His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage
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Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs. The revised anniversary edition of His Needs, Her Needs is a celebration of how the book has helped thousands of couples revitalize their marriages during the last fifteen years. This best-seller identifies the causes of marital difficulties and instructs couples on how to prevent them, guiding them to build a relationship that sustains romance and increases intimacy. With today's soaring divorce rate and prevalence of affairs, Harley's insights are needed more than ever before. An unabridged recording of His Needs, Her Needs, the 15th anniversary edition, is now available as an audio book.

Customer Reviews:

  • Step by step guide to a better relationship
    This book said so many things that I had thought I had communicated to my spouse. In reading this book it made so many things more clear. My spouse and I now have clearer understanding on where the other one is coming from. The way that things are phrased are clear and spelled out. If you want better understanding and a true appreciation of how to keep your marage alive than this book is for you....more info
  • his needs her needs a must read for people who want all they can enjoy out of their marraige.
    I enjoy the cd so I can listen in the car. I think every spouse should want to be all they can be and in turn allow their partner to be all they can be. The cd gives examples of how we "destroy" our marriages without realizing it. Amarriage takes time, effort, love and most of all God. A must have review whenever you get the chance, least you forget exactly why you got married....more info
  • Dangerous Ideas
    While Dr. Harley does have some good ideas here - the concept of a "Love Bank", for example - there are alot of ideas in this book that are not only not helpful in building a strong marriage, they are downright dangerous. A few examples that stick out in my mind are: he says that once you get married both partners should give up ALL of their interests unless their partner also shares them; he says that the most important things a woman can do for her husband are to look attractive, please him sexually, be a good domestic housekeeper, and show admiration for him at all times; and worst of all, he tries to suggest that if you are the victim of a cheating spouse the first thing you should be asking yourself is "what did I do wrong that drove them to this?"

    All this book really does is try to make sure that men and women are fitting into their stereotype roles of "breadwinner" and "homemaker" by disguising it as marital needs. I would not recommend this book to ANY couple - especially not couples that have gone through an affair, which is who the book is specifically aimed at....more info
  • Good book, but not for everyone...
    This book is mostly for couples that are having issues with loyalty. Good book - easy read....more info
  • happiness is affair proof
    At first one thinks the ideas in this book are old fashioned, and not even relevant in todays world. Then you try them and they work. for me at least. "Affair-proof" was not my goal. Simply consider that affair proof equals blissful happiness....more info
  • Premarital Counseling Book
    My husband and I had to read this book as a part of our premarital counseling last year. This book talks about the most important needs of the husband and wife. Harley points out that a husband's top needs are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. He also points out that a wife's top needs are affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Of course the author recognizes that many of these needs overlap into the other spouse's territory. It was nice to have the discussion questions for Her, Him, and the Couple at the end of each chapter for moments of reflection. Overall, it was a good read and it remains a reference tool on our bookshelf to reach for during times when we need to be reminded about the other person's needs. ...more info
  • What an insight!
    This book provides me a lot of information about relationship and marriage that i thought i knew about, i was wrong. My husband and i have unintentionally made each other very unhappy during the years of our marriage. We did not make an effort or understand the importance of meeting each other's emotional need. I'm so glad this is written out so clearly and simple. Something everyone can do if they agree and believe in it. This book brought our marriage closer again. I have never been happier in my life. Dr. Harley, thank you....more info
  • Great information
    This book may seem a little bit old fashioned, but it makes sense. It was very insightful for me to read before getting married. Now I know what my future husband really needs and after he reads it, he'll know my needs. I learned a lot from this book and I truly believe that it will make our marriage affair-proof!...more info
  • Good advice, won't affair proof your marriage
    While this book contains great information for making your relationship more fulfilling, it totally paints a picture of performance-based marriage. If your needs aren't met, then apparently you are in a perfect position to go look somewhere else. That's not love. Marriage is about commitment and unfathomable loyalty. When your needs are met, you can attain great joy in marriage, but there is NEVER a valid excuse for an affair. We are in our 7th month of recovery after an affair that rocked our world and this book seeks to give some kind of answer to "how could this happen?" that totally disregards the true meaning of commitment....more info
  • Interesting Point of View
    I found it a bit simplistic to reduce a marriage to a set of needs that could be met or unmet. That's what behaviorist theory preaches and so far it has worked in other areas of psychology. Reading within that context, it makes sense that if you fullfill your spouse's needs, there won't be affairs. Quite optimistic!...more info
    This CD will give you great incite about yourself and what you are doing to other. I recommend this book or CD to all my friends who are in boat, or see the signs of them become weak. Awesome and great read. ...more info
  • This is a great book
    i realy liked this book and have recommended it to many people. i agreed with the author's analysis of needs and the outcome if the important ones are not met by a spouse. also, i did not find that the book was overwhelmingly "Christian" of "biblically" based. i am neither and am usually turned off by Christian or biblical rhetoric. i also liked how quickly the book could be read. even if one uses it to get better in touch with their OWN needs, it would be helpful. I give it a 5 star rating and strongly recommend it to people....more info
  • Steer clear of this one.
    I couldn't agree more with (Stacy) below in saying that this book portrays a distorted message of what a husband and wife should be. Read her review and rethink reading this book. Husbands: love your wives as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her. Much more could/should be said, but I think Stacy said it all.

