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Husband or dad qualities?

Dating a single parent when you don’t have children of your own can be tricky.  Some people are not accustomed to adjusting their lives around tiny humans.  My friend Dana said that she was drawn to Rick because he seemed to be such a great Dad.  He was present in the lives of his two daughters and made it clear to her that they were his priority.

When Rick shared with Dana the reasons his marriage ended, she was surprised to hear him talk about what an awful husband he was.  He told her that being a Father to his daughters came more naturally to him then being a husband to his wife.   In other words, the qualities that make him such a great Dad are not necessarily relevant to being a husband.

That is an interesting idea.  I have always thought that if a man was a good father, he would likely make a husband who is loyal, protective, and kind.

Do you think that the husband and father roles are so different? Do you believe the same applies to women? A nurturing and kind mother can also become a good wife?  What qualities would be most important to you if you are looking for a husband/wife and mother/father to your kids?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

258 comments Add your comment

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
6:03 am

i’m WIDE awake :( i have something heavy on my mind, and i’m not feeling well. did some back exercises for the first time, now nauseated. i forgot to drink some water before hand. took some advil, ate spinach dip spread on french bread, drinking warm tea now. feel so much better.

this topic is my life. jr’s dad is awesome in every aspect regarding our son. child support is paid timely, college education is paid in full (jr is only 13yrs old), he never misses a visit, he buys jr whatever he wants and needs, he’s very loving and caring, and supports jr in all activities.

on the other hand, i cannot imagine being married to that man even though i do love him. he is very selfish, and will remind you in a heartbeat what he has done for you. i ain’t never in the 8 yrs being with him asked him for a dime! i do regret that btw. all of our arguments were red flags, to where whenever the subject of married came up i was like uh hmmmmm… not now, not soon, maybe one day.

he is always in my prayers, him and his family, and i have thanked him recently and a couple of times in the past for being the best father. we use to text each other on mother’s and father’s day wishing each other the best and thanking one another, but our disagreements on certain issues have became so intense that that has stopped. now because of his threats, he’s a Lt, i have blocked him from contacting me for life. no communication, only in court if we ever have to go back. Pumpkin has a cell phone, so they’re good on keeping in touch.

I’ve learned and read that every relationship is not meant to work. ppl come in your life for a lifetime or a season. and finally i’m okay with that. i’m working on one day to never blog about him again. it’s getting pretty old.

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
7:10 am

GOOD Thursday Morning MIA!!! :-) *Got a meeting at 8am*

This is a great topic! As a single mom, I definitely desire a man with qualities to be a great husband as well as a great father. Committed, faithful, honest, caring, protecting, even-tempered are just a few qualities that I expect for him to have.

I’ll be back after my meeting.

Button

June 27th, 2013
8:22 am

I have always thought that if a man was a good father, he would likely make a husband who is loyal, protective, and kind.—-I would think the samething too.

Good morning!

DreamsMaterialize

June 27th, 2013
8:55 am

Morning
Do you think that the husband and father roles are so different?
There’s lots of overlap, but there are some differences too. I can use myself as an example. My house runs my way. As a father, that works just fine because there’s no need to negotiate rules with children or consult them about adult decisions. I do what’s best for us until they’re old enough to do what’s best for themselves. That doesn’t always work so well in a marriage because you’re dealing with another adult who’s invested, and as your partner they are entitled to be involved in the decisions that affect the household.

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
8:59 am

“Do you think that the husband and father roles are so different?” Yes, I do believe they are different. How a man raises his children can have no bearing on how he treats his wife. Sometimes, they can be the same. Anyway, how a father treats an infant, toddler, middle schooler doesn’t necessarily transcend into the same type of teaching when they reach teenage status. Parenting is done with a lot of tough love, so I wouldn’t want that to be the way he would treat his wife.

“Do you believe the same applies to women? A nurturing and kind mother can also become a good wife? – Again, not necessarily because a caring nurting mother could be a nagging, whining woman to her husband. With the children she’s sweet and attentive, but with the husband, she puts him on the back burner giving all her love and attention to the children. There are some mean wives and husbands out there, but loving to their children.

My eyes are red, I forgot to put on my slip and my pinky toe is throbbing!

Morning!

Single & Happy

June 27th, 2013
9:01 am

made it clear to her that they were his priority. When a woman tells me this, I head in the other direction. because they will always be their top priority no matter what changes.

