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His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage Fifteenth Anniversary Edition Hardcover – April 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The story behind this book . . .

"What a challenge! Marriages were breaking up at an unprecedented rate, and no one knew how to stop it. So I made it my own personal ambition to find the answer."-from the new preface

Dr. Harley admits that he wasn't always the successful marriage counselor he is today. In fact, there was a time when nearly every couple who came to him for counsel ended up divorced. But rather than give up, Dr. Harley set out to find a solution to the problem. This book is the product of that commitment.

For the past fifteen years, Dr. Harley has used this book to teach couples what's most important in marriage-how to fall in love and stay in love. Now, with more than a million copies and twelve translations of His Needs, Her Needs in print, he shares the story behind the book and continues to offer readers a practical plan for creating and sustaining a passionate marriage.

Nationally acclaimed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. is the author of many books on marriage, including Love Busters and The Five Steps to Romantic Love. marital problem. Dr. Harley lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, with Joyce, his wife of thirty-eight years.

From the Back Cover

What will it take to make your marriage sizzle?

Time after time, His Needs, Her Needs has topped the charts as the best marriage book available. More than any other, this book helps husbands and wives give each other what they need most in marriage.

This anniversary edition celebrates fifteen years of its ever-increasing popularity. The over one million couples who have read His Needs, Her Needs have learned to make their marriages sizzle, and they are recommending it to others. Join those who have seen spectacular changes in their marriages by following Dr. Harley's tried and proven counsel. You will discover that an outstanding marriage can be more than a dream--it can be your reality.

What couples are saying about His Needs, Her Needs:

"My new husband and I were having trouble adjusting to marriage. I read the book and immediately things began to improve."

"It is the best book on marriage I have ever read."

"I have recommended this book to every one of my friends. It should become a staple in every house."

"I can't believe how peaceful and loving our marriage has become since reading this book. We went from being at the brink of divorce to experiencing the same love and excitement as when we first met."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; 15 Anv edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780800717889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800717889
  • ASIN: 0800717880
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., is a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He is best known as the author of His Needs, Her Needs; Love Busters; Five Steps to Romantic Love; and Give and Take.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

191 of 204 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on May 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After 15 years, Harley's work is as profound now as it was when first published. Harley has revised his book in various places, updating it based upon lessons learned since the previous edition and making it applicable to marital challenges of the 21st century. His concepts are powerful and practical. While written by a conservative Christian author, these principles are applicable to persons regardless of their religious background.
Harley's approach to "affair-proofing" a marriage centers on a concept he labels "the love bank." Every husband and wife has a love bank that encounters both deposits and withdrawals from the opposite sex. A crucial distinction is made, however, in that deposits and withdrawals are made differently with men than they are with women. These differences are based upon the ten most felt needs of a relationship with the opposite gender. Husbands, in general, place the highest importance on the following five needs: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. Wives, in general, place the highest importance on the following five needs: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Both genders express need for all ten items, but typically husbands and wives have contrasting priorities.
According to Harley, when an individual meets one or more of the partner's greatest felt needs, deposits are made into the partner's love bank. When one or more needs are not met, withdrawals are made from the partner's love bank. An affair occurs when a spouse finds fulfillment for a strongly felt need elsewhere because it is not being met satisfactorily within the marriage.
Harley's love bank concept is the centerpiece of his best-selling work.
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136 of 147 people found the following review helpful By John Hazucha on November 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a GREAT book for those of you who love their spouse, but are not "In Love", those whose marraige is a little flat, but can't figure out why, those who have fallen "out of love" with their spouse and think that is "normal" in marriage, those who have taken the "divide and conquer" approach to family responsibilities and therefore have little time together, and those who are slowly drifting apart because their interests are different. Harley clearly shows us how to care for our spouses in ways that make them feel loved, and how to get to an "In Love" state that can last. It gave me the practical tools I needed to stop wasting energy trying to do things for my wife that she didn't really appreciate anyway, and re-direct my energy into things that mattered. It did the same for her.
That said, the book is not perfect.
By reading the other reviews here at, it is obvious that one of Harley's main points in this book can be missed by its readers. Apparently, people can read this book and miss Harley's statements that although the needs presented as "women's needs" are typical of women, and the needs presented as "mens needs" are typical of men, EACH PERSON IS DIFFERENT, so you should fill out the questionaire at the end of the book and figure out how this applies to you. Most people have at least one need that is "typical" of the other sex. My wife and I are pretty far from typical, so it probably helped that we took the questionaire BEFORE reading the book. I admit that the stereotypical way the needs are described is irritating.
I also agree that it can be read in a way that puts your spouse where God should be in your life. I don't think that is what the author says or means.
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98 of 111 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent and is a must-read for anyone contemplating marriage, having marital trouble, or happily married wanting things to be even more perfect. The previous reviewer may have taken the "needs" too literally. Dr. Harley mentions 5 of the "top" needs, but it is not the same for everyone. As a matter of fact, in my marriage, I have a few of the "male" needs, and my husband has a few of the "female" needs. But it works for us.
We were literally on the brink of divorce - only needed to get a lawyer. This book totally changed our thinking. We thought we were meeting each other's needs, but we were really meeting our "own" needs, which are rarely applicable to the spouse. We learned so much from this book, and now give it out as wedding presents to hopefully spare couples from the trouble we experienced.
I *highly* recommend this book, and don't know what we would have done without this information. We periodically read it again for a refresher course - and it always works wonders. I have read the John Gray books, but found this book to be the most helpful for us. Our marriage is fabulous now!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book was given to my husband & I as a wedding present. We did snicker about it and say, "Wow, these people are already planning our downfall!" Funny thing, two years and one child later ... we were having trouble communicating and just didn't seem to see where each other was coming from. We both felt somewhat let down by the other person, but couldn't put it into words. One day, in desperation, I looked through our bookshelf and saw this book. Willing to try anything, I began reading right away. Wow! This book put into words what I had been trying to say for months. I was so impressed by this man's insight that I asked my husband as soon as he got home to read it with me. And surprisingly it's something we both completely agree on. This man knows what he's talking about. One day after beginning to read this book we were already communicating better. This book puts everything into perspective. I recommend it to anyone! Even unmarried people who are in serious relationships. I also recommend the workbook that goes along with it!!!
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