    For any Christian husbands out there interested in reading a truly informative and edifying book on what a Christian Husband should look like, read Bob Lepine's The Christian Husband....more info
  • Not Quite the Usual
    I think Harley's ideas make a lot of sense, and they aren't just the usual ones about better communication. He has tried to codify what makes people love each other, and to help married people learn to fill the needs each has, but that aren't always clear to the other.

    Could be helpful for any couple -- married or not, opposite or same sex.

    ...more info
  • His Needs Her Needs
    This book is great I would recomend it for anyone going in to a relationship. A really easy book to read that has some great ideas for all relationships....more info
  • The Stepford Marriage
    I read the book on my own. Then I gave it to my wife, and we read it together. After that, we attended the 10 week marriage builders course that is based on the book. And with all that said, a year removed from any of those activities, I say proceed with extreme caution.

    Harley enlightens us with great concepts, and insights, such as: being a student of your partners needs, being willing to sacrifice for those needs, and recognizing the consequence of unmet needs. This is great. Yet the overall premise is completely wrong. He's basically saying that at all costs we need to submit to every whim of our spouse. This is not what apostle Paul meant in his letter.

    I believe it is our desire to find a perfect paradise on Earth that so dupes us in to subscribing to such illusionary ideologies. There is no untainted bliss between two sinful people. This is a quest for eternal youth disguised as one seeking the Holy Grail.

    Of course he means no harm, and his book will help many in their marriages. It just bothers me how we accept such blantently wrong principles, because how they are presented and the benefits it would mean for ourselves personally.

    Easily duped...more info
  • His Needs Her Needs
    This audio series was in perfect shape when it arrived. All packaging in tact. It arrived in a timely manner and I was very pleased....more info
  • My needs and his..
    It teaches about the needs of both sexes and how to communicate these needs to your spouse. It also talks about the dynamics of an affair and how to recognize and avoid the warning signals. I also recommend I Love You. Now What?: Falling in Love is a Mystery, Keeping It Isn't...more info
  • Great for any couple
    We got the "book on tape" version as a gift, and were impressed enough to buy it for our daughter and her fiance'. I would recommend this for anyone married or getting married. We also got the book, LoveBusters by the same author. Also a must have, especially for relationships with "issues". Easy to understand and relate to. ...more info
  • His Needs Her Needs
    This book has for sure helped me to see the things that have been missing all along from my marriage (since the beginning). I just wish I would have read it earlier (before my marriage). I'm sure it would have made a huge difference in how I handled things. I can't speak for the other party but I would guess that it most certainly could not have hurt things. I highly recommend this for anyone prior to getting into a marriage and for anyone who thinks there is remote chance of salvaging their current marriage. Every piece of ammo helps in both situations!...more info
  • Great book
    My husband and I got this book from the library and decided to buy it. It has lots of good advice and helps us understand our differences and how to make our marriage better. I would definitely recommend it....more info
  • Married Forever
    Phenomenal path for married couples to follow. If a man and a woman sell out to Willard's recommendations their marriage is destined to succeed with flying colors. Only through selfless abandon in your marriage will you succeed to change our world's marital statistics back to where the were 50 years ago!!!

