My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Harley’s material is substantial, but also surprising.
His arguments about how the emotional needs being met can prevent affairs by deposits into Love Banks is spot on, and the content he shares on the different emotional needs is accurate as well. While Harley assigns different emotions based of statistical analysis from his counseling sessions with others, he is quick to admit that each person is different as well. His content regarding affection is informative, as well as the content on sexual fulfillment. Additionally, how he separates affection and sexual fulfillment from each other helps clarify boundaries, but also show that affection is needed for sexual fulfillment. This can be evident in many couples. Harley’s point on intimate conversation helps drive home the need for special communication and confiding in one another in marriage.
While some of his suggestions in recreational companionship can be difficult to accept, he is absolutely correct that husband and wife should be each other’s best friends and primary source of recreational companionship, removing opposite-sex recreation partners to help keep a marriage affair-proof. The notion is not popular in today’s society, but does the job well, and should be seriously considered by many. Honesty and openness are definitely needed in marriage, and go in line with intimate conversation. What came as a surprise is Harley’s focus on physical attractiveness. Instead of dismissing it and focusing on more substantial emotions, Harley did provide a focus on this due to his counseling experiences. The phrase “beauty is skin deep” comes to mind, but Harley dismisses it and admits that vanity can actually be important to couples, which could be problematic as couples age.
Financial support and domestic support went hand in hand and provided a common sense approach, but was interesting to see it as an emotional need instead of a practicality. Both of them give a feeling of support, the underlying consistent term, which psychologically relates to the more basic needs humans express. Family commitment was featured, which was important to see, as well as admiration, which tied in closely with the concept of needing respect and wanting to be looked up to, presenting it in an appropriate and practical manner. Harley’s arguments throughout the book, and in his section on how to survive an affair, seem quite extreme at times. However, given his counseling experience, there is the reality that he may have actually seen all of the scenarios he presented.
Overall, Harley’s book, while contested in some areas, is definitely a compelling read. He provides illustrative examples on how each emotional need, if unmet, can lead to an affair, and gives practical tips on how to bolster that need in the marriage. Additionally, his included appendices help couples determine their emotional needs so that couples can work together to ensure their needs are met and their marriage is affair-proof.
Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.