Maybe you like to watch romcoms on Netflix and end up subconsciously comparing yourself to Prince Charming.
Or maybe you can’t help but notice how the other husbands in your circle are all diehard, gentlemanly Casanovas, while you feel like the clueless imbecile whose idea of date night is happy hour at the local Cheesecake Factory.
But guess what?
You don’t have to constantly sweep your partner off their feet with grand gestures to be considered a quality partner.
The majority of solid relationships are maintained through consistent, simple, day-to-day gestures more than anything.
It may sound corny but the little things really do count.
Let’s dive in!
1) You’re an active listener
The great thing about active listening is that it doesn’t require an enormous budget or exceptional skill.
All you have to do is make a bit of an effort.
So if you’re able to mindfully get in the zone when your partner speaks, then you’re ahead of the game.
When you’re an active listener, you don’t interrupt or mentally formulate generic responses while the other person is speaking.
In the context of a relationship, coming up with thoughtful and insightful feedback or questions comes naturally for the active listener, as they have thoroughly absorbed the contents of what they were being told.
Trust me, your partner will know and appreciate the difference.
2) You’re an effective communicator
When you value your relationship, you tend to want to make the extra effort to communicate.
It may be a tired cliche but the truth is, communication really is the bedrock of any functioning union.
Aware of this, good husbands are expressive with their feelings, thoughts, and plans/aspirations for the future.
Sure, this may sound like a given, but trust me, transparent and honest communication is rarer than you think–poor communication is actually a major reason why many relationships fail.
My first ex and I were both horrible communicators.
We both grew up in emotionally guarded environments–which meant we were equally averse to being open about feelings, always preferring to sweep them under the rug, instead of tackling problems head-on.
We were like two headless chickens trying to make a relationship work. But because of our poor communication styles, it was an uphill battle.
And sure enough, after a year of choosing passive resentment instead of voicing our concerns, we ended things permanently.
Knowing my shortcomings, I’ve since made a conscious effort to be a more effective communicator when it comes to relationships, romantic or otherwise.
3) You’re supportive
Instead of scoffing and being dismissive of their spouse’s goals and dreams, perhaps in fear of being left behind, a good husband will consistently show genuine support.
You don’t get envious, you become a pillar of strength, not shy about expressing encouragement and assistance whenever it’s needed.
If it makes your spouse happy, then that is ultimately your priority above all else–further evidence of your caliber as a husband.
4) You perform acts of kindness
As established, not everything has to be a grand gesture.
Sure, the rich guy on reality TV might have gifted his spouse with a luxury sports car or a diamond-studded timepiece, but trust me, his spending power doesn’t make him an inherently better partner than you.
If you find yourself regularly performing thoughtful acts of kindness, like cooking your partner breakfast before a lengthy workday or leaving encouraging notes, this speaks to your affectionate, and gentle nature–some key features of the great husband.
5) You’re patient and understanding
Even in moments of conflict or distress, you have a knack for showing patience, empathy, and restraint.
You understand that agreements are inevitable in life, as are mood swings, so you don’t let your feathers get unnecessarily ruffled by taking things personally.
You don’t let your pride get in the way of potential resolutions.
Your emotionally mature nature allows you to maintain control of these testy but unavoidable situations, which often means quickly defusing tensions.
Trust me, you generally can’t have two emotional loose cannons for personalities if you desire a peaceful and stable relationship.
When I was younger, whenever I’d get into disagreements with my girlfriend at the time, I’d fight back vigorously.
Instead of staying calm and collected and letting things pass, I’d get so riled up by her comments and tone that I’d allow things to spiral out of control.
Once this happens enough times, things can turn toxic.
These days, I take a far more pacifistic approach to disagreements, letting my pride take the backseat.
6) You make quality time a priority
It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of life and the daily grind.
If we aren’t careful, we can end up taking those closest to us for granted.
Therefore, if you make it a priority to seek out quality time with your spouse, nurture your bond, and continually produce core memories together, then I have news for you: you’re, at the very least, an above-average partner.
Keep it up!
7) You respect your spouse
Speaking of taking each other for granted, when we get too comfortable with one another, things can get a little, well, stale.
We might think we know our other half so intimately, that we don’t really have to pay attention anymore.
So if you do the opposite and consistently show respect for your spouse’s feelings, opinions, and individuality, making them frequently feel heard and respected, then hats off to you.
Your spouse is lucky to have you. Expect that flame to keep burning.
8) You’re emotionally available
In an ideal world, a spouse shouldn’t be an entity solely there to provide companionship.
They should also be capable of being there for you emotionally.
As you probably may have gathered by this point, life is hard… and a bit of a rollercoaster too.
So when a curve ball is thrown in your partner’s direction, having that romantic figure who can provide comfort, empathy, and understanding during a complicated time is crucial for marital longevity.
In turn, your spouse will feel more loved and secure in the relationship. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
I get it–when we’re so immersed in something, like a long-term marriage, we sort of lose our objectivity.
Sometimes, it takes a third party to provide a bit of clarity.
So I’m here to provide you with some perspective. If you find that a few of the signs on this list resonate with your actions, then I have no doubt that you’re a better husband than you think.
Remember, life isn’t a Nicholas Sparks novel, every relationship, regardless of how perfect they seem on social media, has its fair share of issues.
But as long as you can tick off a few boxes, then I’d say you’re in a far better position than you give yourself credit for. Don’t let up!