14 Things to Look for in a Husband

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin shares 14 things to look for in a husband in honor of Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you! Yesterday was my wonderful husband's birthday and today is THE day of love so I thought it was only natural to devote this post to him! Last year on Valentine's Day I shared 14 Reasons I Love My Husband (all of those still hold true - I'm seriously the luckiest!) .... today, I want to share 14 Things to Look for in a Husband. 14 because it's February 14th, clearly :)

I'm gonna be honest, I kissed a few too many frogs before finding a prince. Some of them weren't so bad (they just weren't so "right" either) but others....yikes! All that to say, I truly believe that there really is someone out there that is made for you. They say marriage is work, yes, there is some give and take, but it shouldn't be hard work or strenuous work...ya know? The right relationship should come naturally and be a perfect fit for both of your personalities, characters and lifestyles.

Now, I'm not saying our relationship is perfect by any means. Everyone is flawed and everyone goes through valleys or plateaus (both in life and in love) but what I've learned from over seven years together and almost four years of marriage is that we are perfectly suited for one-another. We balance each other out, we compliment each other perfectly, and we put each other first.

Here are 14 things I value in my marriage - they are things I think everyone should look for in a husband! Don't mind me as I spam you with pictures of our relationship along the way.

1. He Takes Care of You
We recently took the 5 Love Languages test and it was not a shock at all when Cole's result was overwhelmingly "Acts of Service." My dad is the same way and I remember my mom telling me once that even though her love language was very different than his, it's important to remember how your partner shows love and appreciate it when they do. Cole takes SUCH good care of me. He does all the cooking, he goes to the grocery store because he knows I hate it, he picks up my prescriptions, he takes my car to get an oil change, he scoops dog poop, he helps with my chores when I'm stressed or overwhelmed, he takes all my blog pictures....he is always doing things for me to make my life easier. I'm so spoiled! When I had both of my recent surgeries, he waited on me hand and foot. Even if your love language isn't acts of service, it is still important to care for your spouse and make sure you are doing everything you can to help them live their best life.

2. He Puts You First
Your feelings, your needs, and your relationship as a whole should come before anything and anyone else (except God, if you're a spiritual person). This can be tough.... sometimes friends interject themselves into your relationship for one reason or another, work/careers can get busy and become a priority, kids can easily take over your lives......but keeping your spouse (and their feelings and needs) as your number one is SO important in order to keep the relationship strong. Even if it's something as simple as staying home with your spouse instead of grabbing a drink with a friend on a Saturday afternoon because you know they need it that day...or giving them the window seat on an airplane.....or something as big as standing up for your spouse when someone is talking bad about them. Those shifts of priority and importance make a huge difference.

3. He Gets Along With Your Family (and vice versa)
This is huge! I've dated guys who had parents that I hated. I dated guys who my parents hated. Now, I absolutely adore my in-laws! My mother-in-law is like a friend to me! I understand sometimes there is some family dynamic and this doesn't always hold true, but for the most part, always listen to your mom :) I couldn't imagine going through the holidays if we both didn't love each other's families. It makes life so much better when everyone gets along. I think, if possible, finding a spouse with a similar upbringing will make this so much easier in general.

4. He Isn't Afraid to Talk About Your Future Together
If you're planning on marrying someone, that means you'll be spending a lifetime together. It is SO important to talk about where you see your life going NOW. Does he want kids? Do you want kids? Are you on the same page with who will work, where you will live and how you will raise future kids? If not, those are discussions that need to be tackled before you commit to being with someone long term. If he won't open up about those topics, it's not worth the risk! At least in my opinion.

5. He is Good With Money
I never really considered this when dating (other than "he's rich/poor" kind of thoughts haha) but money is one of the leading causes of divorce! I'm SO lucky to be married to someone who is extremely financially savvy. Cole works in banking and eats sleeps breathes budget and spreadsheets. Good for our future, not good for my shopping addiction (and by not good, I mean I don't get to buy as many designer bags as I'd like hahaha). I digress. Having someone who will help your household stick to a budget, save for the future and stay accountable financially will relieve so much stress. Not to mention, the better he is with money, the better house / car / clothes /things you'll be able to afford one day! Cole budgets our money SO well and incorporates a travel budget into it so that we can travel together regularly, which I love and appreciate.

6. You Are "Equally Yolked" 
I have a distinct memory of my aunt talking to me after a tough breakup. She told me to hold out for someone who was "equally yolked" and that phrase stuck with me forever! She was so right, too. Basically, look for someone with the same mindset, the same beliefs, the same general upbringing, the same goals/desires, etc.... it's OK to be different in some ways (opposites do attract and you don't want to be so similar that it's boring) but it is not OK to have different overall mindsets, morals and beliefs. That causes too much difficulty down the road.

7. You Balance Each Other Out
THIS. This is one of the most important things in a marriage (at least according to me) and one of the reasons Cole and I work so well together. You should be the right balance of the same / different and even out each other's strengths and weaknesses. But you should also enjoy the same things!

8. He Values Your Opinion / Treats You As An Equal
There are still so many guys out there who think women are the lesser sex. I'm not here to get all feminist on you, BUT, in a marriage, you should work together. The wife should stand beside her husband, not behind him. A marriage is a partnership, and both partners should have equal say in all important matters (or not so important matters like where to eat on a Friday night, whatever).