  • One of the only books you need on Marriage
    My wife and I where given this book to go through it for pre-marital counseling. 4 Years later we are read reading it to find new things about our marriage. This is a great book to build a foundation on and one to continue to go back to. I have recommended this book to dozens of friends that have gotten married, everyone that has read it was not disappointed. I don't think you will be either. ...more info
  • Not A Biblical Perspective of Marriage
    If you're looking for a Biblical perspective on marriage you will be disappointed with this book, as my husband and I were. This is pop-culture/pop-psychology sold under the guise of Christian advice. This book is worldly at best. The basis for a Christian marriage is spelled out in Scripture: Wives, submit to your husbands, husbands, love your wives. Marriage is based on serving, forgiving, praying for, and committing to one another every day. The problem with this book is that its premise is that each spouse is obligated to meet the other's needs, and if that does not happen, our anger, selfishness, pouting, and - yes - even adultery are justified. Scripture just doesn't support such a one-sided, "look out for self" view of any Christ-centered relationship. In fact, the New Testament is full of verses about dying to yourself, giving up your rights, not demanding they be met, as this book suggests. The book's list of the top needs of males and females is very narrow. You're better off asking the Lord to give you a heart to love and serve your spouse, and determining each other's needs from there. If you want a specific, really eye-opening look at what the other sex thinks and feels try For Women Only or For Men Only by Feldman. These are excellent and convicting. For sexual issues try Sheet Music by Kevin Leman - extrememly Biblically based but also a great read, a must for all couples. God calls us to be wise, so be wise and forget this book - it will skew your view of marriage and yourself.

    God Bless Your Marriage!! ...more info
  • Bought this for a friend
    I gave this book to a friend after it being recommended by our pastor. She had separated from her husband after a very sordid affair. She said it was very helpful for her. Not sure if he read it or not. Incidentally they've made amends and even renewed their vows....more info
  • His Needs, Her Needs
    What an eye opener. This has helped our marriage from 50-60% to 100-120%.
    So many things we did not know about the differences in how we think.
    God Bless.
    ...more info
  • His needs and her needs
    Is realy good, I sugested to any one who have a family or is plannig to have one....more info
  • This book really helped our marriage
    I read this book in conjunction with an 8-week class my wife and I joined because we were having a tough time. Now that the class is over, I am totally amazed at the positive impact the book had on our 23-year marriage.

    The book defines three stages that married partners move through: intimacy, conflict and withdrawal. I was firmly in withdrawal when I started the class. And after the first session, I was unconvinced that the book would do us any good. But we hung in there, and we both learned so much! I was deeply resenting my wife because I was doing all I could to please her, and felt like she was not reciprocating. As it turns out, the things I was working so hard on were very important to me, but not to her. And she was doing the same thing to me-- trying to show me love by doing things that were important to her, but not to me.

    Once we understood what each other's needs were, it was really pretty simple to meet them, and move from withdrawal back to intimacy. The book provided a very helpful framework within which we could discuss our relationship without both getting angry and retreating to our separate corners.

    For me, it was extremely helpful to read this book as part of a class. The class gave us encouragement, deadlines and a sense of accountablity that we absolutely would not have had on our own. One couple in our class said that the eight-week class had been way more helpful than 11 months of marriage counseling (not to mention far less expensive!)

    The book and class really turned our relationship around. I wish we had done them decades ago. More info on the class is avaiable at the Family Dynamics website, [...]...more info
  • Marriage Saver
    I was given this book on the brink of divorce. I had the plans in place. I started to read this book and it all made sense to me. Once my husband and I were talking again, we began reading it chapter by chapter together. And it help save our marriage. Not only that, I have my best friend (my husband) back.
    Good Points:
    1) The needs that I have were precisely stated. When I read that, I knew that this doctor knew what he was doing. With that insight, I read the man's needs side. While I still don't understand those needs, because I know how right he was about mine, it seems reasonable to assume that he's right about his. Because I know how much I would love if my husband were to do all the things suggested, it seems reasonable to think that my husband would love all that were on his side. IT JUST MAKES LOGICAL SENSE.
    2) Once a couple is committed to meeting each other's needs, something unexpected happens. Meeting those needs becomes less of an intentional, awkward mechanical action, and more of a way of life. After that, it becomes something you WANT TO DO. It becomes FUN! Much like when we were dating. I never would have thought that could happen again after 10 years of marriage.

