They say it's a good idea to make a list of your "must haves" and "can do withouts" regarding a man...and when you find a man where list A outweighs list B, you've got your man.
While that's not bad advice, if you really think about it...those "lists" are quite universal. So the "advice" should be more directed towards specifically realizing what's important in a man/relationship, and what falls into the category of "shouldn't even be considered."
A husband has to be your best friend. Someone you love to talk to, who listens and tries to understand you. Who is not jealous or intimidated by you, or threatened by your successes. They *want* to see you do well, and are happy (truly happy) for you when you are a star. They meet your family with a smile, and want to be present at social gathering...because he likes being with you. And if something is important to you, they take that into consideration when they're making their decisions.
You trust him. You trust that he has your back. He's not bashing you to other people, nor is he trying to sabotage your success. He brings his check home. He pays the bills. He keeps a job. He is a responsible citizen, and knows how to be professional, political, and how to navigate the world in ways you don't...to help maximize your potential.
He teaches you things, about yourself, about life, about the world...that you didn't know before (not from prior boyfriends, not from your own prior friend circle). He opens a whole new world of possibilities for you in your mind's eye. And he's there to keep you on track as you accomplish your greatest good.
This person is sent to you by the Divine...because only She knows the desires in your heart. Only She knows your ultimate purpose in this life. And graciously, She provides for you the tools to realize your greatest good. One such tool...is a husband. A husband sent by the Divine...is your Soul Mate.
This husband, you can rely on. He will be there to raise your children (well) if you die before they're grown. He will not remarry and send them to an orphanage, or oust them from the family. He will be there to feed you soup in the middle of a difficult pregnancy. He is someone (because he listens to you) who will ask relevant and appropriate questions on your behalf...in any situation in which you cannot be present - including decisions regarding healthcare. He's there when you get a scary diagnosis, and you know he'll be there to see you thru should it end up being something that's serious.
He will get up in the middle of the night to change and feed a hungry baby, and let you sleep...night after night after night. He will run to the grocery store at a moment’s notice...for any and everything you might think you'd want. He is the quintessential "good man" who doesn't smoke, gamble, drink to excess, cheat or otherwise disrespect women, believes in a higher Spirit, wants to be a father, shares a parenting philosophy similar to your own, and is emancipated from his parents.
This best friend knows all of your secrets (over time), and loves you anyway. He knows your weaknesses, and sees you at your worst...and loves you anyway. When you're feeling sad...he constantly whispers in your ear how great you are...and "fuck them, you don't need that shit." THEN as you stand in a daze, afraid and unclear, he offers suggestions on where you can go, or what you can do next.
With this guy...you're not sad long. You're not mad long. You're not anxious, worried, or crazy. He is not too proud to apologize, even when he's right. He lets you decorate the house. Your life is calm, and you are at your best with this man. You do not feel physically unsafe or emotionally vulnerable. You are free to be your (true) self, and as you grow and change, he's growing and changing right alongside of you.
As time passes, life reminds you that there are only a few things and people who matter...really. As he is there, holding your hand, facing the world with you. As other "significant" people and things start to disappear...and new significant (little) people appear...you guys hold hands even tighter. You take chances together; make leaps of faith into new worlds. You know, no matter what, your little family unit...will be okay. Together. Periodically, you'll look at each other...and say "we're doing it!!" And you'll celebrate and be happy.
This, is what REAL LOVE is. This is what you want in a husband. Period.
(anything else...shouldn't even be considered)