Marriage Quiz: Identify the most important emotional needs in your marriage
We all have basic emotional needs that translate into us feeling loved by another. It is often these emotional needs that drive us into falling in love and marrying our spouse. When some of these needs start getting ignored in our marriage, many times by neglect and not necessarily by intent, we may feel that our spouse no longer loves us or that our marriage has lost its spark. How often have we found ourselves making the following statements?
I don’t want my partner to work so much.
Our relationship has lost all its romance.
I don’t like the way my spouse parents our child.
I don’t want to be stuck in such an unfulfilling marriage.
I don’t like my in-laws.
I don’t want to be the person who has to do all the work in this marriage.
We seem to have a long list of things which we don’t like or things which aren’t working for us in our marriage. We complain about them constantly and wonder why we don’t have that fairy-tale marriage we read about or saw in the movies. Now is the time to stop worrying and take action! The first step is to become aware of what we do want – our most important emotional needs.
The good news is that it is always possible to improve our marriage and make it even stronger by simply becoming aware of each other’s most important emotional needs, those needs that brought us together in the first place, and then learning how to meet them.
The first step is to identify those emotional needs that are most important to you, before you can communicate them to your spouse. You are the only one who can do this as only you know what makes you feel loved in your marriage.
Take the following quiz. Your spouse and you should fill this up separately.
Indicate how much does the following need makes you happy by choosing the appropriate number using the following scale:
- 0-2 (I don’t have a need) – I am happy with my spouse even when this need is not met.
- 3-6 (I have a moderate need) – I’m neither happy nor sad when this need is not met.
- 7-10 (I have a great need) – I am very unhappy with my spouse when this need is not met.
|How much do I need this in order for me to feel happy in our marriage?||Rating
(0 – 10)
|1.||Conversation (talking and receiving undivided attention about thoughts, feelings, challenges, activities of the day, dreams and future goals; talking and listening to understand, support and inform)|
|2.||Sharing tasks at home (managing of the home and caring of the children, including but not limited to cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, housecleaning).|
|3.||Expression of affection (the expression of love in gifts, hugs, words, notes, sweet nothings, kisses and acts of service).|
|4.||Work & Financial Support (providing financial resources, maintaining a standard of living that is acceptable to you and at the same time avoiding travel and working hours that are unacceptable to you).|
|5.||Sexual Intimacy (a sexual experience that is enjoyable and that is frequent enough for both of you).|
|6.||Family Commitment (scheduling sufficient time and energy for your children, parents, in-laws and extended family, taking children on frequent outings, reading to them, discussing methods and styles in parenting, discussing issues with in-laws)|
|7.||Values and Beliefs (honesty – answering questions truthfully and completely, not giving a false impression, being transparent and open about feelings, thoughts, events and daily living; similar attitudes towards religion and spiritual pursuits)|
|8.||Hygiene & Attractiveness (keeping physically fit, daily hygiene and dressing up in a manner that you find pleasing).|
|9.||Recreation & Health (taking time out for recreation, weekend activities, vacations, physical exercise, diet, habits that affect health)|
|10.||Admiration & Respect (appreciating you in small and big things, accepting you with your flaws and valuing you clearly and often).
When you and your spouse have each completed the quiz, you would have identified for each other your five most important emotional needs by looking at your top 5 rankings. These needs represent the most important areas in your marriage that need immediate attention. Even in a good marriage, you may find that both partners may be doing well on some areas while missing out on others, thereby making each other feel unloved at certain times.
When you learn to meet your spouse’s five most important emotional needs, and your spouse learns to meet yours, you may find your marriage, even if happy, to become happier and mutually satisfying.
If you’d like to learn about how to meet each other’s emotional needs and building a stronger bond, consider attending ‘Renew – A marriage enrichment program from TalkItOver’ – which is a 2 day weekend program for couples to experience renewed love and joy in their marriage. The program equips couples with the awareness, tools and relationship skills for meeting each other’s emotional needs and creating a mutually satisfying relationship. Register for the program by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or seek confidential and professional marriage counselling by taking an appointment with a qualified TalkItOver marriage counsellor.