One important characteristic women want in a husband is leadership. I'm not talking dictatorship, like having our very own personal Hitler, rather, I'm talking about a man capable of leading us through life in a successful and healthy way. Leadership encompasses many traits and is extremely attractive to women.

Leadership is attractive to women because it's a sign of masculinity, strength, ability, and courage. A husband's effective leadership provides his wife with security / certainty / safety in marriage (and in life). And what woman doesn't want to feel safe and protected by her man?

Let's look at the characteristics that make up excellent leadership:

Strength: not big muscles (although biceps aren't exactly ugly), but I'm talking inner strength. It takes strength to make yourself vulnerable to express your feelings and discuss hard topics (this gives us women hope, softens our hearts, and makes us fall more in love with you). It takes strength to have will-power and stamina. (this makes us admire you)

Self Discipline: the ability to maintain balance in your life, have control over your tongue and behavior while angry, avoid temptation (affairs, flirting, gluttony, etc), maintain your schedule and limits, and create structure in which to live by. (all of which make us respect and admire you)

Integrity: the quality of being honest, having and maintaining a firm adherence to strong moral principles, and knowing how to and be fair. Integrity doesn't mean being perfect or not making mistakes, but it does mean being incorruptible - it's being sound and solid. (this makes us feel safe with you)

Fortitude: the ability (strength) to persevere in difficult times and it's courage and strength to do the right thing no matter the cost. Fortitude allows us to overcome fear and remain steady in the face of obstacles. (this gains our respect and confidence in you)

Humility: is freedom from pride, arrogance, or conceit. Humility is one of the most beautiful characteristics in a man. There's nothing more repelling than interacting with an egomaniac or someone who believes they are better than others. It's ugly. If you remain humble, even during great success, you will be respected. When you get knocked down, as everyone occasionally does, people will want to help you instead of knocking you down further and relishing in your adversity. Plus, humility can be contagious. (this makes us want to be better ourselves, and it makes us adore and admire you more)

Temperance: the ability to maintain healthy balance. It’s what allows a person to relax and have fun without crossing the line and taking 'fun' too far where mistakes are make, feelings are hurt, jokes inflict pain instead of staying light and funny, or gluttony occurs. (this helps us trust you, believe in you, and feel safe with you)

Prudence: the ability to make good decisions. It's basically practical common sense: doing the appropriate thing at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. It’s also the ability to know and judge whether to say/do something or say/do nothing at all. (all of which make us women believe in you and your judgement, which leads to trust, which leads to feeling safe with you)

Impeccable in Word: this means exactly what General George Patton stated, "Say what you mean and mean what you say." In other words, if you say you're going to do something, do it. Say what you feel and what you need. We women value honesty and really do want to hear how you feel, what your needs and desires are, and it's a great tool to open up communication. Basically, be a man of your word. (this will build trust from your wife)

Wisdom: the soundness of actions, thoughts, feelings, and decisions with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgement. Wisdom helps us love the world and all that's within properly, as a creation of God, rather than for its own materialistic sake. It's also viewing the world, and all within, in light of our final end - knowing that at the end of our life, we have loved and acted in accordance with what is truly important. (possessing wisdom also causes your wife to trust you more, believe in you and your ability, and she'll want to let you lead her through life)

Listening: for listening to be effective and appreciated, it needs to occur with the desire to understand your wife's perspective. Ever hear the expression, "Listen to understand, not to respond"? This means keeping your mouth shut tight (use a muzzle if you must) while you listen to your wife fully explain what she's telling you, then take a deep breath, digest what you've heard (take a day or two if you need to), try to fully understand her perspective, and then respond accordingly. If you interrupt her to defend yourself, prove a point, or argue your case, you aren't really listening to understand. really must to return to the subject within an appropriate amount of time - because if you don't, it sends a negative message = that you don't give a darn. (if you listen to understand, your wife will feel appreciated, respected, safe, and loved. In time, she will relax, be less critical, become more respectful, and your communication will greatly improve)If you need to take a day or two to digest what she's said and don't feel you can respond immediately, tell her you have heard what she said, you need a day or two to think on it, and then you'd like to come back with your thoughts and feelings on the issue at a later date. That way, she won't feel abandoned if you just walk away or say you'll think on it without explaining why. Knowing you will come back to have the discussion lets her know you do care and are wanting to work on your relationship. Now you remember

Sometimes you, as leader of your marriage/home, have to make a decision that is best for your marriage or family unit. In a perfect world, husband and wife would agree on all major decisions - but that is not reality. Just like the President of the United States must make decisions based on the common good of the nation, instead of one individual or a small group of individuals, you must do the same. Not everyone in the family may be in agreement, they may even become angry or hurt, but if it's what is best for the overall marriage/family unit, then you must act accordingly.

Men, listen to me.... if you are a man of integrity and good heart; if your intentions for your wife, marriage and family are good and pure; if this decision will not hurt or damage either of you or your marriage; and if you believe it is the right thing to do, then go with it. Period. Yes, please consult with her. Yes, please take her desires and needs into account. Yes, please respect her and honor her. But go with what you believe is the right thing - IF - it's honestly what you believe to be right (no taking advantage of your leadership position here).

We women would rather have a strong leader than a man that gives in to our every whim. Yep, you read that right. If you're the man who gives in to your wife's every whim, because you're afraid she'll get mad and you feel it's not worth the battle, then you are what we women would call a 'Pansy' - a 'Pushover'.... and that is not attractive! Let me put it to you straight - you're a WUSS. If that's you, your wife is likely not attracted to you, is losing trust in you and your ability, and has little to no respect for you. You'll see this in her actions and wonder where you went wrong, because, after all, you did let her have her way all the time. That is dangerous and it will kill your marriage. Have a backbone - stand up for what you believe is right - and act accordingly. If you need help with this, please reach out - I would love to help you in this area! **and I'd love to help your wife understand her role and the importance of you leading as well** Yes, marriage is 50-50, but men, you gotta step up and take the lead.

So men, if you want to create a beautiful, healthy, and fulfilling marriage with your wife, you must start with being a good leader. All the above mentioned may seem overwhelming and you may have no clue where to start. Let me help by suggesting you take one characteristic and practice it intensely for a week. Then the next week, take on a second characteristic (while continuing to work on the first). Add a new characteristic each week. Alert your wife that you are trying to grow in the area of (fill in the blank) and ask her to give you pointers and to acknowledge when she sees your effort and growth. You can even ask for feedback if you want.

As General George Patton said, "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." Remain humble, dig your heels in, fight the good fight, STEP UP, and grow in leadership - then watch your marriage transform. You will become her Hero!

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