When we lived in Colorado we enjoyed outdoor sports. We participated in some mildly extreme hiking, climbing adventures, but I was always amazed at the adrenaline junkies who teamed up with a partner to do extreme climbing.
There is an inter-dependence (you must trust each other) to make the hard climbs.
Susan Krauss says, “Throughout life, we need relationships to help us feel connected, boost our feelings of self-worth, and sustain our moods.”
If this is true in general, it is double-true in marriage.
In a healthy marriage, it’s important to learn how to meet our spouses needs.
Here’s 7 blog posts on how to meet your spouse’s needs and ‘have their back.’
NOTE: This is written to women, for women, but it applies to both husband and wife. The principles are true regardless of gender. While some specifics apply to women and not men (and vice-versa), I list these because of the principles they present.
Let’s dig in…
In This Article
- Blog #1) A Woman’s Four Basic Needs and The Ways They Are Met
- Blog #2) Five Needs Every Marriage Has
- Blog #3) Keep Your Sanity when your Spouse Doesn’t Meet your Needs
- Blog #4) Meeting Your Spouses Need For Love
- Blog #5) Meeting Your Husband’s Seven Basic Needs
- Blog #6) Why You Need To Accept Your Partners Needs
- Blog #7: 4 Secrets to Meeting Your Spouses Needs
- Wrapping It Up
Under the big picture of a woman’s need for security, Steve Wright and the team at Marriage Missions International, lay out four ways a woman finds security (and has her emotional needs met).
The Big Picture
1. He must communicate that he cares for his wife above anyone or anything except God.
2. He must communicate his admiration and love for his wife.
3. He must communicate his faithfulness to her.
4. He must communicate his dedication to provide financially.
A woman needs to know she is safe and well provided for in every aspect.
I’m sure you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs developed in the 20th Century. These are needs that motivate us on a daily basis.
Susan Gadoua lists the five basic categories of needs for marriage relationships.
The thing I like about this article is she doesn’t just list needs; she puts them in categories. This helps us understand why the needs exists, and also helps us know how to start the journey to meet those needs.
The Five Marriage Needs (categories)
1. Marriage Survival Needs
2. Marriage Safety Needs
3. Marriage Love Needs
4. Marriage Esteem Needs
5. Marriage Actualization Needs.
When we as humans don’t have our basic needs met, we become more pushy, aggressive and fear-based. When we feel safe, comfortable, loved and esteemed, we tend to have more confidence, ease and trust that we will continue to get what we need.
Dr. Carol Tanksley agrees our spouse should do more to meet our needs (that’s the point of marriage in the first place, right?)
- But what happens when they fail?
- How do we respond?
- What do we do then?
In this article, she lays out five basic attitudes we must possess to keep our sanity.
Five Steps To Keep Sane in Your Marriage
1. Focus on giving, not just receiving
2. Make sure you are investing deeply in the relationship.
3. Take responsibility for feeding yourself.
4. Realize God is supposed to meet many of those needs (not just your spouse).
5. Become comfortable with unmet needs.
We live in a narcissistic culture where people feel they are entitled to have every needs met. This is both unrealistic and damaging.
Don’t let selfishness rob you of real joy that comes from trusting God.
Gary Chapman is considered everyones relationship coach. In this article for Focus on the Family, he helps us understand the proper role of feelings, and discover a deeper connection through choice and commitment.
This is not just a grin and bear it, or grit your teeth and move on idea.
It’s about tapping into something deper than emotions.
What Happens When Feelings Fail Us?
Most people think there are two options:
1. Jump ship and leave
2. Resign yourself to a life of misery
Chapman offers a third options:
3. Pursue a deeper love.
The kind that answers’ the deepest inner longings of the heart – to be loved in spite of ourselves.
Our most basic emotional need is not to fall “in love” but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving.
The Christian Relationship blog has two articles that address the issue of meeting our spouses needs. One for women. The other for men.
Since we are talking to women today, I want to let you know about ‘Meeting Your Husband’s Seven Basic Needs.’
If we are committed to meet our spouses needs, it helps to explore what those needs really are. It’s easy to project what we want and need onto our spouse. But let’s face it, men and women have different needs.
# The Seven Needs of a Man
- To know his wife is loyal and supportive.
- To have his wife respect and honor his leadership.
- He needs a wife who develops beauty – inward and outward.
- He wants his wife to appeal to him, not demand from him.
- A wife who understands his need for time alone (with God and other men).
- He desires a grateful wife.
- He desires a wife who is admired by others.
Believe in your husband—no matter what.
The thing I liked about this article is that it’s not just bullet points about the needs of a man.
They include practical things you can do starting today to meet those needs.
John Gottman and the Gottman Institute are the leading relationship researches around the world. While they are not specifically Christian, I share this article because Heather Gray (in true Gottman sytle) delivers core concepts that are backed by relationship science.
1. Core needs are not negotiable.
Our basic desire for love, acceptance, unity and security cannot be compromised or the relationship deteriorates.
2. How our core needs are met CAN be negotiated.
This is where open communication and transparency come in. We must take time to discover what our spouse needs from us to answer those basic needs.
Working together to meet each other’s needs is a dance that can create a meaningful and lasting relationship.
I recommend pretty much everything the Gottman’s write. I don’t always agree with every detail, they present their research in clear way with a goal to help couples create the marriage they desire.
Ego aside, I want to include my article in this list of seven.
It’s called ‘4 Secrets to Meeting Your Spouse’s Needs.’
It starts with an interesting story to set the stage for discovering, honoring and committing to meet the needs of our partner.
It should be obvious that men and women have different needs. Just open the conversation with your spouse about what they truly want and you will discover very quickly just how different our needs are.
The key to meeting those needs is first to honor and respect them.
The article lists the four biggest differences in men and women, then offers some practical advice for couples on how to connect with our spouse to make sure we are a safe place for them, and we are positioned to meet those needs.
I think we underestimate the power of simply making our spouse a priority. There is something that happens when this is the goal of the relationship.
Wrapping It Up
These seven articles will help you discover your partners deepest needs, and give you practical steps to meet those needs.
Be looking for the next installation of this series: “Articles Every Husband Needs To Read.”
It’s your turn.
What articles have you read that helped you be the wife (partner) your spouses desires and deserves?
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