No one is perfect, everyone has their quirks and character flaws, and there’s no blueprint for what makes a good husband. However, there are certain qualities that most people desire their partners to have.
But what does being a “good husband” really mean? Should they be a good and reliable provider for their family? Or is being emotionally present more important?
According to experts, here are the qualities of a good husband:
Someone who is reliable
A good husband is reliable. If he says it, you can count on him to do it. This can be anything from fixing something, buying, cleaning, or taking you somewhere, and he will do it.
Reliability can manifest in two ways:
- Sometimes, there is a request that is urgent or needs immediate attention, or
- Just extremely important to his wife.
A reliable husband will drop everything and make himself available, no matter time, distance, or cost.
Other times, there are situations where the request may not be as urgent or need immediate attention, or the husband may have a different definition of urgent or needing immediate attention than his spouse.
In those instances, the husband may not drop everything and “make it happen.” But he’ll still communicate a ballpark estimate for it to happen, and you can rest assured a reliable husband wants to accomplish what he says he will do.
Someone who is willing to change
A good husband is willing to change. It’s often said that a woman should not try to change a man. And this saying is absolutely true. Women cannot and therefore should not attempt to change men.
But, they can let their husbands know when something they are doing is causing pain, makes them feel unsafe, unheard, undervalued, or anything else causing conflict in the relationship.
If a wife communicates what she needs clearly, a good husband will take her request to heart and slowly but surely, make the necessary changes, where appropriate, of his own volition.
Additionally, anyone who is willing to grow personally must be willing to change. That attribute will serve us all in any endeavor or relationship. And a good husband should embrace self-improvement.
He should want to become a better version of himself to positively impact those around him in his career and at home. The better he is, the better he can make those around him. These personal upgrades occur when there is a willingness to change.
Someone who values his wife’s aspirations
A good husband will value his wife’s aspirations. When two individuals choose to join their lives together, they become one. They share a home, they may have children together, and in most cases, they legally share financial obligations, to name a few.
In becoming one in marriage, the happiness and fulfillment of each part produce a healthy whole.
A good husband recognizes that his wife is a person with unique interests (separate from his own), and much of his satisfaction is actualized as he uses his time, resources, and skills to assist her.
He gets excited and takes pleasure in seeing his wife achieve goals in hobbies, education, travel, career, entrepreneurial pursuits, and the like. Marriage works best when there are two fulfilled individuals working together and helping one another achieve at the highest levels they desire.
Someone who is willing to cast a vision with his wife
A good husband creates a vision with his wife for the marriage and family. It is important for husbands to forecast milestones.
As parents, spouses often lose sight of each other and forget that one day their children will no longer be around (hopefully) and will move on to start their own lives.
My husband and I always planned for that moment. We planned to start businesses that would allow us to establish a legacy for our family and give us the ability to live fulfilled and rewarding lives post-child-rearing.
We planned a more fun time to travel and do other things we enjoy. We’ve thoughtfully and collaboratively spent our years growing and building together, realizing that the day would come when it would be just the two of us once again.
At the same time, we instructed and equipped our children to pursue their individual dreams. We’ve worked the plan and can now enjoy the fruit of our labor.
We founded our organization developed to equip individuals, partners, and parents with books and techniques to create more powerful marriages and healthier families.
Additionally, my husband has a family law practice, and as we serve each other in our marriage and home, we’re better equipped to serve others to do the same.
Someone who has a healthy respect for his wife
Husbands play a vital role in a couple’s relationship’s health and well-being. When a man has healthy self-respect that allows him to be a true partner with his wife, they synergistically create their relationship.
In Couple Vitality, a book I co-wrote with W. Grant Peirce IV, we say:
“Two individuals become unified as they become part of something larger and integrate their individual needs with their partnership. They use words like ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘ours’ instead of ‘I,’ ‘me,’ and ‘mine.’
Vitality means your couple’s relationship is alive, growing, and energizing for both of you. You appreciate being together, and the energy flow between you is strong and positive.
You can accomplish many aspects of life together that would be more difficult as individuals. There is a powerful unity and connection between you.”
