These are a few of the characteristics that I would love to find in a husband. However, these are also the characteristics that I am striving after for myself, in life generally and for marriage specifically.
WHY THESE CHARACTERISTICS?
I hope it is fair to say that as a person there are so many things that I do not care about in my husband. To be candid I can be a bit superficial, so I do care about an attractive appearance! But I definitely do not care about things like his financial standing, his… (Hmm, on writing this I’m realising that I care about a lot more than I’d realised!) OK, so I definitely do not care about his financial standing!
I have such big hopes for marriage because I have big hopes for life in general. I simultaneously want to achieve lots in my life and have a gloriously happy marriage. I am trying to be the best person that I can be to achieve that. However I know that the character of my husband will also be desperately important to that. It will be important to the issue of having an amazing marriage, and it will also be important to the issue of dreaming big dreams.
Oh man, I have already spoken at length on this blog about the kind of marriage I dream of. I am dreaming of a marriage where we literally live in one another’s arms, and spend our entire lives smiling at one another tenderly.
Unfortunately, to make matters worse regarding everything I am also incredibly sensitive to behaviour. I grew up surrounded by genuine love and fantastic character from my father, and there are just some things that I cannot handle, because they are so far removed from my experience growing up that I still have not learned how to deal with them. I just cannot handle a man’s insecurities, especially where those insecurities might in any way limit my own ambitions. I cannot graciously handle a man’s irrational ego and any attempts he might make to assert his supposed “masculine superiority” by trying to undermine me (my opinions, my emotions, my intellect, my achievements). (This does not mean that there is no room for honest disagreement, but there is a clear and easy difference between honest disagreement and deliberate undermining! It is an unfortunate fact that I do tend to be right about most things – ask anyone – ha ha ha!)
I was brought up and encouraged to reach for the stars themselves, striving to be the best I could be, and after investing so much effort into my dreams and making so many sacrifices for them I cannot deliberately now make myself smaller just to let someone feel that he is bigger than me. Moreover I was not the only one to make sacrifices. My parents went through so much – and I am going to throw all that away – because of a man’s insecurities and ego? No way!
What this means is that in terms of character my husband practically has to be perfect. Actually, that is not true. However to my amazement, so many (Christian) men have so many insecurities that it is so improbable to find what I am asking for that I may as well be asking for perfection.
And then these men apparently expect me to be grateful for the chance of being married to their insecurities for the rest of my life (because naturally, it would be unrealistic and unfair to expect them to actually deal with those insecurities). I always think to myself: “You cannot be serious!” So yes, to be candid, all that I am and all that I have been brought up to be, tend to bash into men and their insecurities and their egos. All. The. Time. And it is not just in romantic or potentially romantic situations. It has also happened with church pastors. And I never understand, and I never want to know. I simply walk away each and every time.
This post is supposed to be about characteristics, but I am going to have a bit of a rant, if you don’t mind! Let’s talk about male egos. So a man has done something wrong – yes?! And yet this is the way this irrational male ego can manifest itself. So a man has done something wrong, and it is manifestly and indisputably he who is in the wrong. And yet, a man afflicted by “irrational male ego syndrome” will likely not apologise – oh no! Apparently this irrational ego stops him from acknowledging that he has done anything wrong. And then he will just want to carry on as if nothing happened! In fact, I’ve actually been in a situation where a man suggested that I should apologise to reinstate an interaction between us – after he had lied and done various other things! (His actual suggestion was that we should “apologise to one another”.) I was SO angry! You know, I’ve got a bit of an ego too! If I am wrong, it can be so humbling and so embarrassing to apologise, but I will do it. If a man cannot apologise, and sincerely, then I’m sorry, I just don’t want to know. Both he and his ego can go to hell.
And then I guess that as a woman I am supposed to gently and subtly coax the apology out of him with feminine softness and grace…My point is that as a woman you cannot simply and candidly tell such a man he is wrong. Even in a matter where his own common sense should scream to him that he has done something wrong (that is, a matter where he should know to deal with it even without anyone else telling him that he has done something wrong). Oh no, you have to say it in a certain way otherwise he will take offence, because you “are nagging him” or it has suddenly become an attack. Er, GO TO HELL!!! You can take yourself and your stupid ego and leave me alone, joker!
Erm yeah, so I think it’s fair to say I feel a little strongly about that!
Anyway, I am going to cut this post here because I’m kinda tired. However I do plan to properly write out the characteristics soon.
What I will say to conclude is this: watching these displays of ego just makes me stop and stare and think “oh my goodness!” On one hand I am so sad that I am not yet married, as I think (endlessly!) of all the lovey-doveyness I am missing out on. On the other hand, I am so glad that I have not had to find myself married to an unending display of ego. Seriously, having to check someone out for two full years can seem like such a pain. However, in that it has helped to rescue me from potential marital disasters, this “Two Year Thinking” has been a huge gift. I am so grateful to God. While it would be lovely to be in a great marriage, the number of men with the amazing character necessary for those great marriages is so small, versus the number of men with less than amazing character which is so large, that even if I was married, if I had not taken proper time to study his character beforehand, from sheer probability it would likely have been one of those huge number of men with less than amazing character that I would have ended up with. Therefore it probably would not be a great marriage, but instead, I would probably be in the depths of relationship hell-on-earth right now. The autonomy of my single life is such a blessing compared to that possibility.
And then sometimes people say “Oh Tosin you just want a man you can walk over!” No, no I don’t! Ego-less does not equate to being weak. I am not saying that my husband cannot raise an opposing opinion to my own. I am not saying that I would dislike it if he was insistent in disagreeing with me, or even if he insisted on his own way (Incidentally, my Dad can be extremely insistent – and he is outstanding!) It is about being sincere, sincerely listening to what the other person is saying, acknowledging where you are wrong and where someone else is right – and also sometimes insisting when you are right and the other person is wrong. There is nothing “weak” about that at all.
Finally finally, I know and I know and I know that I must never wish anyone to hell. However it is my secret confession that I have indeed been mentally doing just that to so many people for a couple of years. Here is the thing: I believe that hell is real. Hell is so awful that I sincerely would never wish it on my worst enemy. While these men and other people have annoyed me greatly, nothing would ever justify my wishing such an awful punishment on them. It is not a good thing, and here I am publicly confessing that I have indeed been carelessly using those words, while not sincerely wishing on anyone the reality of hell. I need to hold myself to account. From henceforth I am going to refrain from damning them to hell, and instead I will perhaps mentally tell them to go to…somewhere hot!