This past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.
You can listen to it here.
I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.
Need #4 Domestic Support:
- He needs peace and quiet. A home that is welcoming and relaxing, it does not need to be fancy, it just needs be calming.
- This usually is not an issue until the kids arrive: who is going to stay home with the kids, who is going to work, how do we split up the chores, is it fair to assume that all chores will be done by the person who stays at home or works less hours? This has huge potential to blow up in your face!
- This has less to do with having a white gloved clean home and more to do with how he feels when he walks in the door; relaxation and pleasure.
- I realize that the house will not be spotless and dinner on the table every night that your husband walks in the door, but again, are you trying?
- “A revolution in male attitudes in housework is supposed to have taken place, with men pitching in to take an equal share of the household chores. But this revolution has not necessarily changed their emotional needs. Many of the men I counsel still tell me in private that they need domestic support as much as ever.”
- “They may talk a lot about how unfair it is to expect women to do all the housework, but when it comes to actually doing it, their wives know that it’s mostly talk.”
- “Children create huge needs, both a greater need for income and greater domestic responsibilities. The previous division of labor is now obsolete. Both spouses must take on new responsibilities. Which ones should they take? In most modern marriages, both spouses opt for income, leaving the domestic responsibilities to whoever will volunteer.”
- Usually there are no willing volunteers, or one of you does the work because you feel like you have to, but that puts a wedge into the relationship and creates resentment on a regular basis.
- There does need to be a fair division of responsibilities, but that does not mean things should be split half and half.
- Harley suggests:
- listing out ALL household responsibilities and how important each person thinks that they are.
- Assume responsibility for those things that you enjoy doing or would prefer to do yourself.
- Assign the remaining responsibilities to the one wanting each done the most.
- Meet the need of domestic support by assuming responsibilities that deposit the most love units.
- “In marriage, you do things for each other because you care about each other’s feelings, not just because you want them done yourself. And that can deposit carloads of love units if done in the right way.”
- “Let me repeat a concept that is crucial to your marital happiness. If you and your spouse are in love with each other, you will have a happy marriage. If you are not in love you will feel cheated. So whatever it takes to trigger the feeling of being in love with each other is well worth the effort.”
- I understand Willard’s desire to set up a distinction of household chores, but I think that in some ways he is missing the mark by not addressing the deeper issue of the difference in male and female roles. Instead of getting into it here, take a minute to listen to Josh’s talk, after it posts, from October 24th.
- For those of you with kids: “It doesn’t build character to five your kids jobs that you hate to do; it builds resentment. If you want your children to help around the house, have them choose tasks from your list of household responsibilities that they would enjoy doing.”
All quotes are taken from His Needs Her Needs; by Willard F. Harley Jr.