Remember when you were dating your partner whom you are married to now? Remember all the things you used to do together? Do you do those things now or have your worlds grown apart over the years? You may find that you do things together, but they are different things than when you first met and dated.
According to the book, “His Needs Her Needs” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., recreational companionship is a vital emotional need for most men and could be for women also in a relationship. He goes on to say that he has counseled many couples who relate in their most honest moments that (for men especially) having their spouse as a playmate is highly important to them. Dr. Harley states that women will often participate in sporting events and outings with their spouse when dating, but often try to interest him in their activities after marriage. Importantly enough he claims that “spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.”
It appears that when we first start dating we participate in all sorts of outings with our potential spouse because we want to be with them all the time. Then it appears that down the road we find we no longer participate in those outings together. Our spouse may still enjoy those same interests, but often he may find others to meet the need of companionship for that event or give up the sport altogether without your participation.
Some of the typical recreational events a man enjoys are sporting events such as football, baseball, boxing, hunting, fishing, racing and water sports. Women tend to lean toward cultural events such as movies, shopping, dinner and dancing as their typical recreational choices. Knowing how important your participation is in your spouse’s recreational events can assist you in meeting their needs as a partner. A balance of time between the two types of recreational events would be optimum companionship for any relationship.
Question your spouse about his needs in this area of recreational companionship in order to find out just how high he ranks your participation in his interests. Dr. Harley says he has had many challenges to his claims on this topic and couples have claimed that even though a husband continues his sporting events with other men the relationship is not suffering. He states he counseled many couples that on the surface maintained an excellent image, but underneath truly desired the companionship of their spouse. Personally, I can attest that my husband and I used to fish together when we were dating and then continued on into our marriage with that sport for several years. Over the years, our fishing time together has waned even to a complete halt for the past year. Interestingly enough for me was the fact that he listed fishing with me as one of his goals for this year. You could say he has my full attention on this matter now.