Father Pat Connor has written the book on love.
My husband and I attended Pre-Cana (a Catholic marriage prep course) because of our moms. We were both raised in the Roman Catholic faith, and it was important to them that we be married in the church. In the end, however, we ended up hiring a celebrant to do the deed, as we were both uncomfortable with organized religion. I must admit, though: those Catholics do know a thing or two about love.
Three years later, we still sometimes turn to our Pre-Cana workbook. It provokes discussion, and enables us to communicate about our marriage in ways that never would have occurred to us without it (um, rationally and maturely).
But you don't have to sit through a marriage prep course in order to glean valuable lessons from a wiser-than-thou Catholic priest. Because Father Pat Connor — a Catholic priest for more than 50 years — has written the book on love. In Whom Not To Marry, Connor shares tips on what you should be looking for in a husband. Below, five tips that are dead-on.
1. He should make you feel good about yourself.
Does he make passive/aggressive comments about your eating habits? Take small jabs at your wardrobe choices? Put you down in front of friends and family simply to get a laugh? If you're with someone who's slowly chipping away at your self-confidence, for the love of God, run. You deserve better than that. Specifically, you deserve someone who makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, beautiful and amazing, smart and accomplished ... loved.
2. He should accept responsibility for his actions and know how to apologize.
Fighting is healthy. Arguments force both halves of a couple to address the things they're unhappy about within their relationship, and move toward making things right. But if one person always has to win, or consistently insists on believing that he did no wrong, there's no room for improvement, and the other half of the couple will eventually grow resentful. Not the healthiest foundation to build a relationship upon.
3. He should get along with your friends and family.
If a man consistently clashes with those who are most important to you, pledging your life to him will only lead to more agitation down the road. Conversely, if a man seems to easily get along with everyone you introduce him to, you've probably got a keeper. Such social ease can be a sign that he is unrelaxed and undemanding, warm and friendly, and open to making the people in your life a part of his.
4. He should respect you.
If he doesn't value your opinion, is unwilling to compromise because his way is the only way, and nitpicks over everything you do, you just have to ask: what does he see in me? A marriage should be built upon mutual respect. Look for someone who actually appreciates you, and everything you bring to the table.
5. He should be patient.
Maya Angelou once pointed out that "you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas lights." So true. If he repeatedly loses his sh*t over the small things, how's he going to handle the important stuff? And what will happen when he loses patience with you? On another note, both of you should have the patience to really get to know each other before tying the knot. Because issues like the ones above only tend to emerge after the honeymoon period.