404 Where Are All The Trophy Husbands?

Where Are All The Trophy Husbands?

Trophy Husband

Trophy Husband FTW!

A few weeks ago on Twitter I wrote, “I can’t wait to get married so I can put ‘Trophy Husband‘ on my profile.” It got a ton of response. Just this week I thought about it again and it made me ask the question, “Where are all the trophy husbands?”

In just over 2 months, I’ll be a married man. I’ve been thinking about how I hear spouses speak of each other. More often than not, I hear women jokingly (kinda) complain about a man’s short-comings and guys praising their angelic wives.

Have you ever heard these phrases?

“I married up”
“I don’t deserve her”
“She’s too good for me”
“I don’t know why she puts up with me”
“She’s a saint”

These all sound great on the surface these sound great but something just doesn’t feel right to me. More than how great the wife is, I think of how much of a bad deal she got in her marriage.

It’s like there is this expectation that men are always going to be the too-much-tv-watching, anniversary-forgetting, insensitive, workaholics that have to constantly be brought back down to earth by their angelic counterpart.

How can we change the status quo?

We need a higher standard. Rather than lament imperfections and flaws in comparison to your wife’s perfection, you can honor her with your humble confidence.

Instead of being thankful that you were blessed with a woman you don’t deserve, how about you actually live worthy of that blessing?

You can honor your wife without trashing yourself. That’s not as attractive as you may think. And it’s not a very high standard to set for other young men coming behind you.

I refuse to be that guy.

Just as I know I don’t deserve God’s love, I still want to do everything in my power to live in appreciation of it. We’re called to “live lives worthy of God,” (1 Thess 2:12) not talk about how we don’t deserve His love. That’s not living worthy of it.

How much more honoring would it be to talk about your wife by sharing your strengths?

“I love to see my wife’s eyes light up when I tell her how much I love her.”
“When I serve my wife in the smallest way, she makes me feel like a hero.”
“I love it when my wife tells me she feels protected when she’s with me.”
“I constantly remind her how valuable she is because I never want her to lose her identity.”

These phrases sound a lot different than those previous ones, don’t they?

This isn’t intended to make the husbands a whipping post, but to call them to a higher standard. There are young men watching your marriage. Like it or not, you are an example.

To the guys walking this out, I honor you! I’d love to hear you talk more about this.

To the guys falling short:

You’re better than that.

I plan to come into marriage with a high standard. I want to be able to say I “married up” and give my wife reason to say the same thing. I want a marriage that I am not ashamed of. I want to be an example to others.

I want to be a trophy husband.

Husbands: What can you do to walk worthy of your wife?
Wives: What can you do to call out the greatness in your husband?
Singles: Do you aspire to be a trophy husband/wife? 

Comments

  1. I can honor her by participating in certain areas that I’ve remained in the background with in the past (like schooling of our kids, some discipline, etc.). I know that would bless and mean a lot to her.
    dustin recently posted..Live in Your Gifts

  2. I really liked this Tony J Alicea! My one brother does this constantly and it’s always irked me. Don’t you want to match your wife in awesomeness? I think when guys say this, it is in a way that’s a little self deprecating. I think it starts off as it being flattering to their wife, but after awhile I think the danger is they’ll start to live believing they can never measure up to their wife. Instead of trying to live like they appreciate the fact they don’t deserve it, they become complacent and quit trying. Now if only we could get all those dudes to read this…

    And is there such thing as a trophy boyfriend? Because I think I got me one of those :o)
    Mandie recently posted..Skype Rules

  3. Tony that was awesome! Trophy Husbands FTW!

    I’ve said stuff like “I married up” before and while it’s intended to show how blessed I feel to be w/ LK, I can honor her even more by living up to a higher standard.

    Great words Tony. I think we need a Trophy Husband badge for Twitter or graphic for our blogs.
    ThatGuyKC recently posted..God and Coffee

  4. My trophy husband and I are going to celebrate our 33 anniversary is a few weeks. I am blessed everyday to have been loved by such a man as him. I believe that God restored to me in a husband what I lost in a father. Not that the roles are the same but that they both embodied integrity and goodness.
    Karen Spears Zacharias recently posted..A new hood to hang out in

  5. I fully intend to be a trophy husband some day!
    Jason Vana recently posted..Time to Grow…

  6. I have a trophy husband. He’s absolutely fabulous and I have yet to discover something that he can’t do (he’s an electrician by trade, but can make or fix anything).

