How Well Do You Know Your Spouse’s Needs?

There are 2 things that Lea and I repeat over and over in the Strong Marriage workshops that we do …

  • Be proactive in growing your marriage. (Don’t put your marriage on cruise control.)
  • Strive to meet your spouse’s needs.

I think every couple will agree that we need to meet our spouses needs, but when is the last time you actually asked your spouse, “What are your top needs?”

If you don’t have a clue what your spouse’s needs are, then you’re already behind the 8-ball. You’ve got to ask, instead of trying to guess.  And then when you find out, be proactive in trying to meet those needs. When you do, in return, they will want to meet your needs. Lea and I ask one another on a regular basis, “What are your needs,” because they sometimes change, then we simply try to out do one another at meeting the other person’s needs.

According to Dr. Willard Harley’s book called His Needs/Her Needs. Here are the top needs of Husbands & Wives:

A Husband’s Top 5 Needs:

  1. Sexual Fulfillment – Generally a husband’s top need.
  2. Recreational Companionship – A husband loves it when his wife is willing to take an interest in things he likes.
  3. An Attractive Spouse – Wives, do your best with what you’ve got and dress with the goal of pleasing him.
  4. Domestic Support – He wants peace and quiet (domestic bliss).
  5. Admiration – You can’t heap it on to thick girls.

A Wife’s Top 5 Needs:

  1. Affection – Generally her number 1 need. Guys, never stop pursuing your wife.
  2. Conversation – The top reason for divorce given by women. Men, learn to converse.
  3. Honesty and Openness – Don’t be dishonest or hide things. Honesty is the glue in your marriage.
  4. Financial Support – A huge need in the world of women. They simply want to know that they’ll be taken care of.
  5. Family Commitment – Guys, be more committed to being a dad and husband than you are your hobbies and job.

So here’s a good challenge for the weekend: Take the lists above, show them to your spouse and ask how their needs stack up to these here. (It’s not unusual for a woman to have a need in the man’s list or a man to have a need in the woman’s list.)  Find out what his/her top 5 needs are and then make it your goal to focus on those needs this next week.

I want a great marriage, but it won’t happen by accident … just like anything else, marriage takes work. Sometime hard work.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Erin says:

    I appreciate the intent here but I don’t like lumping “needs” into categories of the sexes. Try pasting number 1 or 3 of the man’s needs into the woman’s needs category and see what happens to your impression of that woman. You’d think she was pretty shallow, and possibly be questioning her honor, right? Or think of number 4 from the woman’s list as a man’s need, you’d think of him as a lazy son-of-a-gun, right?

    Once my husband and I let go of “gender expectations” and started viewing one another as unique individuals our marriage got much stronger. We need to be careful about this kind of stereotyping, especially when it applies to something as sensitive as a marriage relationship. If one does not fit into the “mold” of what a “good wife” or “good husband” is it sets up a marriage up for all kinds of trouble. Things that can truly hurt a marriage such as insecurity, or unreasonable expectations crop up.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Erin, I understand what you’re saying completely. These are just the way Willard Harley breaks them down. I’ve found in most cases they generally fit most husbands and wives. It’s doesn’t always fit exactly though, sometimes I’ve seen some of the so-called “husband’s needs” to be some of a wife’s needs, and visa-versa.

      The one thing I know for sure is, if we completely ignore trying to find out your spouses needs then we won’t know what they are and we won’t be able to meet them. If I can’t meet my spouse’s needs, I’m clearly setting myself up for a struggling marriage.

  2. You know Trey, this is so true. Thank for your post!

  3. Don says:

    Hi Trey,

    What do you do when you ask your wife what her needs are and she says that she does not know? Yes, I shared this list with her. Also, what does a husband do when his wife knows his needs but only half heartedly tries to meet them? Are these two reactions are related?



About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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