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The term “husband material” has always bothered me. It suggests that when a man becomes a husband, he becomes something entirely different than what he was before. And, it suggests that what makes a good husband for one person makes a good husband for all. That’s simply not true. Here are eight gross misconceptions women have about “husband material.”

He needs a stable job

The guy working on his startup, from the apartment he shares with two roommates, gets no action because women want a man with a “stable job.” Some women avoid men who aren’t on a very clear path, one with promotions and salary boosts.

What he needs is passion and ambition

There is no such thing as a stable job. Companies close. Nepotism happens and a deserving employee doesn’t get the promotion. Jobs are unstable; ambition and passion are stable. So long as your partner has that, your marriage will sustain the ups and downs of his career. The passionless man who loses his “stable” job, then has nothing.

He needs a high paying job

What happens when your high schooler wants to go to a fancy prep school? Or your friends want to vacation in the Bahamas? You need money for those things, right? Life will be hard without a lot of money, right?

What he needs is creativity

Even when you think you have “enough money” something will always come up that shakes your world—something your bank account can’t cover. What you need is a partner who is creative—a partner who will come up with affordable vacations need be, and who will know how to come up with money if an unforeseeable emergency comes up.

He needs a good relationship with his family

A man that comes from a broken home will only make a broken home—or so many people believe.

 

 

Some families are nuts

You know what? For some people, it is healthier that they not be in touch with their families. Some people come from abusive and toxic families. They couldn’t choose their family, but they could choose to remove themselves and lead a healthier life. Are you going to write off that guy? That guy who made a painful but strong choice?

He’s black-tie event ready

He knows how to “act appropriately” at a gala or country club. He can be “a grownup” when necessary, not use curse words, match his belt to his shoes etc.

How about, he’s just himself?

A strong woman chooses a man who is comfortable with who he is. She trusts that the people who stick around her partner, when he is himself, are the people meant to be there and damned be the rest. She would never ask him to “tone it down.” She’s comfortable with herself, so she’s very comfortable with the partner she’s chosen—she doesn’t care what others think of him.

He likes the Farmers Market et al.

He’ll happily come along to the Farmers Market and Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Hell, he likes those activities.

 

How about you’re all just honest?

It’s okay if a man doesn’t like those activities. If your relationship is strong, he should be able to tell you, “I don’t want to go to Target, but I’ll make it up to you—we’ll do something we both love together, later.” In exchange, he won’t make you do things you don’t want to do.

He hasn’t slept around

Think a guy with a, um, “soiled” past can’t be a good husband? Are you worried that people will talk too much if you marry the man who’s been around the block?

 

Who cares? He wants you now.

So long as he wasn’t a jerk to the women of his past (or at least has made amends since) who cares if he’s been around the block? That only means that when he does settle down, it’s because he knows exactly what he wants in a lifetime partner. You don’t need judgmental friends who would assume he wouldn’t be a good husband, just because he had some fun.

His party days are over

A husband shouldn’t still get drunk, right? A husband doesn’t belong in a bar—at least not without his wife—right? A husband doesn’t go to Vegas with his buddies, right?

 

 

 

Party together!

Why not be with someone who you can party together with? And hey—separately from, too? A truly solid couple doesn’t change their lifestyle much after getting married. They want the other person to continue to have fun, and they trust them. And sometimes they get drunk together.

He can command a room

There is this ridiculous notion that a “strong man” commands a room—he tells people off who are being rude, he can entertain a big table of people, he makes his presence known and demands respect.

That’s not father material…

Husband material is usually father material, and a good father puts his ego aside. He doesn’t need to be the center of attention. He doesn’t need to come off as the “strongest” man in the room. He is patient. He listens. He notices who is worth his time and who isn’t. He doesn’t need to demand everyone’s respect just for the sake of it. He is secure enough to be silent sometimes in social situations, or to let a rude comment slide.

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