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Romance in Marriage

The 7 Secrets of Happily Ever After

6. The Need to Feel Cherished


Every man and woman needs to be the best friend and highest earthly priority of his or her mate. To have this need met is to feel cherished. As your mate’s husband or wife, you are the only one who is in a position to fully meet this need. Your mate must be your first priority if your marriage is to be all that it can be. The needs of your mate must be more important to you than those of your friends, family, work, hobbies, or children.

Cherish: to hold dear; to embrace with interest.Webster Dictionary, 1913

Cherishing your mate means holding them dear and being absolutely faithful to your marriage—not only physically, but also emotionally. Your mate needs to be the center of your world, and to be seen by you as the most desirable thing in the world. You cannot meet this need if your heart is beholden to someone or something else—whether it be a friend, family member or pet, drugs or alcohol, hobbies or sports, work, fantasy, or erotica. Free yourself of any addiction, and from any substitute for or diversion from real human love. Only as you demonstrate your absolute fidelity, can your mate trust you sufficiently to freely give himself or herself to you.

In fact, we all have the power to redeem and save at least one life by choosing him or her and making that person feel wanted and special throughout life. This is the beauty of marriage and why it is so central to human life…Marriage is a simple statement—your beloved finding you so special and unique that they would rather spend the vast majority of their remaining time on this earth with you than with any other person.—Shmuley Boteach

Cherish: to treat with tenderness and affection; to nurture with care; to protect and aid.Ultralingua English Dictionary

Cherishing your mate means tenderly caring for them and helping them to feel and be safe. Safety is a fundamental need of any human relationship. For romance to thrive, each spouse must feel safe from physical, financial, social, emotional, and spiritual harm, both from within the relationship and from outside forces. Each must also feel that the marital relationship is safe and secure. Each must be able to bare body, heart, and soul without fear of being hurt. Each must feel that the other will keep his or her commitment to remain faithful to the marriage under any circumstance. Each must also feel safe economically. In a marriage in which the husband is the principal provider, the wife in particular needs to feel that her husband will do what it takes to provide for the family. Each needs to feel that the other is not recklessly creating debt and spending away their future. A wife needs her husband to be open and to speak honestly and sincerely with her about his feelings and about his activities away from home, in order for her to feel confident that he is caring for her interests. The feeling of safety is reinforced when each spouse treats the other with tenderness and patience. Cherishing your mate includes avoiding “love busters,” which are behaviors that cause a spouse to feel unsafe or unloved. See Love Busters (at MarriageBuilders.Com) for more information on this topic.

Some people grumble because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses.—Alphonse Karr

Cherishing your mate means valuing them for who they are and can be, seeing the best in them, and actively loving them despite their flaws. Of course your mate isn’t perfect (If they were, they wouldn’t have married you!), but everyone has infinite value and potential. Try to have a broad perspective and patience as you consider your mate’s flaws. Realize that some are simply personality and gender differences that you would wisely learn to appreciate, that others will take time to resolve, and that many are so minor as to be inconsequential in comparison to all that your mate means in your life. Focus on and encourage the good in your mate through positive reinforcement. You are lucky to be married to your mate. Show your mate just how lucky they are to be married to you. Endeavor to correct whatever flaws in yourself that you are able to, and strive to make up for any others as best you can. Apologize and repent when you have done wrong, forgive when you have been wronged, and console and cheer your mate when they have been hurt. Give up your selfishness and stubborn individuality, for they are incompatible with romance.

Our mind needs to be at the center of someone else’s universe…All we want deep down is to be sun kings or queens like Louis XIV of France…We need a human being who cherishes and desires us above all others in order to survive, live, [and] prosper…Marriage is the ultimate setting for this commitment to our lover. In it we can always feel to be loved and never know loneliness…Through the unique setup of marriage, bonding two people in a bulwark against the rest of the world, we are assured that we are irreplaceable…This is the source of marriage’s sanctity, security, and holiness…But, it is up to us to recognize this commitment. And act upon it.—Shmuley Boteach

It is important to comfort your mate and show empathy in times of trial and sadness, but also to be glad and congratulatory in times of success and happiness. For example, if you mate were to get a promotion at work, you could show that you cherish him or her by saying “That’s great news! You deserve it, and you’ll do a great job!” Your focus should be on your mate, and all positive. This will help your mate to feel at one with you emotionally. Never “hold love hostage.” This means denying love in an attempt to influence behavior. It simply doesn’t work. In this same scenario, you might be thinking, “If I am too cheerful with him, he might forget how unhappy I am with him about that other thing.” Your best chance at influencing your mate’s behavior is to help him or her to feel loved and cared for, not resented and manipulated. The latter feelings will only lead to resistance and retribution.

As you cherish your mate, you provide an environment in which their feelings of self-worth and self-confidence can increase, their desirable behaviors can be reinforced and multiplied, and they can come to trust you and give themselves to you fully.

For Women:

Meet your husband’s need to feel cherished.

Help your husband meet your need to feel cherished.

For Men:

Meet your wife’s need to feel cherished.

Help your wife meet your need to feel cherished.

4 Responses to “6. The Need to Feel Cherished”

  1. Angel says:

    Just a question can we keep the romance after
    Infidelity..the bond of trust is broken how can i get past this when all the
    Signs are there that it has not stop just another women how vsn there be so many with no self worth or values

  2. I write a blog about romance in second marriage and I just wanted to pipe in with my two cents here. It is so important to feel cherished by your spouse. My first husband barely acted as though he could stand me after the kids came along, and it made me feel so sad. I have been married to my current husband for 3 years and feel cherished every day. I have a signal that I give him so that no matter where we are, in public or alone watching TV, all I have to do is give him this signal and he knows I am telling him I cherish him. It’s really great to know your spouse not only loves you but cherishes you too!

  3. […] you ask, “Like what?” You deserve to be protected, honored, respected, cherished, and loved for who you are, not what you look like. You deserve to be more than a terrific pair of […]

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