    Most of this is on physical attractiveness. I can understand that it might be a hard pill to swallow for some women to think that it would be helpful in a marriage for her to consider her husband's feelings about her physical attractiveness. I agree with a previous review - if you cared at all about your appearance before the marriage, why? If you kept in shape while you were dating, WHY? Should you be ashamed of that? Of course not, you did it because you WANTED to be attractive to your spouse. Has that changed? Just like your husband previously bought you flowers or took you out to dinner, or told you how much he loved you. He did that because he wanted you to feel special. Should he stop that? It's all related. If you are like most women, you want to feel special and loved. If you are like most men, you are a visual being. These are but two of the needs that men/women typically have. One other side note, the book does not say that you have to be a physically perfect model or never age, it simply says that you should take that need seriously and work with what you have.

    The point is NOT that not meeting these needs is an excuse for an affair. The point is that women and men have basic needs that must be met somehow. If those particular needs aren't met, they'll be one of two things: unhappy/resentful, or look to find those needs to be met elsewhere. We don't want our spouses to do either of those, just as WE don't want to do/feel either of those. It may not seems right, but it's the truth. If we ignore the truth, we will not be as happy as we can be. I find that meeting my husband's needs has increased his happiness and our closeness, which produces more of a desire to meet even more needs. It cannot be one-sided, or it won't last. He is feeling the same way. We are closer than ever. We love each other and are now happy to do whatever we can to make each other feel good. Our children see this love and mutual affection and we hope this will carry on into their adult lives as a model of good relationships based on love and care for other's feelings....more info
  • A few pages pack the most value
    This book was recommended to me by a marriage counselor. After reading through it, I agree with what he said, which is that a lot of the content may not be applicable to your situation, but the forms and checklists in the back are the most value. I probably got more value out of the book by reading the whole thing and skimming over parts that obviously weren't applicable. Even if you buy this book for the appendix only, it is money well spent....more info
  • Expectations
    I've long thought that the key to any type of relationship is having realistic expectations. The reason we are often unhappy with a person is that they do not meet our expectations. Too many times we have expectations of what our partner should/shouldn't do, and they have no idea.

    Harley presents a practical, realistic guide for couples to dicover their own needs and then share them with each other. That knowledge alone should help many marriages. He next explains the needs in greater detail, and gives scenarios for what may/may not happen if a particular need isn't met. Harley also explains how the needs are related to one another and ignoring one leads to a domino effect.

    I've been in a relationship with my fiance for 3 1/2 years and am marrying him in about a month. I thought this was a great book for us, and even though I didn't have him sit down and read it through, I asked many of the questions randomly in conversation. Although I already knew a lot about him, this book caused me to stop and really think about what he needed vs. what I was providing. Most were common sense ideas, but there were a couple that I wouldn't have ever thought about, but found them to be very true.

    For some couples, this may be a great eye opener, for others a good reminder, that in order to make a relationship work, you have to know what your partner needs and be willing to provide that.

    I recommend the book for new couples and old, for those who want to strengthen a good relationship and those who want to save a faltering one. ...more info
  • Not for your average feminist
    Very practical book with lots of great ideas (such as the concept of the Love Bank) but can also be interpreted as very sexist and conservative. The idea that the only recreational activity a spouse should do are those that can be shared with your partner just doesn't fit in to a 21st century relationship with most people. As with most books you have to extract from it that which applies to you and there is little doubt that if everyone followed Harley's advice there would be less affairs happening ...more info
  • What a concept! Men and women actually have different needs?!
    While the principle concepts presented in this book may seem rather obvious (men and women have different needs that should be met for a successful marriage), there is still much value to be gained from reading it. Harley does an excellent job of outlining and explaining the differences in "most important needs" for both men and women in a way that will help the opposite gender better understand those needs. This would be a valuable book for anyone interested in having a serious relationship with the opposite sex as well as anyone already involved in a relationship (married or not).

