Willard F. Harley, Jr. has been mentioned before around these parts, and I would give his basic principles credit for turning things around with Christian Husband and his wife. Once XH started investing the time, he started getting some serious return on his investment. XH was quick to grasp and apply the concept of quality time it was put to good use. Even if it was mostly with his tongue. Good oral technique never hurt anyone!

It was actually a post by Aphron that I encountered another one of Harley’s little tools, namely the Emotional Needs Questionnaire (ENQ). It’s not standardized or anything, but it is a lovely little tool for thinking about (and hopefully discussing) the 10 basic needs in a marriage. Harley lists them thus:

1. Affection

2. Sexual fulfillment

3. Conversation

4. Recreational Companionship

5. Honesty and Openness

6. An attractive spouse

7. Financial Support

8. Domestic support

9. Family commitment

10. Admiration

I feel a series coming on.

But more importantly, I gave a copy of this to Arwyn and asked her to do it. She said she would but not right away. Which is fine, but I have seen this movie before. It gets put somewhere and it stays there. There’s a Dr. Phil Relationship Rescue workbook sitting in the bottom of our closet somewhere, unopened and untouched.

I finished mine in less than an hour. Thing is, it doesn’t do much good to fill this thing out if the other person isn’t cooperating. I already know how satisfied I am with our sex life. I’m interested in what Arwyn’s needs are. I’m realistic enough to know that my score won’t be very high. Hers wasn’t. But having something written down and figuring out where to start is part of the battle with us. Newsflash: We need to communicate!

If Arwyn doesn’t do this, it tells me that this is not a conversation that she wants to have. It’s a conversation we need to have if we are going be together. Harley’s ENQ basically takes each area and asks:

A. How important is it to you? (Rating scale 0 -6, with 6 being most important)

B. How often or how much of this do you want? (Fiill-in-the-blank and daily, weekly or monthly)

C. How satisfied are you with how your spouse is meeting this need? (Rating scale -3 to +3, negatives being very unsatisfied and positives being satisfied.)

And then he asks for a written statement of how the need could be better met in the marriage. The last page of this thing asks you to rate your top 5 of the ten or even add one of your own.

Doing this was fairly easy although some parts were harder than others. For instance, in the financial support section, he asked “How much do you want your spouse to earn to support you and your children?” I had no idea how to answer that. “All of it?” I just need Arwyn to work with me instead of against me on our financial goals and budget.

So stay tuned for an update on this, as to whether we actually have a conversation about our emotional needs or not. Meanwhile, see if you can guess my top 5 emotional needs.


10 Responses to ENQ

  1. Dave says:

    I hope, for both of you, that Arwyn will do this with you, will participate fully.
    Communicating about these emotional needs is so critically important for long-term contentment, if not happiness; good for you for finding this.

  2. diggerjones says:

    I’ve had it for awhile, Dave, but I haven’t exactly “had it” as in been getting tired of it, until more recently. I’m on a trajectory of personal growth and this lousy marriage is cramping my groove!


  3. Dave says:

    Luckily, blessedly, although our marriage had gotten pretty perfunctory for a long time, we’ve started back on a path of “together” growth, as well as my personal growth.

    It would be extremely difficult to have the personal without the joint growth, so I pray that you identify what *you* need, and attain it, whatever that may be.

  4. […] June 6th, 2007 Call me silly, but I’m enjoying this introspection as I go through my Emotional Needs Questionnaire.  You’ll have some serious catching up to do if you’re following along.  It’s a […]

  5. […] Needs: An Attractive Spouse June 6th, 2007 I’m barreling through a series on the Emotional Need Questionnaire (ENQ) that I filled out a few days ago.  It’s kind of fun looking at some of these, in a […]

  6. […] Emotional Needs: Financial Support June 6th, 2007 Out of all the areas of the Emotional Needs Questionnaire, this one is the screwiest one for me.  I sort of see where Harley is going with this, but it […]

  7. […] Need: Domestic Support June 6th, 2007 Hey!  I’m getting close to the end of my Emotional Needs Questionnaire!  Which is good because then perhaps I’ll be able to write about some drama and conversation […]

  8. […] 2008 It was my day to do the 1:1 session with the counselor.  For the past couple of weeks, the ENQ kept popping into my mind, so I decided that I needed to talk about it.  In fact, right be fore I […]

  9. […] and the leader actually pulled it out and passed one out for everyone in the room. Yes, the ENQ made it debut there, but Arwyn and I just looked at each other and chuckled. The leader probably […]

  10. […] – I did this twice. The first time, Arwyn said she would do it, but did not. The second time she did it when the therapist assigned it. […]

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