    God gave me great partner when we were matched. My husband’s natural reservations balance my ‘leap-before-looking’ personality. He loves making me happy and I feel like a Queen.

    I love the post, though. It’s a great reminder for both men AND women to live up to our spouse.

  7. Tony I’ve been married for 9 years and thank God I am a “trophy husband”. At every turn I try to emulate Jesus in his humility and self-lessness to earn the title in my wife’s eyes. But my wife is also a “trophy wife”. I have a wonderful wife, I am worthy of her, and she is worthy of me. I love my wife because the Lord has commanded me to love her, the same way he loves his people. But it’s even more than that. She is a wonderful woman, who cares about others like no one else I have ever met. We’ve been through our ups and downs but I thanks God for sustaining us every step of the way.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and God bless both of you.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Conquering the Roller Coaster

  8. Some very good points and ideas here. And I agree, a better example must be set for the young people coming up. However, I think this must also begin with the wives. I can’t count how many blogs and comments I’ve seen in which wives complain about and run down their husbands. It makes me somewhat ill. My husband is my hero, my support, and my best friend (I wrote my book about him and what he means to me). I would never complain about him to others. This is a two way street – the women have to step up too if we are to change this negative attitude.
    Wendy Fehr recently posted..The Rawhide Kid, Aliens, and Graphic Novels

    • That’s great perspective, Wendy. Many women don’t realize how influential they are to shape the life of their spouse. I know Gary Thomas wrote a book called Sacred Influence that is supposed to be great. My mom read it this year and she said it changed her whole perspective.

  9. I’m a trophy husband to my trophy wife. That’s the attitude that I think we should have toward our spouse. One of the issues in America is that many of the men are self depreciating and don’t feel like we deserve to be respected. TV Sitcoms, the news, society in general, and the Church today all teach us that men are shameful and unnecessary parts of life. Until we as men stand up to take our roles as taught by scripture, we will not be held up by our family or our society.
    Paul S recently posted..Risk it All

  10. I’ll gladly and openly talk about how amazing my wife is, but I don’t feel the need to diminish myself to accomplish that. I think it goes back to false humility for some. For others, it’s just a learned response from others they picked up. Either way, I think you’re right. No need for it. If you’re a louse, don’t celebrate it. Do something about it! If you’re putting yourself down for no reason. Stop it! Good stuff, Tony. Thanks.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..Light Friday Hit List: 7/29/11

    • Yes Jason, I was thinking false humility too. On the other hand, some just have never seen what a good husband looks like so they have had nothing great to aspire to. I’m seeing this more and more in the younger generation.

      I want to be one of the examples that show there is hope for happy and healthy marriage that glorifies God.

  11. What can we do?

    I’ve been married for almost 9 years now and I’m not even 30. The one thing that you can do is listen. And by listen I mean actually listen and not just nod your head.
    Michael recently posted..Rough Walls

    • Listening is huge. Communication is my number one priority in relationships. I don’t always do it as well as I could but I know that without it, everything falls apart.

      You can sustain a relationship on assumptions and unmet expectations.

  12. Like. LIKE. REALLLLLYYYY LIKKKKEEE!

    If my husband would clean the dishes, I think I might just faint! 🙂
    Jenny recently posted..Still {Spaces}

  13. One of our vows was to always “uphold each other in the eyes of others”. I guess that doesn’t imply automatically diminishing yourself or putting yourself down. Great insight here Tony.

    Also, one of the main things that husbands say they want is respect from their wife. Living like Christ, in Christ, and through Christ is the best way to have the respect of your wife. You’re a trophy husband when your life is hidden in Christ.
    Ryan Tate recently posted..Caption this…

  14. Julesmarie says:

    So “just a girls” comment here…
    I agree women don’t like men down on themselves! Thanks for telling the guys!!
    Just some inside info on girls 😉 it’s a fine line/depending on the day where  “I love when I do something for my wife and she says I am her hero” one could get the “oh so you are doing it so YOU can feel like a hero” …

    It’s crazy gps navigational skills for men to make a girl feel like his treasure…while not minimizing her strength! Being her hero for the sole purpose
     of her feeling she can depend on you…Being gentle without being weak!! 
    No matter how it’s worded I think the best is when ya know & BOTH are willing to humble themselves in gratitude for the other -then both feel like undeserved treasured gifts!

  15. I think the problem is that term in itself Tony. There is no “trophy” husband or wife. The idea that you will have the best spouse is not a reality. There will be things that annoy you, turn you off, frustrate you and will make you want to run for the hills.

