The 8 Different Types of Husbands—Which One Did You Marry?
Can you identify which personality type you married? Is he still the ideal man or has time changed him? Like most things, there are good and bad sides. Learn more about your husband, the challenges that come with knowing him, and how to communicate with him so that you can manage better, and still have a happily every after.
The Ideal Man
He may have the 4Ps—priority, provider, presence, and peaceful heart—to qualify as The Ideal Man.
Putting family first means that he is able to prioritize his loved ones above others. He is the leader of his family. A provider is one who works hard for his family and has ambitions for them. Someone who is present and can communicate well, connects with his wife, is constantly available, gives and welcomes trust, shares beliefs, values and even hobbies. A husband with a peaceful heart is faithful, committed, patient, and loving. He brings about peace in the family as much as he is able to receive peace from others.
This picture paints the perfect man you may be wishing you have. In truth, nobody is perfect and the Ideal Man may truly be elusive. Relative to the notion of the Ideal Man, your husband may probably fall under any of the following categories, or a combination thereof.
He is quiet, kind, and courteous. He says yes to almost everything and likes to please others at the expense of his own well-being. The Grunter is nonconfrontational and avoidant. He would rather retreat than confront issues. Acquiescing is expressed through a grunt or an unclear expression. He is uncertain about his boundaries.
He is unaware of how much he is being stepped on, still basking in the idea of being liked by many. Underneath this seeming kindness and conformity is seething anger.
He loves his family and would like to do the best for them. But because he agrees mindlessly, performing according to what he has committed himself to is a problem. The Grunter is a sensitive and fragile person, unable to distinguish between the “yes” that truly means “yes,” and the “yes” that means “no.”
Recognize The Grunter’s other unspoken languages: body movements and positions plus changes in tone of voice and inflections. Understand the meaning of his various languages to help both of you to know each other better. Clarify or ask him gently what he means by his grunting.
Convert and turn his body language into spoken language to enhance open communication. Learn to develop assertiveness skills. Encourage by practicing to say “No” in front of the mirror daily. Assure that it is okay to speak up for himself.
The Grunter is afraid to be known for who he really is, thinking that he will not be accepted if found out. Your comfort and care will help him to get out of his shell.
The Angry One
Anger is his safe place. He uses it to show irritation and frustration. It is an expression of assertiveness (to get his way) and aggressiveness (to dominate). Anger is also an effective tool to get things done or to relieve himself of stress although remorse and regret follow thereafter. Strangely, he may also use anger to show love and care.
Underneath this façade of anger is powerlessness hatched in his growing-up years. He constantly looks for “opportunities” to express himself. Unknowingly, he repeats the same pattern and affects others in the same way. In time, the Angry One is able to establish a belief system that makes him angrier at himself and at others.
Learn to be calm and confident when he is angry; this will help him to calm down. Showing that you are not reactive to him will help both of you. Do not react to his anger. Usually, it is not about you. Speak calmly about your frustrations when he is angry, and this will help him to stop being so. Say “no.” Be unwilling to speak with him when he is angry.
Empower him to recognize that it is okay to be angry, but he does not need to be hurtful of others. Learn to express himself truthfully. Knowing different ways to calm oneself down will help him. Disavow the negative beliefs about himself to help him to be less angry. Pause. Taking a break even for a few seconds when he is about to be angry may calm him down.
If it becomes necessary, both of you can seek professional help for effective anger management. This way, anger does not have to be a vicious cycle within the marriage.
The Hunter appears to be the Ideal Man. Your life together is very good, and you are well respected in your community. All is well except that he maintains a secret life nobody knows about. He constantly makes strange disappearances that goes unexplained.
When your husband cannot give a straight answer, leaves his whereabouts unknown, or gives an inaccurate accounting of his resources, then it is time to watch out. There could be more than what you really know.
There are many types of secret lives. It could be another woman, an addiction, gender confusion or sexual perversion. Inevitably, there will be slip-ups that can lead to exposure.
Here are some ideas to journey through this:
For both of you:
Seek professional help. The situation is complicated, and you will need guidance. Seek support from friends and family. You cannot do this on your own. There will be a lot of confusion, and you need help. Choose the people who you can confide in. Accept that you have a crisis. Being in denial will not help the situation. Your husband has a weakness and needs all the help he can get.
Stop yourself from wanting to know more. Too much information can hurt more than help. Recognize how you have contributed to the situation and stop such actions. Accept that this will take years of recovery and healing.
Internally, the Hunter is quite weak, unable to find contentment in himself and his situation. He needs to control other people, something that he cannot do to himself. Your help is vital.
A man who needs multiple relationships believes that when there is trouble in one, he can find relief in the next one. The Lover is unable to recognize the pain and agony he is inflicting on the people around him. He needs love and it does not matter who the supplier is. Usually, this need for love has become sexual conquests in adulthood. He acts like a single person who is proud of these achievements.
The Lover’s motivation is to escape from realities that he cannot handle. He has learned to numb his conscience, unable to feel compassion for others. He may or may not be a good provider for the family, since he is really mostly concerned about himself. Sad to say, the situation can continue to spiral downwards unless someone steps up and seeks for change.
Here are some tips to journey through this with a TL husband:
For both of you:
Seek professional help. Marital and individual therapy is important as you may be going through an emotional rollercoaster and needs guidance on how to sort things out. Likewise, your husband ought to understand why he behaves the way he does. Support from trusted friends is necessary. Do not disrupt the family life. You and your children need a normal life routine despite the circumstances.
