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His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage

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Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sen Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs. The revised anniversary edition of His Needs, Her Needs is a celebration of how the book has helped thousands of couples revitalize their marriages during the last fifteen years. This best-seller identifies the causes of marital difficulties and instructs couples on how to prevent them, guiding them to build a relationship that sustains romance and increases intimacy. With today's soaring divorce rate and prevalence of affairs, Harley's insights are needed more than ever before.An unabridged recording of His Needs, Her Needs, the 15th anniversary edition, is now available as an audio book.


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Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sen Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs. The revised anniversary edition of His Needs, Her Needs is a celebration of how the book has helped thousands of couples revitalize their marriages during the last fifteen years. This best-seller identifies the causes of marital difficulties and instructs couples on how to prevent them, guiding them to build a relationship that sustains romance and increases intimacy. With today's soaring divorce rate and prevalence of affairs, Harley's insights are needed more than ever before.An unabridged recording of His Needs, Her Needs, the 15th anniversary edition, is now available as an audio book.

30 review for His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christiandude

    Although the author purports to be Christian, I have a hard time taking that seriously given the content of the book. To be fair, I believe the needs tests for spouses included in the book are of value. Harley takes a very shallow, worldly approach to marriage. In my opinion, he does not show any evidence of writing from a Christian perspective. He seems to almost condone adultery, if the innocent spouse wasn't meeting the "needs" of the guilty party. Similarly, he appears to place blame which sho Although the author purports to be Christian, I have a hard time taking that seriously given the content of the book. To be fair, I believe the needs tests for spouses included in the book are of value. Harley takes a very shallow, worldly approach to marriage. In my opinion, he does not show any evidence of writing from a Christian perspective. He seems to almost condone adultery, if the innocent spouse wasn't meeting the "needs" of the guilty party. Similarly, he appears to place blame which should be for the guilty spouse on the shoulders of the innocent party. Regarding my observation of the shallow view held by the author, he condones men being demanding on their wives regarding their physical appearances. Similarly, he condones women demanding their husbands be astute providers of wealth. Harley seems to lack a basic Biblical understanding of marriage as a covenant between the spouses and God. I did give this book a fair shake, initially giving the author the benefit of the doubt, however, my suspicions were confirmed when I viewed one of his websites, wherein he unjustly chastened a person who was the innocent party in a divorce due to adultery. While we are in the New Covenant, the Old sometimes sheds light on understanding. Neither the Old nor New place any blame on an innocent party in adultery. In the Old if you were guilty, you had your arse stoned, there was no namby pamby exemption for not having your selfish needs met. In conclusion, this book goes beyond bad and is just plain dangerous. The Bible itself is more a wealth of information on a good marriage. I would not recommend this book except as paper to start the grill!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justin Tapp

    My wife and I listened to this book together on a long car ride, where we could pause and discuss when prompted. This is the worst book on marriage that I have read, there are a host of others I would recommend above it. While Harley claims to write from a Christian worldview, the Gospel and the meaning of marriage is completely absent from this book. That, alone, makes it ineffectual and makes me sad that it's held up by so many Christians. If you have an incorrect view of what marriage represe My wife and I listened to this book together on a long car ride, where we could pause and discuss when prompted. This is the worst book on marriage that I have read, there are a host of others I would recommend above it. While Harley claims to write from a Christian worldview, the Gospel and the meaning of marriage is completely absent from this book. That, alone, makes it ineffectual and makes me sad that it's held up by so many Christians. If you have an incorrect view of what marriage represents, then you will also diagnose and treat conflict within the marriage incorrectly. In this book, humans are nothing more than products of biology responding to various stimuli and cognitive biases. Therefore, this is a 2-star book at best. My understanding is much of the material of the book comes from the 1970s, even though the first printing was 1995 and this was an updated 2001 version. Over this book I would recommend Arterburn's Seven Minute Marriage Solution, Emerson Eggerichs' Love and Respect, and many more. Harley breaks down the basic needs of husbands and wives into five each, focusing more on the male aspects. He is a psychologist and I felt he was coming at everything from an old-school Freudian approach-- everything on the male side comes down to sexual fulfillment. He makes the false claim that 50% of spouses are sexually unfaithful. The reader is treated to the sordid details of stories of extramarital affairs, perhaps made up whole cloth by Harley. Men's needs: 1. Sexual fulfillment 2. Recreational companionship- the wife should take an interest in doing things the husband likes-- watching football, for example. If she tries it and really doesn't like it, she should find something else they can do together. Couples should spend "15 hours a week" of "undivided attention" on each other, doing the same things. 3. An attractive spouse- there is very little in this book about acceptance and celebration of differences. The wife should change her weight, clothes, and hair to suit her husband. If he doesn't find her "irresistible" he will likely have a passionate affair from which he'll never completely recover. 4. Domestic support- The wife should not pursue a career, and if she does work household chores should be divided according to the needs of the husband. Harley had a good point here about making a list of everything that needed to be done in the house and having each partner put priorities on the item. Whoever ranks something with the highest priority gets to be responsible for that chore. 5. Admiration - This mostly came at the end of the book, which is a shame because respect really is ultimate to a husband and is the driver (not sex) behind many of the affairs Harley describes. Women's needs: 1. Affection - Men should learn to be more affectionate. (Eggerichs would just focus on #5 above and #1 here). 2. Conversation - women have affairs with men who will actively listen to them. 3. Honesty and openness - Husbands should have no problem turning their schedules over to their wives, especially if they've been unfaithful. 4. Financial support - Men should be the breadwinners. 5. Family commitment - Fathers should be dads, otherwise women will have affairs with other men who will raise their children better-- including relatives of the biological father. Harley writes that there should be 15 hours together with the children (is that added to the 15 hours of undivided attention for the spouse as well, or do parents get out of that?). I think my wife was most offended by the section where Harley tells women readers to do their hair nicely, consume fewer calories, exercise more, and consult magazine articles for tips on beauty, or else their husband will cheat on them. Most books on marriage deal with the importance of the man fulfilling his wife's needs during daylight hours ("women are ovens, men are microwaves") by being a supportive husband, this did not put as much impetus on the man. It's up to the woman to respond to her husband's wants, no matter what. There is no grace in this book, no acceptance of your spouse as a spiritual creature with a history and a brain, no dealing with expectations or letting go of them and preconceived notions of marital bliss, and no growing together to be like Christ. Your wife is a biological partner you can have fun with, nothing more. While he strongly cautions against divorce, he is pretty flippant in saying sometimes these things just don't work out. Read this book if you're not a Christian but want a step-by-step how-to guide to fix your marriage as though it were a piece of IKEA furniture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    April Lyn