The excellence of the husband’s character is foundational for the vitality of the couple’s relationship. Of course, it helps if the spouse has excellent character, too!
Some examples for the husband are these character qualities:
- Truthfulness (delivered with kindness) – his consistent telling of the truth builds deep trust with his marriage partner.
- Compassion – he can visualize himself in his wife’s situation and understand when her life’s tough and his help is needed.
- Service – he offers to help with whatever needs to be done, and he also sees what needs to be done and steps into action.
- Respect – he treats his wife as an equal partner, and they make decisions together.
- Dependability – he arrives on time, is where he says he will be, and keeps his word about what he says he will do. Dependability also builds deep trust.
- Adherence – he stays faithful to his marriage vows and carries out his commitment to creating marriage excellence.
- Purposefulness – he works hard to be educated and financially supports his family.
- Orderliness – he picks up his stuff and helps the family stay organized.
- Friendliness – he enjoys time with his wife and family, including sharing humor and fun activities.
When a man consistently practices character qualities, he is more likely to be present, responsible, accountable, and a true partner in marriage. He is a man of integrity.
With integrity as a strength, he can achieve personal satisfaction, self-confidence, and empowerment by striving to achieve clear, purposeful goals. These goals include contributing to the unity and happiness of his marriage.
Celeste Labadie, LMFT
Confidence Coach | Relationship Expert, Collective Connection
He’s a secure man
A secure man is solid in himself and knows his worth. He has experienced hardships and comes through the other side with the knowledge that he can hold his own.
This is important because he can hold space for his partner to feel whatever she is feeling without him pulling away, shutting down, or feeling upset with her. A secure man helps a woman feel that someone has her back no matter what happens. A secure man trusts himself and therefore is trustworthy.
He’s an emotionally aware husband
An emotionally aware husband can feel when his wife is doing well and is having a hard time. He may not know what is happening to her but is sensitive to the change and asks her if he can help or if she needs help.
He may say, “You’re important to me, and I wonder if you’re okay.” This allows her to come forward and share what’s going on without feeling overly pressured.
An emotionally aware man will also not hide from his own emotions and be able to name them and deal with them when they arise. This helps the couple have a deeper connection knowing they are safe to have a range of emotions and not feel overwhelmed.
He’s open to growth
A husband who is open to personal growth and relationship growth can stretch when his partner stretches. He will be interested in what his wife may be exploring in her own attempt to grow herself.
This gives the relationship the benefit of a “growth mindset” and allows new and exciting options to have the space to expand both individually and collectively.
Growth allows the relationship to have new levels of depth and can expand success and harmony in other areas of their lives in work, spirituality, and community.
He takes responsibility for his part
A husband who takes responsibility for his part in a rift will create a lasting and healthy dynamic of healing and repair. Taking responsibility may mean he can own his shortcomings and say sorry if there’s something he’s done that hurt his partner.
Taking responsibility means that upsets or fights won’t create long-term resentments between them and also models what a secure man looks like for kids and children. He can own his part.
The qualities of a good husband can depend on what each individual is looking for. But some qualities are more universal. There is an endless list of qualities a good husband should have. Some are debatable, and others are just wish list items.
Here are some of the most important essential qualities:
Someone who’s a great listener
A good husband listens to you when you need to talk. Not just sits there quietly while you speak. But truly takes in what you’re saying. Then responds with words of wisdom and actions that can improve your life.
You know you can tell him anything embarrassing. Yet he won’t tell anyone else or use the information to hurt you. Instead, he will support you.
Someone who tells you the truth
You want someone who tells you the truth. This isn’t just about not cheating on you. This is also about having integrity in general. It’s about being honest about his flaws and what he spends money on — knowing that you can trust him with your life and important decisions.
When he tells you something, you know it’s true. You don’t have to question whether he’s lying or not.
Someone who makes your life easier
Does he make your life easier or complicate it? Is he thoughtful and picks up the slack when you are swamped? Or does he operate like an individual still?
