What makes a good man?

To all of you who are still waiting, still refusing to settle and holding out hope that he will show up.

Keep it up.

We spend so much time talking about bad relationships, when they are bad. And when they are great, the talk stops. Because there is nothing to report. You just are. Together. Happy. Fulfilled. Satisfied. Rewarded. Generously on all counts.

And it leaves very little to tell your friends when they ask, “How are you?”

The answer is short, “Perfect.”

So, I thought I would write about my man.

About the things that make a good man, a good husband and an amazing father. They are these:

1. He will never hurt you. Not even in the slightest. Seth has never, ever hurt my feelings or made me feel bad about myself or something I have done. He builds me up, makes me stronger and never breaks me down. He has never called me a name or raised his voice at me. Truly. And to those of you who think this may be abnormal, it’s not – I can assure you. Men should never call you names, berate you or make you feel bad about yourself. If they are, then why bother with them?

2. He loves you for who you are. Seth doesn’t want to change me. For the first time in my life, I am with a man who is 100% satisfied with me, myself and I. And he happens to think I am remarkable. Anyone you spend your life with should believe this about you. They should not be trying to change you or morph you into someone you are not.

3. He puts your relationship first by putting you first. Seth encourages me to be independent, follow my own hobbies, interests and passions. How does this impact our relationship? It has a profound effect on making me feel free and happy to do what I want, when I want without guilt. This is huge for us former single moms. For example, if I spontaneously get a call from a girlfriend to go shopping or want to go out for drinks – no big deal.

4. He is an amazing father. Seth is a stay at home dad, a choice we made together, and one he will write about soon. But he truly is an incredible father. More on his awesome, mad dad skills here. 

5. He forgives you. Clearly there are some unforgivable things. My unforgivable things like cheating, lies or abuse. But most of the trials and tribulations between you, as a couple, are forgivable and should be. A good man knows how to forgive, drop it and not harbor resentment toward you for messing up. 

I take all of this for granted in assuming you all know what qualities good men have. But, how would you if you have only had bad relationships in the past? I know I didn’t have a fair litmus after my ex-husband. I thought articulating, or attempting to articulate what makes a good man in tangible terms you can apply to your own life may help in some way.

Hang in there. He will come. You owe him to yourself.

For those of you who are happily re-married, what do you love about your men? What is the mark of a great man and a great relationship? I know everyone is different, but I do believe many things are universal, such as, love, trust, adoration and commitment.

Please leave a comment, I want to know what you think!

xoxo,
Alaina

14 Responses to What makes a good man?
  1. Amanda Reply

    I think you are spot on. I am not re-married but am engaged. I’m thinking of ending it though. My fiance has hurt me a couple of times in the last 6 months where I was just straight out bawling my eyes out and there was one instance where he kind of “slapped” me on my cheek. It wasn’t a full on blow and it didn’t physically hurt(not an excuse, I realize). He said he was being playful but there wasn’t anything in the conversation prior to the “slap” that would suggest any playfulness- it was in front of friends too which was humiliating. I have less trust in him now since that incident and since he’s hurt my feelings so deeply before. He often says I’m amazing and he’s great with my daughter who adores him. But #3 is also a problem. I am incredibly independent, he’s not. He like to do EVERYTHING together and sometimes I just like to do stuff alone. If I even suggest it, he gets upset and whines about wanting to come with me but it’s completely okay if he wants to go do stuff alone, it’s only when *I* want to do stuff alone. It’s kind of annoying actually. But I brush it off because I love him and he loves me. He’s the only other guy I’ve dated since my ex and I were together so I’m often at a crossroads when I wonder what are things that couples are supposed to work through and what are things I need to walk away from. My situation has been very similiar to yours, Alaina- emotionally abusive and absent ex, now engaged to someone who’s never given me butterflies and now whom I’m having doubts about marrying… think I already know the answer, but are these things that are red flags?? Le sigh. Anyhow, I love the new blog and I love your love for each other. As one other reader put it, you can feel it through the words on the screen and that’s a beautiful thing.

    • alaina Reply

      Amanda,

      I think if you are having any doubts at all about marrying someone, that you shouldn’t. There is no harm in waiting to marry him if you are unsure, but plenty of harm in marrying him – as we all know.

      Do what feels right in your heart. Sending you strength and hugs! I know it’s not easy.

