Did you know that one of the main reasons people go to see a counsellor is to solve a marital conflict?How is your marriage doing and what are your relationship goals? Today, Family and Faith Magazine takes you to marriage counselling with no less than renowned marriage counsellor and CEO of Family Life Ministries, Dr. Barry Davidson, who reveals that 40% of engaged couples who come to see him eventually decide not to get married! That’s a large percentage! The good news however is that it also means that 60% are prepared for the journey and to get the tools they need to succeed in their marriage. Part of that preparation involves understanding the needs of your spouse. Dr. Davidson explains that a happy marriage is where you have needs fulfillment; where both husband and wife understand and strive to meet each other’s needs.
So, what are those needs? According to the experienced marriage counsellor, a wife has 5 primary needs.
- The need for affection – That doesn’t just mean sex. Wives need to be made to feel valued, cared for and important in their husband’s life.
2. The need for conversation. From a woman’s perspective there are 3 aspects to conversation – a. Information, where her husband shares with her what is going on in his life and she shares what’s going in her life and so on; b. Investigation where questions are asked and answered; and c. Understanding – she wants her husband to try to understand her.
3. The need for total trust, openness and honesty. She needs to know that she can trust her husband and that she is the only woman in his life; that she doesn’t have to worry about getting STIs, HIV etc.
4. The need for financial security and support – She needs to have a husband who is going to play his part financially. She is not necessarily asking him to make more money than her but she
wants for him to pull his weight. She doesn’t want to think she has a big son. She wants to know that she has a partner, a husband.
5. She needs her husband to be a good father to the children – Being a good father isn’t just about being a provider, it is being able to give the children time and attention and being a positive role model for the children.
Here now are the primary needs of a husband.
Most husbands need sexual fulfillment – Not that the wife obliges them or feels sorry for them or is going to give in to them or not have a head ache tonight but that their wife is in fact interested in sex as much as they are. Moreover, what husbands will tell you is that if their wife initiates lovemaking it has the ability to transform a mundane black and white existence into living glorious technicolour and so that is a very important need for most husbands.
The need for companionship – recreational, social intellectual. A husband needs his wife to go places with him, to do things with him and think through issues together.
The need for a wife to maintain her physical attractiveness. Most men are meeting attractive women out there and so they want to go home and see their wife not wearing an ‘old frock’ but rather a husband needs his wife to stimulate him and maintain her attractiveness – it is very important.
Most men want their wives to be a domestic manager, not a domestic helper but a manager who manages the home and makes sure things are done properly and in good order.
The final need that most men have is not to be constantly criticized. Men don’t want their wives to constantly complain but rather a husband wants his wife to be more affirming, to stroke his ego, to make him feel larger than life!
According to Dr. Davidson, if these needs are being met, the wife and the husband will experience happiness which psychologists define as the beautiful experience of having someone to love who will in turn love you back.
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