You want a husband who acts like a true partner. A great husband knows that if he makes your life better, his life will be better. He wants to do things to make your life easier and better.
Someone who cheers you up
Whether he is light-hearted, has a positive attitude, or tells funny jokes, it all boils down to if he can make you smile. Does he make you feel worse or better when you have a hard day?
When something stupid happens, can he laugh with you? Or will he just criticize you? Having a husband who lightens your load and grounds you is much nicer.
Someone who makes you feel safe
You’ll feel physically safe in his presence. He is always looking out for your safety without being controlling.
When you go out late at night, he’ll either escort you or want to know you made it home safely. If you put yourself in a situation that isn’t in your best interest, he’ll tell you and provide an alternative.
Someone who gives you grace and forgiveness
When you screw up or do something foolish, how does he react?
- Does he bring it up five years later or not let you forget every mistake you’ve made? Or does he genuinely forgive and forget?
- Does he take your apologies seriously and notice your improvements? Or will he hold it over your head forever?
It is difficult to live with anyone who reminds you of every mistake you’ve made while he acts as if he walks on water. So make sure the spouse you choose gives you grace.
Someone who challenges you to be your best self
He should also challenge you to be your best self. If you make bad decisions, he should tell you. When he sees you can do better, he’ll let you know in an encouraging way. You don’t want someone who agrees with you because he has no backbone, brain, or fears of upsetting you.
This is best if he gives you constructive criticism without snapping at you. Most people in your life are afraid to hurt your feelings or question your decisions. But you must be able to trust your life partner 100% to do this for you.
Someone who is willing to work together
In a marriage, you’re going to be around each other often. Decisions will be made together. Because you’re not clones, you won’t agree on every detail. You may do things to hurt each other’s feelings unintentionally. Both of you will make mistakes.
So how will your husband react if something needs to be fixed? Will he take responsibility for his part, admit wrongdoing, apologize, and improve things? Or will he get defensive and blame you for everything?
Both spouses need to hold themselves accountable. If both do not put full effort into fixing issues, the marriage will not work well. Resentment will build up, making one or both partners miserable.
Are you playing fair?
The catch: You should do the same for him. If you’re not willing to do that, ask yourself why.
If you don’t treat each other fairly, it won’t work. Even if one of you gets your way, the other person will be unhappy. A win-win situation is the only way to keep a healthy marriage alive.
Read relationship books if you need more help
Reading relationship books is a great start. Hiring a relationship coach can also help pinpoint and fix any issues you two may have. A coach is beneficial if you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on specific issues. A neutral third party can help you see more clearly and fix any problems.
Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers
He respects and loves you unconditionally
We often sometimes overestimate the qualities of a good husband. If he’s doing the bare minimum for you, we are told to consider that a good sign. But that’s too far from reality. A good husband is your best friend and respects and loves you unconditionally.
He stands with you through thick and thin
A man with a strong sense of balance and grounding will positively deal with life’s ups and downs (mainly downs) and still be a helpful, engaged, and resilient partner.
He gives his wife a sense of security and comfort
A good husband, I believe, communicates openly with his wife and gives her a sense of security and comfort around her. He reassures her there is no competition between them, and they will go through everything together.
He listens intently to his spouse
The best trait in a husband is the ability to listen intently to his spouse. He always tries to maintain a tight relationship with his wife to be stronger, more profound, faithful, and pure. He keeps the romance alive and spends quality time with his wife, like planning cute dates to keep the spark alive, catching her unaware.
Remember, ladies, a good husband takes care of you, appreciates your presence in his life, makes you a priority, and is growth oriented. So ladies, don’t settle for less and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
John F. Tholen, PhD
Retired Psychologist | Author, “Focused Positivity: The Path to Success and Peace of Mind“
Someone who accepts their partner’s innocent idiosyncrasies
Although gender bias remains prevalent in our — and almost every — culture, the qualities of a good husband are the same as those of a good wife. The best marriages also tend to be the most balanced.
Irrespective of their partner’s gender, the qualities most important for a good husband or good wife are the willingness and ability to:
- Make a commitment to respect a partner’s wishes and feelings more important than anyone else’s and slightly less than their own.
