Human beings experience a sense of love when someone meets a strong, basic need of ours. We feel attached to another who come to our aid and extend a helping hand when needed. We take pleasure in this person's company. We call this feeling love for one another. Man's needs are many; they cover a wide range. One person lacks security and looks for a parent-type to fill this need. Others feel a need to be looked after and pampered and look for a spouse who will care for them faithfully. Some seek a more authoritative figure. One person places primary emphasis on finding someone with a broad outlook on life, while others prefer a well-structured framework and value system. Economic means are important to some, while others will tell you they can “take it or leave it.”
Each one comes into marriage anticipating a certain experience. When these hopes are fulfilled, a person experiences pleasure.
If we ask a couple what they share in common that forms a bond between them, they may not know what to answer. They enjoy being together, under one roof, but are not aware of what it is that creates this feeling when they are together.
With some couples, as the years pass, their feelings for each other diminish. They no longer feel the bond which originally brought them together. If they analyze what has caused the love to diminish, they will most likely discover that as long as each one needed the other, they were united. Each contributed to the other, and this bonded them together. When years passed, they became less dependent on each other; consequently, their attachment to each other waned.
As they reached middle age and beyond, there were many gradual, subtle changes in their lives. They would be well advised to hearken to the comments and hints which each throws out to the other. A husband may remark, “You used to go places with me.” A wife might comment, “When we were young, you used to talk to me.”
Comments such as these are a red flag that something is lacking. There is no doubt that when both spouses pitch in willingly to remedy the situation, the needs of both can be met.
In other cases, difficulties arise when the wife becomes financially independent because of professional advancement. Some men regard their wives with increased admiration as a consequence of their professional achievements. Others prefer a “little woman” who is clearly dependent upon her husband. It is important to them that their wife look up to them as the head of the family and give them the feeling that they are the undisputed head of the family.
A change in the woman's status sometimes places stress on the emotional bond between husband and wife. If a wife senses that her husband is uncomfortable with her enhanced status, she would do well to seek his advice frequently. By doing so, she reassures him that she continues to value his opinion just as in the past, her professional advancement notwithstanding. At the same time, the husband should continue to relate to his wife and respond to her wishes just as in the past.