Well, I got the Mt. Everest of such requests the other day. I've been waiting my whole life for this one. My daughter asked me for my list of things to look for in a husband. She's aware that I've had more than the usual success, since I was very happily married to her father until his death several years ago and now have the excellent fortune to be approaching a first wedding anniversary with my very dear Henry. I guess she figures I must be doing something right.
As most self-respecting blogsters will report, about halfway through my e-mail to her, I thought to myself "This is so on the blog." So here you are, dear readers. It's what I looked for and found. Some of it will be particular to me and my style, but perhaps it will generate ideas for you and yours.
What I Looked For in a Potential Husband
I have "Admission Ticket" items. If I don't get satisfactory answers to my questions on these issues, there are no more dates.
- Solid Christian. It has a high level of importance in his life.
- Excellent character; reliable, honest, can make the tough decisions, yet thoughtful and gentle
- Employed at a level (or with a trajectory) that could provide for the family if the wife stayed home to rear a family.
- No debilitating psychological issues or such a trashed upbringing that it seems likely to hamper being able to be a full partner in an excellent marriage.
- Does he have the capacity to love and be loved at a deep level? Will he value that opportunity? Does it seem that, if we married, he would place a high level of importance on building and sustaining the relationship?
- Does he have the capability of communicating about how we communicate? When we talk about things with a lot of "emotional content", is he able both to pay attention to how he feels as well as pursue understanding how I feel? What's his attitude when something is more important to me than it is to him?
And, for the Graduate Level of meta-communication, after what might have been a tense conversation, is he inclined to talk about how the conversation went and consider how we might change how we discuss something similar in the future so it will work better?
- More about communication: I'd be cautious about a tendency to be defensive. Is it important to him to be right? Or, something that might indicate the opposite problem, does he generally yield in order to keep the peace? Does he consider genuinely important things (and only those things) worth making issues of?
- Am I comfortable being my authentic self around him?
- Do I respect him as a man the way he is now? Or are there important aspects of his character or personality that will cause me problems in the future if they don't change?
- Does he welcome the idea of having a family together? Do I? Will he be a good father? Will his children love and respect him?
- Will we able to become fully involved in a common community of faith? It's key to both be mature Christians, but it's also important to have a common culture in which our family Christian life can flourish.
- Does he think I'm wonderful? Is he proud that I'm with him and that he's won my affections? Does he embarrass me? If so, can the issues be addressed, or will they be long-standing?
- Do we laugh together? Does laughter and humor generally draw us together, or is it a veiled jab instead? Can we defuse tension with laughter? Does it help us avoid the issue, or does it instead lubricate our progress toward a solution?
- What do others think of us as a couple? Do our closest and respected friends have significant concerns? Is our care for one another visible to them? Do they think we're a good fit? Does anyone tell us that we're good for each other? Do they see evidence that we're becoming better individuals as we grow in our relationship together?