    I thought people might have been exaggerating when they claimed this was the best marriage book they'd ever read, but this book was really something. The author's insights are fantastic - for married, divorced, and single people alike. I thought of about five people I'd like to lend it to. I think everyone could benefit from reading it. The appendices were also very helpful. If you plan on reading this book, start now! I put it off for a couple years because I have SO many books on my shelf, but I thought people might have been exaggerating when they claimed this was the best marriage book they'd ever read, but this book was really something. The author's insights are fantastic - for married, divorced, and single people alike. I thought of about five people I'd like to lend it to. I think everyone could benefit from reading it. The appendices were also very helpful. If you plan on reading this book, start now! I put it off for a couple years because I have SO many books on my shelf, but it was really, really helpful. You can definitely start implementing the books suggestions/activities immediately. And concerning all the negative reviews on the book, here is my opinion: Adultery is a very inflammatory subject and most (if not all) people cannot talk about it without becoming emotional (and sometimes, irrational). The book neither "condones" adultery, nor "blames innocent parties" - it merely explains what each person in a relationship can PROACTIVELY do to have the best chance at keeping a marriage that is fulfilling to both parties. Neither person should "have to" do anything, but the idea is - if you hope to stay happily married - you will be willing and even excited about acting/looking/talking/etc in a way that is pleasing to your spouse.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jana Allen

    I liked the overall point this book made. Everyone has emotional needs, and we should try to meet the needs of our spouse. The problem I have with this book is that I felt the author justifies (especially men) going and having an affair because their needs were not being met. He makes no exceptions for sicknesses, going back to school, or just hard times. I felt he was especially hard on women saying they need to look just like their husbands want (hair style, perfect makeup, ideal weight, clothi I liked the overall point this book made. Everyone has emotional needs, and we should try to meet the needs of our spouse. The problem I have with this book is that I felt the author justifies (especially men) going and having an affair because their needs were not being met. He makes no exceptions for sicknesses, going back to school, or just hard times. I felt he was especially hard on women saying they need to look just like their husbands want (hair style, perfect makeup, ideal weight, clothing styles) and that they need to be available WHENEVER their husband is feeling intimate. He also says that spouses should not pursue any recreational activities without each other. Spouses need to spend AT LEAST 15 hours a week together with no interruptions from kids or phones. I tried to keep in mind that this author sees a lot of extreme situations and marriages that were on the rocks. I really wanted to like this book, and I did like it in theory, but it was too extreme for me and the author kept making me so mad!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This book is terrible. Unlike many good marriage books out there that encourage you to look beyond your selfishness, this book plunges you into selfish behavior. This is NOT a Christian book, it is purely secular with no Biblical basis. If you focus on your unmet marriage needs, trust me your marriage is not going to get better. In full disclosure, I read this book 5 years ago and thought it correct at the time. It nearly ended my marriage as I basically came to the place that my marriage could n This book is terrible. Unlike many good marriage books out there that encourage you to look beyond your selfishness, this book plunges you into selfish behavior. This is NOT a Christian book, it is purely secular with no Biblical basis. If you focus on your unmet marriage needs, trust me your marriage is not going to get better. In full disclosure, I read this book 5 years ago and thought it correct at the time. It nearly ended my marriage as I basically came to the place that my marriage could not meet my needs. I gave this book to a friend, it did end his marriage. I feel so badly about giving this book to him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I changed this from 3 stars to 2 stars after thinking about it overnight. First of all, this book is obviously written by a man! Someone who has never given birth or stayed at home full time with babies/toddlers/preschoolers. Secondly, the book definitely uses fear and negativity throughout the chapters. I understand that probably every family that deals with a cheating spouse never thought it would happen to them, but I don't think that it is as common as the author makes it out to be, and even I changed this from 3 stars to 2 stars after thinking about it overnight. First of all, this book is obviously written by a man! Someone who has never given birth or stayed at home full time with babies/toddlers/preschoolers. Secondly, the book definitely uses fear and negativity throughout the chapters. I understand that probably every family that deals with a cheating spouse never thought it would happen to them, but I don't think that it is as common as the author makes it out to be, and even if it is, I don't think it's necessary to continually use guilt and scare tactics to make the reader feel insecure. Third, the author uses modern ideas of beauty in his chapter on physical appearance. Men should appreciate a woman's natural beauty. A woman shouldn't have to put chemicals on her face, on her skin, or in her hair to keep her husband from cheating on her. It wasn't so long ago that makeup, hair dyes, and trendy hair and clothes were not beautiful to American men and women. Prostitutes were the ones wearing makeup and dying their hair. Now the typical American's idea of a beautiful woman is very thin, tan, wearing makeup, and highlighted hair. It is just a phase and women shouldn't feel forced to take place in that just to make a man happy. There is always going to be someone prettier that your husband comes into contact with to put more "love units" into his "bank." If that's what it takes for him to cheat, it won't matter what you do to make him happy with your physical appearance. There are some positive ideas in the book. His advice about affection and mutual activities are very helpful. It is also helpful to know that men and women have different needs and that it may be uncomfortable, but trying to meet some of those needs will be helpful in your marriage.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hoku Ho