- Communicate their honest feelings and wishes through responsible self-assertion — avoiding aggression, threat, or insult.
- Tolerate and accept their partner’s innocent idiosyncrasies, normal human faults, and weaknesses, and sincerely regret mistakes.
- Respect their partner’s interpersonal boundaries (e.g., need for personal space, personal business, relationships, individual responsibilities, etc.)
- Consistently negotiate in good faith to find compromises to resolve the conflicts that invariably arise.
- Prioritize the interests of the relationship — the “team of two” —over their personal interests.
- Remember that the relationship wins when conflict is resolved without either partner winning or losing.
- Confirm that they understand their partner’s feelings and perspective before defending their own.
- Pursue and support their partner’s pursuit of a wellness lifestyle dedicated to thriving:
- spiritually or philosophically
- occupationally and financially
Mia Zambarano, LCSW
Mental Health Therapist | Performance Consultant, LE Vie Lifestyle
Someone respectful and supportive of others’ goals and desires
When entering a marriage or even thinking about marriage, we all envision wanting a “good husband.” But what is a good husband? Is it a knight in shining armor? A family man? A hard-working man?
Here’s the thing, “good” is a judgment. What I mean by that is there’s no solid definition of a “good husband.” Instead, think about it in terms of “functional.”
I know this is much less glamorous and certainly not what Disney taught us, but it’s a two-way street that requires compatibility on both sides. In other words, understanding who you are and what’s important to you will help you determine what a “good husband” is for you.
In my work with couples and individuals in the therapy realm, I’ve found that the most successful relationships happen when people understand and validate one another and their values align. They are respectful and supportive of others’ goals and desires.
Validation is a key part of having a sound and secure emotional connection. You’re not going to feel comfortable with someone if you feel that everything you say is disregarded, mocked, or misunderstood.
To clarify, this does not mean the person needs to agree with you on everything. It simply means they are willing to hear you out and are respectful of your thoughts and opinions.
Values are huge but don’t overthink this. Values will boil down to what is essential to you. The most successful relationships and marriages tend to be built on shared values.
- quality time
- community or social involvement
- physical health/activity
- parenting styles
- financial stability
- volunteering, and so on
You don’t have to share the same values, but the more in common, the merrier. Also, you don’t want a partner that will lead you to challenge or go against your core values. This is an excellent recipe for resentment and discontentment.
It creates a solid foundation for growth and satisfaction
Having respect and support for one another’s goals and desires creates a solid foundation for growth and satisfaction. This can be related to a career, wanting a family/children, allowing space for hobbies or interests, or any other realm.
When you feel supported, you access a higher level of self and then get to share that with your partner and others. You want a cheerleader, not a peanut gallery. There will be plenty of other people to challenge, doubt, and question you. Your “good husband” should not be one of them.
The good news is even if these aren’t things you’ve considered, they are points you can always address and come back to. Check in with yourself, communicate and create a “good” marriage with your “functional” husband.
Lindsay Liben, LCSW
Lead Psychotherapist | Founder, Lindsay Liben Wellness
Someone who has a presence of deep emotional attunement
Ask 50 wives how to define a good husband, and you’ll get 50 different answers, but the common thread among the group will be the presence of deep emotional attunement. This means a spouse who recognizes your emotions and responds accordingly.
He is aware of your genuine needs and works to help authentically gratify them. So, if you feel drained from a long work day, he will give you space to reenergize without getting defensive or sulky.
Let’s back up for a moment. Before your hubby can fulfill your needs, he has to know what they are. This begins with you understanding your most authentic self.
Do you crave deep, meaningful conversation? Or feel struck by cupid’s arrow when he delivers you the perfect cup of coffee? Or feel butterflies in your tummy when he spontaneously texts you sweet nothings?
Discovering how you receive and express love is vital to nourishing your relationship. Dr. Gary Chapman coined the concept of Love Languages to help partners articulate their romantic preferences.
