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http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/26/why-do-men-women-get-married-forbes-woman-well-being-love-money.

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Why Men And Women Get Married Top 10 Traits Women Want In A Husband No. 1: Mutual Attraction and Love The highest-rated characteristic women seek from men is mutual attraction and love. They no longer look for a man who will provide for them; they want to be in love. In 1939, when women had no job prospects and needed to marry, they ranked love at No. 5. The women's movement has not only helped women pursue careers, it has also given them more choice in love. No. 2: Dependable Character Women want a husband that they can count on, and this hasn't changed in recent years. Yes, women look to their spouse to be a lover and friend, but they also want him to be supportive and trustworthy. They want to know that he will be there and will be loyal. Men, too, rank dependable character high on their lists, at No. 2. No. 3: Emotional Stability and Maturity This has consistently ranked in women's top three throughout the 20th century. Men, too, place a heavy emphasis on a potential wife's emotional maturity, signaling that it's a key quality for a stable partnership. Women seem to look past appearance to the heart of the matter; they ranked good looks at No. 12. No. 4: Desire for Home and Children Today, women are much more attracted to men who are interested in home and family than they ever have been. In 1977 they ranked this characteristic at No. 10. Because most women today are expecting to be in dual-earner relationships, they want husbands who will be happy and willing to contribute at home. More women today even report that they hope he will take the lead at home. No. 5: Education and Intelligence Women have ranked education and intelligence at No. 5 since 1977, making it one of their most desirable male traits for 30 years. This timeline coincides with more and more women receiving college educations themselves. Once education became important in women's lives, it became a more attractive trait in potential husbands.

No. 6: Sociability Both men and women rank sociability at No. 6 on their marriage-material list. And for both sexes, it has been steadily moving up the list from around No. 12 in 1939. The rise of the "love marriage," a partnership based on attraction rather than practicalities (like wealth or status) might mean that married couples are more likely to be friends and have mutual circles of friends. No. 7: Pleasing Disposition Surprisingly, a man's likability does not rank as high on women's list of wants as it used to. Until recently, women consistently ranked it at No. 4. Perhaps women are now more willing to accept a man for who he his, despite the inevitable mood swings. No. 8: Ambition and Industriousness Ambition has become less important to women over time, though it still makes their top 10 checklist. It may be that because more women are thriving in the workforce, they want a husband who has earning power but aren't looking for him to be the sole provider. In 1939 women ranked ambition at No. 3, and it was No. 4 in 1956. No. 9: Good Health Health has been an important characteristic for women through the 20th century and remains so today. One might argue that because we're living even longer, health plays a huge role in the success of a marriage. No. 10: A Good Financial Prospect Interestingly, modern women rank a man's financial potential as more desirable than they have in the past. In 1939 women ranked it lower on the list, at No. 13. It still comes in after items like love and maturity, but perhaps today's women realize that a good economic partner is good husband material.

Top 10 Traits Men Want In A Wife No. 1: Mutual Attraction and Love Above all, men want to marry a woman they love and are attracted to. While this may seem like a given, the "love marriage" is a modern development. Men started ranking this trait at No. 1 just a couple of decades ago, in the mid-1980s. Earlier in the 20th century, dependability, emotional maturity and a pleasing disposition ranked higher than love. Now, both men and women are marrying for love first and foremost, and marriages have become unions of passion, friendship, support and mutual attraction. No. 2: Dependable Character Throughout the 20th century a woman's dependable character has been a top priority for men, who ranked it at No. 1 as far back as 1939. Like women, men want a life partner who will be trustworthy, faithful and reliable. They want a wife who will stand by their side and, considering divorce rates, it's no surprise that dependability would continue to be attractive. No. 3: Emotional Stability and Maturity Both men and women consistently cite emotional stability and maturity as one of the most attractive traits in a potential spouse. While men often fall victim to the stereotype of prioritizing physical attraction, when it comes to a potential wife, they want a woman who is grounded and secure in herself. Women also place maturity at No. 3 on their lists of good-husband material. No. 4: Education and Intelligence A woman's education and intelligence are more attractive to men than ever before. This characteristic has been steadily climbing the ranks of men's desires for decades, up from No. 11 in 1939. Now that women are receiving 60% of college degrees and are half of the workforce, men are looking for women who are both intelligent and educated--or in other words, more accomplished and interesting than ever. No 5: Pleasing Disposition Men place a potential wife's pleasing disposition at No. 5 and have included it in their top-five traits since the 1930s. On the other hand, women in recent years are less likely to prioritize a man's pleasing disposition. Until recently, women consistently ranked it at No. 4, but it currently appears as No. 7.

No. 6: Sociability Both men and women rank sociability at No. 6 on their lists of mate preferences. And for both sexes, it has been steadily moving up the list from around No. 12 in 1939. Because today's married couples are more likely to be friends and have mutual circles of friends, it makes sense that this has become a more attractive characteristic. No. 7: Good Health Men look for good health in a potential wife, but it is slightly less important to them today than it was in the past. In the 1930s and again in the 1970s, they ranked a woman's health at No. 5. They are smart to rank it fairly high on their marriage-material list. Both sexes are living well into their 70s, and often older, making good health a predictor of a long-lasting marriage. No. 8: Good Looks Women's looks have become increasingly important to men over the years. The trait has jumped up seven spots, from No. 15 in 1956. (Looks did not make the top 10 list of what women want in a husband, but it has become more important to them over time too--jumping from No. 18 to No. 12). Perhaps because modern marriages are more likely based on love and attraction rather than practicalities (like wealth or status), physical attractiveness is more desirable. No. 9: Desire for Home and Children A woman's desire for home and children has become less attractive to men over time. In 1939, men ranked it at No. 6. As women have increasingly achieved similar levels of education and career status, men may have begun to perceive them as more equal partners. How to divide the labor of home and work isn't as obvious as it was to their grandparents' generation. No. 10: Ambition and Industriousness Despite the pervasive stereotype that men are intimidated by ambitious women, men rank this trait ahead of others like refinement, being a good cook and having similar religious backgrounds. While it's not high on their list (No. 10 out of 18), it is clear that men find a woman's drive, determination and energy attractive qualities in a life partner.