    This book the cornerstone of my marriage. My husband and I read it early on and I really feel that it was the secret to our success and smooth sailing through the rough patches and growing pains we faced in our first few years. It helps couples put their fingers on their own needs and the needs of their spouses, and gives you a common language and understanding to draw from, which vastly improves your ability to communicate about these important issues. The sub-text of the title of this book is " This book the cornerstone of my marriage. My husband and I read it early on and I really feel that it was the secret to our success and smooth sailing through the rough patches and growing pains we faced in our first few years. It helps couples put their fingers on their own needs and the needs of their spouses, and gives you a common language and understanding to draw from, which vastly improves your ability to communicate about these important issues. The sub-text of the title of this book is "how to affair proof your marriage". It really does deliver on this...My step-dad, who is a pastor, uses this book for counseling couples on the verge of divorce or trying to get through/avoid adultery and uses it to help guide them back to a place where they can make each other happy again. I know he is not the only person who has found it useful in that way. It does have some Christian references and the author is a Christian himself, but the book is not a "Christian book", so Christians and non-Christians alike will find this book useful. I really recommend it for any married couple or couple on the verge of marriage. It is very practical, well researched, and (with a little work and compromise) easily implementable. It's principals have guided my marriage and helped my husband and I make it to our 8th year and beyond more in love with each other than ever!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hoffman

    Some family member gave this to us as a wedding present and I eventually got around to reading it, mostly because I like reading about interpersonal communication and relationships (ie, Gottman). At the beginning, I thought the author had some credibility and somewhat (simple) decent advice but my view changed with each chapter. In sum, the advice centers on gender stereotyping (a whole chapter on all the things women should do to be physically attractive, including tips on getting professional Some family member gave this to us as a wedding present and I eventually got around to reading it, mostly because I like reading about interpersonal communication and relationships (ie, Gottman). At the beginning, I thought the author had some credibility and somewhat (simple) decent advice but my view changed with each chapter. In sum, the advice centers on gender stereotyping (a whole chapter on all the things women should do to be physically attractive, including tips on getting professional help with makeup and buying sexy nighties) and overly simplistic cause-and-effect examples that foster fear and self-blame (if your spouse cheats, YOU didn't meet their needs...no critique of the cheater not choosing to communicate needs or getting counseling rather than cheating). I found these issues to be glaring and finally felt like the author really valued a 1950's sitcom marriage. Although the author occasionally introduces caveats, he structures the whole book as which needs men have and which needs women have. Then he says that some men have the "her" needs he talks about and some women have the "his" needs he talks about...so why not write the book about needs, not about men needing sexy wives who are great in the sack and like watching football with them (this is what he essentially says men "need") or about women having men who buy them flowers, talk about feelings, and makes fat cash (what women apparently "need"). There was hardly any science, research, or theory behind any of his advice, just hyperbolized examples from his practice (suggesting he built his approach independent of an entire field of counseling research and theory). The book offers simplistic general advice if you don't have strong self reflection on needs or strong communication but if you are a feminist, appreciator of claims backed by objective support, or living in a more modern and equal relationship, you will find yourself frustrated with the approach the whole time you read rather than focusing on how to help your relationship.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charmin

    HIGHLIGHTS: 1. Men tend to try to meet needs that THEY would value, women do the same. - The needs of men and women are often very different. - By wasting effort trying to meet the wrong needs, a couple fails to make each other happy. 2. When a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the basic needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. 3. An affair usually begins as a friendship. - If any of a spouse’s five basic emotional needs go unmet, that spouse becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an aff HIGHLIGHTS: 1. Men tend to try to meet needs that THEY would value, women do the same. - The needs of men and women are often very different. - By wasting effort trying to meet the wrong needs, a couple fails to make each other happy. 2. When a spouse lacks fulfillment of any of the basic needs, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. 3. An affair usually begins as a friendship. - If any of a spouse’s five basic emotional needs go unmet, that spouse becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an affair. 4. The couple that plays together stays together. 5. Men need recreation in their life to keep going. 6. A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what he already is, not for what he “could” become if he lived up to HER standards. 7. Transparency is one of the most important qualities in a successful marriage. 8. Disrespect prevents couples from finding mutually agreeable solutions to their problems. - If your spouse considers what you say to be disrespectful, it is. 9. Negotiation between a husband and wife is an essential building block to the success of any marriage, but without honesty and openness, a couple can resolve or decide very little. - To have any value, praise must genuinely reflect your feelings. 10. Happily married couples are already aware of this principle and have learned how to make their marriage a full-time priority. - Spouses who are partners in life check with each other throughout the day to coordinate their decisions and activities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Foley

    I thought there were some very good ideas on marriage in this book. That being said there were some incredibly offensive comments, sentences, and even a chapter. One chapter talked about how if you are fat, you should expect no one to be attracted to you, even your spouse. Well, I got news for you, Williard F. Harley's Jr. I am fat and very attractive. My husband met and fell in love with me and my looks while being fat. Also, Williard mentions in this book how being fat is not healthy. Blah, bla I thought there were some very good ideas on marriage in this book. That being said there were some incredibly offensive comments, sentences, and even a chapter. One chapter talked about how if you are fat, you should expect no one to be attracted to you, even your spouse. Well, I got news for you, Williard F. Harley's Jr. I am fat and very attractive. My husband met and fell in love with me and my looks while being fat. Also, Williard mentions in this book how being fat is not healthy. Blah, blah, blah. I probably work out more and eat healthier than he ever has. I stand by my 1 star rating and by body positivity. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lori Kellogg

