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Illustration: Needs Are Different

Perhaps our understanding for marriage is to give our spouse what we feel is best.

Dr. Willard Harley, a Massachusetts psychologist, surveyed the perceived basic needs of men and women in marriage and found that the perceived needs are completely different. According to Dr. Harley’s survey,

The top five basic needs of the female in marriage are:

1. Affection

2. Communication

3. Openness/Honesty

4. Financial Support

5. Family Commitment


The male’s top five basic needs are:

1. Sexual Fulfillment

2. Recreational Companionship

3. An Attractive Wife

4. Domestic Support

5. Admiration


Looking at both lists, it becomes obvious that if we give our spouses in relation to our perceived needs, hoping to receive the same in return, we will miss the mark every time. Therefore, instead of giving in relation to what we need, we must strive to give what our spouses need.

From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings, by Ed Young (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publ., 1994), pp. 120-121.