  2. Kim Reply

    I absolutely needed to read this today. I have had no luck in finding the guy I feel I deserve in the last 3 years. I’ll date someone a few months, maximum, before ending it because I am already “settling” on too many things. I want and deserve that man you described and I will be happy alone until he comes into my life. There are some times where doubt will creep in – maybe I’m being unrealistic in my desires. After reading this, I feel strong again. I will continue on until my true man and I cross paths.

  3. Sharon Reply

    It’s interesting isn’t it? What you didn’t know you were missing. My marriage wasn’t abusive in any way at all and I think that kind of made it harder to end it. It just “wasn’t quite right”.

    I’m in a new relationship now and am told everyday that I’m beautiful. At first that was so hard to hear, my partner jokes about the amount of time I spent looking at the floor when we first got together because every time he gave me a compliment I’d look down embarrassed.

    He is so different to my ex I could rave on for hours but to put it simply, we just fit. I still don’t think I’m beautiful but it warms my soul to know he thinks I am and he accepts me with all my emotional baggage, my children and their quirks.

  4. Stacia Reply

    So….I read Seth’s first, and am elated, and then I read yours, and I sit here with the tears flowing. I believe you, but it’s the doubt and crappy stuff that comes up from the past of the ones that we may have thought were the “ones”…..and I wonder….Could I ever be as lucky as those that are? Yes..I know this, but it just didn’t happen yet. I still like reading happy stories….xoxo

  5. Jaci Reply

    Former single mom here, happily remarried – just had our 10 yr anniversary!
    Key for me: trust, honesty, and security in knowing that when the going gets tough (and it always does at some point) we’ll face it together and he’ll always be standing by my side.

    And a sliver lining for us “2nd time arounders”…we can fully appreciate a healthy relationship, bc we’ve all been through troubled ones. I never take my husband or our marriage for granted, I know I’m so lucky.

    So happy you’ve found your Good Man!

    • alaina Reply

      YES> these are wonderful additions, Jaci. Thank you! So happy you have found happiness again and couldn’t agree with you more – we appreciate each other so much. It’s incredible.

  6. Sheila Reply

    It’s great to read this from the “other side”. I have never, ever been in a relationship where any of your points applied and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how sad that is. I didn’t grow up with great marriage role models, and honestly, I was raised by extremely emotionally abusive parents so for a long time I had a negative view of myself. I believe we all deserve happiness in a relationships, so go for all of you who have found it. Our spouses are supposed to fortify us, not tear us down.

  7. Rose Reply

    I’m in a relationship at the moment, six months in. For the first time in my life, I don’t feel a little nagging feeling that something’s ‘missing’. I’m definitely in love. But I have a hard time trusting men. He’s a really good guy, but often painfully honest (I don’t even think he has the capacity to lie) in a way that makes me feel uneasy sometimes. For instance, he says of course he finds other people attractive, or looks at other women, but he would never do anything about it. I guess that’s life, and that’s men?! I don’t know. The trust is an issue. How would you feel if Seth said/thought those things Alaina? Or am I a fool for asking him about this in the first place and just pushing for problems because of my past?

  8. Diana Reply

    I love this post. I was a single mom for 8 years and just married to the love of my life in July. For me its as simple as he loves me exactly like I need to be loved and I can see it by just looking at him.we struggle for moments not days……I adore the blessing I have been given and thankful I am 100% sure I am not alone anymore!

  9. Holly Reply

    I read number 1 thinking, oh my god that exists? I am in an emotionally abusive relationship and trying to get up the nerve and money to leave…I want those things so desperately! One step at a time. Love your blogs, they are helping me:-)

  10. Ivy Reply

    I fear relationships….and I pray about it. I do not go on dates. I am waiting for a sign…I will not put myself out there for men that think they can get some because I am a single mom…he has to ask me…I don’ t think women should run after men…

    • alaina Reply

      This is true… I don’t think they should either. I hope you can overcome your fear of relationships. Sounds awful to be so fearful.

  11. Sara Reply

    I love this and I think I may have found something great. We’re only a couple months into it but as of now he definately has met all of the above criteria!! I’m loving it, for the first time ever, I’m totally me around someone and he adores it. He makes me feel special in the little things he does, he’s himself all the time around me and doesn’t go overboard trying to impress me. The most amazing thing with him is how much he RESPECTS me. He respects my thoughts, my emotions, my body, my passions, my fears….100% respect. He’s also an amazing father to his kiddos, hasn’t really spent time with mine yet, we’re taking that slow. I’m totally smitten at the moment! Oh yes…and he took me on my first ever Harley yesterday. :) Love your blog and have followed since the start of my “singlehood”.

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