    Bunch of bunk. Don't waste your time. If a spouse is a cheater, they are a cheater. If they are not a cheater, it doesn't matter what the other spouse does or does not do, they won't cheat. This books tries to make people feel guilty if they have a cheating spouse, like they could have done something better/different to prevent it. Take a page from the newspaper...Arnold, Tiger, Brad Pitt, Weiner...all cheated on beautiful, talented, intelligent wives. Bunch of bunk. Don't waste your time. If a spouse is a cheater, they are a cheater. If they are not a cheater, it doesn't matter what the other spouse does or does not do, they won't cheat. This books tries to make people feel guilty if they have a cheating spouse, like they could have done something better/different to prevent it. Take a page from the newspaper...Arnold, Tiger, Brad Pitt, Weiner...all cheated on beautiful, talented, intelligent wives.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brenna Saunders

    I gave this book five stars not because it's perfect, but because it has some great solid advice that I believe has put not just my marriage but my worldview on the right trajectory. My husband and I read it before we got married, and I recommend any prospective spouses who are interested in this book to read it too. Harley is no nonsense to the point of being clinical, and yet is down to earth and even friendly in tone. His basic premise - from YEARS of experience as a professional psychologist I gave this book five stars not because it's perfect, but because it has some great solid advice that I believe has put not just my marriage but my worldview on the right trajectory. My husband and I read it before we got married, and I recommend any prospective spouses who are interested in this book to read it too. Harley is no nonsense to the point of being clinical, and yet is down to earth and even friendly in tone. His basic premise - from YEARS of experience as a professional psychologist and marriage counselor - is this: men and women (humans) have feelings of "love" towards those people who they have positive experiences with. People marry each other because they have such positive mutual experiences and love feelings. The problem is that they take their relationships for granted and stop doing the things they did when they were dating. This means they neglect important emotional needs in their spouse such as: quality conversation, quality sex, affectionate behavior, bonding together in fun activities and so on. Harley essentially says that romantic love is a formula. That's bad news to any die-hard romantics, but that's wonderful news to the rest of the world. It means that if we focus on understanding what our spouse's emotional needs are, work to fulfill them - and if they do the same for us - then the love feelings will return. No need to "fall in love" with a new person and have an affair which will obviously damage the marriage. Yet even spouses who cheat can learn how to 100% end their affairs and have love with their spouse again. These repaired marriages can experience the same, if not BETTER quality of love and fulfillment, to boot. (Again, this is an educated psychologist speaking from experience). The bulk of the book expounds on what these various emotional needs are and how to identify them in you and your spouse so you can come up with a personalized plan for improving or saving your marriage. Before I wrote this review, I read a lot of other reviews here on Good Reads for His Needs, Her Needs - including a lot of negative ones. I saw a couple patterns forming with most of the negative reviews, so I'd like to address them, in the hopes of being helpful to any neutral party who is considering this book. Negative Argument #1: "Harley is not 'Christian' enough and does not condemn 'adultery' enough" Harley says nothing in HNHN that contradicts or opposes Christianity. In fact, he mentions at one point that he himself is religious and conservative. What makes Harley different from a lot of other Christian authors is that he does not use Bible quotes or emphasize spirituality as a method. This is because his target audience is religious and non-religious alike. This is also because Christians are still human and make mistakes, and Harley points out that he has even counseled pastors who have had affairs. All of us still have human, emotional needs that should be recognized...spiritual faith and "long suffering" are not the only answers here. Harley makes it clear that adultery is bad, but doesn't spend time condemning it, but rather takes a scientific approach of, "Hey, why did this happen? What can we learn so we can PREVENT and END affairs?" Self-care and preserving your psyche, as the damaged spouse, is beyond the scope of this book. Negative Argument #2: "This book is sexist" Harley does divide emotional needs into male and female, GENERALLY speaking, but he stresses over and over that these needs do not correspond always to men and women exactly and consistently. Any man and any woman may have any combination of these needs - his list of emotional needs are a basic guide to help you and your spouse figure out what yours are. Sneak peek: Men's needs are "Sexual fulfillment," "recreational companionship," "physical attractiveness," "domestic support," and "admiration." Women's needs are, "Affection," "Intimate Conversation," "Honesty and Openness," "Financial Support," and "Family Support" (being a good parent). Most of my husband's needs fall in the "Women" category, and some of my needs fall into the "Men" category. Harley says, "I'm in the business of saving INDIVIDUAL marriages, not average marriages, so you should identify the combinations of needs that are unique to your marriage." In other words, not EVERY man wants to have sex all the time or see his wife in lingerie, and not EVERY woman wants her husband to bring her flowers and a huge paycheck. No absolutes here. Just guidelines. The part of this book that gets the most flack is the part on "physical appearances." Harley gives specific examples of how women can appear more attractive to their husbands, IF he has a need for attractiveness. This includes wearing a hairdo he's comfortable with (the reverse example could be a man not growing a beard if his wife is repelled by it), being in shape, and so on. Basically, it means: if you looked a certain way when your spouse married you, it's not fair to them to dramatically change your appearance without considering their feelings. And for the record, that ONLY applies if the husband (or wife) has such a need. Many people do not have an emotional need for physical attractiveness, and many do. I do, and I'm female. There's nothing offensive about acknowledging that sometimes that is a reality. Harley gives examples of how men may need to be hygienic and otherwise physically attractive to attract women. He uses the example of a severely overweight wife turning off her husband's sexual feelings. This isn't sexism, these are just facts of life, pleasant or not, and they do not even apply to everyone. Harley COULD have been a little more diplomatic, painstaking and disclaiming in his language, but anyone reading carefully will see that he is being fair and logical. My own biggest criticism of HNHN is that it assumes both partners are reading and applying the concepts together. It is definitely possible for one spouse to focus on meeting the other spouse's needs, but Harley's approach involves lots of communication and survey-taking and feedback-giving. A bit lonely if you're trying and your spouse isn't. In conclusion, His Needs, Her Needs is a GREAT stepping stone for you and your spouse/SO to understand each other and each other's emotional needs. It's a great platform for having a discussion and self discovery, even with friends. If the "Mars vs Venus" format of the emotional needs is still setting off triggers for you, I'd recommend "The 5 Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. Chapman has similar advice, but discusses the emotional needs without reference to gender. Finally, I recommend another book by Harley, "Love Busters." In a lot of ways it's better than HNHN because it targets particular bad habits and behaviors many couples have without realizing to harm their marriages. Happy readings!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mccarthy