Recognize when the situation is getting out of hand. Your denial is a form of support of his womanizing ways. Accept your emotions. Anger, betrayal, feeling deceived, loss of trust and many other negative feelings are normal, given the situation.
Know that your husband is emotionally starved and needs a good dose of healthy loving. Prepare to move forward when difficult decisions have to be made.
Different types of men
The Critical Commentator
The criticism can be directed at anyone, including you. He is trying to impose his perceptions on others. He need things to be done according to his standards. Experiencing constant anxiety, the Critical Commentator simply cannot stop himself from wanting to control others. You may want to see this as his cry for help.
Here are some tips for you to journey through this:
Do not take things personally. Not everything he says applies to you. Know that before he can be critical of others, he is much more critical of himself. Stop yourself from arguing with him. You cannot argue with perception. Tell him how hurtful he has been to you and to others. Take notice when he starts to criticize so he can be helped to stop from doing so. Expect respect. He needs to be considerate of others, not only of himself. Appreciate that anxious people can also be efficient in getting things done.
For both of you:
Learn communication skills together. Healing words and actions can be part of your lifestyle instead of negative comments and criticisms. Negotiate your standards. Help him to understand that his standards do not need to apply to everyone. Understand that your perceptions do not have to be the same with each other. Such divergence does not imply you mean less to each other. Explore. He may have unresolved past traumas. Identifying, sorting out and working through his personal history may help him recover from his traumas. Seek help if and when necessary.
The Critical Commentator can be difficult to live with. If you can learn to focus on his needs and insecurities, the situation may change for the better.
He makes you laugh in playful abandon. You intently wait for his punch lines. He makes light of everything, forging a bond that keeps you together. He also pokes fun at himself, making him good company. His humor widens both your perspectives and easily smoothens over your differences. Your marriage is constantly salved by his jokes, and that helps to make it last. You enjoy him immensely and know that life is easier because of him. Your laughter together proves to be a buffer against stress, helping you to overcome problems. It also helps you both to be creative. Laughter is also a way of diffusing tension.
Here are some ways to journey through this:
For both of you:
Good clean humor. Make sure the jokes are not deprecating of others. Look at the truth. While humor is great, it cannot be used as a hiding place to not handle the issues at hand. Selfish reasons. If humor is used to promote the self, then perspectives will have to be changed. Mask. Is humor a mask for other emotions, such as anger? Or is it sarcasm?
Humor is a bonus in marriage and yet it serves so many positive purposes. You need to be appreciative of his skills and support him on this further. After all, making people laugh requires a lot of intelligence and timing. If a TC man has some qualities of an Ideal Man, then you have to learn how to keep him forever.
He has big plans and loves to talk about them a lot. His imagination is strong as to how his family’s life will be once he has achieved success. But the distance from the present situation to the future is so vast, and he does not even know how to get there. Most of the time, he is busy mentally estimating and calculating how things will happen. Or, he is in his room asleep or just watching television. In truth, he is dependent on others for support. Such is his daily life—the days roll into one another without any achievement or change. His family waits in futility for the things he says he will do or make happen. On a regular basis, he hates himself more. He is trapped in a cycle of dreaming big and his incapacities. He needs help. He is probably depressed.
Here are some ways to journey with a TD:
Recognize that your husband has problems, which are beyond his capacity to understand or resolve. Seek help to confirm what he has—is it a medical ailment or psychological/emotional condition— and what he needs to resolve it. Presenting facts is a better option than judging or criticizing. If you express your needs, he may try to respond to them. Encouragement is what he needs the most rather than being put down for being unable to function.
He pressures himself enough and does not need more from anyone else. His life is all mental activities comprised of dreaming, planning, being bored, sleeping, judging and criticizing himself. He is entrenched in this vicious cycle and he needs help to get out of it. You can start the journey towards healing for all of you.
The Mixed Profile
In reality, there is hardly a case that falls neatly under a single category from the above list. Rather, each one is a combination of the different categories, with one type coming out as more preponderant than others. You probably might be able to relate to any of the following combinations:
IM/CC/AO: He is a good provider, loves his family and will do anything for them. But he is critical of everyone or anything. He expresses himself in a raised angry voice. Everyone feels loved by him but is also afraid of him.
IM/TH: An ideal family man, successful and a good example to many. He has a regular schedule of being out on Thursdays, claiming he needs space for himself. Later on, a police raid catches him in a sleazy motel with several partners.
AO/TG: He is a sweet and likeable person, always agreeing to everything. But every so often, he explodes even without provocation. Then, everyone has to get out of his way to avoid getting his ire.
IM/TC/TL: Humor is a bonus for this family. Not only is the husband successful and loving, he can make everyone laugh. But he is also not shy to talk about his escapades with women, even constantly bragging about them.
IM/TG: It seems the spouse of this person has got the best of everything —a loving and caring husband who works hard for the family. He is agreeable to everything that his wife or even other people want. Deep inside though, he is resentful and sensitive to every small offense that comes his way.
While it may seem easy to choose from the list and pile comments and judgments on your husband, you may be surprised to know that this very same list is actually gender-neutral. This means that it applies to women as much as it does to men. You, therefore, need to choose and identify your own type, and see how much your combinations work for and/or against yourself and your husband.
OUR LOVE & SEX EXPERT
Zenia Lim-Panahon is a director of the Philippine Association of Christian Counselors. For more than 15 years, she has been coaching individuals, couples, and families. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.