What Are The Best Traits To Look For In A Spouse?

Updated March 13, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Shemya Vaughn , LPC, CRC

Choosing a spouse isn't easy. It's a person that you plan on spending the rest of your life with. That means it's important that you consider what that person looks like and the best traits you want them to have. While people can change and grow, you must have a list of character traits you want to make sure your spouse has and find someone with those particular traits.

A Sense Of Humor

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There might not be any studies to prove that it's important to find a spouse with a sense of humor, but it has been found that men and women find humor attractive. An article titled Humor is Sexy says, "Research shows women like men who make them laugh, and men like women who laugh at their jokes."

So, humor may or may not in and of itself make your marriage more successful, but it can help you to be more attracted to your spouse. And attraction is important in a successful relationship. Plus, who wants to spend their entire life with someone that they can enjoy laughing with.


Honesty is important for many reasons in your marriage. Trust is built on honesty, and a successful marriage needs trust.

You want to know that you can trust what your spouse is saying and that they're going to be where they say they're going to be. If your partner is not honest, it won't take long for the trust to leave your relationship. This can leave you in a state of constant paranoia as you never know if you can believe what they're saying. This does not make for a successful marriage.


Integrity goes hand-in-hand with honesty. The dictionary.com definition of integrity is "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty."

You want to find a spouse that has integrity. You want to know that they have morals and values that are guiding their life. This helps them to be a more stable person and also someone that you can trust. Someone that has integrity is someone who follows through and does what they say they're going to do.


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An article on Psychology Today says, "Having empathy can lead to having compassion. When you have compassion for someone else, you want to help them early with veny suffering they're experiencing. That idea is that you cannot have compassion for another individual unless you recognize or understand what they're suffering."

In a marriage, you want your spouse to have empathy for you and show you compassion. You will face difficult times throughout life, and when you have a compassionate partner, it can give you the support you need. However, having a spouse that fails to recognize when you're going through a difficult time can put you down a difficult path.


Self-discipline is an important part of living a stable life. It's what allows a person to acknowledge the areas in their life that they need to correct or need help and then make the changes they need. Self-discipline helps someone to stay in control of their actions and behaviors.

If you marry someone that lacks self-discipline, you may find them doing things that hurt your marriage and making excuses for them. They lack the discipline to make the wise choices that they need you in their life.


Relationships can be difficult, and each one will go through challenging times. This is why it's important to have a determined spouse. You want to find someone that doesn't give up and quit easily when things get hard.

This determination can also help you and your partner reach the goals you set for yourself in your marriage.


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Respect plays a large role in love and marriage. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs writes in his book, Love and Respect, "When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife…when a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband." The book explains how important both love and respect are within a marriage and the cycle that they create for the husband and the wife.

You want to find a partner that you can respect. And, you want to find a partner that respects you and shows respect to other people.


Self-confidence plays a very important part in love and romantic relationships. If your partner lacks self-confidence, they're going to be looking for other sources to fill that role in their life. That means that they might be relying on you to make them feel confident, or they may look to other sources to build themselves up. Either way, this can be a dangerous pattern to set.

When someone has healthy self-confidence, they can accept themselves for who they are, which helps them be healthier in their relationships.

They Can Compromise

Relationships involve compromise. You want a partner that you can have a give-and-take relationship. There should be times when each partner has to be willing to compromise and not demand their way. You do not want to marry a selfish individual that is unable to make a compromise with you.


Faithfulness is crucial to a successful marriage. Some problems and challenges arise within relationships, and most of them can be corrected, and the relationship can heal and move on again. However, infidelity is very hard for relationships to overcome. That doesn't mean it's not possible, but faithfulness should be a trait you look for when choosing a spouse.


Unless you want to be the person who's responsible for doing everything within your household and your relationship, you're going to want to find a spouse that is responsible. You want someone who can see things that need to be done and play a role in doing them.

You also want a partner that's able to take responsibility when they do something wrong. Someone who cannot do this will lack the ability to make changes and improvements to themselves. They will not change something if they cannot admit that they did something wrong.

How To See What Their Best Traits Are

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If you want to know the best traits that your significant other has, watch how they handle other areas of their lives. When people start dating, they generally work to put their best foot forward in their new relationship. This can make it tricky to see what they are like. But if you observe how they respond in other interpersonal communication, such as how they interact in business agreements, how they treat their family members, and how they respond when things don't go as planned, you can get a better idea of what their character is like.

A Word Of Warning About Unrealistic Expectations

While it is important to know the best traits you want to find in a spouse, you must keep your expectations realistic. There is no such thing as a perfect person. That means that if you set your expectations too high, you may never find the person that you're willing to marry. And in the process, you'll probably overlook a lot of people that could have been a great partner for you.

It's important to understand which traits are an absolute necessity in a marriage. You'll want to know which ones, like those above, are necessary and what traits you would love to have in a spouse but aren't necessarily "make it or break it for a marriage. There are some things about your future spouse that you might not be able to stand, but as long as it isn't things that are hurting you or your marriage, they may be things that you can be willing to overlook to have a successful marriage with a great person.

What To Do When You're Stuck

If you want to find a partner and you're confused about what you're looking for, or you've been hurt in the past, and it makes it hard to move forward, consider talking to a therapist. They can help you determine areas that you need to work on healing from and changes in your thoughts that can help you move forward and find a healthy relationship.

If you're in a current relationship but it's having some problems, and you're wondering if that person is the right person for you to marry, couples counseling can help you work through any of these hang-ups that you have to help you determine what your next move is.

And remember, while it's important to know what traits you're looking for in a spouse, it's also important that you work on yourself so you can be a healthy partner for someone as well.

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