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:
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.