    I always tell people that are going into marriage. Your spouse will bring out both the best in you and the worst in you. Are you prepared to deal with that? If the answer is yes, then you have a great chance of having fun in marriage.

    Truth is, your spouse will kill the person you show yourself to be and will reveal the person you really are. I have found some awful things about me I would have never known if it wasn’t for marriage. Same for my wife. There are things that we ourselves are blind to. Your spouse will be the first to make those things evident.

    This is a good thing though. My wife and I have a real good relationship. We talk, we laugh, we cry, we fight like cats and dogs and we have lots of good and amazing exchange of bodily fluids. It’s a #win my friend. A #win.
    Moe recently posted..The Usual Suspects: Phinehas

    • I understand that the term has taken a negative connotation with the whole “trophy wife” thing. Maybe I was just trying to redeem it a little. What I meant is something that is highly valued and treasured. A reward. That’s what a trophy is. That’s what a husband and wife should be to each other.

      “Truth is, your spouse will kill the person you show yourself to be and will reveal the person you really are.”

      That’s good right there, man. I believe I’m ready and I pray every day for His grace to be refined by this reality.

      And thank you for sharing more than anyone wanted to know about your bodily fluids. I appreciate that. Ha!

    • I couldn’t have said it better Moe…
      arny recently posted..Weekend For Thought # 16: My First Harry Potter Analogy

  16. I love this title. Mostly because my husband claims he is a trophy husband, or at least he used to – before he started making more money than I did. No I use the “I’m a trophy wife! I don’t have to mop the floors!” line any time I can…

    On a more serious note though – we all have room for improvements in our marital relationships. The fatal flaw I see in 99.9% of marriages is that many don’t realize that we grow together and apart over time, and the key to always knowing you’ll grow back together is encouragement. Too often I see husbands and wives complaining about their spouses short comings instead of doing everything they can to praise their accomplishments and support their adventures.

    You and Katie are going to make a great team 🙂

    • Trophy couple!

      I have to say Cam, every time I see you talk about your husband, you are talking about how wonderful he is. I see it and it makes a difference. It makes me respect you so much more to see you speak of him so highly.

      You are an inspiration, friend.

      • He is absolutely my best friend, biggest fan, most devoted supporter and my favorite comedian. He taught me the best lesson ever…no matter how old you are never be afraid to play like your a little kid and laugh about the silly stuff. You have any idea how hard it is to sleep when you have been laughing for 30 minutes at fart jokes and dodging pillows?

  17. Great post Tony – soon you be one of us – married and enjoying life with someone next to you all the time. For me the calling out the greatness in Greg would be to help him see how great he is in working with his hands. He’s single handedly remodeled our home – and everything he touches turns to gold. Recently he added a step and platform for the puppy we’re getting because it wasn’t tall enough. I asked him if something could be done and reminded him how great he is and clever of making stuff out of nothing. This pleased him and he went into the garage and found some left over wood from another project. Before long I heard him fussing about with his saw and tools. Pretty soon he had built a little platform and an additional step. It looks like a professional job! I said to him, “You are amazing. I knew you could do this – there isn’t anything you can’t do” And flattery wil indeed get me EVERYWHERE” 🙂
    Cindy Holman recently posted..Grey Seal

    • Wow, Cindy. Every man desires to hear those very words. I’m confident that 99% of men’s primary language is words of affirmation…even if they don’t think so.

      I know with me, it’s definitely true that flattery will get you everywhere!

  18. “Calling out greatness” isn’t just about words of affirmation. It also includes gentle reproach, honest confrontation, and a complete vulnerablity, which allows a wife to say to her husband, “You’re better than that and I need you to be better than that.” A woman who can speak highly of her husband, while still calling him to greater things, is one who supports the leadership role of her husband by encouraging him to always be better and do better.

    Doing this marriage journey with like-minded others is of high value. Don’t go it alone! Be deeply connected with other married couples who can share your highs and lows, be a source of strength and encoruagement and remind you that there is no perfect spouse. These people will be the ones to buoy you through the storms and be intentional about praying for your relationship. They will also be the first to celebrate the good things, and remind you why you married eachother to begin with. If it weren’t for the community of faith to support our marriage, there is no way we would be celebrating almost 11 years of adventure.
    Keri recently posted..Sci-Fi Prodigals and the Church’s Response

  19. Marriage is awesome.

    I’ve actually thought about writing a couple of posts in light of what you talk about here. I don’t get why being the proper husband/father is looked at as less than… or at least it seems that way. Or even having a GOOD marriage is almost a “bad” thing because people think you’re always being fake. But that’s not the case.