    My husband and I read this before we married and at each anniversary we go back over how we are each doing with the needs. At least for us, this book has been a God-send.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    This book is largely about preventing or recovering from an affair. Lest you say that this doesn't apply to "me", he points out that a person (even a person with solid religious belief, and firm moral conviction) may be tempted into an affair, seduced by a "relationship built upon fantasy, not reality." In addition, by meeting the needs of your spouse, and by having your needs met, you will transform your marriage into something wonderful. It is also well written. Now, on to the basics of the bo This book is largely about preventing or recovering from an affair. Lest you say that this doesn't apply to "me", he points out that a person (even a person with solid religious belief, and firm moral conviction) may be tempted into an affair, seduced by a "relationship built upon fantasy, not reality." In addition, by meeting the needs of your spouse, and by having your needs met, you will transform your marriage into something wonderful. It is also well written. Now, on to the basics of the book: "The Man's five most basic needs in marriage tend to be: 1. Sexual fulfillment 2. Recreational companionship 3. An attractive spouse 4. Domestic support 5. Admiration" (Page 12) He writes "tend to be" because this is what he typically finds. To determine your preferences and those of your spouse, there is a questionnaire at the back, and if that isn't enough, more are available at his web site. "The woman's five most basic needs in marriage tend to be: 1. Affection 2. Conversation 3. Honesty and openness 4. Financial Support 5. Family commitment" (Page 13) "The first cause of conflict, failure to care and the second , failure to protect." ... This book addresses the failure to care - the failure to meet each other's most important emotional needs. ... failure to protect is the subject of a companion book I've written, Love Busters: Overcoming the Habits that Destroy Romantic Live. (Page 9-10) Chapters 1. How Affair Proof is Your Marriage? 2. Why Your Love Bank Never Closes 3. The First Thing She Can't Do Without - Affection (1) 4. The First Thing He Can't Do Without - Sexual Fulfillment (1) 5. She Needs Him to Talk to Her - Conversation (2) 6. He Needs Her to Be His Playmate - Recreational Companionship (2) 7. She Need to Trust Him Totally - Honesty and Openness (3) 8. He Needs a Good-looking Wife - An Attractive Spouse (3) 9. She Needs Enough Money to Live Comfortably - Financial Support (4) 10. He Needs Peace and Quite - Domestic Support (4) 11. She Needs Him to Be a Good Father - Family Commitment (5) 12. He Needs Her to Be Proud of Him - Admiration (5) 13. How to Survive an Affair 14. From Incompatible to Irresistible Appendix: Analysis of Emotional Needs Questionnaires His web site is a lot more than the typical advertisement. There is a lot of meat on this site. http://www.marriagebuilders.com/index... This page describe the love bank concept. http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graph... Wow, no point in me trying to write much of a summary. Here it is: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graph... Update - I briefly looked at the summary on marriagebuilders. “ Basic Concept #8: The Policy of Radical Honesty” The word Radical caught my attention as a red flag. Honesty is good. Honesty is important. Radical Honesty can be hurtful because it leaves out compassion. Do not use “honesty” to hurt the other person. Yes, if you had an affair, your spouse needs to know. But going into gory details is likely to be the wrong approach. Therefore, I am changing this from 5* to 4*. (July 29, 2022) The most meaningful concept to me from this book is: “ Basic Concept #1: The Love Bank”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cristine Mermaid

    Horrible. Full disclosure, I didn't realize it was religious based and I'm not religious but I don't think that changes my view. I think I need to stop reading any type of relationship book that puts women in one category and men in another because I had a similar reaction to the "Women are from Venus , Men are from Mars" books. I think these books stereotype and assume too much based on someone's gender. This books has amazing reviews so obviously it resonated with a lot of people (women mostly Horrible. Full disclosure, I didn't realize it was religious based and I'm not religious but I don't think that changes my view. I think I need to stop reading any type of relationship book that puts women in one category and men in another because I had a similar reaction to the "Women are from Venus , Men are from Mars" books. I think these books stereotype and assume too much based on someone's gender. This books has amazing reviews so obviously it resonated with a lot of people (women mostly) but I must be a freakish outlier of a woman because my needs are NOT what this book stated. Also, I was borderline disgusted by it because of things like being told to wear your hair the way your husband likes it. What about how YOU like it? YOU are a person, her own person, an individual. The part where he said that men need their women to look a certain way body-wise almost made me throw this book across the bookstore. His scolding that it's a simple matter of calories in=calories out no matter how many women protested this wasn't true pissed me off. It ISN'T that simple. They have actual SCIENCE that explains it's a delicate process that's thrown off by so many things from genetics to hormones to aging to gut bacteria to serotonin to cortisol to individual physiology so don't you DARE shame women and tell them it's a matter of 'just' watching what you eat and exercising. Nonsense. Overall, not helpful and quite annoying. My eyeballs kept rolling

