The Wife of Bath feels that all control in a marriage should be given to the woman, both financially and sexually speaking. Her constant accusations of unfaithfulness and lying as well as ceaseless criticism of their every action kept the husbands of her first three marriages very busy trying to please her with attention and material wealth. While she does not give up her love for other men, they do not have the time for it. Her practice of obtaining all their worldly possessions before marriage has worked well for her.
The fourth husband does not comply as meekly as the other three before him.He has a wandering eye, and does not easily give over control to her. Therefore, they enter into a mutual game of causing the other jealousy. She enrages him with her taunting of Jenkin's desire for her.
When she marries Jenkin, she makes a mistake. She gives up her practice of maintaining control, and he has all her wealth from her previous husbands, as well as her emotional assets. She is constantly berated for her actions, just as she used to use this ploy on her previous husbands. She, to this point, has been unable to gain back the control in her marriage.
Finally, after a physical fight in which Jenkin thought he killed her, she regains the control and they live very happily until his death.