Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~ Marriage ~

Needs In Marriage ..........

I think people expect too much from marriage today. They expect perfection. Every moment should be a bliss. That´s TV or movies. But that is not the human experience.

When you were married, you and your spouse both promised to care for each other, and you expected that care from each other. You were in love, and you were highly motivated to make each other happy. But it might not have occurred to you at the time that if you didn't care for each other the right way, you might lose your love for each other. And along with your loss of love, you might lose your willingness to care for each other.

At the time, you probably did not know what caring for each other the right way meant. You thought that your commitment to care for each other would be sufficient to sustain your love. Even today, you may still be in the dark as to what it takes to care for each other the right way.

To care the right way, you must make large Love Bank deposits. And I've found that the best way to make those deposits is to meet each other's most important emotional needs.

What is an emotional need? It is a craving that, when satisfied, leaves you with a feeling of happiness and contentment, and, when unsatisfied, leaves you with a feeling of unhappiness and frustration. There are probably thousands of emotional needs, and it varies from one person to the other. If you feel good doing something, or if someone does something for you that makes you feel good, an emotional need has been met.

But not all emotional needs are created equally. When some are met, you may only feel comfortable--they make small Love Bank deposits. There are others, however, that can make you feel downright euphoric. In fact they make you so happy that you're likely to fall in love with the person that meets them. I call those our most important emotional needs because they make the largest Love Bank deposits of all. And those are the very same emotional needs that a husband and wife expect each other to meet in marriage.

Once those needs are identified, it helps them learn to meet those needs for each other. Make the largest deposits possible into each other's Love Banks. If all goes well, they begin making those large deposits and eventually they are in love with each other.

When I first learnt using this approach to saving marriages, I didn't know what made people the happiest in marriage -- I didn't know what emotional needs would be the most important. So I had to ask men and women that question, "What could your spouse do for you that would make you the happiest?"

As spouses explained what they wanted most, I classified their desires into emotional need categories. And almost all those I interviewed described one or more of only ten emotional needs as being most important to them (admiration, affection, conversation, domestic support, family commitment, financial support, honesty and openness, physical attractiveness, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment). Very few ever named a most important emotional need that was not included in this list of ten.

I also made a revolutionary discovery that helped me understand why husbands and wives tended not to meet each other's most important emotional needs. Whenever I asked couples to list their needs according to what they needed most, men would list them one way and women the opposite way. Of the 10 emotional needs, the five listed as most important by men were usually the five least important for women, and vice-versa.

What an insight! It is no wonder that husbands and wives have so much difficulty meeting each other's needs: They lack empathy. They are willing to do for each other what they appreciate the most, but it turns out that their efforts are misdirected. What they appreciate the most, their spouses appreciate the least!

Everyone is unique. While men on average pick a particular set of five emotional needs as their most important and women on average pick another set of five, any given man or woman can and do pick various combinations of the ten.

When they meet those needs for each other, they create the greatest happiness, and trigger a mutual feeling of love.

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