In today's television landscape, happy marriages are as rare as a unicorn sighting in Time Square. Maybe that's because "happily ever after" doesn't bring enough angst or drama. Regardless, over the years, we've watched couples break up, get back together, and usually get their happy ending as the series wraps.
But there are four husbands who do manage to make marriage look easy (thanks to some really good writers), even when we know it's not. These men aren't perfect by any means, and they've made some colossal mistakes, but, in the end, their marriages and their families come first, and that is what makes for a great television (or real-life) husband.
1. Dr. Henry McCord (Madam Secretary)
Lesson: Show Up For Her
#MadamSecretary's Dr. Henry McCord (#TimDaly) has seen his fair share of trouble, whether fighting terrorists in a war-torn country, discovering his father's suicide, or in the throes of radiation poisoning. But he's always made it very clear that his family comes first. His wife, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (#TeaLeoni), comes first.
Dr. McCord is a scholar, a former Marine, a teacher, a clandestine operative, a husband and a father. And he makes it all look easy. No matter how many times he and Elizabeth cross swords, they always find a way to meet in the middle because the good doctor know what he wants first in his life. As he told her in an episode of Season 2, "I will always show up for you. Always."
2. Danny Reagan (Blue Bloods)
Lesson: Never Let Her Down
Detective Danny Reagan (#DonnieWahlberg) is a hothead. Sometimes his temper gets in the way of his job and his family life. He and his wife, Linda (Amy Carlson), argue like normal married couples do, and sometimes, they say things they regret. Without fail, they resolve their issues even if it means agreeing to disagree at times.
But when the stakes are high, such as when Linda was kidnapped, it doesn't matter who is right or wrong. Results are all that matter. Danny may let some things fall through the cracks, but when the cards are on the table, he's there. And that is more important than missing a family dinner once in a while.
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3. John Diggle (Arrow)
Lesson: Understand She Can Be As Badass As You
#Arrow's John Diggle (#DavidRamsey) married an A.R.G.U.S. operative who, after Amanda Wahler's death, became the A.R.G.U.S. director, a job that requires skill, tenacity and stubbornness. Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) isn't a sit-on-the-sidelines kind of woman, and when her husband was in trouble, she decided to help.
Diggle was sitting in a federal prison and had told his wife he didn't want to be saved, but Lyla saved him anyway. And Diggle accepted his new freedom because he accepted his wife. That's who she is. It didn't make him any less of a man that he had to be rescued by his wife. It made him lucky to have married her.
4. President Tom Kirkman (Designated Survivor)
Lesson: Listen to Her Even When She Isn't Speaking
President Tom Kirkman (#KeiferSutherland) was a good husband and father when he was the secretary of housing and urban development. He had an easygoing personality that worked well with his family and his job. Becoming president changed his life and the lives of those he loved, but the ultimate change had to come from within him.
It's clear on #DesignatedSurvivor that President Kirkman values his wife's opinion even if she's only agreeing with someone else saying what needs to be said. It takes a strong man to admit that he has to make some inner adjustments, and isn't too proud to let his wife see his need for change.
All of these husbands are the result of skilled television writers, but it's the actors who deliver the emotions and add the nuances to the words and make us believe these men really exist.
Regardless, the lessons remain. Whether through the stroke of a pen or keys on a computer, writers created these husbands, and I'd like to think they've already learned these lessons, which is how we got these incredible characters.
Who is your favorite TV husband? Let us know in the comments below!