Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

A note to my daughter: Seven attributes that make a husband worth the trouble (8 items)

Gary Larson, High Five Your LIfe

Jan. 28, 2014

Sweetheart, you are at an age when the possibility of you finding the “man of your dreams” will become more and more of a reality over the next several years.

I know that once you are involved emotionally, it will be hard to offer you any advice that may seem to be negative or non-supportive.

For this reason, allow me to suggest the following seven ”potential husband” attributes that I think you should look for as you filter through the muddy swamp full of men to find the one who sparkles for you.

Gary and Joey Larson have spent much of the last 20 years residing in both Florida and Utah. They have four children, a new daughter-in-law and their first grandchild on the way.

Gary received his bachelor's degree at Princeton University and his MBA at Brigham Young University. He also served a two-year LDS church mission to Chile. He writes a weekly blog found at His recent book, “HighFive Your Life,” shares, through personal stories and experiences, how we can find the silver lining in our day-to-day trials.

1 of 8. Self-confident

I hope he is handsome, but I am more interested in him being happy with who he is. “Tall, dark and handsome” is much less important than “self-confident, content and happy.” If he is the latter, he will have a solid base from which he can grow his love for you.

If he is comfortable with himself in the purest of ways, if his self-confidence is not based on other’s opinions, he will be able to love you in ways that reach far beyond the “tall, dark and handsome” mannequin in the window.

His self-confidence will manifest itself daily because even when things get tough, he will not second guess himself in choosing you as a wife or in his ability to take care of you.

2 of 8. Industrious

We hope he is a man of means, but I am more interested in him being industrious and a hard worker. If he comes to you penniless but is a working man, he will be a good provider, and you will call your poverty a blessing.

It will be temporary, and you and he will work yourselves out of it. The weary bones and muscles that you will endure together as the decades pass by will be a balm to your souls.

I am sure that he will be able to take care of you and your family if he is industrious and a hard worker. An additional benefit you will receive if he is industrious will be that your children will have a better chance of learning how to work and how to relate effort to outcome and expectations.

You must make sure that your children learn the difference between caring for the needy and enabling the lazy. A husband who works hard for his family will help toward this end immensely.

3 of 8. Respectful

We hope he loves you, and we will know it by how much he respects you. The cuddly romantic displays of love are nice but not impressive to your mom and me.

We want to know that he respects you as a person and appreciates the wisdom, intellect and opinions that we have spent our lives helping you develop.

If he respects you, he will not try to dominate you. If he respects you, his love will always stay vibrant and will survive the tough times that are sure to come. If he respects you, he will love you as a person not just as his wife or the mother of his children. If he respects you, he will defend you and your honor and your passions and will always stand amazed at his good fortune to be your husband.

4 of 8. Committed

We hope he loves us, but we are most interested in him loving you and being committed to you more than to us or to his own family. We hope he is a great son-in-law, but we will be content if he is a great father and husband.

We will see you at family gatherings and vacations and look forward to visits with the grandkids, but you will belong to each other and that will become the most important bond in your life.

Decisions on where to raise your kids and how to raise your kids will be a joint decisions between the two of you. Though you may get advice and counsel from the outside, a partner that is committed to finding the solutions that are comfortable for both of you will create more peace and harmony in your relationship.

5 of 8. Joyful

We hope he makes us laugh but will be happy if he makes you smile. There is no reason to live your marriage in agony and stress. Those moments will come but they should be fleeting.

I hope that he loves life. I hope that he is kind to you and to those around him. I hope that you enjoy being around each other and that laughter rings throughout your home even if you find entertainment in laughing at your own mistakes and foibles. I hope that you enjoy just being with him, that a car ride across the country with him would be entertaining to you because of his ability to create happiness amidst the misery.

A smile on your face is worth far more than anything that money can buy.
1. carman
Wasatch Front, UT,
Jan. 28, 2014

Nice list, but you missed the most important attribute of a spouse, be it husband or wife: Kind. If a man or woman is kind, almost all other attributes you want will come out. A kind man or woman is more concerned about others than himself or herself. They will work hard, smile, be respectful, etc. I always put kind at the top of the list.

2. vangroovin
West Jordan, UT,
Jan. 29, 2014

Good reminder for all of us to be our best self. Thanks for sharing! :)

3. TJ411
Saratoga Springs, UT,
Jan. 29, 2014

"And we will love him as long as you can endure being around him and until such time that you throw him back into the swamp. If that time comes, you will know it because he is just no longer worth the trouble." Love this line. So true, been there.

carman he did put kindness, it was just under "Joyful". I agree, kindness is key.

4. Llew40
Sandy, UT,
Jan. 29, 2014

Good, kind, crazy about you. Unfortunately, single, straight men possessing all three of these qualities have been snatched up by age 21. Believe me, I'm 39 and never married, I know. Your daughter is lucky to have a dad like you still married to her mother.

5. ImABeliever
Provo, UT,
Jan. 30, 2014

To: Llew40, I beg to differ with your comment. Just because you have never been married doesn't make you an authority of men. Many men possess all 3 of these qualities and could be either married or single. I have been married, divorced and currently single and possess these qualities as any woman would tell you that knows me. Following the Spirit of God will lead one to the proper companion that has those qualities. Following the Spirit has been good to me lately in dating as well as other aspects of life.