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Labonville

    This book has some valid points, like making sure that spouses spend time together, but there are an overwhelming amount of things that make this book not worth the read. First, Harley views marriage as a relationship without grace. The way he presents his arguments are very fear-based and guilt-ridden. He requires that women wear nice clothes and makeup and lose weight for their husbands, and if they cannot do this, then they should expect that he will have an extramarital affair. This same stan This book has some valid points, like making sure that spouses spend time together, but there are an overwhelming amount of things that make this book not worth the read. First, Harley views marriage as a relationship without grace. The way he presents his arguments are very fear-based and guilt-ridden. He requires that women wear nice clothes and makeup and lose weight for their husbands, and if they cannot do this, then they should expect that he will have an extramarital affair. This same standard for men though, is basically that men should just brush their teeth and take a shower. Harley does not account for women dealing with pregnancy, depression, chasing toddlers around all day, or any other issues. If we think through what a stay-at-home mother deals with day to day, it might behove him to look at this issue, and teach men to have grace with their wives, and not have the expectation that all of their needs will be met all the time. Also, expecting women to change themselves for their husbands is telling wives to lie about who they are in order to please their husbands constantly. This is not okay. There are several other reviews here that provide accurate depictions of why this book is sexist and unnecessary, and I would be happy to discuss it further, but suffice it to say that this book is not the marriage advice I need.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Uit de Flesch

    This is a solid marriage book. It is written from a secular perspective from someone who does hold to Christianity of some type. This marriage counselor has seen hundreds of couples, many who have had affairs. His approach is very simple--the affair was providing something the marriage was not. It is a very practical book. Some could call it transactional, but it is simply the facts of reality. He identifies five major needs of each spouse. He admits that every couple is different, but almost al This is a solid marriage book. It is written from a secular perspective from someone who does hold to Christianity of some type. This marriage counselor has seen hundreds of couples, many who have had affairs. His approach is very simple--the affair was providing something the marriage was not. It is a very practical book. Some could call it transactional, but it is simply the facts of reality. He identifies five major needs of each spouse. He admits that every couple is different, but almost all spouses will have at least one of his five as their major need. His chapter on recovery after an affair is also very good. He looks at marriage very traditionally, and he lives in reality. I'm a fan. It's not the best marriage book ever, but it definitely is the best of its specific, unique genre.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Great relationship book! While some of the men's needs made me angry and seemed downright sexist, just because I didn't like them didn't mean that they weren't accurate. I think a lot of female reviewers' problems with the book are that the author tells it like it is instead of how women wish it were or think it should be. That being said, every individual has to choose how far they are willing to go to accomodate their spouse's needs without compromising who they are. The bottom line is, the boo Great relationship book! While some of the men's needs made me angry and seemed downright sexist, just because I didn't like them didn't mean that they weren't accurate. I think a lot of female reviewers' problems with the book are that the author tells it like it is instead of how women wish it were or think it should be. That being said, every individual has to choose how far they are willing to go to accomodate their spouse's needs without compromising who they are. The bottom line is, the book provides insight on what makes your spouse happy and fulfilled and offers good, practical advice on steps you can take to make your marriage better. I highly recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Miller

    brilliant book. Will be buying this one to read every christmas break. It's a great way to start a fresh year and I would do well to be reminded of the concepts in here frequently. brilliant book. Will be buying this one to read every christmas break. It's a great way to start a fresh year and I would do well to be reminded of the concepts in here frequently.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Craig Dogger

