Communicate Across Your Differences



Mega-needs are those driving forces that shape how we see life and hear everything that is said to us.

You and your spouse are different. If you haven’t discovered that yet, you soon will. The greatest single challenge to your communication is because of those differences. It seems like it would be so much easier to talk if they were just like us—felt like us, thought like us, had our needs, and had our personalities. But they don’t and never will.

You can’t change the unchangeable. One of you is a man, and the other a woman, and that is unchangeable. Don’t waste your energy trying to change your spouse. Start by trying to understand them.

Different Needs

Men and women each have a single primary need, which we could call a “mega-need.” Mega-needs are those driving forces that shape how we see life and hear everything that is said to us.

Security: The Mega-Need for Women

The mega-need for women is security. Wives want to know that their husbands will be sacrificial and selfless in their care for their wives. Since a woman’s primary need is security, everything she hears is encrypted through that need.

Husbands must encrypt every word they say with security. Regardless of the conversation, wives listen to their husbands’ tone of voice, body language, and attitude. They want to hear something like this: Honey, you come first. You are the most important thing in my life, and you are worth anything else I need to sacrifice. You are not a burden to me. You are the love of my life. Even when I don’t get what I want, you will get what you want because I will do anything to make sure I take care of you.

The mega-need for men is honor.

Honor: The Mega-Need for Men

The mega-need for men is honor. They see life through that lens and hear everything though that filter. Regardless of the conversation, if a man discerns disrespect, he will reject the message. Early in our marriage I told Karen the way she said something to me was as important as what she was saying. Men share this sentiment. Even though we may be big and strong on the outside, our egos are quite tender.

As a wife communicates with her husband, she must understand his need for honor. Everything she says must be encoded with honor and respect. Regardless of the topic, he must hear respect in her attitude and tone of voice. Husbands want to hear something like this: Honey, I believe in you. You are a good man, and you have what it takes. I am your cheerleader and your biggest fan. We are on the same team, and I am committed to you.

 Learning to speak in your spouse’s language is essential to successful communication. When both spouses learn to encrypt their language with their mate’s mega-need, communication will reach another level of intimacy and passion will grow.

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