9. He's Attractive! 
OK. I'm not saying looks are everything. BUT. If you're going to be with someone forever, you should like looking at them!! If you don't think they are super hot now, it's not going to get better down the road as they age hahaha. Sorry, but it's true. Now, that being said, their personality should be just as great as their looks - you should never choose one or the other. You deserve both!

Hear me out, though....there are a few guys I dated (like, way back in the day) who I wasn't overly attracted to (but we were friends first or I just wanted a boyfriend and said, "you'll do" because I liked hanging out with them) and although I enjoyed being with them in general, I was never 100% swept off my feet because I just wasn't attracted to them. I would always develop little crushes on someone cuter, lose interest and end up breaking up with the guy. I loved them as people, but I wasn't in love with them as a whole...ya know? That sounds terrible but I was young and these weren't serious relationships so don't judge me haha. Needless to say, I think attraction does matter! I still think Cole is hot seven years in and still crush on him :) he gives me all the feels *insert heart eyes emoji* and I've never found anyone I thought was more attractive (except for William Mosely, but he's a movie star so he doesn't count).

I also think that there is something to be said about "love at first sight." Maybe not straight up love, but there should be an instant connection and some gut feeling there. I remember after Cole and my first date, I told my best friend Rachael that I had a gut feeling about him, but I wasn't going to let myself fall for him just yet. That gut feeling was right and that instant connection blossomed into a lifelong connection! I'm glad I protected my heart and was patient at first, because the longterm results were 100% worth it.

10. He is Trusting and Trustworthy 
HELLO. HI. Are you reading this?

1) Your husband should trust you (assuming you are to be trusted and haven't given him reason not to trust you). If he acts jealous or lashes out at you, it is more than likely a reflection of his own trustworthiness.... something to think about.

2) You should trust your husband with everything! Your life, your finances, his faithfulness, your future. If you have a doubt in your mind about any of it, WHY do you feel that way? Can you talk about it calmly and rationally with your partner without them losing their sh*t? If you have a gut feeling, listen to it. But think with your head, not your heart!

11. He Makes Time for You 
I shared that Cole's love language was acts of service but mine is very much Quality Time. I feel most loved when Cole schedules time for just the two of us. Sometimes it's a whole day together, other times it's as simple as saying "we're making plans to not make plans - we're going to stay home and relax together." No matter what it is, I always look forward to it! Regardless, though, your husband should make time for you in order to keep your relationship alive! I know some guys are more than happy to leave their families at home and go to the golf course every weekend...... this would KILL me inside. Even if your love language isn't quality time, though, prioritizing alone time together is key to a happy marriage, even if it's only a few hours a week. I know kids, work and life in general can get in the way, but a little time is better than no time.

I also want to mention that it is still important to have your own alone time! Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all, and we all need time to recharge by ourselves. So, what I'm saying here is that it's OK if your hubby wants to have some guy time every once in a while (you probably want girl time, too), but you have to find the right balance between your alone time and together time.

12. You Can Have Fun Together 
It's important to have a husband who is a friend and a lover. You don't want a roommate to live side by side with, you want someone who you can enjoy every part of life with....the good and the bad! Someone you can laugh with, someone you can cry with, and someone you can have FUN with. A best friend! The first person you think of when you have a plus one. I think finding a hobby or activity you enjoy and can do together is so important! For us, we love to travel and workout (although we prefer different types of workouts so this doesn't apply as much to us haha), we love to try new restaurants and we love getting outside with our dogs! Some couples love to do wine tastings, others love to cook together......it doesn't matter what you do together, as long as you enjoy each other's company.

13. He Supports You and Loves You Unconditionally 
Find a guy who supports your dreams and helps you achieve them. Someone who puts up with you when you're being a total B*, because we all get that way. Find someone who loves you when you're makeupless and haven't washed your hair. Find someone who is both your cheerleader and your coach. Cole is my #1 blog supporter.....he likes every single picture I post on Instagram (AND he takes all of them gladly, even when I'm in a terrible mood or being bossy). He really is my rock and right hand man!

14. He Makes You a Better Version of Yourself
You know that song, "I like me better when I'm with you?" Yup. He should bring out the best in you, he should encourage you to become the best you can be, and he should let you shine without being intimidated by your success. Additionally, he should make your life happier and better by being in it. Cole went to Tokyo a few months ago and the Tokyo time is pretty much opposite of our's so when he was awake, I was asleep.....the hardest part of that time away was just not having his companionship throughout the day! Not having him to talk to or tell random things to..... He truly makes my days better by being a part of them. And, additionally, he never lets me feel sorry for myself. He picks me up when I'm down and encourages me to keep going. He really pushes me to be the best I can be in every area of life!

If you're not married yet, I want to encourage you to be patient! Don't lie to yourself about someone, don't think you can change someone, don't settle and don't say "he'll do." Wait for someone who can truly be your other half and make all of your empty spots hole. I promise, they're out there. It is better to wait than to go the wrong directions and make a mess of things in the mean time.

If you are married, let this be a reminder of what is important in a marriage to keep it strong. Tell your Valentine what you love about them (and about your relationship) today and everyday. Happy Valentine's Day!

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