MsAtl

June 27th, 2013
9:04 am

Morning All!

Moni and Dreams- I agree with the two of you combined. In a husband, I would want someone who knows how to co-exist and compromise. A father doesn’t necessarily need to know how to compromise (while kids are young), particularly if he is old school what I say goes. Other traits, such as respectful, honest and caring should cross into both roles. When I “picked” a husband/father the first time around I was young and obviously I did not know enough to properly choose a man to fill that role. Being older and hopefully much wiser, I am not looking for a father, but I do not rule out the possibility of getting married again.

DreamsMaterialize

June 27th, 2013
9:18 am

MsAtl Yeah I think the bottom line is that the way in which you deal with a child can be different than how you deal with an adult. Those differences can make you a great parent, but not so great of a spouse.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
9:24 am

*made it clear to her that they were his priority. When a woman tells me this, I head in the other direction. because they will always be their top priority no matter what changes.*

for me this is a GO! if a man states this to me. i want a man who loves his babies, and will do right by them like my son’s father. i wouldn’t mind one bit playing second fiddle to his children. now lets flip it… i will place my husband first before all! why? because my God clearly states this. and it’s what i would like to do.

Celisea

June 27th, 2013
9:25 am

IMO “head of household” embodies husband qualities and father qualities. Honestly, I don’t really get how you can be great at one but not the other. IMO, if you suck at one, somewhere you suck at the other. A grown man, an adult, knows the difference in raising a child and all that it involves versus understanding he can’t raise another adult and when dealing with another adult, the dynamics are different. I guess all I can end with is…..the proof is in the pudding….too many folks are successfully married, “successfully married” being the end to end process. Married, had/have kids, raised the kids, took care of the family, children now off (or will soon be) to start lives of their own. Too many folks have done it to say it can’t be done.

Celisea

June 27th, 2013
9:29 am

And being great with your kids versus “your baby mama”, ain’t the same. There’s more at stake being spoused, there’s more to go all in for than if you’re booed or just someone you had kids with.

IMO of course :)

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
9:31 am

Ok, I’m back. . .

Single & Happy

June 27th, 2013
9:38 am

Beautiful in my experience when women have said that, they were ALWAYS their top priority, no matter what changed, whether they got married, kids got grown, kids did something wrong, and they know they were wrong.

when my kids were young, all I needed from a woman was to treat my kids nice, and respect them. Never looked at how they were as a mother to them because they had a mother. My sister in law is a great mother to HER kids by my brother, but a lousy mother to her step kids. Now before she had kids she was good mother to them.

disco

June 27th, 2013
9:40 am

good morning. upon reading the topic my first thought was “Eeek!!! Kids”. lol. personally I just don’t want to be bothered. I don’t care if a dude is a good father or not. my child is raised. yep. pure D selfish but it is what it is.

leggs – sounds like you are going through some thangs this morning.

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
9:42 am

-Single You bring up an excellent point. Some people are wonderful with their own kids then suspect with their step-kids. I’m living this now. . . My oldest daughter has a wonderful stepmom who adores her. My youngest daughter has the stepmom from you know where who is jealous of my daughter. As a matter of fact, she’s not all that great with her own kids so actually I can’t expect for her to be any different with her step-daughter.

It just goes to show that SOME people will PLAY that I’m ok with you having kids from a previous relationship and it doesn’t bother me, blah, blah, blah. Then AFTER they say “I Do” and they have kids of their own it’s a totally DIFFERENT story!!!

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
9:43 am

“My eyes are red, I forgot to put on my slip and my pinky toe is throbbing!”

-Leggs Is there a particular reason why your pinky toe is throbbing??? :-/

kimmie

June 27th, 2013
9:46 am

Morning All!!

Single – I want to first agree with you, with conditions. I have bad experiences with men that felt they need to make such a proclamation to me coming out of the gate! Of course your child is a priority! But these dudes would turn out to be the very ones that would let their little spoiled brat run the house. The kids would always be thrown up in my face as an excuse for EVERYTHING he came up short with me on! It became him & the kids versus me. No balance at all. This was a sign I heard loud and clear that while he may be a decent dad, he would make a lousy husband. And I say “decent” not “great” dad because spoiling is doing your child a disservice and that’s not what makes a great parent in my book.