    This is the best book I’ve read on marriage..Definitely one people should read before getting married and again after and again periodically as a refresher since most of us have a tendency to be a little selfish from time to time. Main takeaway for me is that my wife’s needs are different from mine and that we may have some difficulty relating to what we need from each other since our needs can be so very different. As the author walks through the different needs I found myself thinking he was a This is the best book I’ve read on marriage..Definitely one people should read before getting married and again after and again periodically as a refresher since most of us have a tendency to be a little selfish from time to time. Main takeaway for me is that my wife’s needs are different from mine and that we may have some difficulty relating to what we need from each other since our needs can be so very different. As the author walks through the different needs I found myself thinking he was absolutely nuts but by the time I got to the end of the book and after talking it through with my wife, well, he might have been right and made me aware of needs I didn’t realize I even had. The book does an excellent job defining the needs and helped me see where I’ve been coming up short and offers ways to improve. So glad I read it and it’s for sure a book I’ll come back to and read again and again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have to admit, I didn't finish this book. I debated on even leaving a review for that reason, but I feel compelled to offer my thoughts on the chapters I did read. My first advice would be DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. If you and your spouse are committed to the covenant you made with each other and God, if you're looking for guidance in being more like Christ in your marriage, this book is not for you. It does everything BUT point you in that direction. The thought of sacrificial love is non-existe I have to admit, I didn't finish this book. I debated on even leaving a review for that reason, but I feel compelled to offer my thoughts on the chapters I did read. My first advice would be DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. If you and your spouse are committed to the covenant you made with each other and God, if you're looking for guidance in being more like Christ in your marriage, this book is not for you. It does everything BUT point you in that direction. The thought of sacrificial love is non-existent. I stopped at chapter 2 and skimmed ahead to the chapter on "Physical Attractiveness" which the author says is one of the top 5 "needs" for most men. That did it for me. The author proposes that if you marry a man that ranks physical attractiveness high, your goal should be to maintain your physical appearance to his liking. My question to the author is what happens if you're in a horrible accident that leaves your face, body, etc. disfigured for the rest of your life? Does the husband have the right to leave (or have an affair, as the author likes to throw in so frequently as the punishment for not becoming an "expert" in meeting your spouses needs)? I can't believe this book is even offered at stores like Lifeway and CBD. To put it bluntly, it's selfish, fluffed up, psychological bull and not something I will recommend to anyone. From what I read, this book feeds off of our own feelings of insecurity and reinforces catering to these insecurities by demanding them of our spouse as our needs and showing no grace at all when they're not met. "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    I've been through two marriages and am currently (and very happily) on my third. My first two wives were involved in multiple transgressions that devastated me. I mean, really, really devastated me. It took me thirty years and reading this book to forgive them and to realize that their actions were somewhat predictable and not all their fault. I knew that I was not a perfect husband "what 20 something husband is"? I now know that it wasn't that I was imperfect or that they were; we were woefully I've been through two marriages and am currently (and very happily) on my third. My first two wives were involved in multiple transgressions that devastated me. I mean, really, really devastated me. It took me thirty years and reading this book to forgive them and to realize that their actions were somewhat predictable and not all their fault. I knew that I was not a perfect husband "what 20 something husband is"? I now know that it wasn't that I was imperfect or that they were; we were woefully unprepared and untrained to be marital partners. Honestly, we were unprepared to be anything more than friends. This book sent me on a mission to read about five other books that have (I hate to say the word) educated me to the point of being a capable and competent marriage partner. I now believe – thanks to this book and others – that I would have had a better chance at a happier and more fulfilling life had I read “His needs – Her needs” when I was twenty years old.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Ugh! A sexist, misogynistic book about marriage, basically saying that the wife is to ignore her needs and put her husband first, regardless of his treatment of her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Written in August 2021: I read this a few years ago at the suggestion of an influencer I like and forgot to log it. I was reminded when I saw that a friend is reading this. I don't remember details, other than a lot of it was common sense (if you grew up in a home with parents who had a healthy relationship), there were a bunch of good insights, but there was also a bunch of man/woman gender role stereotype stuff in either explanations or examples, not all of which is accurate or helpful. Someti Written in August 2021: I read this a few years ago at the suggestion of an influencer I like and forgot to log it. I was reminded when I saw that a friend is reading this. I don't remember details, other than a lot of it was common sense (if you grew up in a home with parents who had a healthy relationship), there were a bunch of good insights, but there was also a bunch of man/woman gender role stereotype stuff in either explanations or examples, not all of which is accurate or helpful. Sometimes that was acknowledged, but not really in a meaningful way. Statistically, yes, men are more likely to do X or want Y than women, but that doesn't mean they don't also crave A and B either (and vice-versa for women), and that wasn't made so clear. All in all I think there are better relationship books out there, but this one was fine. I'm sure I'm also biased thanks to gospel teachings and morals I grew up with, but that culture (how people taught and applied the gospel, not the gospel itself) wasn't perfect either. I'm sure there is plenty I'm missing, but again, it's been a while since I read it and I don't remember, sorry! Update: I found these notes in Google Keep from August 23, 2019: Unmet promises/needs are unfair to the spouse who has to live without ethical alternatives, p15 Bad choice of words on page 29: fathers do not babysit their own children Affection is the environment of a marriage, while sex is an event If I care for her feelings, I will want her to help me learn how to behave in a way that meets her needs, p78 Husband doesn't get to decide how wife looks. Poorly explained section. Husband should split chores evenly with wife when home from work. Interesting idea about progressing from punishment to incentives for kids, but spanking should never be used, as numerous studies agree, unlike what he says on p166.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    This is the best book on marriage, and making a marriage work, and work well, that I have ever read. It's a little bit Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, but so much better. Willard Harley points out the common fundamental differences between mens' and womens' needs and talks about how ignorance of these needs can lead to your partner finding someone, intentionally or not, who CAN fill the unfilled need(s). it's might seem like a scare tactic--the subtitle IS How to Affair-Proof your Marri This is the best book on marriage, and making a marriage work, and work well, that I have ever read. It's a little bit Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, but so much better. Willard Harley points out the common fundamental differences between mens' and womens' needs and talks about how ignorance of these needs can lead to your partner finding someone, intentionally or not, who CAN fill the unfilled need(s). it's might seem like a scare tactic--the subtitle IS How to Affair-Proof your Marriage--but the author wrote the book based on years of experience as a marriage counselor, and what he has to say/ what he has learned from that really rings true. I use it to be more aware of the needs of my husband, and convinced him to read it. He liked it so much he recommended it to HIS friends. I buy it as a gift for friends I have who are married/ in a relationship--or who seem to never get into a relationship. It is invariably helpful when read with an open mind. I should mention that the author is Christian, and there are touches of Christianity throughout the book. However, I think the principles are not dependent on the author's theology, and can easily be applied to ANYONE'S relationship, regardless of his/her religion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura Miller

    This book was not for me. So many times I thought about stopping it but I continued to read because I have a hard time not finishing a book once I start. I thought the author sounded shallow and was rubbed the wrong way many times throughout the book. I didn’t take much from it at all.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah H.