    What you said here is crucial…

    You can honor your wife without trashing yourself. That’s not as attractive as you may think. And it’s not a very high standard to set for other young men coming behind you.

    You can honor your marriage as well by doing that… actually honoring it… not making crass jokes about it.

    I think one of the “killers” of marriage IS sarcasm (or at least it’s an indicator as to where the marriage really is). Call me stuff-necked, but my wife and I take our relationship super-serious. We do our best to stay away from the “ball-and-chain” jokes because it is really not like that. It. Is. Awesome.

    I really do think there’s a bit of truth in every joke. And when it comes to marriage, let’s honor it… not bash it.

    Good post!

    • Chris, I can’t even tell you how much you refreshed my heart with this comment.

      I have a few friends that have given me this hope. One friend I consider a mentor told me this one day, “I know you hear how hard marriage is but I’m going to tell you a secret. It really isn’t. Not when you are like-minded and truly live by God’s grace.”

      That is what I needed to hear. Thank you for being a great example, dude.

  20. I noticed in my college sociology classes a troubling trend in advertising and media to portray husbands and fathers as clueless goons. If anything it’s only gotten worse in the past decade. I cringe when my married friends rip on their husbands or tell me I’m lucky to be single so I don’t have to deal with a husband. And I just want to ask them (and sometimes do), why did you get married in the first place? At some point, you didn’t feel this way in your relationship. Trophy implies ideal and there’s no such thing as an ideal or perfect spouse. Hopefully I’ll get married someday and we will refine and strengthen one another but I’ll be going in with eyes wide open and words that will affirm, not tear down my man.
    HopefulLeigh recently posted..When Your Dream Leads You Into the Dark

    • It hurts my heart to see father’s stereotyped as clueless, bumbling or cowardly in television movies and just about everything else. It is more powerful that we realize and it really affects our mindsets. When you never see a healthy family with a man and woman that respect each other, you begin to look at it like a fairy tale.

      I want to punch that stereotype in the face and defy it with all my being.

      You’ll be an amazing wife, Leigh!

  21. I wish you the best man. The best advice I can give you is this – stay strong and finish strong. She will be right behind you the whole way if you can finish strong!
    Matthew Snider recently posted..Friday’s Five – July 29th

  22. “Be the man God’s called you to be, not what your wife wants you to be.” ~ Ephesians 5:25-27

    Or, a better one from one of Andy Stanley’s series which is more relative to single folk, but can definitely be altered for married couples: “Are you who the person you are looking for is looking for?”

    I think getting caught up in trying to meet your spouse’s expectations will almost always lead to that insecurity that causes the statements such as “I married up,” and such.

    Living worthy of that blessing, always trying to “out-serve” each other, and waking up every morning thinking “man I don’t deserve this” is always a good thing, but I totally agree with you that it doesn’t sound or look well when men degrade themselves to bring their wives up.

    As always, this post is money.
    Ben recently posted..Interview @ BetaChristian

    • That’s good, Ben. I’ve also heard “Don’t look for the right person, BE the right person.”

      I’m definitely an opponent of expectations. I’ve written about that before. Nothing good comes of expectations in a relationship. Especially ones that aren’t verbalized.

      I love what you said about out-serving. That’s something I want to live out on a daily basis. I’m trying to do it now to create a culture of that in my relationship. I know it’s not something that happens overnight with willpower!

    • As a singlette patiently awaiting (sometimes not so patiently) the husband for whom I fit (right into his ribcage), I really appreciate this comment that men should be the man God has called them to be. That means…not in relation to me or how he should fit his woman; because its the woman who fits the man, not the other way around (God created man first, then brought his perfect match to him). I find so many men who try to prove who they with words and provide a resume of sorts to validate who they are as a man. It’s disheartening. Just BE…the MAN, and follow His lead. Character and actions speak so much louder than words ever will. And humility…I cannot speak highly enough of a man who walks in humility…and integrity.