These languages include:
- words of affirmation
- acts of service
- receiving gifts
- quality time
- physical touch
Someone who listens and demonstrates empathy
You will strengthen your connection when you sense how you desire to be loved and become fluent in expressing it. A good husband will listen, ask questions, and demonstrate empathy. You both need to remember that you are on the same team and always look for the best in one another.
The solid trust that they hold you in unconditional positive regard will inoculate you against the fear of rejection or abandonment. Feeling seen, valued, and validated in your relationship pays dividends.
This secure connection allows you to reveal deeper intimacy and feel confident that you will always be met with judgment-free compassion. When you see your partner through this loving lens, the qualities of a good husband are abundant, and it doesn’t hurt to receive a perfect cup of coffee.
Matchmaker | Chief Partnerships Officer, Rivet Boutique Matchmaking
Someone who can tap into his feminine energy
According to researchers, men and women have both feminine and masculine energies.
Based on my professional experience as a relationship management professional in both business and romantic settings, it has often been evident that a man’s willingness and ability to tap into his feminine energy creates an environment that supports understanding, emotional connection, nurturing, and vulnerability.
All things that women or people living in their feminine energy often require to feel seen, cared for, and loved.
When a man is aware of the emotional needs of his partner while at the same time willing to express his own needs, there is a connection based on what should manifest as healthy communication that lies at the foundation of their relationship and supports its longevity, stability, and value.
This is not to say that women or people living in their feminine energy has no work to do to support the health and maintenance of their relationships, but this is to focus on the qualities of men and husbands that support satisfying relationships.
Additionally, there is no doubt that with the ability to tap into such energy, men living in their masculine energy experience personal benefits from this, which go beyond the “happy wife, happy life” thought.
A level of personal development comes with being aware of and actively choosing to lean into your feminine energy as someone who is not naturally living in that energy.
Becoming more in touch with the dualities of your being promote self-assurance and fulfillment. Being actively good for your own life allows you to be actively good for someone else’s, and that is an admirable purpose that more people should aim for.
There are several ways that husbands can learn to tap into their feminine energy, there’s:
- the support of a good therapist
- the practice of mediation, deep, vulnerable conversations with the people of your life, living in their feminine energy
- reading books and researching how one can do the work, and more
There is no harm in leaning into your feminine energy or being a feminine man; there is only beauty in understanding the benefits of living in a way that benefits your marriage, your relationships, and your life.
Positive Psychology Coach | Life & Transformational Coach | Dating Mentor, Manifest Your Guy
He loves you for who you are and who you are becoming
One of the best qualities of a good husband is loving you as you are and also loving you as you evolve. It is healthy for people to explore ways to become better versions of themselves; more education, a fitter body, a healthier mindset, career growth, etc.
It is not uncommon for people to “grow apart” because their love for their partner is based on the exact way that person was when they met and does not allow their partner to grow and explore ways to better themselves.
Often, the person who does not believe in change feels threatened by it and can do things to discourage the other partner, attempt to make them feel guilty, etc. — having a husband who supports your growth and is your biggest fan no matter what can be a fantastic feeling!
Founder and Chief Editor, Seniorstrong
From the perspective of another ordinary husband, instead of being an expert in family relations and lifestyle, I would rather nourish the qualities of a good husband, which I learned through the ways of my marriage.
Every marriage comes with its own set of biases and side effects. If we are focusing on the qualities of a husband, then we would be covering only half an aspect.
Some of the qualities of a good husband in the making can be stated as follows:
Can act as a team, coordinate and collaborate
Making marriage a duo activity is initially quite a requirement. By the term team, I mean to say a feeling of “originality” that would set sails to lesser misunderstandings and happier planning in a long-term process.
Can coordinate and collaborate, split the bills and try to build a balance; as a result, there lies no room for the benefit of the doubt.
Can try to love the way they want to be loved
The most essential point to be kept in mind, observe their way of desiring love, and try to propagate your ways of loving them towards their way of accepting it. It seems a little tricky at first but trust me; it works its way through.
Can make time and share leisure activities
Your partner makes a remarkable impact on your set times and schedules and vice-versa. Thus try to make time for them and share individual leisure activities.
