A husband is obligated in Jewish law to provide food, clothes, affection and financial support.
The Torah (Exodus 21:10) not only commands a husband to fulfill a wife's needs, the Torah says, "he shall not diminish" (i.e. the husband MAY NOT GIVE LESS than ALL of his wife's needs). The obligations to feed, clothe and please her are satisfied when SHE IS SATISFIED. This applies to all needs - including emotional needs, material support, respect, security, etc. - that are normal for a woman to have from her husband and from her marriage.
When a husband pleases G-d and his wife, G-d blesses him. If he is faithful to provide her needs, the nature G-d gave a normal wife will bring her to return the favor for him. If he does not, she can make his life "mar mimovess (more bitter than death - Ecclesiastes 7:26)." Men: why not tilt the odds as much as possible for happiness? A wife can be the greatest good or the worst bitterness (Brachos 8a).
If a wife works, or brings assets into the marriage, he may be deemed to have fulfilled his financial obligation. Your specific individual arrangements must be in accordance with complex laws as well as marital peace. For example, a Jew's financial obligations must all be paid in full, according to the terms. A man would have to factor timely payment of all financial obligations into his overall financial responsibilities and arrangements. Another example, if his field of work does not provide enough livelihood for his financial needs and obligations, he may be obligated to change into another field in order to be financially independent and responsible. Ask your rabbi in specific cases for instruction.
A woman is most vulnerable to her husband. For example, the wife didn't know that her husband dislikes a certain food. Let's call it "A." If she cooked a meal of it, he should appreciatively say - realizing that it was not intentional or malicious - that it is delicious. He has to eat it and be sensitive to his spouse. A harsh or disapproving word can hurt her. If he really can't stand that dish or cuisine, wait till a separate time later or on another day, so there is no association by the wife with criticism or rejection or attack or ingratitude for having served him "A", and say that he is in the mood for dish "B" or has grown to like cuisine "C," never even mentioning "A."
One related idea that I gave at a relationship workshop was to view a spouse as truly vulnerable. To concretize this, I said to the attendees to do acts of kindness for vulnerable individuals. Relate emotionally to the situation. For example, if you have an elderly neighbor, e.g. an elderly widow, who is too weak to shop for herself, or if you know elderly or disabled sick people who you can cook for and care for, set up a regular schedule (e.g. shop for the widow once a week or serve a meal to the immobilized patient once each day). Do not feel any contempt or resentment. You must be pleasant and cheerful. You must focus on compassion, respect and the desire to feel benevolence for the beneficiary, given the dependent situation in which you are making a constructive difference. One woman who attended that workshop phoned me about a year later to say that she had taken upon herself to care for a sick, bedridden grandfather. Taking my recommendation to heart, she not only worked on feeding and caring for her vulnerable and dependent grandfather, she developed more loving and compassionate feelings for her husband. She understood that her husband was "maritally vulnerable and dependent" on her. The marriage relationship grew, as a result. By the way, guys, I'm still waiting to hear from one of you that you achieved this.
The children learn how to be family relaters when they see a husband say to his wife, "This is delicious, thank you," or "The house is beautiful," or "Thank you for taking X to the post office," or "You look pretty in that dress." Parental behavior sends relationship messages to each other and the children, which colors the atmosphere of the home and the development of the children. What your children see in your marriage relationship is what they are going to BECOME as marriage relaters! All complements; expressions of appreciation, manners or respect; from either spouse to each other or to their children are "humanity lessons" for the entire family when they contain:
* clear, articulate details and
* a cheerful, sincere and pleasant tone and disposition.
When the Holy Temple was destroyed, Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai and his prime disciple, Rabbi Yehoshua, were walking past the charring ruins. Rabbi Yehoshua started crying. Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai asked his student, "Yehoshua, my son, why are you crying?"
"Because the House which gave us atonement is no more."
"You don't have to cry. Hoshea the Prophet tells us, 'I want kindness more than sacrifice.' From this we learn that every time a Jew does a kindness for any other Jew, it is just as effective an atonement as when the Temple was operating (Avos DeRebbi Noson).
A husband and wife should look at all times to be kindly to one another. Look for ways to be soft, generous, to do good for each other, please each other, get along with each other, work things out with each other. When you do, it is as if the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is operating and you have brought a sacrifice to G-d. He wants acts of kindness between Jews more than sacrifices. Every time you do a kindness, or hold yourself back from an unkindness, you create a merit that provides as much atonement as if there was a sacrifice done at the Holy Temple. A Jew who is married has the opportunity to do constant kindness to his wife and children, and to his community through his home.