Husband as a noun denoting the male partner in a marriage or a married man at first had nothing to do with marital status, except for the fact that home ownership made husbands enormously attractive marriage partners.
To husband in the verb form means use sparingly or to economize. Husbandry would be the noun for this word is husbandry "sparing use, economization."
As mentioned in the other write-ups ‘to husband’ at first indicated a farmer who owned his own farm and home. In this manner the best husband was one who administrated his land with thrift and frugality leading to the verbal sense of the word, manage or steward, make do, budget, live on a budget, live (or keep) within one's means, make both ends meet, conserve, or husband one's resources. It was also frequently used to mean manager, as of a wine cellar or tavern.
Conserve is another synonymous word that conveys its transitive verb meaning. Shakespeare used it in this manner when Banquo, in Macbeth, sees that it is a dark and starless night says,
"There's husbandry in heaven; their candles are all out."
Then as now, it was the father in the household who went around putting out unneeded lights to save costs. In the modern world one might use this word as ” We must also husband our natural resources, be thrifty with them, making provisions for their replenishment, as the head of a family might manage his estate so that his children and grandchildren may benefit from it.”
Today we have the a few related phrases: common law husband as a partner recognized by common law without formal marriage and house –husband designating a man who does a wife's traditional household duties. Other derivatives of husband are: husbander, husbandhood, husbandless, and husbandly as well as some colloquialisms of the word such as hubby and of course ‘the other half’.
One dictionary tells that, “the English word husband comes from Old Norse husbondi "master of a house" based on hus "house" + bondi "estate owner" from bua "to dwell, own an estate." Women marrying Norsemen who arrived in England shortly before 800 AD called their spouses ‘husbondi’, the Norse word for what was then their masters. Not to mention one unusual incident, if the word for woman wif had not taken on its meaning it has today, the feminine form of the word was husbonde signifying "wife, mistress of the house" which would also be "husband."
It might interest some reader to know that toalight says this about the use of the word husband in a European country: We still call it "husbond" over here in Norway. It's mostly used as a sort of slang. :-)