Starting with last week’s blogs, we embarked on a quest to help you discover the changes that would take you to The Marriage of Your Dreams. In last week’s blogs, we talked about your love language.
As we move forward, I encourage you to keep a list of ideas, with the end goal that you would then narrow that list to about 5 – 10 changes that would skyrocket your relationship.
In this week’s section, I want you to consider a list I had mentioned previously in my very first blog. Dr. Harley, in his best-selling book, His Needs/Her Needs, listed the five common needs for wives and the five common needs for husbands that he encountered in his years of counseling.
I have used this book now for probably 10 years or so and I have found it to be extremely helpful. The needs he describes, in one way or another, have fit the situations of almost every couple I’ve counseled. As you read this list, read it with an eye of whether what he describes fits your needs. If so, write that down now before you forget it later today (and remember to include your love language as well on that list).
The needs that a woman desires her husband to meet were listed as the following: Loving affection / Daily communication / Financial Responsibility / A Good Father / Real honesty
The needs that a man desires his wife to meet were listed as the following: Recreational companionship / Respect / Keeping the house a haven / Physical intimacy / Taking time to keep oneself attractive
In the next couple of weeks, I’d like to take some time and write a little bit about each one of these needs (taking one from the wife’s side and one from the husband’s side). Today, let me address briefly the wife’s need for daily communication and the husband’s need for recreational companionship.
As Gary Smalley once put it, “guys speak about 10,000 words per day, while women speak 20,000 words per day, with gusts to 30,000.” Research has shown that, when asked to walk into a room with two chairs facing a wall and talk, little girls will pull the chairs around, look each other in the eyes, and start talking. Little boys, on the other hand, will keep the chairs facing the wall, and will say a lot less words.
For whatever reason, most women are wired for verbal communication. They want to talk (facing the other person is preferable when talking) and they want someone to listen to them (isn’t that why they have so many girlfriends). Now, guys, what most wives really want is for you to become their “best girlfriend”. By that I mean that they desire for you to listen to them like their best girlfriend would. I love it when my wife refers to me as her “best girlfriend” because it means that I have taken the time to listen to what is really on her heart.
So, wives, what does it mean for your husband to be your “best girlfriend”? How much time do you desire each day for your husband to debrief with you about your day (15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc)? In my experience, most wives would be ecstatic if their husbands spent 15 minutes per day listening to their heart. This isn’t a time where the husband offers advice or solves the wife’s problems, but rather a time when he just listens. Ladies, if this is a need of yours, put it on your list and write the number of minutes you’d like your husband to spend with you each day.
Husbands, on the other hand, are wired for action. They don’t want to talk, they want to do — they want recreational companionship. And, many husbands desire their wives to be part of their activities. For some, this means having their wives take up table tennis, foosball, bowling, tennis, or golf. You can even play these sports indoors now with Wii Sports of Xbox. Or, it can mean taking an interest in football and sitting with him to watch the game and go wild when he does. At the very least, it means having their wives come and watch their activities!
So, husbands, does this apply to you? If it does, then how many and which activities each week do you desire your wife to join you in? Put it on the list you are creating.
So, your homework for this week is this: First, start your “Needs list”. Second, think about Harley’s list, especially these two items of communication and relational companionship. Do you have need in these areas? If so, put those needs on your list.
If you need help thinking about how to make communication or recreational companionship meaningful for your relationship, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can help.
Look for my next blog on Thursday on my continuing dialogue on how you balance the call to “meet needs” with the Apostle Paul’s words that “I have found the secret to be content in all things”.
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