Can avoid spending grey time with his partner
“Grey Time,” or when you are physically present but not mentally, involuntarily affects your marriage in the long term. Lastly, apart from being a good husband, try to hold to your flaws as well, because imperfect deeds are now the most appreciated.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some red flags to look for in a husband?
While it’s important to focus on the positive qualities when looking for a spouse, women should also be aware of some red flags. Here are some warning signs that a man may not make a good husband:
Controlling behavior: A man who tries to control his partner’s actions, thoughts, or feelings isn’t a good candidate for a healthy relationship.
Disrespectful behavior: Disrespectful behavior includes name-calling, belittling or demeaning comments. This type of behavior isn’t acceptable in any relationship.
Dishonesty: A man who lies to his partner or withholds information from him isn’t trustworthy. Trust is important in any relationship, and dishonesty can destroy that trust over time.
Lack of empathy: A man who is unable or unwilling to understand his partner’s feelings and perspectives is unlikely to be a good husband.
Inconsistent behavior: A man who is inconsistent in his actions and words may not be reliable and dependable.
How can a husband support his wife in difficult times?
Supporting your partner during difficult times is an important part of being a good husband. Here are some ways a husband can support his wife in difficult times:
Listen actively: Listening actively means giving your partner your full attention and being present in the moment. This includes asking questions and clarifying what she means.
Show empathy and understanding: Empathy means putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and understanding her perspective. This can help you be more understanding and compassionate toward her.
Provide practical support: Practical support can include helping her with chores, running errands, or providing transportation.
Express your love and support: Telling your partner you love and support her can make her feel cared for and valued.
Encourage self-care: Encouraging your partner to take care of herself physically and mentally can help her feel better during difficult times.
Be patient and understanding: It’s important to be patient and understanding when your partner is going through a difficult time. Avoid getting frustrated or angry, and give her the time and space she needs to process her feelings.
Seek professional help if needed: If your partner is struggling with a mental health problem or other serious challenge, seeing a therapist or counselor may be necessary.
How can a husband show appreciation to his wife?
Showing appreciation to your wife is an important part of being a good husband. Here are some ways a husband can show appreciation:
Say “thank you”: Expressing your gratitude and thanking your wife for her efforts and contributions is a way to make your appreciation clear.
Show affection: Showing affection through physical touch such as hugs, kisses, or holding hands, can help your wife feel loved and appreciated.
Surprise her: Surprising your wife with small gestures, such as bringing her a treat or leaving her a love note, can show her you’re thinking of her.
Listen actively: Listening actively to your wife and giving her your full attention when she speaks can make her feel valued.
Take care of her: Taking care of your wife when she’s sick or stressed can help her feel supported and cared for.
Help with housework: Helping her with housework, such as cooking, cleaning, or laundry, can take some of the pressure off your wife and show her that you appreciate her work.
Plan a special date or activity: When you plan a special date or activity that your wife will enjoy, you show her that you pay attention to her likes and interests and appreciate her happiness.
Express your love: Telling your wife that you love her and expressing your feelings can make her feel loved and valued.
What should a husband do if he has made a mistake or hurt his wife’s feelings?
Making mistakes and hurting your partner’s feelings is normal in any relationship. Here are some steps a husband can take if he has made a mistake or hurt his wife’s feelings:
Apologize sincerely: A sincere apology includes admitting your mistakes, taking responsibility for your actions, and expressing regret.
Actively listen: Actively listening to your wife to understand her feelings and perspective can help her feel heard and validated.
Show empathy and understanding: Empathy means that you understand and acknowledge your wife’s feelings and perspective. Showing empathy can help her feel cared for and valued.
Take corrective action: Taking steps to correct your mistake or behavior can help rebuild trust and show your commitment to the relationship.
Be patient: Rebuilding trust and repairing a relationship takes time. It’s important that you’re patient and understanding while you work on the problem together.
Seek help if necessary: If the mistake or behavior is part of a larger pattern, or if you’re having difficulty resolving the issue, it may be necessary to consult a therapist or counselor.
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