Tag Archives: girlfriend

His Needs, Her Needs

11 Aug

If you are married or in a committed relationship that could use a little help, I hope that you’ll keep reading. Women are different from men, so different in fact, we’ve even seen books about the two sexes being from different planets. It can feel like it sometimes. While men often wonder why we women over complicate things, we can’t figure out how men can be so simple-minded sometimes. How can everything be black and white? I’ve got a million more questions about how the other sex operates, I bet you do too. While it is fun to sit around with our same-sex peers and wonder at the mystery of the other, most of us would stop criticizing if we just knew what their needs are and how to meet them. If you want to save your relationship, the best thing you can do is learn what your partner’s needs are and meet them. If that is your intention, then I highly recommend the book “His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair Proof Marriage” by Willard F. Harley.

I admit I was turned off a little when I saw the world “affair” in the title. A relationship in trouble doesn’t always include an affair. I think you might be surprised how common they are. The author does an excellent job explaining how even those who never intend to have one can find themselves there. They begin in the simplest ways of someone outside the marriage/relationship meeting the needs of one of the partners. In a nutshell, if you can’t meet your partner’s needs, I promise you there is someone who can and will.

The man’s five most basic needs in a marriage tend to be:
1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companionship
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

The woman’s five most basic needs in a marriage tend to be:
1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial support
5. Family commitment

According to Harley, When partners don’t understand each other’s needs, they try to fulfill the needs that he or she fulfills. A woman will become overly affectionate and a man will make more than usual sexual advances. At best the mate will respond with mild pressure and at worst becomes annoyed, irritated or frigid.

Even worse, if a man is not affectionate (meeting the woman’s need) she is not likely to have sex with him (meeting the man’s need). Once the cycle begins, it can be tough to find your way out. From each partner’s perspective, it clearly appears to be the other partner’s fault.

What I encourage you to do is to rise to the challenge. I understand your needs are not being met, but my guess is, neither are your partner’s. Take the initiative and begin to meet your partner’s needs. Put your hurt feelings aside and see what happens in time when you begin to meet their most basic needs. The commitment to be together is a commitment to meet each other’s needs, for better or for worse. Watch their heart change as you begin to give them what they need. Your heart will soften as well when you realize your needs will be met in kind. You’ll be glad you made the first move.

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Commitment: Your Best Investment

14 Apr

The idea of commitment can generate a wide variety of emotions.  It can feel scary like it’s a big undertaking, an obligation that you can’t bail on.  On the flip side it can feel so good to hold on and be secure.  It can offer that sense of safety you always longed for.

When I think about commitment, lots of words and images come to mind.  I see a wedding dress, I see an old couple holding hands after a lifetime together. I think of words like forever, loyal, genuine and true.  When there is a commitment to another human being, there comes a sense of knowing.  Where looks can replace words and body language says everything.  You’re with your match.

Awhile back I was sharing with another person how much I longed for a committed relationship and how desperately I wanted to find my match. I talked about the feelings that I expected to come with it and the sense of peace of knowing someone will always have my back. I imagined that same person will have hold of my heart in a way that no one else does.  I trust they’ll be gentle with it, knowing it had some breaks before they came along.

As the conversation was coming to a close and I wrapped up my thoughts on commitment and how powerful it was, I heard her say, “Yes, commitment to self is so powerful.”  I stared at her, knowing that I had not talked about commitment to myself but rather to another person.  While the urge to correct her came quickly, something else came faster.  The realization that she knew something I did not.  There would be no commitment with another if I didn’t commit to myself first.  Who would invest in me, a person who was not even fully invested in herself?  It’s like walking around with a foreclosure sign around my neck, advertising I couldn’t make it, I didn’t have what I needed to see it all the way through.  In a sense, I needed to take full ownership of myself if I expected someone to commit and invest in a relationship with me. 

Owning certain parts of me is rather daunting.  While there are a lot of things I like about myself, I have learned to disown some of the darker parts.  Some parts of me I have refused to own because society says they are not ok, like my weird, curly hair and the extra weight I carry around my middle.  The other parts, well they are just hard to face.  I have a “victim” living inside of me that whines about not catching a break and having it as easy as other people.  It turns out I also have a “messiah,”  that sometimes thinks I can’t walk away from jobs and people because there is no way they can manage without me, I’m just that good.  If you’re laughing right now, it’s ok, I am too.  I know it is ridiculous, but it is no less true.  I won’t go into the other dark parts of me, just trust that they are there.  Instead I will tell you what I know.  For every dark shadow, there is light.  I will find it and balance out the darkness.  To put it another way, I’m gonna let it all hang out.  I’m going to invest in me.  I will wear the curls God gave me and embrace the volume my hair has that others only dream of.  I’ll continue to nurture my body with the foods I love and know that I am healthy and this is the body that has carried me through everything.  It has never failed me. In fact, it’s the kind of commitment I’ve been looking for all along.  There it is again, that message, that for all the things I am seeking outside of me, I am most likely to find them within. 

 I will commit to me, reminding myself that I am a combination of good and bad, light and dark.  We all are.