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If you make a careful and informed choice of the right husband the first time, you might never need to choose again. Knowing what you need most in a partner, what you have to offer and what he brings to the relationship can go a long way in helping to clarify who would make the most worthy partner, suggests couples therapist Teresa Maples in “What Makes Men Husband Material” for YourTango.
Knowledge Is Power
Take time to evaluate your greatest emotional needs, strengths and weaknesses before determining a life partner, Maples advises. You will need someone who balances your strengths and weaknesses and who knows how -- or can learn how -- to meet your emotional needs, as you meet his. Date him long enough to see how he fits with you and whether you can accept him as-is. Planning to alter him after the ceremony is never a good idea. Learn about his habits and whether you can live with them long-term, such as leaving his area in a mess or his desire for morning showers instead of one before bedtime. Take a close look at relationship deal-breakers such as honesty, children, religious beliefs, or how you handle money.
List Your Must-Have Characteristics
You probably have a list of various characteristics your intended must have, such as a sense of humor, a stable source of income and attractive features. Other important characteristics include respecting your differences, such as your need to talk and bond emotionally with his need for alone time and desire to fix things, according to marital therapist and instructor Gary Smalley in his “Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships curriculum. Good communication skills, a forgiving spirit and an affectionate nature are also desirable. Choose a guy who celebrates your uniqueness and brags about you to his friends and family. He should be emotionally available, willing to commit, and treat you with respect, according to “Cosmopolitan” editor-in-chief Kate White, in an interview for the CBS “Early Morning Show.”
Compare Goals, Values and Dreams
It’s important that your ideal husband have equivalent intelligence and energy levels, according to marital therapist Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D., on his Marriage Builder’s site. Choose someone who shares your values and goals so you are going in the same direction. If you share a similar background and social nature you may enjoy more compatibility of interests and outlook. Look for someone who is patient, understanding and supportive of your goals and dreams, suggests the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center in “Man-Up Men! Be the Best Husband and Dad You Can Be!”
Skills that Last a Lifetime
Marriage, like every other type of relationship, has its rough patches. Conflicts are inevitable, but they are not barriers that cannot be overcome. Look for a man with good problem-solving and team skills so you work through difficult times together instead of falling apart, suggests relationship columnist Charli Penn-Watkins in “The 5 Types Of Men Who Make GREAT Husbands.” A passionate nature will keep the spark in your relationship, but the ability to balance life and work, while maintaining a priority on family, will help steer a smoother course through life.
- YourTango: What Makes Men Husband Material
- Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships; Gary Smalley
- CBS News: How To Pick The Right Guy
- Marriage Builders: Choosing the Right One to Marry
- Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty Images