If You're Doing These 9 Things, You're The Perfect Husband
Sometimes, you need someone to tell you how well you're doing.
Like I said about being the perfect wife, being the perfect husband is pretty damn simple.
We like to overcomplicate marriage when it's simply about being a good partner. But we have more invested in marriage than we do in other relationships.
With most marriages (I stress not all), we have money, housing and children on the line. There is more to lose. And so much more to fight for.
Speaking of fights, and overcomplicating a simple question, I witnessed a mini argument between a married couple I'm friends with.
These friends didn't know anything about my last article, by the way.
Yet the topic of being a good partner came up in conversation, albeit after a glass or two of wine.
The husband was saying all the reasons he was a bad husband, listing every way he was letting his wife down. It was heartbreaking.
The wife sat there and nodded before I foolishly interjected.
"Tell him he's a good husband," I said. He clearly needed to hear that.
"He knows I love him," she said.
It's not the same thing, I wanted to tell her. And if he was a good husband, you would tell him.
Now I'm not in their relationship, I'm only an observer. So this could have been a contentious topic. But it didn't stop me from feeling sorry for him. A man who beats up on himself needs his partner's help to stop the negative cycle.
And for every man out there who's not getting this emotional support from his wife, this is for you.
Because you're doing a good job.
1. If you cook and clean…
I wanted to put the same quality for men as I did for women. A good husband cooks and cleans.
Before I continue, I want to say it's not some new-age relationship approach. It's about simple abilities grown-up adults should have.
Everyone should be able to cook, clean, and support themselves without a partner.
We shouldn't need the help of a partner to survive. Sure, it helps. Teamwork making the dream work, and all that.
But if you were single and alone, you could do all the things you need to survive. This includes:
- Standing on their own two feet
- Looking after your health
- Knowing when something is wrong with you and then doing something about it before it becomes a big problem
- Putting yourself first so you can be a good husband with strong mental, physical and emotional health
2. Obsession with questions
Assumptions are the mother of all…stuff ups. I will be polite.
It's one of the easiest ways for two people, marriage aside, to find themselves in an argument. One person assumes something that isn't true and makes decisions on this assumption as if it were fact.
It's problematic in relationships when assumptions become the standard. You don't bother to ask questions. You rely on assumptions instead.
A good husband doesn't ever rely on assumptions. He knows better than that. He knows it's better to:
- Ask questions, even if the question leads to an argument or uncomfortable conversation
- Ask more questions than not, so he has all his information correct. And doesn't walk away from a conversation still wondering
- Be thorough than not thorough enough, as he knows the repercussions of misinformation
- Take this approach because that's what he would want. And would expect of his wife when making assumptions about him
The way in which a good husband asks questions of his wife is always respectful and tone neutral. It's easy to pass on your judgement through questions, even though it's information seeking.
But a good husband respects there is tone, the right time and place, and the wrong way to ask something sensitive.
3. The anti-role for your wife
Sometimes I'm convinced there isn't this 1950s housewife stereotype anymore. And that men don't believe women should be subservient, and women aren't taught this is the only way to have a relationship.
But then you come across someone who believes strongly in the women's place in a relationship; as a servant.
And I wonder what the world is coming to.
A good husband doesn't let the concept of 'a woman's role' enter into his relationship. He doesn't have any expectation for what a wife will do for him if anything at all.
He knows he isn't marrying a woman so she will:
- Look after him like a parent would
- Cook all his meals for him
- Clean up after him
- Wash and prepare all his clothes
- Be responsible for all the general well-being of the home
I'm not saying a relationship built this way is wrong, by the way.
There is nothing wrong with one-half of the marriage wanting to do all those things.
There is also nothing wrong with one half of the marriage being incapable of doing those things, so the other half has to do them.
But a good husband doesn't haven't an expectation this is what a marriage should be. He's not expecting to marry a woman so she can be a slave to him.
He knows it's not the reason for a modern marriage.
4. No fear for the sensitive topics
I mentioned before that a good husband asks questions. And you think talking about sensitive topics is the same thing.
But there is a difference.
Asking questions is about a husband wanting to know what their partner thinks, rather than assuming. The ability to talk about sensitive subjects is more about talking about topics that are hard for the husband.
It's about being emotionally available, rather than a closed book.
