Having understood what a priority is, marital priorities therefore, are those marital expectations that top the lists of husbands and wives. In my marriage seminars, I usually ask the women to give me a list of what they expect from their husbands. There is usually a very long list. The men on the other hand usually give a shorter list. Many times the lists do have some similarities, but the emphasis of the women is usually different from where the men lay their emphasis.
If we are to arrange men’s marital expectations in a scale of preference, top on the list is going to be boldly written: SEXUAL FULFILLMENT. (Most writers and researchers agree on this). On the other hand, if we are to arrange women’s marital expectations in a scale of preference, top on the list is going to be boldly written: TALKING TOGETHER (i.e. ‘conversation’ or broadly put, ‘communication’). Contrary to general belief that a woman’s number one need is affection, I discovered that every woman’s greatest marital need or expectation is having a heartfelt conversation with her husband. I am aware that this is a complete departure from the norm. It has been taught over the years by everybody that affection tops the priority list of a woman. This is the very reason why in spite of all the affectionate words, the woman is still unfulfilled.
It is important to accurately diagnose a situation or an illness before an effective solution or treatment can be administered. According to Wikipedia, ‘Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon’. There is a need to rightly identify the nature and cause of marital disharmony so that an effective treatment can be administered. Where there is a misdiagnosis, there will also be a flaw in treatment.
There is no end to knowledge and discoveries. With this discovery, I believe marriage counsellors may now be able to proffer better solutions to the issue of ‘unknown’ causes of marital conflicts that had been tearing marriages into shreds all over the world. Marriage therapists can now see ‘Conversation’ as a priority need for women in marriage, thereby encouraging husbands to prioritise sitting down and talking with their wives above giving of affection.