People in thriving relationships and marriages have one thing in common – they understand the importance of meeting each other’s needs through intentional effort. As generalized and cliché as it sounds, it remains the fundamental truth in relational success. So to develop a successful marriage, make sure you use these tips.
Know Their Needs
According to Human Needs Psychology, there are six needs that everyone seeks to fulfill:
Certainty: Everyone needs to feel a level of certainty and comfort. It could be certainty of good health, a steady paycheck or a lasting relationship.
Variety: Everyone needs variety. Doing the same thing over and over creates boredom and mundane living. We all need to experience variety at times.
Connection/Love: We all need to connect with others, and are born with a desire to love and be loved.
Significance: Everyone has a need to feel important, needed or wanted in some way.
Growth: We all need to grow and mature. If we do not experience growth in our lives, we die inside.
Contribution: We all want to contribute in the world around us in some way. We want to be remembered and leave a legacy of some sort.
We all value our six needs differently. Any person, substance or object that meets at least three of our six needs can become an addiction. Anything that meets all six can become an obsession. The power of meeting a spouse’s needs is profound in relationships. Focus on meeting your spouse’s top three needs (at minimum). Then, take it to the next level to see if you can meet all six!
Understand Gender Differences
Men and women have different needs (generally speaking). And while these differences apply to most men and women, they will not apply to all. The usefulness of understanding these general differences is still paramount. Consider these differences when trying to meet your spouse’s needs:
For men, some of the top needs include:
Respect: A man craves affirmation and respect from his woman. It is the feeling of being needed, desired and admired. A woman who respects her man does not need to change him or manipulate him. She loves and values him as he is, and values his effort in caring for her. Admiration for even the littlest of things can go a long way.
Physical Affection: Sex is usually generalized as a man’s primary need. However, non-sexual physical affirmations are important, too. Smaller gestures such as hand holding, putting your arm around him, or even surprising him with a heartwarming kiss help to fulfill this need.
Masculinity: Men need to have the freedom to be men. Sometimes, they need a break from feminine energy to do things that make them feel more masculine. This can include things like exercising at the gym, shooting guns with his buddies, going fishing, taking his car apart or watching football.
For women, some of the top needs include:
Emotional Security: Women crave emotional security and trust above all else. They want to know their heart is safe with a man, and that she can trust him to handle her with sensitivity and care.
Affection: Women want to be adored by their men. They want to feel like they are his world, even though (realistically) they don’t expect him to be obsessed with her. Women feel physically and emotionally safe when men are affectionate and sensitive with a woman. Affection is not just how a man interacts with a woman physically, but also emotionally and conversationally. Affection is the tone of presence, gentleness and sensitivity given to a woman in any given moment.
Femininity: Like men need the freedom to be masculine, women need the freedom to be feminine. They need the freedom to be emotional and talk about their feelings. At the same time, it’s important for their man to not be uncomfortable or dismissive when they are emotional. Women may also need girl time or alone time free of masculine energy.
Whether you are a man or woman, be attentive to the primary gender need differences and combine that understanding with meeting your spouse’s six human needs. With this formula, you will always win!