In 1951, the folks at Gallup Poll asked American women, “What is the perfect husband like?”. The results were compiled in the July edition of Today’s Woman magazine. In addition to wives, Gallup Poll editor William A Lydgate also asked marriage counselors, sociologists, and psychologists the question.
So, what was the top answer? Most considered the most important quality in a husband the ability to be a good provider. Recall that during the mid-century, the role of a woman was much different than it is today. Most women did not work after marriage. Given this fact, it makes sense that their top expectation of a husband would be to work hard to make a good living for his family. In addition to financial security, the ability to provide emotional security was important. This quality took second place. Here’s a rundown of the top answers according to the article.
What is the perfect husband like?
- He’s a good provider
- He understands your need for emotional security and courtship
- He doesn’t try to make you over into Bette Davis or Lady Astor but accepts you for what you are
- He bauls you out when you need it, but he’s loyal
- He keeps himself personally attractive and well-grommed and he avoids doing the little things that annoy you.
- He treats you as a teammate in family finances
- He tries to be interesting enough to keep you awake evenings.
The article is available for download below.
The 71 year old article provides us a better understanding of the needs and desires of mid-century women. What about today? What qualities do women in 2022 consider to be important for a good relationship? A quick google search revealed a different set of answers. Here’s what I found.