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Show Notes

Whether we think about them or not, we all have relational needs. Today we’re looking at the top ten relational needs, as found in the research done by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson. Have you ever felt these needs? Join us as we consider whether it’s reasonable to expect our spouse to meet them all.

  1. Acceptance
  2. Affection
  3. Appreciation
  4. Approval
  5. Attention
  6. Comfort
  7. Encouragement
  8. Respect
  9. Security
  10. Support

Wow, that’s a lot! And should you work to meet these needs for your spouse? Absolutely! But this is a lot of needs to have met from your spouse alone.

Tension: We have relational needs that aren’t getting met.

We used to live villages, where people were surrounded by family and close friends. The community helped fill the relational needs in each other, instead of relying solely on a spouse.

Truth: God wants to meet our needs through a village.

If you have an empty cup that represents your relational needs, God wants to use your spouse to help fill it. But if you can find some of it from other places, it only helps your spouse.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t receive all these things from your spouse at different points in your relationship. It simply means that you aren’t relying on them alone to fill all these needs – there are other people pouring into your emotional needs in addition to your spouse.

God wants to meet our relational needs through Him and a village of people (which includes our spouse!).

Your one simple thing for this week: We’re actually giving you three options – just choose one!

  • Find one way to connect with God each day this week – whether it’s a prayer or quiet time or whatever it may be for you.
  • Meet a relational need of your spouse that you haven’t been meeting so well. Just choose one.
  • Find time to hang out with one person, other than your spouse, who encourages/supports you.

CJ: I’m going to go with the first one and take time each day to go for a run and connect with God.

Afton: I’m going to intentionally show Hudson appreciation for the things he does.

Ted: I’m going to show Nancie support by helping to pick up our kids from some of their back-to-school activities.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think, and that God gave us a village for our emotional needs. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at

Finally – join us next week when we ask the question “How does our mindset impact our marriage?”

Robert Carnes is the editor on the MarriedPeople team. He's worked in marketing and communications for a number of churches and nonprofits. Robert lives in Atlanta with his wife, Victoria.