This is for Elspeth. :)
Different men want different things in women. When we, as women, are told that "all men want X" that's not necessarily true. And if you've got no X in your personality/looks to build on, you're just going to get all frustrated. What you should be doing (if unmarried) is building on your best characteristics and learning to be flexible.
So far, this is the list of the types of wives I've come up with: (most women incorporate some/all of these characteristics, it's a weighted thing, not an absolute)
Solace: Life is hard. Wife is soft. This is the wife that exists primarily to comfort you, whose very being is respite from the battle. The men that pick this sort of women usually have had some sort of conflict (physical conflict) in their lives. Soldiers, police, guys who *used* to live in the hood? Yep. Sweet faced wives who can cook and make a house into a home, who are low drama, low conflict.
Stimulation: Most of the gents who pick this sort of wife tend to be very intelligent. They want someone interesting to watch, someone who breaks the tedium. My mom is absolutely this type of wife. "Hey honey, do you want to go to China?" Yep. The bouncy wife, always enthusiastic, always finding new things to see, to do, to participate in. High energy, likes projects, hates sitting still.
Status: This is your gal who cares about the brand names, who cares about her appearance (and never skips the gym or the spa appointments), who went to a good school and who keeps the appointment book on lock. Friends? Yes. Frenemies? Yes. Social and ambitious. She runs the PTA, she's on every committee. She can work a room, she keeps up on things. It's not an easy job.
Stage-manager: (Hat Tip to MizD) This is the wife whose husband is frequently busy and/or travelling. She takes care of things. Everything. She runs his appointment book, she buys his Christmas presents, she takes care of all the kid stuff... now, some of us do that because we're SAHM. This wife will do the managerial job regardless of her work status, because it's part of who she is, and who her husband is.
Personally? I'm very high-solace, with stimulation and stage-manager thrown in. ( But mostly because I'm a SAHM). I watch people - I know when some men are like, "ew. short chick with curves and a sweet face. ew." and contrariwise when the guy who's had a hard day sees me and is like, "ohhh, nice. Squishy!"
I haven't given much thought to types of husbands, although I will offer that a man without a strong protective streak is unlikely to choose a high-solace wife.
So, there you go, E. Later I'll write on HHH... the post that's been nagging at me.