♥ You Need It To Divorce-Proof and Affair-Proof Your Marriage ♥
Love is more than a feeling. It is a commitment to do what is best for the beloved.
But in order to keep your marriage alive and well, you need to fall in love and stay in love with your mate. And there are some things you can do to accomplish this. We think of “falling in love” as an uncontrollable, mysterious feeling that just happens. We almost think of ourselves as victims of love. Some believe that it comes and goes of its own accord, and once it’s gone, it can’t be regained.
But think of the song, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by Hall and Oates. It’s actually right on about what happens in marriages and what a wife can do to save the marriage or the husband if HE’S the one who has lost that loving feeling. You really can bring back that loving feeling.
I have been reading several books about marriage, and I have noticed a common theme. We need to work on maintaining that loving feeling in our marriages no matter how long we’ve been together. The books I’m reading are Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat and His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Dr. Wheat lists these truths about true love:
Real love is not mysterious or irrational.
Real love is not a simple, easy, doing what comes naturally.
Real love is not an uncontrollable feeling.
Real love is not produced by trying to attract it.
I can understand what love is through the Word of God.
I can learn the art of loving.
I can choose to love.
I can produce love by giving it first and giving it wisely.
Love recognizes a unique value in the beloved.
Love chooses to affirm the value of the beloved always.
Love consistently does the best for the beloved.
Love is an active power to be controlled by the will.
Love is always a choice backed up by action.
Love is costly even when the giving is pure joy.
Dr. Harley uses the analogy of a Love Bank. We each have a Love Bank that people put deposits in and take withdrawals out of by the way they treat us or make us feel. The more deposits you put into your spouse’s Love Bank, the bigger the balance in your account. When you do things that make them feel unloved or unappreciated, your balance goes down.
Basically, Dr. Harley says that we need to meet each others’ needs. He has taken surveys of many of the couples he has counseled over a period of 15 years, and has asked the question: “What could your spouse do for you that would make you the happiest?” He classified most of their responses into ten emotional needs- admiration, affection, conversation, domestic support, family commitment, financial support, honesty and openness, physical attractiveness, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment. The thing that complicates the process of each meeting the others’ needs is that the most important needs of women are the opposite of the most important needs of men! If we try to meet the needs we consider most important, we are meeting the least important needs of our spouse. What a predicament!
The first need he lists for women is affection. The first need for men is sex, of course. He says that you can’t have one without the other. A woman usually needs to feel a oneness with her husband before she has sex with him. A couple achieves this feeling through exchange of affection and undivided attention. Affection is the environment that will cause sexual desire to thrive.
He presents the Golden Rule of Marriage:
Meet your spouse’s needs as you would want your spouse to meet yours.
Dr. Harley explains that a person feels warm, loving feelings toward someone who meets his needs. When he associates these feelings with a certain person, he feels “in love” with that person and feels like he needs that person in his life.
The next need for women is conversation – a hard one for many men to fulfill. He says that couples need to spend lots of time together to achieve this. Women need their husband’s undivided attention during conversation. As they do things together, they have more to talk about. If they do things separately, they will grow apart. If they do things together, they will grow together. You need to find things that you both enjoy doing, and do those things instead of the things that only one enjoys.
The next need for men is recreational companionship. I was surprised at this. This is something we definitely need to work on. He only likes to play video games as recreation. I hate video games. We have a problem here. We will be discussing this in the future.
There is an inventory in the appendix to help you find recreational interests that you have in common. My husband and I need to go through this together. If we are going to spend 15 hours a week together, we need to find some things we can do together that we both enjoy. And they have to be things that allow for conversation!
It appears that although men and women have different needs, some of these needs work in tandem. When a woman’s need for affection is met, she will be more willing to meet a man’s need for sex. When a man’s need for recreational companionship is met, there are more opportunities for the conversation that a woman craves.
This is what I have discovered so far. The main point is that we can do things every day that will help maintain a warm, close, loving relationship with our spouse and will keep that feeling of being “in love” alive. We cannot take each other for granted. We must work together to build a marriage, not just do whatever comes naturally and assume that our spouse has to take whatever we give them. We need to study each other and find out what their needs are. Then we need to love them enough to endeavor to meet their needs. The answer to marriage problems is to : FALL IN LOVE! ♥