Her Needs, His Needs

Last year almost 7% of the US population got married, or a little over two million people. The wedding industry is a $53 billion business with the average wedding costing $28,000! That’s what my first house cost!  Where do you think most people get married? In Las Vegas of course.

The sad thing is that almost half of those marriages end in divorce each year or about 3.4%, but the good news is that the percentage has actually declined over the past 15 years. The top ten list of reasons for divorce are; infidelity, money, lack of communication, constant arguing, weight gain, unrealistic expectations, lack of intimacy, lack of equality, not being prepared for marriage, and abuse. 

A book was written almost 10 years ago by a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, who identified a list of the five things that are most important to women and men. Dr. Willard Harley had worked with arguing couples for years and realized that the primary issues were always the same. He wrote a book called “His Needs, Her Needs, Building an Affair-Proof Marriage” and created this list to help women and men understand each other better. Dr. Harley has been married over 50 years and his books on building strong relationships are all best sellers.

Women need a hug and have simple needs. They want affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial security, and commitment to their family. Men want sex. Their top needs are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. I don’t see one thing that appears on both lists.  No wonder so many marriages end in divorce. 

So what’s the secret to a happy marriage? Laugh a lot, keep a sense of humor and find things you both enjoy doing. Do the tasks together that bog us all down each week. Cook together in the kitchen, fold the laundry together, bond with each other’s friends and family, and spend quiet time together. Say “I love you” more often. When you do argue, fight fairly, avoid saying “you always” or “you never” and be willing to be the first one to say “I’m sorry.” Touch and hug often, just staying in contact throughout the day, not allowing a distant space to grow between you. But you must allow your spouse to have time alone with their own friends without any jealousy or pouting or checking up with them.

I think I’ll go hug Will now.

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