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The Five Love Needs


1. Unconditional love and acceptance
2. Sexual intimacy
3. Companionship
4. Encouragement and affirmation
5. Spiritual intimacy


1. Unconditional love and acceptance
2. Emotional intimacy and communication
3. Spiritual intimacy
4. Encouragement and affirmation
5. Companionship


Understanding Your Spouse's Love Needs

The 700 Club - LISA RYAN: Our next guests have been married for over 25 years and he has been a marriage counselor for 15 years. Please welcome to The 700 Club the couple known as America's family coaches, Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg.

GARY ROSBERG: Thank you so much.

RYAN: I have to tell you, this book caused quite a frenzy around here. Everybody is digging through. They want to know what's in chapter three, and we will get to that, of course. But I think a lot of times we automatically think we are meeting our spouse's needs. What's wrong with that assumption?

G. ROSBERG: When we do that, many times those needs aren't met and the expectations aren't met, and then you will have disappointment with a husband or a wife because God wired us differently. He wired us differently in our gender and personality, and that's why we wrote the book, to coach men and women to discern what those needs are so they can fulfill the vow that God has allowed them to enter into in the covenant of marriage.

RYAN: So many times we assume that, well, his needs are my needs. And then you realize, wow, we have different needs.

G. ROSBERG: We do.

RYAN: You did some research. Tell me how you went about your research, because everything builds off of your findings.

G. ROSBERG: It really does. We studied 1,400 people, 700 couples in eight cities across the country. And Barb and I in that survey asked them, "What do you need in order to have a great marriage?" And so it would be as if I could go to a woman and say, "If your husband could do these five things, what are the top five things you would look for?"

Honey, you asked the gals the same thing.

RYAN: What did you find?

BARBARA ROSBERG: Women told us that their number-one love need is that of being loved unconditionally. It's that Christ-like love. We all have that great, big hole in our hearts that, truly, no man or woman can meet. Christ has to meet that love. It's the kind of love that covers all of our mistakes. When we experience it at the foot of the cross, we can then give the overflow of it to our mates and receive really, truly a Christ-like marriage when that number-one love need is met of unconditional love.

RYAN: We have that need to know and to be known at the deepest core of our being.

G. ROSBERG: Yeah. We call it being God with skin on.

RYAN: I like that. God with skin on.

G. ROSBERG: We just need that. And Barb can't fulfill all those needs. The number-one love need for men is unconditional love. We want to be loved and accepted.

RYAN: Not judged or critiqued.

G. ROSBERG: No. And we don't want our wives to look at us as a home improvement project. We just want to be received. That unconditional love, when that's there as a foundation and Jesus Christ is in the middle of that relationship, then the other needs to be met.

RYAN: Let's look specifically at the top five needs for both genders and then let's talk more specifically about some of those needs. We talked about unconditional love. Your findings show, in chapter 3, that sexual intimacy is way up there for men.

G. ROSBERG: Any surprise?

RYAN: I don't know why I wasn't surprised.

B. ROSBERG: We were surprised it wasn't one, two, three and four in men!

RYAN: The top five. I'll be honest with you. All of the women that look at it go, "Well, sure, of course that's his top need." But I actually had one of our male producers look at it and say, "You know what? I'm a little bothered by the fact that we're always put into this category, that the top need for men in intimacy is spelled s-e-x." Help us with this.

Gary RosbergG. ROSBERG: Here is what we found. The number-two love need for men and women is intimacy. It's just that men and women spell it differently. Women spell it emotional intimacy (t-a-l-k). Guys spell it physical intimacy (s-e-x). That's one of the core aspects of the book.

We're trying to help couples understand, as a man, as a servant leader in the family, as he is ministering to her, as he is helping her feel secure in the relationship, connecting to her, doing that love talk between husband and a wife, that this will make her response to him in the sexual area reasonable. But a man sets the pace for that, Lisa. So if a guy is not honoring his wife, if he's not nurturing her, listening to her, taking care of her needs, then she's not going to feel safe to respond to her husband.

RYAN: It seems like the top five needs are pretty much the same for men and women, except for this area of intimacy and how it's expressed. And it almost seems like it's a dichotomy. Why did God wire us so differently? You almost get into this tension where she will share physical intimacy when her emotional needs are met, whereas he feels a need to meet her emotional needs after his physical needs are met. How do we break that vicious cycle?

G. ROSBERG: I'll tell you, Lisa, if we weren't different, those emotional needs would probably never get met, nor would the sexual needs. I think it's in God's creation as he created man and woman so they could complete one another. I'm not good alone. That's why in Genesis God said, "I will make a helper suitable for him." And He created Barb to help complete those needs in me, and for me to help complete those needs in Barb. It's our differences that bring us together in connecting to one another and becoming one.

RYAN: So in the oneness, there is wholeness, there is completeness. You two, when you do conferences, you break off. Barb, you talk to the guys. And Gary, you talk to the wives.

What do you share with the gentleman?

