Always seek the best for one another.

How to Choose a Loyal Man for Marriage

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Choosing a mate is not an easy process. In seeking the ideal mate, consider characteristics that promise the best chance for a successful, healthy relationship. Loyalty is necessary for a long-term relationship because it preserves trust between spouses, according to Wall Street Journal health and science columnist Shirley S. Wang in “A Healthy Dose of Loyalty.” To convince a loyal man to marry you, you should also be loyal.

What Is Loyalty?

Loyalty means being faithful to the vows, obligations and people you commit to, according to couples therapist Offra Gerstein in the article, “Loyalty in Relationship Most Important of All” on her website. When you have a child, you also want a mate who is loyal and has concern for your child. A character trait is more effective when it is an internal moral compass, rather than something imposed from the outside. If you and your prospective spouse are loyal to one another because you love each other and are devoted and committed to each other, it’s more likely to govern your decisions than a marriage license.

Recognize the Signs

To choose a loyal man as a mate, you have to know what loyalty looks like. Gerstein writes that a loyal spouse is respectful of the partner’s weaknesses, keeps confidences, sides with the spouse when challenged by those outside the relationship and is present when needed. The loyal spouse never shames the partner, never badmouths the partner to others, and doesn’t make promises he won’t keep. Finally, the loyal spouse makes the partner a primary priority in his life. That loyalty should also extend to children in the family.

Discovering Character

You have to get to know someone to know his character, such as whether he will act ethically in a dilemma or if he will consider the needs of others before his own. Spend time with a prospective spouse and see how he responds to the challenges of a relationship. If he supports you and your best interests when he could support someone else or he stands up for you when someone challenges you, he will probably remain loyal in a relationship. Talk about the importance of loyalty and listen to his comments. If he emphasizes his desire to be a loyal spouse, you will probably find that he will be that spouse.

Meshing Lives

Your and your prospective spouse should share similar core values, including loyalty -- if you want a successful marriage, according to the senior adults interviewed by sociologist Karl Pillemer in The Legacy Project, a project that gathers and condenses the wisdom of elders in book form. Sharing of core values will give your relationship stability and promote the happiness necessary to make it last. Commit to remain loyal to one other and discuss problems that could erode that loyalty, such as not addressing irritating habits or requiring one partner to always give in to the other. If you find it difficult to remain loyal, seek a therapist to help put your relationship back on an even track.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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