My husband is the only man I dated that got it right and that’s why he’s my husband. It was obvious he was doing a great job raising 2 young children on his own after his wife passed. His devotion to their wellbeing was clear, no need to make proclamations to me about where we all stood. His actions spoke volumes. He brought me in and made me a part of his priorities and his life. That let me know he’d be a great husband.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
9:47 am

Single… why i think every couple should go to counseling before getting married. these issues needs to be addressed.

GlammourGirl

June 27th, 2013
9:49 am

I think husband and father roles are very different. My dad was a great father but horrible husband. My parents divorced when I was 3 so I never remember them being married. He was actively involved in our lives, we saw him every day. Even after he remarried, his wife knew that when he left work, his first stop was to come see us. But he had a wandering eye. He loved the ladies. And they loved him.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
9:49 am

MissMoni… she prolly hit a corner of a chair, couch, table or something. ouch!

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
9:51 am

“He brought me in and made me a part of his priorities and his life.”

-Kimmie BINGO, this right here is key!!! :-)

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
9:52 am

I stubbed it going into the bathroom w/sleep still in my eyes.

I’ve never dated anyone with kids, but reminds of this dude who wouldn’t date me because my child was in h.s. Didn’t matter it was her last year, he wanted no parts (lol).

Love your post, kimmie. Nice.

disco

June 27th, 2013
9:52 am

kimmie – the last time I dated a single father I spent some time with two of his kids with him absent. they were relatively good kids but the whole time they threatened each other with “I’m telling daddy”. when he returned I commented on it and he said that’s the way he wanted it. me? I didn’t play that tattle tale mess. I instructed mine that unless something was broke, someone was bleeding or something was on fire I didn’t need to know about it. lol.

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
9:52 am

-Beautiful I totally agree with at least 6 weeks of pre-marital counseling. There are several things that should be discussed BEFORE marriage.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
9:55 am

the guy i date MUST have kids!

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
9:56 am

Good to see you GlammourGirl.

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
10:05 am

I see one cricket..too early for crickets.

Celisea

June 27th, 2013
10:08 am

I also believe “a nurturning kind mother” can be a good one. I just don’t get how you turn it off and on. How can you sincerely be kind and nuturing to your kids, but then turn it off? How do you be kind to say the kids you had before marriage and awful to the kids you got by way of marriage? If you’re “TRULY” kind and nurturning. Now if you allow you kids to be bratty and they’re the be all that ends all, then yeah, it will turn on and off like a light switch.

kimmie

June 27th, 2013
10:08 am

Hey Disco!

I don’t think you’re being selfish. You know your limits and you make it known up front. No testing the waters and hanging out and getting some in before you proclaim a few months or years down the line that you don’t want to marry this person because they have kids. You knew that was a dealbreaker from jump!

I wanted a man with kids because I didn’t have any of my own. But bad kids that he’s not trying to raise well would have been a dealbreaker!

GlammourGirl

June 27th, 2013
10:09 am

Leggs, I lurk most mornings. I take long lunches to go to the gym. Usally by the time I get back yall are so far gone I can never catch up.

Bluzgirl

June 27th, 2013
10:10 am

Morning everyone!

It is important to have both qualities! I would imagine that being a good father and a good husband are two separate things. Kids are not important to me at this stage in my life, so I’m thinking a good husband is a bigger priority to me.

When I was younger and engaged, I wanted kids. When my nephew was born, I saw how my fiancé was around him and I didn’t like it. He also had no patience with his own niece. I saw qualities that made me feel like if we were to get married and have kids, I would be the one taking care of all of the kid’s needs. I didn’t like that.

When I was with The Ex, I saw how much of a terrible father he was and knew I would never have kids with him. Turns out, he would have been a bad husband as well. No thank you!!!

MsAtl

June 27th, 2013
10:11 am

Disco- Lol. Broken, bleeding, or on fire. You sound like my mom!

At this point, my children are all grown so I would not want to date a man with small children. If I did date a man with minor children, however, he would have to be in their lives. I have no respect for a man that does not take care of his children and by take care, I am talking about more than just being a pay check.

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
10:14 am

“When my nephew was born, I saw how my fiancé was around him and I didn’t like it.” – WOW. Did you alert the mother?

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
10:15 am

Disregard my post. My mind started racing. He was your bf, not in the baby’s life.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
10:16 am

I’ve had the pleasure of dating men with daughters. i was so attracted to their relationships. that would be the best scenario for me. i would spoil her rotten.