A good husband understands:
- A wife is someone you share emotions with
- A wife is someone you can tell secrets to
- A wife is someone you can confide in without judgement
- A wife is someone there to help you work through emotional and challenging situations
- A wife is someone who should know what you're feeling, and someone you should keep in the loop
- A wife isn't the emotional enemy or someone you need to hide your emotions from
- The relationship won't grow if you're not honest about tough situations
- The relationship won't survive if you don't talk about emotionally torturous situations for you
This is also about finding a good wife who allows you to discuss sensitive topics without judgement. It's a two-way street, after all.
A wife can't expect you to open up about sensitive issues if she can't listen without ridicule. She then can't expect something different from you.
5. Cue the biggest cheerleader in the room
As someone who has been with a man who hasn't supported her business dreams, and a man who has, this one is deeply personal for me.
I know first-hand what it feels like to have a partner who thought I was dreaming. He thought I was wasting my time and effort.
And wondered why I would even want to go out on my own.
Sometimes he showed his lack of support through inaction. Not asking me how it was all going. Not telling people what I was up to when they asked him about me. And sometimes it was direct mocking and criticism about my life choices.
A good husband doesn't make his wife feel the way I did about my idea.
- Laugh or ridicule the idea, no matter how silly it may seem to them
- Withdraw emotional support for her endeavours
- Withdraw physical support for her endeavours, including helping out more or taking on extra tasks so she can explore this idea
- Feel threatened by the idea of his wife having some success on her own
- Pretend the idea or the pursuit doesn't exist in their relationship
By the way, this isn't about stopping someone from pursuing 'stupid' ideas.
It's not about being unsupportive when she wants to spend your life savings on a boat she will never use, for example.
6. Picking your battles - you do it best
Everyone in a relationship eventually learns you have to pick your battles. You could fight over almost everything and anything in a relationship if you wanted to.
There can always be differing opinions if you chose to be deliberately argumentative.
But some fights aren't worth having.
You know you don't care enough about the topic, so you don't fight about it. A good husband knows if it doesn't cause you to lose sleep over the decision, then it's not worth fighting about.
This isn't about a wife getting her way, or you not caring. Those are two extremes.
It's more about understanding what is meaningful in your life versus what isn't.
A good husband understands he only has so much energy and effort into every facet of his life. He can't argue and nitpick over every little thing because he won't have anything left for what he cares about.
7. Cliches? You hardly know them
I know I just referred to a relationship cliche, picking your battles, but that's probably the only one I stand by. There are many that inhibit relationships, and do more harm than good.
And a good husband doesn't use cliches to describe his relationship or interact with his wife.
- Happy wife, happy life - Because it can imply the wife is in control and the man's role is to shut up and give her everything she wants.
- Ball and chain - What the wife means to him. How she weighs him down. It implies disrespect between husband and wife. It kind of sounds like he hates his wife, and how he doesn't love her.
- Can't stand the mother-in-law - The wife's family are evil and hard to impress. It implies the husband's family can't be a problem, only the wife's side.
I'm sure some of you are thinking this is boomer behaviour.
And many millennials and younger don't use that kind of language. But I know many people in their 20s and 30s who have learned this from their parents.
Or from what they've grown up watching and reading. In short, the concepts live on.
A good husband knows not to pass them down, too.
8. Expectations in check
You know who you married. You know how your wife behaves between the sheets; you know what she's willing to do and what she isn't comfortable.
You don't expect marriage to change your wife into something she's not. You don't expect your wife to:
- Suddenly be into sex more or less than she already was
- Suddenly be into a kink or desire she wasn't already
- Suddenly want a threesome now the relationship has become more serious
- Suddenly change her views on cheating and infidelity
- Suddenly want to watch porn when she already doesn't
A good husband knows the piece of paper isn't going to change who she is.
Though some stereotypes would suggest it all changes after you get married, it's the exception, not the rule.
Perhaps a wife might feel more trusting in this situation and want to explore the bedroom in a different way. That can happen. People can change.
But expecting this change to happen is as bad an assumption. You're destined for disappointment.
9. Zero competitions
And finally, a good husband doesn't let her wife feel like she needs to compete with every other aspect of his life.
He doesn't let his wife think his attention is something she needs to earn. That marriage isn't enough to be number one.
A good husband doesn't pit his wife against:
- Work and career
- Family members
- Friends and ritual pastimes with these friends
- Hobbies, sports, interests
- Past lovers
A good husband knows the foundation of a happy marriage is teamwork. It's about coming together rather than constantly having to feel like it's you versus them.
Letting your wife feel like this is a competition she has to win only divides the team. It doesn't bring you closer together. It only pushes her away.
And a good husband does everything to bring a marriage together.