I’ve spoken before about the book Love & Respect, and the fact that I think it is a great book to help spouses understand each other better and put words to their needs. I’ve heard Chad tell others often that a key to marriage is striving to meet each other’s needs, and he does a tremendous job at this. For this post, I want to go a little deeper into what those needs are, as outlined in this book. The book says men and women have six different needs, right now I’m just going to focus on the six general needs that women have (they spell COUPLE, so that helps me remember). Maybe I’ll get Chad to write a post about men (nudge, nudge…).
I like physical closeness. Yes, men, this IS different from sex. Most nights after the kids are in bed we sit next to each other on the couch and watch TV. Some nights Chad is doing something on his iPad, but we are still physically close, and I can put my head on his shoulder if I want, or hold hands. I just like being close to him, and he knows this.
Chad’s pretty good about this one on his own. We can talk openly about anything without worry. Sometimes I still have to remind him that I just need him to listen without supplying a solution, but he’s receptive. : ) I trust him with all of me, even the crazy, so when I need to talk I feel safe with him.
Chad understands me better than anyone else. He knows what I’m thinking, how I will respond in a situation, what makes me tick, what makes me ticked (haha, that was clever), he just gets me. Granted, he’s still a man and I’m still a woman, so there will always be some confusion and miscommunication, but generally speaking, he understands me. This also makes him one of the only people who can tell me what to do and I’ll actually listen.
This is a biggie for me. If there’s a rift between us, nothing else in my life is in line. I can’t focus, I’m not motivated, nothing works. We do sometimes go to bed angry (gasp!) because when I’m really tired, I’m only MORE emotional, and nothing helpful is going to come out of my mouth. Arguing when I’m tired is really pointless. But we have said multiple times that we want to discuss something so that it doesn’t happen again…which is the whole point of getting into those types of “discussions”, right? The hope is that you remember you love each other and are on the same team.
Chad is fiercely loyal. I can honestly tell you that I don’t ever remember him looking at another woman. In fact, the only thing I’ve ever heard him say about other women is criticism. That may sound rude and judgmental, but I’m ok with that. He generally comments on how thankful he is that I’m not high maintenance like they are, or something along those lines. I am the standard by which he compares women, and beauty in general. I’m not saying that with a heart of conceit, but an honestly thankful heart that my husband only has eyes for me.
Chad says good things about me to other people whether I’m with him or not. I’ve overheard him compliment my cooking, my blog, etc. when I wasn’t a part of the conversation. Other people have also told me that he does this. MEN: this is another biggie! We’ve ALL heard people (men and women alike) talk poorly about their spouses in public), but it is so powerful to talk positively about your spouse!! Yes, sometimes we need to vent and get advice from a trusted, safe person – not your entire office.
OK, sorry, I know this post got long. But I am passionate about marriages and making them work. There is SO MUCH joy to be found in marriage if we can just look at the other person in our relationship and what they need instead of ourselves and what we need. So ladies, this is not intended for you to throw at your husbands in judgment, but to use as a tool to promote conversation that maybe you haven’t had.