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
10:17 am

-Celisea That’s my point, some people FAKE being nurturing & caring real well, like Cruella Deville on 101 Dalmations. When people were watching she PRETENDED to adore those puppies, but as soon as the audience left, she was trying to make fur coats out of them.

cba

June 27th, 2013
10:18 am

I am a husband because of a legal document. I am a father because of my chromosomes. The document can be rescinded at any time, the chromosomes will last forever and forever. Thus, the two are different.

Single & Happy

June 27th, 2013
10:19 am

Kimmie, those have been my experiences also, I’ve never proclaimed that to any woman. but they can tell after getting to know me.

Beautiful I’m not up for that counseling thing, I keep my eyes open and my mouth shut. most of the couples I know having problems did the counseling. If that’s your thing do it, but don’t do it with a pastor, do it with a qualified unbiased licensed counselor!

disco

June 27th, 2013
10:19 am

atl – you know the kids I’m talking about. he touched me. she’s looking at me. he said I have a big head. she changed the channel. please all that tattling would not be tolerated. funny. I have several friends who love for their kids to tell on one another. apparently they think it keeps them informed. I don’t need all that extra information. on the sly, I try to encourage their kids to have a united front and quit ratting each other out. lol.

disco

June 27th, 2013
10:19 am

beautiful – ugggh!!! lol. I don’t want to date men with kids but if I absolutely have to I’d prefer sons. fathers and daughters. uggggh. some of those heffas remain daddy’s girls way into adulthood. heck naw. men will force theirs sons into independence but tend to rescue their daughters for infinity.

daddy swiss

June 27th, 2013
10:22 am

Morning, folks.

I tend to think that (ideally, anyway), there should be a lot of overlap. My dad sent me a card for father’s day this year and included a quote (I forget from whom), that said something to the effect of, “the most important legacy a father can leave his children is to love their mother.” I tend to agree.

Single & Happy

June 27th, 2013
10:23 am

Beautiful, MissMoni, why do you need a counselor to tell you things you need to discuss before marriage. aren’t these things you should do anyway?

Leggs

June 27th, 2013
10:24 am

Well, dang, cba. When you break it down like that (lol).

Single & Happy

June 27th, 2013
10:25 am

cba, while the chromosomes may last forever, once they’re grown, the dynamics of the relationship changes. And for some it doesn’t and that can be a problem also!

Button

June 27th, 2013
10:26 am

Loving most of y’alls comment! :lol:

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
10:26 am

-Swiss That is a very nice quote. There are so many families now where the mother or father have moved on to another relationship and some people don’t know how to still be respectful to the parent of their child even though they’re not together. It’s a balance that many fail to maintain.

disco

June 27th, 2013
10:27 am

single – why you picking? you know we have team all for counseling and team I don’t believe in counseling. lol.

Beautiful

June 27th, 2013
10:28 am

Single… if he didn’t want to do therapy before marrying me, i would understand and compromise. i would be open to our differences regarding our future, how we decide to communicate etc.

disco… yous silly LOL! the fathers were and are still somewhat strict to where i can’t see the daughter being dependent like that. i don’t have any girls so…

MissMoni

June 27th, 2013
10:29 am

-Single YES, you should but it’s good for a UNBIASED professional to go over it with the couple. Let’s be real, some things tend to get glossed over if left to just the couple.
-Most people don’t willingly bring up their issues on their own.

-Some spend MORE time planning for the wedding vs. preparing for the marriage.

-Pre-marital counseling may prove that the couple doesn’t need to get married.

Celisea

June 27th, 2013
10:29 am

MM – I don’t think we’re saying the same. How do you know she’s Cruella if she does that when no one is there??? You’re not there to see it, right?

I guess because I’m not that person that places folks under microscope and tally stroke if you’re doing for one, the same you’re doing for another. I will say also, that it goes both ways. Some family members can be biased against an outsider not really realizing, and will often see through skewed lenses, the actions that are really happenining. That’s why you can’t use “what you would do or act or feel” and align to how others should do or act or feel. Just because it’s not how you would handle don’t mean it’s wrong. Maybe the in-laws aren’t just all snuggly and huggly. Maybe they’re just straight lace, no fuss type person. I think you can still handle chidren in being like that and it not be harmful. I don’t think a person gotta have skittles popping out when they walk and an unremovable rainbow over their heads to prove to be good parents. lolololol