Dr. Williard Harley (Author of His Needs, Her Needs, Building an Affair-Proof Marriage
To build your marriage on a strong foundation, it is imperative that you know what your partner’s emotional needs are and to assess if they being met. Many of us believe that our partner has the same emotional needs as us. Oftentimes, both partners have different emotional needs. If you believe that you and your partner have the same needs, this can lead to relationship trouble. It is natural for us to love our partner in the same way that we want to be loved. Therefore, we must assess what our partner’s emotional needs are. We should never assume that their emotional needs are the same as ours. It is important to “know thy partner” and know their needs so they can feel fulfilled in the relationship, just as we want to be fulfilled.
Each partner has a ‘love bank.’ When deposits are made, or when their emotional needs are met, that love bank receives a deposit. Your goal in marriage should be to fill each other’s love bank. When love banks are filled, conflict is reduced, and satisfaction is greatly increased.
Below is a list of emotional needs and examples of each.
Affection: hugs, kisses, words of affirmation…
Sexual Fulfillment: sexual acts, flirtation, sexting, fantasy…
Conversation: talking about each other, the children, work, and family….
Recreational Companionship: preferring to be with your partner while engaging in a favorite activity….
Honesty and Openness: truth, trust, and sharing….
An Attractive Spouse: physical beauty, intellectual attraction….
Financial Support: maintaining the budget, providing income….
Domestic Support: caring for children, doing laundry, washing dishes, maintaining the home…
Family Commitment: preferring to be with the family over others…
Admiration: being seen as the hero or someone special by your partner….
Exercise to help meet your partner’s emotional needs:
Each of you should rank your emotional needs in order of importance from 1-10. After you have both ordered yours confidentially, take turns one by one guessing how your partner ranked each of these emotional needs. Once you have completed the exercise, list your top five with two concrete examples of each of those five needs for your partner.
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Emotional needs are a large component of determining marital success. However, many other factors help couples build their marriage on a solid foundation. Dr. Justin D’Arienzo is our Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Expert that has worked with couples for decades. He has serviced this course since 2013 to couples all around the nation. He has perfected this course to include the most valuable information and fun exercises to ensure that couples thrive in their marriage.
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