WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S NEEDS

Willard Harley in his book “His Needs Her Needs” lists what he believes are the top 5 needs for Husbands and the top 5 needs for Wives. (You can find more on these lists here.)

Husbands Top Needs…

1. Sexual Fulfillment
2. Recreational Companionship
3. Physical Attractiveness of Spouse
4. Domestic Support
5. Admiration

Wives Top Needs…

1. Affection
2. Communication
3. Honesty and Openness
4. Financial Support
5. Family Commitment

Lea and I have taught a “His Needs Her Needs” marriage class or read the book multiple times and have found that for the most part, these lists are right on. One thing we’ve noticed personally is that our needs change from time to time. One time while doing the Bible study (or reading the book) our needs will be ranked one way, and the following time they’ll be completely different. That tells me that there has GOT to be good communication in marriage to talk to our spouse about our needs. If I don’t tell my spouse my needs, she might never know them. And I need to ask my spouse regularly, “What are your needs and how am I doing meeting them?”

I’m not asking you to divulge personal information, but I’m really curious to know …

  • Do you see this list of needs as pretty accurate in your marriage?
  • When is the last time you ask your spouse “How am I (or we) doing at meeting each others needs?”

(COMMENT OF THE DAY: Peter P said… “When was the last time my wife knew what she needed or would have been prepared to tell me what it was when I asked?Seriously though, this is a two way thing, we need to be asking but we also need to be prepared to reply!”)

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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
19 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Stoogelover says:

    Other than the obvious omission of guitars in the husband’s top needs, our needs are very much on track with what Harley writes in his book. And yes, we often will ask how are we doing with one another … when we have time! Great reminder not to take this area of life for granted.

  2. nick gill says:

    I pretty much agree with the list. I think the difference between affection and admiration needs to be better understood. Most of us give what we want to get, rather than what our spouse needs. One of my professors described it as: Men want to be recognized and honored for “what they do.” Women want to be recognized and honored for “who they are.”

    I think that even Scripture shows us that the Domestic Support / Financial Support stereotype isn’t as clear-cut as we often make it.

    My wife and I spent some serious time during the holiday season evaluating how we were doing at meeting needs.

    On a related note, Trey: I know you’ve written about couples praying together before, but I can’t remember if you wrote anything specifically coaching couples who might be wanting to start praying together. If you have, could you remind me where it is? If you haven’t… :) Carly and I could use the wisdom of the work you and Lea have done together.

  3. kim says:

    hey there trey!

    i think the list of the feminine needs are right on for me. as far as the other list i think generally it’s right. the only one that i question is #2. i can tell that he enjoys it when i take part or interest in the “recreational” activities that he enjoys, but sometimes i feel like he wouldn’t really notice if i didn’t. maybe i am wrong.

    hey, question for you… have you seen the movie run fatboy run? it has a little bit of language in it, but it is hilarious and more than that very inspirational. i figured that you especially as a runner would enjoy it. we watched it on new years eve and it was a great pick to start the year out.

  4. Liss and MOMMY says:

    Thanks to your brother. Cody and I are starting this class much against us wanting too… Just kidding. For some odd reason he thought we should. Hee hee! Funny I would mention the word odd isn’t it. I just read someone else’s blog where you said I was a little odd. Just wait…

  5. TREY MORGAN says:

    Greg – I think its okay to make a 6th category and add guitars in there :)

    Nick – Powerful comment Nick. I agree 100% that most of us give what we want to get, rather than what your spouse needs. As for the praying with your wife I did write this (http://tinyurl.com/7hbvgu) , but didn’t have a lot to say on coaching. I love the concept of a post on that though. And, I will admit … women are usually pretty comfortable with it, while it’s the men who struggle to pray in front of their wives (I was included in that).

    Hi Sweet Kim – I haven’t seen run fatboy run … but the title alone sounds great. I’ll check it out. Love ya!

  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    Melissa … um, that wasn’t me that wrote that … it was Lea 😉

  7. Peter P says:

    When was the last time my wife knew what she needed or would have been prepared to tell me what it was when I asked?

    Seriously though, this is a two way thing, we need to be asking but we also need to be prepared to reply!

  8. blogprophet says:

    that cartoon is good.

    marisa likes me to help around the house, I like spending time together

  9. That Girl says:

    You very graciously sent a copy to me after my recent wedding and after 4 months of marriage, I will say that initially, I didn’t like reading the book because I can’t stand that the physical is so important to men. Soon after reading the book, I began to feel that the running I was doing was to be thin and to be a recreational companion for my new husband… then I started hating running because I felt like I was doing it for him rather than for me. Eventually, I forced myself to explain that to him and he hated that I felt that way. He enjoyed me running but he wanted me to enjoy it, too. Truth was, he wasn’t enjoying running as much because if he were to run like he wanted to, he would be WAY ahead of me. Now, he runs alone and we find other recreational activities to enjoy together (like going to football and basketball games together)
    I’ve bought Love and Respect and will make some horribly long comment such as this when you ask about that book.
    I’m not a good communicator right now so the Mr. is having to guess a lot. I’m trying, just not there, yet! :)

  10. One Observationist says:

    My wife and I went through a “His Needs Her Needs” class at Southwest COC in Omaha, NE a few years ago.

    It was a good book/class/discussion. We have always done a decent job of communicating, but it was good for both of us to hear that other spouses struggled with some of the same issues; i.e. sex and affection.

    I would recommend the book/class if for no other reason that to keep emphasizing communication in the marriage. I agree with you Trey, needs do change with the times and then change back. Sometimes things just aren’t as important as they once were. It is hard for a spouse to take care of the other member if they don’t know what’s up in the other person’s head.

    Good thoughts.
    Jeremy

  11. cwinwc says:

    A accurate list with the omission of weekly round of golf for husband or better known as the “Kitchen Pass.”

  12. Evan Williams says:

    ummmmm….. well im not married yet…. and probably wont be for several years.. but i could see that in my parents life

  13. freetolive says:

    Thanks Trey. I am going to bookmark this.

  14. Jen says:

    Thanks Trey! I think I am going to order that book tonight.

  15. Liss and MOMMY says:

    Is letting your wife take the fall for your comment part of His needs her needs? 😉

  16. nick says:

    Carly is from a very conservative CoC background, so her issues with praying together are more wrapped up in issues of silence and gender roles, etc.

    I’m the one REALLY looking forward to it, but I don’t want to force it on her. That’s why I’m looking forward to you giving us some coaching :)

  17. anon says:

    Interesting lists. What about the wife who sexual desire is number one. That does not seem to be on there.

  18. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anon – That’s not completely uncommon, but it’s why you communicate with your spouse your needs. So they will know.

  19. Peter P says:

    Ooo, I didn’t know I had had a ‘comment of the day’. ooo, I feel special.

    Thanks Trey.

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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