Husbands were long ignored as historical subjects, but the vast majority of men in medieval Europe sought to become husbands and to remain married. Only by marriage could a man become the head of a household, the marker in most European societies of mature masculinity. Recent research is complicating our sense of what a husbandly identity actually involved and what kinds of men could claim it. However, values that attach meanings of responsibility, moderation and good governance to the term husband are legible, explicitly or implicitly, from a wide array of medieval evidence.