Good men live by a code.

I recognize that “never” is a strong word. We allhave good days and bad days, and it’s easy to slip below the standards of our own expectations at times.

However, I believe that good men hold themselves to a standard of conduct in all areas of life — and particularly how they treat their significant other.

This means being clear on what he will do, and what he won’t do.

Leave your thoughts in the comments for what else you think should (or shouldn’t) be on this list.

1: A good man will never pick apart your looks.

“Oh, if only your hair was a little longer.” “If only you lost those couple of extra pounds.” “If you would only wear more makeup…”

A good man will never take jabs at your appearance in a way that is demeaning to you or makes you feel badly about yourself.

A classic emotionally abusive behavior is purposely attempting to lower your self worth so you will not feel confident enough to leave him. It is his way of trying to control you and inflict you with doubt about who you are and what you deserve.

This is a huge red flag and will not change as time goes on, it’ll simply get worse as he infiltrates your thoughts further. Walk. Away. Now.

2: A good man will never invade your privacy.

In a healthy relationship, there is no need to hide anything. Texts, emails, Facebook messages — whatever. But that doesn’t mean your partner has the right to snoop through them if you happen to leave your phone around or your computer open.

Someone who does this is showing you a massive insecurity on their part and is likely projecting their own infidelities and issues onto you. This should not be ignored.

Obviously, this doesn’t give any of us the right to betray a partner’s trust behind their backs simply because they’re not looking for warning signs. That trust he (should be) giving has to be earned and maintained.

3: A good man will never discourage you.

A sign of a person’s confidence in themselves is how they help to support the ambition of others. A good man will always be willing to help and support those around him, and will never be discouraging or insulting.

Particularly in a relationship, we should have confidence that our partner is in our corner and is actively cheering us on. If your friends and family are in support of your pursuits but your partner is trying to drag you down, then what’s the point in choosing to stay with them?

4: A good man will recognize your value, he will not make you feel the need to prove it to him.

The minute you feel that you have to prove your worth to the person you’re with is the minute you’ll know to walk away. A man or woman should be with you because they value and appreciate who you are, not what you do or how well you sell yourself to them.

“Value” and “worth” are not wavering quantities nor are they negotiable. They are inherent within you as a human being and don’t need to be sold to anyone.

5: A good man will never make you feel like an afterthought.

While a relationship shouldn’t be someone’s entire life, it is certainly a large part of it. I’ve heard too many stories about women who constantly get cast aside for “guy’s night” or something.

A man should have have a network and individuality, sure. But there is a difference between leading an active social life, and knocking the woman in your life further and further down your priority list.

If you feel like you’re waiting for him to come home more than you’re actually with him, it’s time to step back and take another look at where your relationship is going.

6: A good man will never make you feel like you are alone in the relationship.

Relationships are a partnership. A team. A two-way street. They’re supposed to enhance your life, not complicate it. If you are with a man who is complacent in life and love, puts no effort into you or the relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Keep in mind, it’s natural for people to get depressed and unmotivated at times. If this is someone you’ve been with for a long time, I’m certainly not saying kick him to the curb at the first sign of a slump. We all go through them — but what I’m referring to here is someone who is just apathetic and makes you feel like he doesn’t care.

You deserve someone who will wake up every morning and pledge to do and be the best they can for you.

7: A good man will never cheat on you.

There are plenty of arguments in the world that monogamy is not “natural” and that humans are not biologically wired to spend an entire lifetime with one single person. Regardless of the scientific validity of this statement, one thing remains true: Monogamy is a personal choice made by two people in a relationship. There is literally nothing physical binding two people together — just a decision.

A good man will never cheat in a relationshipbecause cheating means going back on his word or breaking a promise he has made to someone he loves. The ultimate betrayal, and there is no excuse for it.

8: A good man will never disrespect you.

Easy. Simple. Basic. But, often overlooked. A good man will show respect to everyone around him. He will not be condescending or put anyone down, regardless of intelligence level or professional position. As the saying goes, ‘a man of quality is not afraid of equality.’

Plus — you can not fully trust or love someone that you don’t respect, so signals of disrespect will surely overflow into other areas of his feelings towards you.

9: A good man will never avoid important conversations.

Whether it be between family members or in a relationship, a good man understands that no problem can be resolved until it is faced. The only thing that avoidance of difficulties will accomplish, is delaying the inevitable and potentially making things worse.

There is a difference between choosing your battles and avoiding conflict altogether — the important thing is to know when to hold’em and when to fold’em, but, having the courage and integrity to calmly and intentionally approach important issues is a sign of dignity and respect (both for you, and himself).

10: A good man will NEVER abuse you.

There are many different types of abuse, certainly not just physical, and certainly not just in a relationship. Someone can be emotionally abusive towards a child or pet as well as their significant other.

Regardless, they all have one thing in common: The desire to break another down. A good man recognizes that his confidence and worth comes from within himself, and never from attempting to place others below him.

At any sign of any type of abuse, walk (run) away immediately. It will not get better, and you deserve more.

There is just too much lately. Too much negativity. Too much combativeness. Too much mistreatment. Too much argument and not enough collaboration. Not enough love. Not enough respect. Not enough caring.

We need to stop making excuses for those who mistreat us and start lowering our tolerance for this nonsense. Any self-respecting decent human being will treat you with the love and compassion that you deserve.

If they don’t, then what’s the point of staying with them?

Joseph A. Cornacchia