Marriage is no joke. When you consider that almost half of all marriages end in divorce, you can see that it takes a certain measure of resolve and strength to make a marriage work.
These days, the term “happily married man” might seem a little hard to believe. It might even raise an eyebrow in the more cynical of us.
With so many marriages struggling, it might feel like being happily married is nearly impossible.
But the truth is, it’s perfectly achievable. It’s simply a matter of having the right attitude and effort.
Here are nine personality traits of a happily married man:
1) Emotional intelligence
It’s no secret that relationships thrive when both partners have a high Emotional Quotient (EQ).
In the case of the happily married man, that means he has definitely figured out how to manage his emotions and those of his spouse’s.
For example, when his wife has had a rough day at work, he’s not going to pile on and point out how she forgot to pick up dinner on the way home, too.
He’s just going to get on his phone and order a pizza for delivery. Then he’s going to sit down and listen so she can get things off her chest.
Or if he has had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day himself, he isn’t going to take it out on his partner. He’ll take some time to calm down, regroup, and manage his emotions.
Does he sound like a unicorn? Maybe.
But really, he’s not. There are thousands of men like this out there. I’ve been lucky enough to have one by my side!
2) Communication skills
If your husband has a high EQ, then he knows how to communicate, too.
Here’s another universal truth: the success of a relationship hinges heavily on open and honest communication.
That’s why the happiest husbands don’t just talk. They know how to listen, too.
And when they need to talk about an issue, they do it respectfully. No sarcastic tone, no passive-aggressive shade, no dismissive comments.
3) Respect for his partner
As I mentioned above, happily married men make sure to be respectful. This trait also goes beyond manners, politeness, and communication styles.
See, a happily married man respects his partner as a whole person. A whole other human being with dimensions outside of being his partner.
So that means he supports them in their endeavors, values their opinions, and doesn’t desire to change them or mold them into a specific shape.
In contrast, a man who isn’t quite satisfied might say something along the lines of:
- “Why can’t you be more like [other person’s name]? She knows how to budget well.”
- “That’s ridiculous; don’t you think you’re overreacting?”
- “That’s a waste of time. You should focus on something else.”
- “I think it would be so much better if you lost a little weight.”
I can assure you, being with a man like that…you likely aren’t going to be happily married!
The secret to a lasting marriage is loving your partner for who they are, not who you want them to be. And that’s exactly what a happily married man does.
4) A teammate mindset
In our first decade together, my husband and I didn’t have it easy. But those difficult years actually assured me that I married the right man.
You see, I had quite a lot on my plate – two boys under the age of five, a physically and mentally demanding job, and graduate school. I’d often get home bone-tired, with nothing left to give.
My husband had a full-time job himself, but he was there for me in every sense. I knew he too was tired, but he still stepped in and shared the load with me so that together we could keep our household and family life running smoothly.
This is something that would ring true for happily married men everywhere. They don’t have a sense of entitlement, like their partners should serve them or cater to their needs alone.
There’s an equal give-and-take, and none of that harmful scorekeeping and blaming mentality.
It’s all about seeing the marriage as a boat that both partners should row in sync.
5) Patience and understanding
Part of being a good teammate is being patient and understanding, and the happily married man knows this.
As someone who truly values her alone time, I appreciate just how understanding my husband is about this particular need of mine.
He knows that I regularly need space and time to be alone and doesn’t take it personally.
In fact, he’s all for it – he agrees that I’m so much more agreeable when I’ve had time to recharge on my own.
And when I mess up? He’s equally patient and quick to forgive.
Truly, as Ruth Bell Graham said, “Marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
Another trait I’ve noticed in my husband as well as in our other happily married male friends is that they are flexible.
Wife’s down with the flu? No problem, he’ll call the office and say he’ll be working from home for the day.
She has a last-minute meeting and can’t pick up the kids? Relax, he’ll figure it out.
That flexibility applies to the big stuff, too. For instance, my friend Emily was offered a high-paying job that required her and her husband, Tim, to move to another state.
Fortunately, Tim did the math and concluded that the move would be a good thing for them, never mind if it meant he’d have to leave his job and start anew, too.
This boils down to commitment. A happily married man will prioritize being together and having a relationship that works no matter what happens.
So, when difficult choices and situations come, they can adapt for the sake of growing together with their spouse.
7) Consistent effort
If you’ve ever been married, then you probably know that a happy marriage doesn’t just happen. And that sometimes, baby, love just ain’t enough.
Because the truth is, it takes hard work. Consistent effort.
I mean, consider this – you’re two different people, coming with (sometimes wildly) different psychological makeups and a set of different preferences, habits, and all that.
No matter how in love you are, there will be friction. It would be foolish to think that things will be rosy and sunny all the time.
But when a man is happily married, you’ll see his real, consistent actions to overcome those differences and be your partner every single day.
In short, he’ll absolutely walk the talk!
8) Sense of humor
Does your man make you laugh? And does he laugh as well at your jokes? Does he have a positive attitude all around?
This is a huge indicator of a happy marriage.
Think about it: anyone who isn’t happily married would find it hard to have a sense of humor about marriage and life in general, wouldn’t they?
But a happily married man? Oh, he’d be upbeat. Lighthearted. Find something to laugh about in the hardest of times.
Because he’s got the person he loves most beside him. And big picture-wise, that’s really what matters most. It’s that simple.
Of course, we can’t have a “happily married” list without the big T – trust.
How many times have we heard of “happily married men” cheating? I mean, if they were truly happy, why would they even think of cheating, right?
Well, the answer to that is quite complex. And I suppose it also depends on one’s definition of “happily married.” Some men might claim to be happy in their marriage yet stray for various reasons.
Regardless, if we get down to the core of it, generally, a man who’s truly happy with his partner will be loyal. Trustworthy. Unlikely to cheat.
Not only that, but he’ll do what he can to make his partner feel safe and secure. This includes:
- Doing his best to keep his promises
- Being transparent about his thoughts, feelings, and actions
- Offering a safe space for his partner to be vulnerable
- Respecting his partner’s boundaries
- Protecting his partner’s privacy
- Spending quality time and doing activities together
Does it sound like happily married men are perfect? Absolutely not.
They mess up just like every other guy (and woman), but they do have a certain maturity that helps them step up in their relationships.
That maturity allows them to commit and invest their time, emotions, and effort, which are what give a marriage its legs for the decades ahead.