I spent many, many years chasing damage cases and emotionally unavailable men (and many more years writing about these experiences and creating a career out of it!). I made the same mistake countless others make. I followed my heart, because that’s the thing to do, right?
Forget about rational thinking and objectivity and a sense of knowing I deserve better, this is what I wanted and this is what I went for. And what a waste of time and energy that was!
By some miracle, I extricated myself from the murky waters of delusional thinking, realized a life of ups and downs and endless heartbreak that comes from only pursuing the unattainable is a tragic way to live, and fell in love with and married the most wonderful human being on the planet.
The shocking thing about him is that he treated me well, whereas previously the way to my heart was to treat me like crap, and that made me care for him even more!
Once I entered the next phase of life, the marriage and the kids and the responsibilities that come with “adulting,” I realized how painfully misguided I was for the majority of my twenties. And I see countless other women making the same mistakes as me over and over again. What a shame and what a waste.
We waste time chasing the high of catching someone who doesn’t want to be caught or trying to make it work with a guy who really couldn’t care less, and we forget to pause and consider what it is we want and need from a relationship.
If you want to settle down and get married, then you need to be able to recognize the qualities that make for a good husband.
And these are a few that I think are the most important…
1. He is sensitive to your feelings.
Look, not every guy is Mr. Sensitivity. And most have a hard time understanding the emotional torrent that a lot of women navigate almost daily. But he doesn’t need to understand your feelings in order to validate them.
The fact is, sometimes you won’t make any sense, like when you’re pregnant or postpartum or just have a nasty case of PMS. Sometimes your tears will have no rhyme or reason. A good husband won’t make you feel like a crazy person, even if you kind of are in that moment. He will be sensitive to the fact that maybe your hormones are a little all over the place right now and instead of an argument you just need a little extra love.
A good husband won’t talk you out of feeling the way you’re feeling or tell you that you’re being ridiculous or unreasonable. He’ll show you compassion and will say sorry not because he knows what he did exactly, but because you’re hurt.
2. He’s your teammate.
A good husband isn’t your boss or your dictator. He doesn’t place demands or expectations on you or guilt you for not meeting his expectations. He works with you in order to create a life that works for both of you, not just for him.
He is your partner, he’s on your side, and you tackle everything, both big and small, together. He respects you and your opinions. He may not always agree, but he shows you respect anyway and he factors you in.
3. He is emotionally open with you.
You can’t spend your life trying to beat down emotional walls. That’s just exhausting and who has time for that?
A good husband will be open and transparent with you. Sometimes it won’t come easy because a lot of men aren’t fully comfortable navigating through emotionally fraught waters, but he’ll make an effort to not shut you out.
Being single can sometimes get lonely, but nothing is lonelier than being in a relationship with someone who is always at arm’s length. Keep that in mind when chasing after the guys who just can’t commit!
4. He wants to work on it.
A lot of women take full responsibility for a relationship. If he seems a little off or distant, it must be a result of something she did and so she tries to solve is, fast!
Women spend endless energy obsessing and analyzing and trying new things to get a relationship to be even better, or to just be something that more closely resembles what they want. And when nothing seems to work, then feel defeated. They wonder what’s wrong with them, why they can’t get this right.
The fact is, there is nothing wrong except for the fact that they chose the wrong guy. The right guy will work with you. He wants to make it work no matter what. That’s what you do when you love someone. You don’t shut them out because you hit a bump in the road. You don’t punish them for being human and having needs. You work together to find a happy place.
If he just won’t work at it, if he just doesn’t care and doesn’t try, then he doesn’t have what it takes to be a good husband.
5. He has his act together
You can’t be someone’s healer or problem solver. You also can’t marry potential. You need to take a person for who they are right here and now. Is he emotionally stable? Does he have a handle on his life?
If he’s in the middle of a divorce, if he is in a deep depression, if he winds down at the end of every day by getting wasted, if he is having a career or crisis or midlife crisis or any sort go life crisis, he is not husband material. Maybe this will change down the line, but you can’t bank on maybe.
In order to be a good husband, he needs to be in a good place internally. If he’s not, you’re wasting precious time and that is one thing you can never recover.
Final thoughts: The only way to get want you want in life is to have a clear vision of what it is and what it will look like. I remember in my younger days I knew the guys I was drawn to didn’t really have long-term potential. Yeah, it was fun at the moment. Every day with an emotionally unavailable guy is like living in a suspense film… you have no idea what’s going to happen next!
But a guy who shuts you out or disappears for days at a time or won’t commit is not the kind of guy who is going to be a good husband or good father. This is just fantasy thinking.
Once you clear your perspective, it’s important to take a look at your level of self-worth. How do you feel about yourself? What sort of love do you want? Do you think you deserve a man who treats you well or do you feel unlovable and unworthy deep down?
The subconscious mind is always seeking validation. If you feel unworthy, you will seek out men who make you feel not good enough. It’s pretty twisted, but that’s the way it works. So take a look at yourself and ask yourself why you’re drawn to certain unhealthy patterns.
When you’re able to undo the faulty wiring and re-build your self-esteem, you will automatically stop chasing after things that are bad for you and will open the door to let the right kind of love in.