In his bestselling book “His Needs Her Needs”, Willard Harley, Jr. describes a concept called the Love Bank. He explains that we keep an emotional account for each relationship that we have. A deposit or a withdrawal is made with every encounter with this person.
For example, you meet with a friend for lunch and have a good conversation. A deposit is made into that relationship’s account. You bump into that same person at the grocery store and they embarrass you by loudly recounting an incident in which you made a mistake. A withdrawal is made from that account.
For some people in your life, their account is high and you want to be around them. For others, their account is in the negative, and you want to avoid them. For a happy marriage, both of the spouses’ love banks need to be in the positive. Since we are fallen creatures, it is a given that withdrawals are continually made. So spouses must be intentionally making regular deposits. Below are four ways to build your spouse’s love bank:
For husbands to use with their wives:
1.) Listen – Don’t try to fix it! Instead show her that you understand.
2.) Be spontaneous – Do something romantic and out of the ordinary! Webster’s dictionary defines romantic as impractical. Do something impractical.
3.) Appreciate your wife’s contribution to your marriage/family! Compliment her in front of others. Give her notes of encouragement.
4.) Encourage your wife in her interests! Do not belittle her interests because they are not the same as yours.
For wives to use with their husbands:
1.) Affirm your husband – Don’t nag him! If you need his help, use positive reinforcement to show you respect him. Don’t attack his manhood, but rather tell him how you value his strengths.
2.) Give him a break! When he comes home from work, allow him time to switch gears from work to home. Don’t bombard him with expectations right after work, but give him a cooling down period.
3.) Encourage him to spend time with his guy friends! Of course there are limits to how much time, but don’t make him feel guilty for spending an hour or two with his friends once a week!
4.) Recognize his need for sex! Don’t brush his needs off to the side. Rather than making excuses for not having sex, talk to him about how to make sex a mutually agreeable act.