I spent $20. Eventually I told him one day I thought we should buy a house and he started to freak out saying “where will we get the money?!!!”. I said with the 20k I have saved from my bonuses and don’t worry about your terrible credit (from student days) as I called all the CC companies and negotiated with them and paid all your CC debt off - also with my bonuses. Needless to say, I manage the money now and my husband trusts me 100%. :wink:


I'm pretty sure TheAdvocate is only stating that HIS wife is always right (in her mind). It is not some broad statement against wives in general.

I would see if you could get your wife to a Retrouvaille weekend.

You obviously have deeper issues than a jewelery scheme.

My prayers are with you.


I have heard that advice, and I have been given that advice. I don’t agree with it literally. The way I took it and think is good is that you have to pick your battles. If something doesn’t really matter…let your spouse have their way. For example, I don’t care what my wife wants to paint the kids room, so she can choose whatever color she thinks is best. I do care what kind of car we have. So if she wants to buy a BMW sports car, I would have to put my foot down. This advice goes both ways.

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