    His basic premise is that every person has certain needs that they look for a partner to meet. When a person meets those needs they build up credits in their "love bank" until some point at which they feel that they need or love that person. When a spouse fails to meet their partner's most important needs, their partner will look to have those needs met elsewhere and many times an affair ensues. So, to prevent an affair from ravishing your relationship, pay attention to meet all of your partner's needs and make it clear to them what your needs are so that they may be met as well. In this way Harley places some of the blame for affairs on the cheated-on spouse. They must not have been meeting their partner's needs for them to seek out companionship elsewhere. While I'm sure that not all affairs occur because of this, Harley claims that in the vast majority of cases, his premise holds true.

    His experience as a long-time marriage counselor provides Harley with a particularly well-rounded and thorough perspective on the most common problems in marriages and the root causes of those problems. He tells it like he sees it, and doesn't shy from coming off as discriminatory towards one sex or the other. The way he asks women or men who have been cheated on to look at themselves and discover in what ways they failed to meet their significant other's needs may upset some people.

    This book looks at relationships in a rather unique way that will help couples better understand each other and each others' needs. At marriage, both partners feel that their needs are being met and expect them to continue to be met afterwards. If they are not, they do not feel content and affairs frequently follow. I highly recommend this book to everybody interested in learning more about yourself, the opposite sex, and about how successful relationships should work....more info
  • A great book for marriage.
    First off, I am a minister - my main experience is in campus and outreach ministry.

    I have read this book through once, before I got married, and I have read different sections several times. Usually when someone I know is getting married I recommend this book, The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman), and Financial Peace Revisited (Dave Ramsey) as three must read books before they tie the knot (these 3 books don't address all things marriage - they are just a good base and provide some solid insight and wisdom).

    Okay... His Needs, Her Needs. I think this book is successful in achieving the stated purpose - to help affair-proof a marriage. The book illustrates several situations which resulted in affairs, due to the individual needs of spouses not being met. The book list the 10 MOST COMMON needs people have/need to be met in their marriage partnership (some people might have a need category unaddressed, but the ones listed in the book are pretty inclusive).

    We know men and women are different, this book illustrates this well. Men and women can/will often have a different priority of needs. The book gives a stereotypical order of those needs for men and women - you do not need to be stereotypical to benefit from this book. Some women have sex and handsome husband as their needs 1 and 2 and some men have conversation and affection as their needs 1 and 2 (this would not be very stereotypical).

    Regardless of what your needs are, I think this book does a good job illustrating that every person has unique needs to them and once in a marriage relationship - God intends for the spouse to be the main provider of such needs. When your spouse is not actively helping to meet those needs, a door is opened in the relationship that could lead to infidelity (emotionally or physically - both types addressed in the book).

    Other reviewers state that it is not a Christian book. I disagree with this point of view, it IS a very Christian book - it is just NOT a religious book! This book is written by a Christian counselor and teaches a very Christian point of view regarding marriage - a husband and wife should be focused on serving/edifying each other. This book in NO WAY supports a "me first" attitude NOR does it "justify infidelity" - it lists several causes of selfishness and infidelity in marriages.

    This book however, does not delve into the wives submit and husbands serve passages - although, I don't remember anything in the book that contradicts that biblical point of view, by any stretch.

    This is a great book that teaches common sense (just because it is common sense, it does mean it is common knowledge) about marriage and having a solid...conent...and happy marriage. This book is very helpful for non-Christians (it is not too churchy, to the point some say it is not Christian book?) and Christians... regardless of where you are in the marriage spectrum (happily, broken, engaged to be, single, divorced, etc.), it is an insightful book.

    Sorry for any poor spelling/grammar. ...more info
  • Best book on marriage building available.
    I am a full time minister with a church in Southern California. I read extensively on family and marriage for both counseling and teaching purposes. I have read probably 100 titles on the subject.

    Having said that, let me say that this book is the best material I have ever read on marriage building. Over the years, I have seen marriages collapse because one of the spouses neglected the needs of the other. It is uncanny how acurately Harley zeros in on how an affair happens. His analogy of the "love bank" is fantastic.

    In my work with the church, I can say that the problem isn't that people are unaware of God's expectations for them in marriage. The men and women in pews are aware that God expects the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church. Wives are aware of their needs to be a helper and companion of their husbands. What they lack is the knowledge of what that "looks like" in the real world. Harley paints this quite nicely for us.

    I couldn't recommend this title more highly....more info