This morning at church, my husband and I taught about Relational Needs. When we are angry, hurt, guilty, anxious or stressed it could mean our spouse is not meeting our need. We all have basic needs like shelter and food, however there are relational needs which are needs that make us feel loved. If these needs left unmet then unhappiness starts to manifest. Once we experience anger, hurt or stress, on a continueous basis, we will do one of three things. We throw a fit, demanding attention, we withdrawl or we get more depressed. Other manifestation usually occur such as mood swings, quick tempered, loss of sleep or other physical ailments, addictions to drugs, work, porn also are results from not getting needs met. This is when we sometimes search for the right person to fulfill those unmet needs.
Now ultimately the person committing these actions are at fault, however if the spouse knew what needs were going unmet hopefully they could have prevented these negative outcomes. It is not always someone else’s fault for the reason we are unhappy or unwilling to accept responsibility. When God put marriage together there must be a commitment between husband and wife and that is to give to one another. Many times we do not know what the other spouse actually needs, we may think we know, however these needs must be learned. Once we know what makes our spouse feel loved we can nourish that need. If relational needs are being met, we feel joy, secure and valued and if they are not, then anger, bitterness, stress and hurt takes over.
The top five for men are, Appreciation and admiration, sexual fullmemnt, wife as husband’s best friend, wife who takes main responsibility for domestic support, and an attractive spouse.
The top five relational needs for women are affection and non-erotic tenderness, openness, truthfulness and honesty, husband who delights in having conversations, husband who takes the main responsibility for financial support, husband committed to family.
Listed above are the top five that will fit most people however you can take a Relational Needs Assessment Tool exercise online to determine your top relational needs and then you can share them with your spouse. Once you know what your spouse’s relational needs are (to make them feel loved) you give them your best in meeting his/her needs. When you take time to do this then you can avoid the pitfalls of marriage trouble or unhappiness in the home. I just wish someone had told me about this topic when I first got married and it would have saved us several arguments. After 26 years of marriage, I believe we have learned how to make our spouse feel loved but we need to be reminded every now and then it is not just about what we get for ourselves in a relationship but what we can give to others.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself.