I think the value of 15hrs/wk was given as a goal for couples to use to try to rebuild their relationships. I think in healthy marriages this number varies significantly. It does vary from couple to couple and spouse to spouse. For us it varies over time as well.
There are times when we may spend 15-30minutes per day of quality time for days in a row. Rarely are we able to put in two hours but yet it's enough time to keep it going. I think the emphasis should be more on the quality of time spent rather than the amount. I get that Harley is trying to convince people that don't put time into their spouses to do so and giving them a goal.
I can tell you .. why I love and resonate so much with Harley's stuff is... I THINK so much like the man ...even down to his "Radical honesty" stuff.. that's our marriage!!
We are a prime example of living what this man has taught.... I never even read any of his stuff UNTIL after I joined this forum.. the book I knew about & had read was the Love languages book...not Harley's ..But yeah.. I resonated with everything he said.. and I DO feel when these 10 emotional needs are lacking.. one is susceptible to an affair, as his book is titled.
I feel somehow naturally we were living most of them....of course we did miss it on 1 AREA ... that we've made up for...
But yeah...I DO crave time with my husband.... I would be annoyed.... Greatly annoyed with a man who didn't want to spend that much time with me.. and I surely wouldn't be brow beating him to do it.... I've said this a number of times on TAM.. I can not stand the idea of being a burden to ANYONE...I have a stick up my a$$ about this... I need a man's
to be into it with me or it all goes to hell... I would just leave them..
So yeah...if a man wasn't wired like me.. we'd never get off the ground... but this explains why I am attracted to men who are primary family oriented, romantic , the more sensitive types...
There is clearly a reason I put a disclaimer at the beginning of this...as I know it's not true for everyone
.. Look at @EllisRedding
's example.. 4 hours a week!! and it's OK with both of them!!! Admittedly, I'd never be able to stand that.. I'd deem my husband a workaholic if that was my life..
One thing I don't have is a large close knit family (maybe Ellis's wife does -this being a part of her fulfillment to make up for the hrs she doesn't have with him).... I've tried to create this - having 6 kids... I WANTED the added chaos & work... so thankful for them all...they have complete our lives....
But I have no siblings.. not close to my mother.. not close to my father.. (I probably see them less than 5 times a year).. then I didn't have a career either.. like many women today which can be demanding & she may be worn out at the end of the day too..just not thinking about time with the hubby...
There is time with girlfriends on occasion...but husband's always been my BEST friend.. the one I'd choose above all...whatever we do..
I surely get that there are TIMES we need to take a step back..other things take priority... they closed the shop where Husband works...laid everyone off but 3 guys.. he was one of those.. but he had to get a CDL to keep his job.. I wanted him to STUDY STUDY STUDY....Ignore me !@#... until he got that in his hands (this was urgent)..
I went out of my way to HELP him with this.. joining a "Truckers forum" this past month.... posting pictures I took of the school bus engine, getting a little more clarification for his "Pre-trip inspection"....(His training was from a Bus garage, they took him on -so thankful !... the lady training him didn't know all that - she got her CDL like 30 yrs ago- when Pre-trip's was maybe 3 minutes.. NOT TODAY! .. his Pre-trip took a good hour days ago, when he took the test.. he passed !@#.. we're so excited... Training on this school bus basically saved his job !
THIS took priority over EVERYTHING during this time.. Just as when we were trying to sell our house years ago....WORK WORK WORK...we had a goal, we wanted out of there!.. but still we did it all together, side by side, tool belt around my waist...
I drilled him for his Testing .. he passed everything the 1st time.. it's good... I even had a poster on the Truckers forum telling me - He should be there asking questions NOT ME -like why isn't he doing the work.. and I defended our "team work" spirit on this..
He purposely takes 2 week days off so we'd have more time together while the kids are in school (Playtime!) & I schedule my jobs, even choose jobs around his work schedule so we CAN maximize our time together..
I don't see either one of us as "Needy" in a negative way (I could do a post on what that looks like when it drags the other down & it's unhealthy)...
I can handle A LOT on my own, I "manage" our family, every detail financially, scheduling whatever....I never need his help.... it's just what we ENJOY..... we're only here so long, only so many days on this earth ...we should arrange it and manage it to where we get the most Enjoyment out of it... this saying was out of one of my books years ago...
I'd say the Larger issue is...when One marries another who has a very different idea of spending time , they should never assume it will change after the vows.. the way we were before we married has remained steadfast the last 36 yrs...
For us our quality time varies like a tide chart and our independent behavior increases at low tide. At high tides we sync back our lives and emotions. The freshness and rejuvenation from independent activities is essential to a growing couple in my mind.
I could say here.. if this is true.. me & my husband SUCK ...we're not living up to it.. we must not be growing = stagnation... we ought to be suffering in some way.. but I don't feel this -at all.
He's never had or ever cared about outside activities , he lives for his family (these have been his words).... oh he may enjoy a few things like coin collecting, metal detecting, he took on a truck project putting it together yrs ago (more for saving $$ over enjoyment though) he also has a fascination with Lock picking.. I sometimes think he should have been a Locksmith - probably not much money in that....but ultimately what needs done around here, working on vehicles, upkeep of house / property....attending our children's activities, doing family things...this is fulfilling enough..
Maybe WE are not normal in comparison to the majority here ??
Quite frankly the philosophy that we are one-flesh is a prescription for marital discontent. SA Husband doesn't spend time here like you do and that's fine because you do share your experience here with him. I wish Harley had chosen another word for this like "unilateral without regard forthe spouse" because for me and my marriage independence is what pulled my marriage back together and is essential. Becoming one flesh is what built a coffin for which we were nailing the lid on when I woke up and realized that we weren't who we married any more.
It sounds you both changed though, maybe in significant ways ... I can't say we've felt this.. we haven't changed much really.. I can think of a couple on my end...loosing my religion & my heightened sexual NEED...but really...I look back and more so see us growing together through whatever came....like those roots that Love quote spoke of..
But true...I missed some things years ago...I again owe my husband the world for his patience & understanding of me.. I see this completely different over you -probably because our experience has been so different..
This just give credence to the wide range of differences among us though...what we want, crave, what works for us...then factoring in some changes over the years..
So you & she were very different couple when you dated then, before kids ??