Monday, September 22, 2014

How To Evaluate A Prospective Husband

Some time ago someone asked me this question, so here comes:

First of all, I'm not a marriage consultant and don't pretend to have all the answers. If you choose to follow my advice, you are doing it at your own risk. I'm not even going to follow the path of some other lady bloggers who spend a considerable amount of time bragging about what great marriages they have and how their husbands are all super alpha males and the like. I will only say that personally I think I did fairly well:)

One of the most perilous ideas of modernity, is, imo, the idea of a "soulmate" or one person specially designed for you, the only one who can make you happy. Some women keep waiting for their soulmates well into their forties and even fifties while their girlfriends get married and become mothers and grandmothers. Others hook up with total losers but can't separate from them being convinced that the said loser is really their soulmate. (Please notice that I'm not talking about divorce here!).

There is no such thing as a soulmate. Since I don't like gossiping, I'll give you an example from classic literature: Sense and Sensibility. Marianne Dashwood is convinced that the handsome cad Willoughby is her soulmate only to marry Colonel Brandon two years later. The author makes fun in the book of her romantic notions that you can only fall in love once in your life and if things don't work out there is no second chance.

While looking for a husband, there is one important thing to keep in mind: you are not just choosing a romantic partner, you are choosing the father of your children. Since many traits are inheritable, if you choose a guy who is stupid, lazy and violent, the chance is big that your children will be the same. That's why the choice of the marriage partner is one of the most important decisions of your life.

You also should have an idea in mind of what your future married life would look like. If you are ever planning on being a housewife/staying home with your children, you should evaluate the provider capacities of every potential suitor . I'm not saying you must become a gold-digger and marry a man for his income alone, however, the most important lesson I was taught in my youth was to avoid men who are not capable or willing to be breadwinners.

Avoid starving artists, eternal students, mama´s boys,  and lazy unemployed bums. Avoid men with serious financial problems, anyone involved in criminal activities, alcoholics, junkies and the like. Also avoid any man who is psychologically unstable and/or violent. Don´t imagine yourself a Mother Teresa and try and save these guys from themselves. It´s simply not worth it. Aim for a reliable if somewhat boring accountant.

This said, you must take a long look in the mirror and be realistic about yourself and your standards. If they are too high, the chance is that you will spend your life alone dreaming of your knight on a white horse. There are certain things which handicap women wishing to marry well, for instance, being overweight is certainly not a bonus. Another thing which often ruins your marital prospects, is having children outside wedlock, so please don´t do it. I´m not saying it is impossible for such a woman to marry at all, but her choice of marriage partners will likely be smaller (and of lower quality).

Another thing which is practically taboo nowadays is the idea that you should marry someone equal or slightly higher to you in social status/class. We are all supposed to pretend that class doesn´t exist, but unfortunately it does. Most people think that class chiefly refers to the amount of money the person makes, but it isn´t true. It´s much more than this. It´s education, the social position of your parents, your whole way of life, the books you read, the friends you have, the school you went to etc etc.

The problem is that when two people come from totally different backgrounds, their life together will have all sorts of problems, which are best avoided if you aim for your social equal as a marriage partner. The same is true about cultural, ethnic and religious differences. Again, I´m not saying that it couldn´t work, only that it will bring all sorts of difficulties. Ask yourself if you are ready to deal with them before you get `unequally yoked`.

The above relates more to the material side of things, if you are interested in how to evaluate a man´s character, check this post:

Choosing a Mate

And also this one:

Mrs Andelin On Men Who Won´t Earn The Living

Well, that´s about it, I hope it will be helpful!


  1. Yes, as you said what your husband is will be reflected in how your children are and act like. If your husband is a sloppy in his eating habits how can you teach and correct our children on habits if Father does not think it worthy? Just one example. Also I have heard many a young women say that to marry outside of her religion is fine as he agrees she is to keep her's and he his. Well how are the children to be raised? Even if one of them tiakes custody of this obligation and takes them to their church faithfully it is still a split household. How is the parent to go to the 'family' activities at their church without the other partner? What do you say when your children as you why you believe this way and the other says that is wrong? Every young couple I have known with or without children have found later to their regret that a two religion marriage is a big problem. In marriage we must compromise off and on to keep a balance but to compromise on the most important things is wrong. Thank you for writing this post. I come here knowing you understand the importance of home. You are one of the havens in this crazy world we live in now a days! :-) Sarah

  2. You are welcome, Sarah, and thank you for your kind words! Unfortunately, many young people are more guided by their emotions and biological urges, than by common sense, it's only as we get older we gain maturity. That's why in less "enlightened" times the courtship process was often overseen by the parents. That's why it's also important to teach the children good values and stress the importance of choosing wisely.