Relationship Needs

In any healthy relationship, there are some basic needs that must be met in order to maintain that health. Trust, faithfulness, and support are all qualities you want from your spouse, but without certain ingredients, a marriage can become devoid of these qualities. You need to invest some time and effort into seeing what your partner wants individually to stay happy and healthy, as well as these general requirements for a good marriage.

· Honesty – If you have entered into your marriage with anything but absolute honesty, you will run into trouble down the line. This may seem extreme to say, but it is usually the truth. Holding back secrets from your spouse will only lead to hurt feelings and a distance that no amount of love and affection can bridge. Honesty is a fundamental requirement to a good marriage.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that there are certain areas you should be able to keep from your spouse when those areas affect your spouse. For example, being dishonest about how much money you spend and on what is only showing your spouse that you do not trust their role in your financial life. Lying about where you spend your time or who you see only leads to a double life that will eventually erode any relationship.

· Respect – Respect is an extension of honesty. If you respect your partner, you will give him or her the benefit of the doubt and be honest about who you truly are. But you will also show your partner respect outside of the home. When you are with friends or colleagues, insulting or teasing your partner in a manner that is derogatory will demean him or her and destroy the trust in your marriage.

You also show respect by arriving on time, showing up when you say you will, doing your share of the household chores, speaking well of your spouse to others when he or she is not around, and treating his or her family with patience and tolerance.

· Time – You must invest the time your relationship needs to flourish. You spend most of your life at your job. You put in over time when there is a problem or when a special project needs your attention. What about your marriage? If your spouse is feeling neglected, do you take off work early to spend some quality time together? Do you plan weekend holidays to show them how much they are loved?

Time together does not have to be elaborate or planned. It can be as simple as an hour each evening that you spend together before going to sleep. You will get to share the events of your day and talk to each other about your concerns. You might even sit in silence together and unwind. But the time you spend with your spouse strengthens and maintains the bond you have created.

· Affection – It is important no matter how long you have been married to continue to show your spouse affection. This can be in the form of physical affection, such as kisses, hugs, and hand holding, or it can be in the form of emotional affection in the form of cards, gifts, phone calls, or flowers. Do not assume that just because you have been married a long time your spouse knows your true feelings. They may know you love them, but showing that love in small ways can make all the difference in how confident your spouse is in your relationship.

Take the time to show affection on a regular basis. Remember though to gauge what type of affection your spouse prefers. Simply because you like to hold hands in public does not mean that your spouse prefers this method of affection. He or she may prefer that you keep public displays to a minimum and instead sit close together in the evening in front of the television.

· Change – All relationships change because all people change. So your relationship must have some kind of change to keep it healthy. This may take the form of new habits or schedules. Instead of feeding your family the same dinner every Tuesday, you might change it up and start serving a fun meal outdoors. Instead of taking your wife to the same restaurant on every special occasion, you might pack a light picnic and take her on a drive to the country.

Change can take all forms. You can try new things as a couple and take on new hobbies or interests. You can change your environment by redecorating the house or doing some gardening. You can even change your friends by meeting new people.

To keep your marriage healthy, try incorporating all of these ingredients and watch your relationship flourish.



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