Are your needs being met in your relationship?
Often when I ask my clients “what are your needs in this relationship?” they look at me with a blank face. Most times the response rendered is “I don’t know”. Whether in a committed romantic relationship or in a marriage, being aware of one’s needs and knowing what they are and if they are being met is important to the success of the relationship or marriage. According to Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D clinical psychologist and author of His Needs, Her Needs, Building an Affair Proof Marriage, there are 10 emotional needs that are important to marriage. These needs are as follows:
Affection– the nonsexual expression of care through words, cards, gifts, hugs, kisses, and courtesies, creating an environment that clearly and repeatedly expresses care.
Sexual fulfillment-a sexual experience that is predictably enjoyable and frequent enough for you.
Intimate conversation-talking about feelings, topics of personal interest/opinion, and plans
-Leisure activities with at least one other person.
Honesty and openness-Truthful and frank expressions of positive and negative feelings, events of the past, daily events and schedule, and plans for he future; not leaving a false setting.
Physical attractiveness of spouse-Viewing physical traits of your partner that are aesthetically and or sexually pleasing.
Financial support-the provision of the financial resources to house, feed, and clothe your family at a standard of living acceptable to you.
Domestic support-Management of the household tasks and care of the children that create home environment that offers a refuge from stress.
Family commitment– provision for the moral and educational development of the children within the family unit.
Admiration-Being shown respect, value, and appreciation.
Once the needs are explicitly stated, the client is often better able to answer the “what do you need in this relationship and are they being met?” question. At times it is just a matter of putting words to the experiences that are already happening in the relationship. Other times, it helps put words to what is off or missing in the relationship. At the very least he or she is able to contemplate areas of the relationship that are important and evaluate potential or current partners effectiveness in meeting those needs.
If you find that your partner or spouse is needing some assistance with helping you get your emotional needs met, or vice versa, feel free to us a call at 708-349-5433.
Ariane Allen, Psy.D