My husband picked up that catchy little phrase some time ago. It stuck with him and he pulls it out every once in a while. In fact, it has become somewhat of a tenet in our marriage.
For instance - we might be shopping for a piece of furniture and come to a standstill with differing opinions about what each party feels would be suitable in price, style and functionality. In this case, hubby lays his card on the table. "Okay honey, you decide, after all happy wife happy life." This allows him to save face and let me know that he's doing this to make me happy which of course will make things go well for him too. It's all about the bigger picture.
It's true that the woman sets the tone in the home. There's another catchy phrase that rings true - "when mom ain't happy, ain't no one happy".
This might not be terribly spiritual but there is a grain of truth to it. In fact I think it's in the bible. It goes something like this. "Husbands obey your wives so it will go well with you". Oh wait - I think it's "Children obey your parents" so forget that.
But the bible does ask husbands to love their wives and then tells women to respect their husbands. Eph 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I have always felt that this word of wisdom is the key to a happy marriage. That somehow, it taps into how men and women are created and our basic needs. It's a delicate balance though - easier said than done. I think because woman can withhold respect when they don't feel loved and men can withhold love when they don't feel respected. And to make things more complicated, a husband might be giving what he thinks is love but the wife doesn't receive it as love, and visa versa.
Oh well, after almost 15 years of marriage, when my husband gives in to me using the Happy Wife Happy Life card, I feel loved.