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The Most Important Trait to Find in a Spouse

By the Love Council for iVillage

iVillage asks:

Want to find long-term love? Then you're attracted to men who want to be fathers, according to a recent study of college students published in a British scientific journal. More interestingly, you can subconsciously tell which guys fall into that category just by looking at their faces.

But if you're in search of a great mate, you can't let your subconscious do all the work -- you need to involve your conscious mind too. So we asked Michele Weiner-Davis to help us determine the single most important characteristic a woman should look for in a spouse. Here's what she had to say.

Michele answers:

Okay, you romantics out there. Fasten your seat belts, 'cause it isn't pretty. Want to know what to look for in a man who'll be around for the long haul? It's his ability to deal constructively with the conflicts that will inevitably arise in your relationship. "Too mundane," you say? Well, here are the facts.

Research tells us that spouses in long-term, happy marriages are not soul mates; they have no more in common than those who divorce. However, veteran marrieds know how to effectively deal with their differences. Managing conflict over parenting styles, sex, money or household chores isn't easy. But the good news is it's a skill that can be learned. That's why couples are now taking relationship-skill-building classes in droves. So, if your hubby prospect is willing to learn what it takes to lovingly work through the hard times? Take heart. He's a keeper.

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