Barbara RosbergB. ROSBERG: I love to talk to the men. And I will tell you why. I take what their wives have communicated to me in different conferences and I come along as a sister to communicate what those heart needs are. Women are different, but the core of every one of us in a marriage is we long to connect, we long to have that intimacy. And what we found in our findings is that men and women alike want spiritual intimacy, as well as emotional intimacy, and that beautiful celebration of sexual intimacy within a marriage.

Sometimes couples will think, "Well, it's just us, and if we don't make it, it doesn't matter. We're just only impacting us." The problem with that is if we're not working on our marriage, if we're not being a student of our mates, we are impacting the next generation. If grandparents and family members could come alongside couples -- it's hard being married today -- and could resource them either in materials or a conference…but as you said earlier, give it as a wedding gift. Why? Because there are children and grandchildren who are watching parents becoming divorced today and these are the trends that follow generationally in families. So sometimes we take care of our own marriage for the sake of the next generation.

RYAN: We are leaving a legacy. Do you think most men realize how important that spiritual intimacy is and that some of our romantic feelings as women are very much borne out of seeing him take the spiritual leadership role?

G. ROSBERG: I'm not sure, Lisa. I think men are becoming increasingly alert to that. I will tell guys, "You want to have great intimacy in your marriage? Let your wife catch you praying."

RYAN: Oh, yeah! Have her walk in the room and you're reading the Bible.

G. ROSBERG: There you go.

B. ROSBERG: See, the man is safe. There will be times when we all have differences and yet we have to defer to one another in making a big decision. And it's difficult. I don't care how long you've been married; it is difficult. But when you are married to a surrendered man who is seeking the Lord -- not a perfect man, nor a perfect woman, but someone who is surrendered-- then you rest in that safety that they are pursuing a relationship with the Lord.

G. ROSBERG: You looked to me and said not a perfect man. I just want to get that clear.

B. ROSBERG: No, I said an imperfect woman.

RYAN: But that need for security is so important to a woman, isn't it? And so much of it flows out of seeing that her husband desires to be a spiritual leader, that whether he's perfect or not, he's hungry for God.

B. ROSBERG: Absolutely.

G. ROSBERG: Lisa, Barb has said more than once, "Gary, you're the strongest man I've ever met. You're the strongest man in America. When you are submitted to Jesus Christ, you're great. But when you get a smidgen of yourself, then you're dangerous."

See, when we as men step outside the authority of Jesus Christ, and we step outside of the authority that God has designed for us as a spiritual leader and we do it in the flesh, then we are controlling and angry and can be insecure and unfaithful.

RYAN: That's when the woman withdraws.

G. ROSBERG: Sure. And she should withdraw, because the safety net is not there. I believe it's all about the heart of a man. That's why when a man is sold out for Jesus Christ, when a man takes the Word of God and he stands under the authority of the Word of God and says, "This is my instruction manual. This is how I want to live my Life. This is what I'm committed to," then a wife's response to him, her submission to him, and a family underneath that patriarch of that family is secure.

RYAN: Very quickly, this was e-mailed in:

"I love my husband of 10 years with all of my heart. How do I overcome the everyday stress that wipes me out by 7:30 p.m.? Any advice?

---Mrs. R.

I want to point out that Mrs. R is not Mrs. Ryan.

B. ROSBERG: Or Mrs. Rosberg. Aren't we wiped out at the end of the day? Let's face it. When you are married, when you're taking care of those relationships, when you're a mother, when you're working, I mean, every one of us at 7:30, we need a mate that can just love us.

But, unfortunately, we don't save enough of ourselves for that most important relationship. That is the relationship that we vowed to love, honor and respect throughout a lifetime. I am multi-dimensional: I work; I have children; I'm going to be a grandmother November 1. And he's going to be a grandpa. We are so thrilled. But you know what it means? It means pulling back from the demands of every day so that we can capitalize on relationships, because at the end of our lives, when we stand before the Lord, I don't want to have any regrets about how I mothered or how I was a wife. That takes balance every single day of our lives.

RYAN: So we as women have to steward our time so that we have energy.

G. ROSBERG: And we as men do as well, Lisa. I love to coach guys. Guys, you hold back the energy. That first 90 seconds when you walk in the door at the end of the day is very strategic. If you walk in preoccupied with work or bashing at your wife because a bike was in the driveway, you'll set the mood for the entire evening. So you come in there and just be purposed on affirming and loving and encouraging, and then sit down and take your wife and have communication, after you give her a big kiss.

B. ROSBERG: Let's talk about one practical thing that every couple can do at the end of the day. That is to make sure that they sit down away from the kids and have even 15 minutes of good talk time. Many times a woman just needs to have her husband understand all those stresses that she has been through and she needs him to listen -- not fix -- but to listen.

RYAN: Not necessarily fix it. Just hear and understand and validate.

B. ROSBERG: Listen, understand and validate.

G. ROSBERG: I have learned that.

RYAN: Boy, that was an epiphany in my marriage when my husband realized I didn't need him to be a messiah to me. I have one. Just listen and validate my feelings and say, "I understand how you could feel the way you do." That's all we need.

G. ROSBERG: He is a wise man.

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