Willard Harley`S His Needs Her Needs Essay, Research Paper
Willard Harley, the author of His Needs Her Needs, has written a follow up book discussing the insights and techniques for building and sustaining the feeling of love in marriage. The name of this book is Fall In Love Stay In Love. The objective for this book is to help people fall in love by learning how to meet each others needs, and it goes further by showing what habits to avoid in order to stay in love.
This book has very realistic concepts because Harley is speaking from experience. He is a marriage counselor and has used his philosophy on bringing couples together in a loving relationship many times. If a family were to take the steps provided in his book, there is a good chance they will benefit from them. Dr. Harley understands that there are people involved in a number of problems when it comes to marriage. He says, “Granted, poor communication, failure to resolve conflicts, and fighting all contribute to the loss of love. But these are also symptoms of lost love. In other words, I began to realize that if I wanted to save marriages, I would have to go beyond improving communication. I would have to learn how to restore love”. He does not look at the problems that are visible on the outside, but realizes that these problems are caused by something much deeper than simply bad attitudes or consistent mistakes. There is one idea the author has though that may turn the reader away from the book. This idea is that love is not a mystery. To some people this idea of love being a mystery may create some problems. The way people have viewed love since a very young age tells them that love is nothing less than magical. People that grew up in the American culture can easily be turned off by the idea that love is predictable, but for Willard Harley this is the only way he can be a successful marriage counselor. He says, “Most people regard the feeling of love as one of life’s great and wonderful mysteries. It’s certainly great and wonderful, but as I have already mentioned, it’s not a mystery. I have found the feeling of love to be quite predictable. And it’s the predictability that makes my job possible.” One of the main focuses of Fall In Love Stay In Love is dealing with what Harley calls love bank deposits. This could be one of the most influential insights of the book. This section deals with how to care for each other. The book talks about two different types of love, romantic love and caring love. For the author, the only way to reach romantic love is to first have a deep caring love. In order to reach the full capacity of this caring love, he gives a step-by-step lesson on how to deposit positive love units into the spouses love bank.
There was a fascinating concept that Harley brought up in chapters five and six, concerning both his and her most important emotional needs. Harley describes what an emotional need is by saying, “An emotional need is a craving that, when satisfied, makes us feel happy and fulfilled and, when unsatisfied, makes us feel unhappy and frustrated.” There were five emotional needs listed for each sex. For men the needs were: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, physical attractiveness, admiration, and domestic support. For women the needs were: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Of course, some men may have needs that are listed under the women’s emotional needs chapter and some women may have needs that are listed under the men’s emotional needs chapter. He associated certain emotional needs with men and certain ones with women, because he created an emotional needs questionnaire in the back of the book that allows couples to learn more about themselves and each other.. After reading this section of the book I decided to fill out the questionnaire located in appendix B. I found out a variety of things about myself and my girlfriend that helped us better understand our relationship. For myself, I learned that family commitment and honesty are my top two emotional needs. The top two emotional needs for my girlfriend are affection and communication. Interestingly enough, I also found that I was lacking in fulfilling her top two needs.
By reading Fall In Love Stay In Love, I was able to learn a great deal about how relationships work and how my own parents stayed in love. My mother is a very family oriented person, if my dad did not give the emotional need of family commitment there would be some problems. I am also able to point out that my father grew up in a small town with very conservative traditional values. If my mother fell short in her domestic support, there may not have been as much caring love between my parents. The book gives great insight on the steps that need to be taken, but it is almost written in a way that seems to only sound good and not really work on patients. I know that Willard Harley is a well known marriage counselor, but it would have given him more credibility if he would have included case studies to support his work. This would also give the reader confidence in obtaining the goals of the book.
After reading this book and discussing the different steps, views, and concepts with my girlfriend, I would definitely recommend this book to other couples. Falling in love is one thing, which can certainly be done without following steps that are in this book, but staying in love is definitely a challenge for some couples. By following the guidelines that are presented in Fall In Love Stay In Love, I can see that there is a potential for couples to be redirected in their love relationships. If it does not change your behavior, it will at least make you think about the ways you can act and how it affects the one that loves you most.