This was part of my homework for this week and I found it so helpful I wanted to share (definitions and instructions follow). Andy and I ranked our top five needs and then for fun we ranked what we thought was the other’s top five needs. I would say I know my husband extremely well and I was way off what I thought his top five were so the exercise was very helpful for me to know what he really cares about and for him to know what I really care about (although he pretty much had me pegged). This brought on good, sweet conversation and a focus to work on what we are both really wanting in our relationship. I liked this much better than “the 5 love languages” because it is more broad. I encourage you to take 30 minutes to get away with your spouse and really be honest and transparent with each other.
Sexual Fulfillment a sexual relationship that brings out an enjoyable sexual response in both of you, and that is frequent enough for both of you.
Conversation talking about the events of the day, feelings, and plans, showing interest in your favorite topics of conversation, using conversation to inform, really know and understand you, avoiding angry or judgmental statements or dwelling on past mistakes and giving you undivided attention.
Recreational Companionship developing interest in your favorite recreational activities, learning to be capable in them and joining you in those activities. If any prove to be unpleasant to your spouse after an effort has been made, negotiating new recreational activities that are mutually enjoyable.
Honesty and Openness giving accurate information, positive and negative feelings, events of the past, daily events and schedule, plans for the future, not leaving you with a false impression: answering questions truthfully.
Attractiveness of Spouse keeping physically fit with diet and exercise: wearing hair, clothing, and if female, make-up in a way that you find attractive and tasteful.
Financial Support provision of the financial resources to house, feed, and clothe your family at a standard of living acceptable to you, but avoiding travel and working hours that are unacceptable to you.
Domestic Support creation of a home environment for you that offers a refuge from the stresses of life; managing the home and care of the children, if any are at home, including but not limited to cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, house cleaning and child care.
Family Commitment scheduling sufficient time and energy for the moral, spiritual and educational development of your children; reading to them, taking them on frequent outings, training and disciplining them on a regular basis.
Affection expressing love in words, cards, gifts, hugs, kisses and courtesies, creating an environment that clearly and repeatedly expresses love.
Admiration respecting, valuing and appreciating you; rarely critical and expressing admiration to you clearly and often.
Spiritual Leader taking the initiative in cultivating a spiritual environment for the family, a student of the Word living out a life founded on the Word of God, leading your wife to become a radiant Christian, and leading your children in the things of the Lord.
To help you rank your needs, imagine that you will only have one need met in your marriage. Which would make you the happiest, knowing that all the others would go unmet? That need should be #1. If only two needs would be met, what would your second selection be? Which five needs when met would make you the happiest?
Resist the temptation to identify as most important only those needs that your spouse is not presently meeting.
One More Step:
All spouses have expectations in their marriage. Many expectations the spouse is not aware of or they have a false sense of what those expectations really are. Write down your expectations–being as specific as possible–then share them with each other. This will give the spouse the opportunity to say, “This seems reasonable; I think that can work” or “I’m not sure I can live up to this expectation because…” Being honest with your expectations can prevent a lot of pain later on. This exercise can actually be done every few years. As you grow, and your household situations change so will your values, attitudes, and needs.