I read this book for a part of my seminary class requirements. Although I'm single, this text was an absolute eye opener. I began the book as though it would not be fitting for being a single young man. However, on the contrary, it was fruitful; giving me a greater perspective on applications that can help prevent a marital affair and/or divorce. Moreover, it demonstrates how to show your significant other how much you truly care for them.
As an upcoming pastor, I plan on sharing some of these applications with those in both premarital and marital counseling. This book is a must have for all individuals who are wanting to strengthen their marriage, those whose marriage is rocky and needs adjustment, singles, pastors, seminary students, and anyone who wants to increase in their affection for their significant other.
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Review 3 for His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage / Revised - eBook
My husband and I are reading this together and we are getting a lot out of it. My only nitpick is that I feel that the author gives infidelity an excuse on the basis of filling needs. I don't think he would agree with my assessment but that's my feeling. We expect singles to be abstinate why not us. The author is trying to make the point that if you do not pay attention to your spouses deep needs you leave them vulnerable to an affair. The point is well made, but a better reason to read this book is that it can help make your marriage more fulfulling. My husband doesn't like that some of the assessment tools or lists are not in this book. We have to get them elsewhere.
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Review 7 for His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage / Revised - eBook
Book Summary This book His Needs, Her Needs is a book about as the subtitle states building an affair proof marriage and is written by William F. Harley, Jr. The author posits the thesis that if each spouse invests the time to learn about each other, their basic emotional and physical needs and pursues after meeting them your “love bank” will never run dry and you and your spouse will enjoy marital bliss. He was involved in a marriage counseling practice at the start of his career with dismal results; everyone who came to see him for assistance ended in divorce despite his best efforts to the contrary. As he started to explore the reasons why this was so, he discovered that it was not only him but the entire branch of counseling that specializes in marital counseling was rated as one of two occupations which provided the worst return on their clients investments. Switching his approach he starting asking the couples who came to see him a very basic question, “What could your spouse do for you that would make you the happiest?” Over time and many couples later, he classified their responses into ten emotional needs, 1) admiration, 2) affection, 3) conversation, 4) domestic support, 5) family commitment, 6) financial support, 7) honesty and openness, 8) physical attractiveness, 9) recreational companionship, and 10) sexual fulfillment. Throughout the remaining pages of the book he explores in depth the concepts above including a concept he calls the love bank. Harley spends considerable time explaining the concept of how our love bank is always open and also notes that it is not restricted to just the marital union but it works with all of our encounters, male and female alike. If the encounter leaves us feeling positive love credits get added into our love bank, whereas if it is a draining or unpleasant encounter debits are withdrawn and so on according to the intensity of the experience. He further points out that what may be the top five emotional needs for a man are normally the opposite for the woman and vice versa for the man. Exploring these in depth the couple can cement their relationship together but he points out that once you have the knowledge of his or her needs this alone does not meet those needs and actually you will become worst off because now since you know about them and are not seeking to fulfill them it would be perceived as uncaring and being totally insensitive to your spouse. Harley goes on to draw out the differences between the affection the women needs like water to drink and the sex the man normally needs like air to breathe. It is noted the vicious cycle that couples become trapped in; the man signals his need for sexual satisfaction but is not showing her any affection so she shuts him down in his desire for sex. He further explains that affection for the woman is the communication of care which prepares the woman for her husband’s advances; skills a wise husband will learn to do well. Affection is the environment of marriage, while sex is an event. He fills the pages of this book with great stories illustrating the points under discussion using real life couples. An examination of many stories exposing the patterns that leads many a marriage partner into the arms of another seeking the fulfillment of unmet emotional needs, the oddity here that Harley points out is that many times the ‘other person’ is not “better” than their spouse but simply the one who became available to meet that specific need. But because of the love bank concept explained earlier in the book, the straying spouse now becomes enamored with their new partner and could potentially be in love with both of them, their spouse and their lover. He finishes off the book with the last two chapters providing practical advice on how to survive an affair outlining three fundamental steps and moving from being incompatible to irresistible to each other, with appendixes chocked full with assessment information taking an emotional needs survey. Critique Harley has discovered a very insightful method of getting at the heart of marriage, the mechanics of what makes it work. The thing I find interesting in Harley’s approach is that none of the advanced psychological knowledge normally associated with reasoned solutions to our modern day maladies solved this problem. A basic or even common sense approach of asking simple straight-forward questions about what makes them tick produced his categorized system of emotional needs. You can spiritualize or theorize marriage as much as you want but it is still human beings, Christian or secular, wired the way their Creator made them and when we ignore the manufacturer’s basic operation of how we are to function, we end up in trouble and out of harmony to both our Designer and our mates. Harley has used the empirical method in his research to come up with this breakdown of marriage mechanics and has logically accessed his findings breaking them down into ten categorical groups. Although his finding are representative they are not exhaustive, which is why the appendix material is so valuable in this book, especially the emotional needs assessment, which can allow for the uniqueness of each couple. He does a good job at the end of each chapter with what he calls questions for her/him and to consider together. This section helps to take this material out of the academic/clinical realm and asks us as individuals to become involved right where we live in the center of our needs, met or unfulfilled. Another observation which actually makes the book much more usable to a larger audience is that even though he identifies himself as a Christian he only uses few scriptural references. This would seem to make it easier to accept for a secular audience and to the Christian world as well. One can find much biblical underpinnings in the truth presented about human needs albeit in a general sense with proverbs 23:7 forming a core thought, as a man thinks in his heart so is he. What we focus on we naturally tend to think about and we are naturally are preoccupied with the meeting of our needs. In the review of Harley’s ten basic emotional needs, the one on recreational companionship would not have made my list and I found it suspect of being a real basic emotional need. Yet I do not have all the research data that Dr. Harley has amassed, yet it just does not appear in my thinking to be a basic ‘gotta have, can’t live without’ type of need. The other category of physical attractiveness seemed too much on the vain side of things to be an actual basic human emotional need, yet in the sex saturated culture we live in today this is likely true for an increasing number of people, although it still appears to be superficially motivated with Proverbs 31:30 speaking against this one, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” A good point about this book is how the author does not treat this topic superficially or even just academically but allows his research results to inform his psychology. For the value of this book, “the proof is in the pudding.” Or said another way colloquially ‘the rubber meets the road,’ he does not allow this topic to remain theory but relates the many stories of countless couples proving the factual basis of his method with skin on it. He shows a number of couples where one or both have believed the cultural lies and were heading down the unenviable path to divorce and by a refocus on what actually matters in a marriage – the meeting of your partner’s basic human needs and with hard work applied to the meeting of these needs the marriage is saved and better than ever. A principle not directly said but overtly implied in numerous sections was the thought that when we focus on our spouse’s needs and their fulfillment ours get met along the way and then some; which echoes of biblical principle without being quoted chapter and verse. Once Harley gets through the first and second things that he and she cannot live without the material shift slightly away from what I would consider to be emotional needs to matters more of a practical nature like financial security, domestic support and family commitment. Overall this is an outstanding book with a proven track record being utilized by hundreds of couples with positive results. The advice given is practical, easy to understand and able to be implemented without complications only honesty required.
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Review 9 for His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage / Revised - eBook
Every married or engaged couple should have this. Great advice for making this, your most important relationship (next to that with God) last. Aids in making your marriage the way God intended it to be.
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Review 11 for His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage / Revised - eBook
A wonderful book for anyone who is married or in a relationship. I have been married 46 years. I bought this book to give to my daughter who now is divorced. She should have had this book sooner. The advice is outstanding.