    I read one “Christian” blog that said this was a great book to read during engagement. I wish I’d read around more before diving in. This book, while helpful in some regards (particularly the earlier chapters), is one I viewed as misogynistic and poorly-articulated. The author’s idea is that husbands and wives (and men and women, in general) have “love banks” which are either deposited into or withdrawn from, based on other’s actions. I can get behind that. I also support his theory that men and I read one “Christian” blog that said this was a great book to read during engagement. I wish I’d read around more before diving in. This book, while helpful in some regards (particularly the earlier chapters), is one I viewed as misogynistic and poorly-articulated. The author’s idea is that husbands and wives (and men and women, in general) have “love banks” which are either deposited into or withdrawn from, based on other’s actions. I can get behind that. I also support his theory that men and women have different basic needs that determine what best demonstrates love. What I don’t support is the blanketed explanations the author teeters on, as well as the archaic applications to some of those needs in regard to femininity. He gives case studies throughout the book and the ones in the chapter on appearance implicitly and explicitly encourage wives to wear makeup, change up their hair, and not “let themselves go” after marriage. I think his heart-desire is to communicate the value that a wife’s beauty holds. But I bristled at his poor explanation–clearly a woman did NOT help with this chapter. This idea only further supports the author’s overall love bank proposal, which is glaringly deficient as well. It assumes transactional love and a need to earn love when it’s detracted. Yes, it’s helpful to explain how rifts and tension arise. Yet, it’s overly simplified, not accounting for selfless love, choosing to see the best, and how quickly trust can be both gained and lost. At its best, the premise commodifies love; at worst, it condones affairs by rationalizing far more than convicting and addressing the sin. I can’t recommend this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sunshine Biskaps

    I thought the teachings in this book is archaic and extremely sexist, but it’s a good read and somewhat reminded me that I do need to put in that much more effort to remind him how affection (not the sexual kind) is important to me and that it shows me that he cares about me. I also need to make sure he knows how much I admire him and appreciate all that he does for our family. The author seems to generalise that all men want the same thing and all women want other things. Conversation, financia I thought the teachings in this book is archaic and extremely sexist, but it’s a good read and somewhat reminded me that I do need to put in that much more effort to remind him how affection (not the sexual kind) is important to me and that it shows me that he cares about me. I also need to make sure he knows how much I admire him and appreciate all that he does for our family. The author seems to generalise that all men want the same thing and all women want other things. Conversation, financial security, affection and helping out with the family is important to women as sex, making sure the wife shows admiration and puts effort into looking attractive are important to men. He seems to think that all men should have good wives who admire him. What about the men who are gay? This book is very old-school, closed-minded and seems to give a very bias approach to looking at marriage and how to make it affair-proof. The affairs that the author describes are in detail and seem to be a bit repetitive. He also seems to pat his own back a lot and repeat how he has many clients over the years who he’s taught to affair-proof their marriage of overcome affairs after they have happened. Affairs happen and it’s not always the man who’s guilty. There are many gender stereotypes on this book. Overall, a good read, if you can look past the bias and archaic views and take the advice with a grain of salt. I do like his advice about couples making sure that they schedule 15 hours of uninterrupted, individual time together alone. That can be a stretch for many couples, but it’s a good reminder the significance of quality time together. I also liked the questionnaire in the back.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brandon H.

    I'm glad I didn't heed the reviews that said this book wasn't worth reading or wasn't "biblical," whatever that means. While the author's content could have been pruned a bit to make the book more concise, (it did seem wordy at times and parts of the book dragged on with excessive and unnecessary information like how to diet effectively or the differing physical reactions during sexual relations), and easier to read, I think his overall message is important and is even essential to know if one i I'm glad I didn't heed the reviews that said this book wasn't worth reading or wasn't "biblical," whatever that means. While the author's content could have been pruned a bit to make the book more concise, (it did seem wordy at times and parts of the book dragged on with excessive and unnecessary information like how to diet effectively or the differing physical reactions during sexual relations), and easier to read, I think his overall message is important and is even essential to know if one is to have a lasting and fulfilling marriage. I liked his concept of the emotional love bank and how we can either make deposits or withdrawals. I also liked that he presented the top 5 emotional needs of men and the top 5 emotional needs of women. This book affirms that contrary to what the popular, secular culture would have us believe, men and women really are different and have different needs. I found the topic of domestic support and his advice for resolving conflict over household chores really practical and helpful. I think many couples would benefit from that chapter in this day and age where both spouses are working. There were a couple claims I thought people would find controversial but overall I think this book will benefit a lot of people and save a lot of relationships from divorce or affairs. I think his chapter on how to save a marriage after an affair was spot on.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shalyce

    I got this book after hearing some public speaker (can’t remember who), say it was the best book he had read for marriage. It sat in my nightstand for years. I read about two chapters in this book and realized I had no desire to read any more. It’s basically a less effective take on Chapman’s love languages. I agree that spouses have needs and different ways for those needs to be fulfilled. However, what I couldn’t get past is his premise that affairs are a result of those needs not being met. D I got this book after hearing some public speaker (can’t remember who), say it was the best book he had read for marriage. It sat in my nightstand for years. I read about two chapters in this book and realized I had no desire to read any more. It’s basically a less effective take on Chapman’s love languages. I agree that spouses have needs and different ways for those needs to be fulfilled. However, what I couldn’t get past is his premise that affairs are a result of those needs not being met. Does not having your needs met make an affair more attractive and likely? Sure, but at no time does that take away your ability to choose. In the chapters I did read, the individuals in the examples put themselves in vulnerable places. Want to not have an affair? Don’t put yourself in a position where it becomes a temptation and one you can readily and easily act on, whether your needs are being met in your marriage or not. I cringe knowing there are practitioners like this out there and more knowing how many have taken so much of his advice to heart. While the author may have saved some marriages, I have a hard time believing he hasn’t also damaged a lot from his advice and flawed premise. I’ll be dumping this book.

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