In keeping with Marriage Week here on the blog, this Friday List comes with both bullet-point-fun and grow-your-marriage-fun. A win-win-win!

The best book Mike and I read during our pre-marital counseling was His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. It’s practical, honest, and was just what we needed to know before we started living together on a full-time, permanent, next-80-years kind of basis.

His needs:

  • Sex. It’s just true. He needs sex.
  • Recreational Companionship. Somebody to have fun with, go places with, live an adventure with.
  • An attractive spouse. Not necessarily a Greek goddess, but a wife who takes care of herself, fixes her hair, wears clothes that flatter her.
  • Domestic support. He’s not designed to keep the house running.
  • Admiration. Respect. Something his wife gives whether he has “earned” it or not.

Her needs:

  • Affection. Hold her hand, hug her, kiss her.
  • Conversation. Not all the time, not every night at 11:30 when he just wants to go to sleep, but regular, engaging, intentional conversation.
  • Honesty and Openness. She needs to trust him fully.
  • Financial Support. Just like he’s not designed to keep the house running, she’s not designed to bear the weight of keeping the family secure financially.
  • Family Commitment. She needs him to be a devoted husband and father.

“His” needs and “her” needs are not absolute – in fact, my top five included many of the traditional male needs, and both of us listed Honesty and Openness as our #1 need. Your #1 need may not be listed here. But what is it that, when he does that or when she does that, makes you feel loved more than anything in the world?

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