Personal Needs

Your personal needs define who you are. Like the needs for food and water, you will do anything to have your personal needs met. In marriage, the two of you must meet each other’s needs if the marriage is to succeed. Your personal needs are part of the marriage foundation. There are three sets of needs; love, emotional, and human. In this article, I’ll introduce you to the three sets of personal needs.

The concept of personal needs may be foreign. We are all aware of our need for food, water, and shelter. Those are called physical needs. We can go two weeks without food. We can only go three days without water. Without either, we will die. Physically die.

What do you feel like when you go just a few hours without food when you are hungry?

Personal Needs

Just like physical needs, we also have personal needs. These work on a more psychological level. When our personal needs are not met, we don’t die, but we suffer just the same. We feel depressed, angry, frustrated, unloved, lonely, and lost. 

We have a lot of control over our personal needs. We do whatever we can to meet these needs when they are not met. We get creative. Sometimes we do very stupid things that cost us money, happiness, love, and marriage.

Most people do not understand their personal needs, or even have a name for them. That will change shortly.

Here’s an example. Mary works as an architect. She is single and has two men trying to get her attention. Mary loves to express her creativity through her designs. When off from work, she mountain bikes, hikes, camps, and skydives. She saves her money so she can go on nice vacations where she can see the world, take pictures of buildings, and taste a variety of foods.

Bob and Mike are interested in Mary.

Bob works at the same place as Mary as an accountant. Bob is quiet, well mannered, and reserved. He likes reading, going to the country club to play golf, grilling, and maintaining his house and lawn. Bob and Mary have long talks at lunches. They get along well, and Mary knows Bob is a safe bet.

Mike works a register at an auto parts store. He often changes jobs if he can make better money somewhere else. He loves to hike, camp, and mountain bike. Mike loves action-adventure movies. His passion is his Ford Mustang Boss that he fixes up and details. Mike met Mary on a mountain bike trail. They hit it off and arrange for biking adventures. When Mary is with Mike, she feels alive and full of life.

Who does Mary settle down with?

Mary will select the man that she feels best suits her personal needs. What she has to determine is which needs are most important to her, her desire for outdoor adventures and excitement, or a safe and stable life with excellent communication.

Soon, you will see how defined sets of needs fit this example and your life.

Happy, long-term marriages have a healthy marriage foundation. Marriage foundations are comprised of personal needs and emotional intelligence. As with the foundation of any building, the building is only as strong as the foundation. Consider your house or apartment building. If the foundation starts to sag, crumble, or get cracks, the building will suffer. Water may leak in. Sags can cause doors not close properly, or jam windows.

Family Dinner

A marriage with a weak foundation suffers from anger, defensiveness, loneliness, lack of sex, poor communication, and/or consideration of divorce.

The solution to many marriage problems is to fulfill each other’s personal needs.

3 Sets of Personal Needs

There are three sets of personal needs, Love Needs, Emotional Needs, and Human Needs. Each set of needs serves a part of who you are. One or more personal needs can explain every behavior and belief. There are a total of 21 personal needs. When you do the exercises, you will select the top 13 that serves you the most. Below are links to articles that describe that particular personal set of needs, put an exact name to the needs, and an exercise that will help you define your unique personal needs.

The goal is after you do the exercises to determine your personal needs, and your partner does the same, the two of you work together with this new insight about each other to meet each other’s needs.

Love Needs

The love needs are the highest level of need. They define specific actions. They are easy to understand and put into practice. These are also called love languages popularized by Dr. Gary Chapman. There are a total of 5 love needs, but when you do the exercise, you will select the top 2. 

Love needs connect you with your partner in a direct manner. They have a high impact. When your partner meets your love needs, you know it and feel it right away.

Click the link to read the article about LOVE NEEDS that includes the exercise. 

Emotional Needs

The emotional needs are mid-level needs. Emotional Needs became popular through the many works of Dr. Willard Harley Jr. These needs are practical and relate to everyday married life. Millions of couples worldwide have benefited from learning about their emotional needs. Since these needs relate to everyday married life, their impact is profound.

Click the link to read the article about EMOTIONAL NEEDS that includes the exercise.

Human Needs

The human needs are low-level needs that define the very essence of who you are. Popularized by Tony Robbins, understanding human needs can make a rapid and profound impact on a marriage. The human needs are a little conceptual to understand. All the needs are important, but the human needs provide insight and understanding that cannot be matched. If you ever wondered why you like something versus something else, your human needs will explain it. 

After you do the exercise and implement what you learned, you can understand yourself and your partner at a whole new level.

Click the link to read the article about HUMAN NEEDS that includes the exercise. 

Action Exercise

Take Action

I recommend working with each set of needs in the order presented. Please do not rush. Take your time and understand the content fully. Do the exercises. Don’t try to do all three at one time. Each one does take some time. It isn’t a race. Once you complete reading the articles and doing the exercises, put it into action. 

If you need further assistance, my coaching services are available. Helping couples implement what is in these articles is what I do. 

About the author

Mark Jala is a certified marriage coach, researcher, and consumer advocate. Certified in Strategic Interventions, Mark bases all of his services and advice on verifiable research. With nearly 40 years of problem solving experience, Mark has developed a holistic approach to marriage coaching which provides a context and execution plan not seen in ordinary marriage services.

  • Loved your article and how it gives an example of the types of needs that are required to establish the foundation of a long and happy marriage. The example of the two types of men that Mary will need to choose between shows that well.

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