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10 Husbands Speak On What Made Them Choose Their 'One'

What some men love about their wife, straight from the source.

Marriage

While listening to some R&B slow jams, one of the songs that came up in the rotation was Tyrese's "One". It starts out with the lines, "Let me start by saying that you're the one. It's the first time I felt like this player's done." As I continued to listen, I thought about many of the conversations that I've had with husbands over the years. It inspired me to hit some of them up to ask what made them come to the conclusion that their wife is their one. Still.

It's not so that we all will use their answers as the barometer for our own journey—after all every love story is different. It's more so that we can see through the lens of men on what many of them find to be valuable when it comes to choosing a mate and ultimately saying, "I do". Anyway, here's what 10 happily married men shared with me. (I appreciate you guys, for the insight.)

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Joshua, 40. Married for 11 years.

"I like this question because I haven't thought about it in a long time. My wife is my rock. I don't mean that to sound cliché, but no one has ever held me down like she does. In the past, there were a lot of beautiful and smart women that I dated but a lot of ladies don't understand what it means to be a real encourager and support system for men. Even before we got married, my wife made me feel like the sky was the limit when it came to my dreams and desires. She wasn't critical. She wasn't negative. She's still not. I knew she was the one for me because she made me see myself in ways that no one else had. She still does."

Alan, 31. Married for three years.

"Right when I met my wife, I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. What stood out to me about her is she really listened. She became a source of peace for me that I hadn't experienced with another woman, not even my mom or sisters.

"When a man can be fully vulnerable, it feels safe and when we feel safe, that is when we know we've found someone really special."

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Finn, 42. Married for 15 years.

"What's interesting is, I think I believe she's more 'the one' now than I did on our wedding day. You've got to be married a while before you realize, even as a man, that a lot of that movie BS is just that—BS. You can be attracted to a lot of people. You can have great sex with a ton of 'em too. I married my wife because I trusted her. Over time, she's become my best friend. I can't think of anyone closer to me or who knows more about me. Single ladies, that's rare. When a man sees you as his closest friend, that's when you know you've got him."

Jesse, 25. Married for 11 months.

"My wife is hilarious. If that sounds crazy, my bad but that's how I knew she was the one for me. So many women can be negative and always looking at the downside of things. My wife is just the opposite. No matter what, even when we get bad news, she sees a silver lining in it and finds a way to make me laugh about it. I enjoy being around her. She's fun. Fun goes far."

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Samuel, 34. Married for three-and-half years.

"My wife is very spiritual. I don't mean 'churchy' either. Her discernment is crazy. She's very much into finding balance and a center. She hates drama and creates peace. She loves God, nature and animals. I dunno.

"I've just never met someone who makes me want to be a better person in the way that she does. I see God differently because of her."

Christopher, 38. Married for five years.

"No drama. That's what made her the one for me. Lord, so many women like to create drama. Sweating the small stuff. Nitpicking at every damn thing. Not knowing how to let s—t go. My wife is the opposite of all of that. If there's a problem, she wants to solve it as soon as possible but she doesn't create ones that aren't there. Damn, I love that about her. Thanks for reminding me. I'm gonna call her right now."

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Wynton, 29. Married for two years.

"My wife is sexy AF. Call it shallow if you want but sexy is different than pretty. When you find the kind of woman who you really can never get enough of, she's special. I always desire my wife. It's like, other women have become irrelevant since her, not because they aren't pretty but because they just don't have that 'umph' that my wife does. That woman's walk. Her tone of voice. The way she looks when we're first waking up. The fact that her sex drive is even higher than mine. How confident she is in her clothes. Damn."

Deven, 45. Married for eight years.

"I had a horrible mother growing up. She was angry and bitter most of the time. Because of that, I didn't have serious relationships with other women. It was casual dating and sex, that's about it. I met my wife through a male friend of mine and it was the first time when I saw a woman as being the polar opposite of my mom. My wife is nurturing. She is easy-going. She's one of the most emotionally solid people I know. I didn't even realize how emotionally damaged I was, in some ways, until her. She's even helped me to forgive my mom in some ways. Guys, if a woman isn't making you better, she's making you worse. Straight up."

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Mandel, 33. Married for six years.

"My wife is the first woman I ever met who I could see years of my wife with. After about our third date, I knew she would be a good mom, a great partner and someone who I wouldn't mind getting old with and that had never happened before. Before her, women were just kind of transient. I knew I wanted her to stay. I proposed five months later. We've been together ever since."

David, 40. Married for 10 years.

"This is a funny question because I'm not really the 'soul mate' kind of guy. I think we all can be happily married to numerous folks. I do think my wife is 'my one' in the sense that we fit together in a way that is hard to explain or compare. She just gets me and I feel like I get her. She is my favorite person and I have no regrets about asking her to be my wife. I know a lot of men who can't say the same. Marriage isn't easy, I won't lie to you. But when you don't regret your choice, not one day in your life, that's when you know you picked well."

There you have it and you know what? It really can't be said enough that we can't tell a man how to think or what he wants or needs in a relationship. They have to tell us. So, when you get a moment, ask some of the husbands in your life what made them choose their wife. The answers just might surprise you. Intrigue you. Even inspire you on some levels. You never know.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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