      But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

      And as I wait patiently for God to show me who my man is, I’m a woman following her Lord, allowing myself to feel deeply the longings in my soul, because it draws me closer to HIM. 🙂
      Nikki recently posted..Prayer in the Middle

      • P.S. After reading this again, I just want to clarify that this is not a finger pointing at MAN SHOULD BE OR DO…my intent was to simply state from a single woman’s perspective what it is that our little hearts long for…and it’s really the way the Lord made us. It just fits when it’s in alignment. :o)
        Nikki recently posted..Prayer in the Middle

  23. I happen to feel that I married up. My dh is way more stable than I, a better housekeeper, and an all around people person. He can also cook, and does so. I think he does more housework than I do. Not only that, he treats me like a queen and I tell everyone I know about how wonderful he is. He makes me feel cherished and special and in doing so, it is easy to love him back and do things that make him feel great.
    Dawn recently posted..Mr. Spider and the Promises of God

  24. I am so glad that you posted this! Having been divorced and having dating multiple “guys”, I am looking for someone who lives this type of thing out. And I think it’s so important that men remind each other to do these things and help teach younger men how to be Godly husbands. So, from a single woman, thank you!! And no, I don’t aspire to be a trophy wife in the typical sense, but I do aspire to be a partner and friend.
    April recently posted..Welcome Boy Moms!

    • Absolutely, April. I see a lot of guys “talk” about leading their homes and quoting scriptures all over the place but I want to hear STORIES. Show me how you do it, don’t just quote scriptures.

      I want to be a guy that walks it out in my life and imparts what I learn to the younger generation behind me.

  25. Ok Tony….I’m only going to say this once…i’ve been married for 8 years and I think, i’ve found the secret. Ready?…

    Clean the house every once in a while. But you have to be careful, don’t over do it. It has to be done in the right amount of time. It takes years of practice to get the timing right.

    You see if you clean just the right amount of time. She will be happy. Wifes want to know that you appreciate them. And that does not mean taking them out to fancy dinners only. It means that you “help her around the house”. You will come to see that most fights come from this…

    BUT, and that’s a BIG BUT, don’t over do it, to the point your wife isn’t doing some of the cleaning too. Why? Because she will start to feel like she is useless. You know what i mean? She will start to think that YOU think she is lazy and so yeah, don’t even go there!

    in percentage wise I say you do about 60 percent of cleaning and she does 40.

    NOW, if cleaning is not your thing… I get it. BUT there is one more thing that is a MUST if you don’t want to clean the house…..WASH THE DISHES!!!! THIS IS A MUST!!!

    My wife always brags about me…and she always tells me that her friends and family are always like…waaaa, nooooo, my husband don’t do that , and this, and SHE LOVES IT! LOL….

    Im so thankful everyday that my mom made me clean the house all the time! lol…
    arny recently posted..Weekend For Thought # 16: My First Harry Potter Analogy

    • Thanks, Arny. I love getting the practical advice. While I’m neat and clean, I’m not a big cleaner but I ALWAYS do the dishes.

      I love that your wife talks about you like that. It is a huge testimony to others. If you could get her to talk like that to some young guys, I bet it would change their lives!

  26. I believe trully loving your wife means leading your home in the right direction in every area… physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I believe it’s the mans job to set the stage in these areas. Are you growing spiritually? Are you looking to better the finances? How are you growing your relationship with your wife? Are you sensitive to their emtiobs? Etc… We should be the ones who lead. If we are taking ourself to a higher level I can only believe our wife’s will follow.

    And no I don’t think wife’s are simply followers. If both parties in the relationship are serious about living intentionally each other will grow off the other. But as a man I believe it’s up to us to take charge. When I grow it will overflow to my family.
    Joseph recently posted..5 reasons why I’m not an e-reader

    • Great thoughts, Joseph. I’m doing my best to walk it out now before I’m married. I know it’s not something that magically happens when I have a ring on my finger.

  27. For me it’s all about the heart. If I’m not giving her all of my heart then I’m not being a trophy husband.
    Ernie recently posted..The Greatest Question Jesus Ever Asked

    • What does it mean to you to give your wife your heart? What does that look like practically?

      Give me tips, man!

      • What does this look like practically? The first way is to be emotionally present. When she’s down and out I want to feel that with her and then encourage her. When she’s on the top of the world I want to feel that also and celebrate with her. The second way I do this is by being vulnerable – I don’t carry around my secrets anymore, and I let her in when I’m confused, weak, broken, etc.

        For too many years I lived with walls around my heart and didn’t let anyone in because there was too much junk. And doing so completely prevented me from fully engaging with others (especially my wife). I always keep my heart at a distance from them.

        I’m still learning what it means to give my heart to my wife, so I’d love to hear other thoughts for those that have walked a similar path with their spouse.

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