What Really Makes A Manly Marriage

couple kissing under blankets

Being a ladies’ man, never settling down, not being a one-woman man….

For too long, these “values” have been allowed to crowd into the national consciousness as the definition of what is manly. That same conqueror mentality is what creates temptation in marriage. Often the desire to stray, while still fully the decision of the man, is also fed by societal images.

What are the headlines about celebrity marriage? Fourteen years for Broderick and Parker, or 72 days for Kim and Kris?

Many people think that the media glamorizes train wreck celebrity marriages and infidelity by reporting on them, but they miss one key point:
It’s being reported because it is not normal.

Here’s a parallel. There are millions of houses in the United States. A few catch fire each day and end up on the local news. Millions of others do not. That doesn’t mean it’s best that houses burn. It means that for a few unfortunate families, they experienced a departure from the norm.

There are plenty of other misperceptions about marriage in the public consciousness, which is precisely what author Mort Fertel discusses in his blog on the dynamics of marriage.

Just as there is a right way and a wrong way to meet women, there are better choices in how to maintain the marriage that could result from that meeting.

You communicate with your spouse. You care about your marriage, and you work to make it strong from the moment you meet your wife. If you have kids, you give them your full measure of devotion.

Unfortunately, these things get flagged as un-manly, as fluffy stuff for guys who don’t drive fast cars or follow sports. So here’s what makes them truly manly after all.

Communicating With Your Spouse

What are you afraid of? Hearing her thoughts on things? Despite some of the caveman thinking that exists, your wife is an equal partner in the marriage, and that means her input is on an equal footing with yours.

Remember that communication goes two ways. It’s not just about giving in to what she wants, it’s also about voicing what’s important to you and asserting your beliefs. From there you find a way to make things work for both of you.

Caring About Your Marriage

Your wife is an amazing treasure to you. She is worth hanging on to, yet some people think it’s manly to harbor enough apathy that you can walk away from the woman you once pledged your lifelong devotion to.

The fact is that there is nothing more masculine than being able to hold on to what is important to you, and there’s no truer measure of good old-fashioned male character than keeping your word.

Being Devoted To Your Kids

Somehow, hands-off fathering has gotten awfully trendy. Comedians think it’s great fun to have no idea what your kids’ birthdays are, what they want to be when they grow up, or when they next see the dentist.

Yet those same men think that their spawn are by far superior to that of lesser men. Just watch a little league game if you doubt that.
How is it possible that those two philosophies coexist? Either your kid is proof of your awesomeness, or your kid is a disruption to the silence in your house. You can’t have it both ways.

One of the studs of the NFL right now is Peyton Manning. His dad–a tough, old-school quarterback himself–was also a hugging, supportive, in-the-bleachers dad to Peyton and his two brothers. All three have turned out to be successful men, by no means “sissies.”

Being a masculine dad is being a good dad. The two traits don’t just tolerate each other, they support each other.

A marriage has two partners of equal value, who should exhibit a similar level of gender character. The noise and confusion of society can’t change that. Real men–and real women–maintain healthy, loving marriages.


You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Make It Masculine: Bathroom Design Ideas for Bachelors (and Marrieds!)

ID-10069973 Couple in bathtub
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you are designing a bathroom for a male client or you are a man overseeing your own bathroom décor, rest assured you have many more design options today than the traditional “stark minimalist masculine” bathroom of years past. The truth is some of the world’s most innovative, creative and popular interior designers are men. It’s possible that you can have very masculine bathroom décor while enjoying luxury and style in your personal bathroom space. You may enjoy one or more of these popular styles for masculine bathrooms — or you may choose to incorporate ideas from each style to create a hybrid décor distinctly yours.

Theme Color

Often the best place to start — before even selecting your overall décor concept — is with simple elements such as color. For instance, if you favor a traditionally masculine dark or earth-toned color palette, add in a splash of a “theme color” such as red, forest green, bright blue or yellow. You may want to use this theme color just once — such as with a piece of wall art — or several times, such as with accent towels and area rugs.

Innovation Meets Function

One way designers are currently approaching bathroom décor for men is to incorporate innovation with functionality. For instance, if you love having the latest gadgets, why not create the most modern bathroom imaginable — complete with flat-screen television embedded into the wall space, a European sauna that includes a shower and seating area, a surround sound stereo speaker system that connects to your iPod and similar elements? For best results, choose a black-and-white or neutral-tone theme that is easy to maintain so you can spend maximum time enjoying all your gadgets in your ultra-modern bathroom.

Earthy and Sustainable

One new bathroom trend that is gender-neutral is the sustainable bathroom. You can install eco-friendly options for the bathroom vanity, the fixtures and furnishings and the lighting. If you have kids, this is a great way to teach them about what the planet needs and how each person can help. If you are single, it just feels great — and makes for interesting conversation with guests. You can select certain sustainable pieces (such as a low-flow toilet or “green” light bulbs) or go all out and completely “green up” your bathroom space with recycled materials and bamboo storage cabinets. Either way, the result will be a bathroom space that you can feel great about.

Classic Rustic

With the classic rustic bathroom style, you can incorporate elements like reclaimed wood, an original iron stove (for heating the bathroom in winter), natural stone instead of a traditional counter and floor tiles and lanterns rather than modern light fixtures. This gives your bathroom an early American log cabin look and feel that combines well with the more masculine décor overall.

Combination Styles

There are several popular combination styles that maintain a masculine atmosphere while incorporating elements of decadent luxury.

Art deco with minimalist modern. Incorporate the traditionally masculine minimalist (or functional) bathroom space with a few art deco touches — a cubist painting, a stained glass window (also helpful if you want more privacy), bolder tile or wallpaper designs, or an innovative light source.

Renaissance with Early American. If you love early American and European clawfoot tubs, Renaissance torches and period oil lamps yet also enjoy the simple living of early American settlers, try adding a signature piece from each period — such as lighting your bathroom with a series of electric wall-sconce torches and putting a clawfoot tub in the room’s center as the design focal point.

Zen with sustainable. With this décor theme, combine open shelving made of sustainable bamboo materials with the elements of a traditional Zen space — running water, natural stones, clear glass paneling in the shower. Use black with neutral tones for the color palette.

These five bathroom décor concepts easily reflect masculinity while still adding in all the luxury, creativity, innovation, beauty and enjoyment a well-designed bathroom space has to offer.

About the Author: Matthew Long lives in a penthouse with two full baths. During a renovation last year, he decided to go with a luxury-meets-minimalist approach that earns him rave reviews from house guests.