His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley and Joyce Harley

Everything we do will affect our spouse.  Our actions will either represent deposits or withdrawals from our shared account in The Love Bank. Learn more about how to enrich your marriage.  

Session 1: The Love Bank 

Session 2: Affection and Sexual Fulfillment

Session 3: Intimate Conversation

Session 4: Recreational Companionship

Session 5: Family Commitment & Physical Attractiveness

Session 6: Honesty & Admiration

 

Marriage

Small Group Questions

Download PDF Marriage Questions

Session 1: The Love Bank

In this session Dr. Harley uses the image of a Love Bank, as a place where our emotions keep track of how we have been treated.  Everyday Love Units are either deposited or withdrawn in our Love Bank based on our treatment of our spouse and vice-versa.  

  1.    To what degree are you aware when you have made a deposit in your spouse's Love Bank?
  2.   What is something you do that creates a withdrawal from your spouse’s Love Bank?
  3.   What is one thing your spouse can say or do that creates a very large deposit in your Love Bank?
  4.   What is something he or she does that creates a large withdrawal from your Love Bank?

Session 2: Affection and Sexual Fulfillment

In this session Dr. Harley emphases the critical nature of affection and sexual intimacy to a strong marriage.  When these emotional needs are met, it deposits large Love Units in the Love Bank. He also emphasizes that if a spouse withholds affection or sex from his or her partner that leaves that partner in a vulnerable position. When healthy, married individuals need to be both affectionate and sexual with their partners

  1.    To what degree have you and your spouse talked about each other’s need for affection and sex?
  2.   Do you believe you have a good understanding of your spouse’s needs?  Would your spouse agree?
  3.   Do you believe your spouse has a good understanding of your needs?

Session 3: Intimate Conversation

In this session Dr. Harley talks about the contrast between the intimate talk of a couple prior to marriage when it seems “the problems are out there” and the more difficult task of communication after marriage when “the problems are in here”. He also identifies several “enemies” of good conversation such as: making demands, showing disrespect, anger, dwelling on mistakes…

  1.    How would you describe the quality of your conversations with your spouse?
  2.   When having conversation how often does one of you divide your attention between your spouse and something else such as a phone, TV, child, etc.?
  3.   Within a week’s time how frequently do you and your spouse have a complete conversation?
  4.   Where and when do you most often have conversation with your spouse? (E.g. while making dinner, sitting together in the Living Room at home, in the car driving to work…)
  5.   Does one person in the marriage do more of the talking and one do more of the listening or to what degree do you balance talking and listening to each other?

Session 4: Recreational Companionship

In this session Dr. Harley talks about the importance of you and your spouse being each other’s recreational partner.

  1.    Do you have 1-3 common recreational activities that you and your spouse share?
  2.   If your answer to the first question is “yes”, what are those recreational activities and how much time and frequency do you devote to them?
  3.   Are there any changes in this process that would make your time spent together more fulfilling?
  4.   If the answer is “no” we encourage you and your spouse to take the time this week to utilize the process introduced in this session to help you identify at least one recreational activity you can share.  

Session 5: Family Commitment & Physical Attractiveness

Regarding physical attractiveness, whether talking about weight control, dressing to please his or her spouse, make up, hairstyle, or personal hygiene, Dr. Harley stresses the importance of paying attention to what your spouse considered attractive.  When he or she looks at their spouse Love Units can be either deposited or withdrawn.

  1.    Have you talked about and do you know what your spouse considered physically attractive about you?
  2.   To what degree do you make an effort to be physically attractive to your spouse?

Regarding Family Commitment, Dr. Harley talks about the importance of quality family time given by both spouses; time invested in educating your children, developing high moral standards, family meals, faith development, etc.

  1.    Are you pleased with the quality and amount of time your family spends together?
  2.   How do you feel about the amount and quality of time your spouse gives to the family?
  3.   Are there improvements you believe need to be made in how your family spends time together?

Session 6: Honesty & Admiration

In the words of Dr. Harley, honesty is essential to a great marriage and dishonesty is a love buster.  Honesty and openness help meet an emotional need.

Dr. Harley identifies a need we all have to be admired.  He suggests that admiration can give our spouse a confidence and ambition that can meet our spouse’s emotional need.  

  1.    Does your response to your spouse’s honesty encourage him or her to be honest or does it discourage honest sharing?
  2.   To what degree do you and your partner expect total honesty from each other?
  3.   Do you believe there is a place for privacy within your marriage?
  4.   Have you/do you and your spouse had open conversation about your past, your current circumstances, and your future hopes/dreams?
  5.   What are some ways that you express your admiration for your spouse and how frequently does that happen?