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Many years back, when she was a friend of mine, a married woman asked me if I’d ever experienced an orgasm.

We were in our early thirties at the time of this conversation; she was married to the same man who got her pregnant her senior year of high school.

She explained to me that she had never experienced one despite the fact that she had sex with her husband daily; a fact declared as she proceeded to tell me that each morning upon waking he would roll over and “do the deed”, then promptly get out of bed to shower. She would get up, gather together his clean clothing for the day and hand the bundle to him as he got out of the shower.

Up until the sixth year of living in the same neighborhood, she led me to believe her husband was the love of her life.

Thus, in the last year I lived in that neighborhood, I was disturbed to witness this same woman cheat on her husband as she launched into a friendship turned to affair with another man; someone who lived just down the street from me.

This man had been single a few years, his wife having left him soon after we moved to the neighborhood, for reason unknown to me. More recently he had been in a relationship with a single woman who also lived in the area. That relationship ended when this other woman died from a heart issue. It was then, this friend of mine, who until this point had been a “third wheel” in this trio friendship, seized the moment to further infiltrate herself into his life.

These two adults were not in the least discreet about their association after the death of the woman who created the common link between them, thus it was anyone paying attention could see their relationship was now more than just friends.

This woman’s husband was quite upset with the way his wife was carrying on but he seemed at a loss how to stop it. What he didn’t seem to recognize is he’d been effectively destroying his marriage relationship for a long time.

Yes, he provided financially, and yes, he certainly got his quota of sex; but there was so much more needed, thus so much more missing.

I was reminded of this incident this morning upon thinking on the matter of sex in relationships, and more specifically in how it correlates with a woman’s needs.

There’s no shortage of written material espousing the responsibility/duty of a woman to meet her husband’s sexual needs. Some self-proclaimed professionals pound mercilessly on women about their “duty” to have sex with their man whenever he “needs” or wants it.

Seldom, if ever, do I see mention of a woman’s needs, when it comes to this topic. And by “needs” I do not reference sexual.

In the story of that friend of mine; clearly she didn’t deny her husband sex, as she did her obligatory “duty” on a daily basis. His so-called “need”, which I believe he sought selfishly, was met.

However, her “needs” were clearly not being met, by him, as evidenced by her blatantly open affair with another man.

This “other” man (at least initially) was meeting her emotional needs, the needs her husband was failing to meet. Her desire to be with this other man was so strong she defied her religious beliefs, endured social criticism, and gave up husband and children, in order to be with him.

I can state with confidence it had nothing to do with sex, for her, but instead had everything to do with emotional needs.

What men DO need is to understand that women, by nature, have a strong desire for relationship and to love and be loved. Thus it is, a normal woman (I state it thus as there could be exceptions) will, by her nature, seek to give of herself to meet the needs of the man she loves when her she feels loved and cherished and fulfilled—which comes about when her emotional needs are met.

Imagine a young man setting out to buy the car of his heart’s desire. He’s endured driving his parent’s car, then his first jalopy, but now he’s in a position to buy the car of his dreams. So off he goes car “hunting” until he finds just the one; a beauty of a dream machine; a car he vows to treasure forever.

He proudly drives it around for all to admire. He starts out washing it regularly, tending to all its mechanical maintenance needs, and in return it provides him a sweet ride.

But after a while it loses some of its appeal to him, because, quite frankly, it’s become familiar.

It’s always there, dutifully parked in the drive, and starts up when he turns the key.

In the meantime, life demands start to weigh in on him. Maybe it is college, maybe it’s his job; whatever they are it is life demands. Between these and his recreational pursuits he doesn’t feel he has time and energy to put into his car like he did when it was new.

So he lets the oil change slide; he fails to do a timely tune up. His computer gaming and sleep needs don’t allow energy for the car washing.

But, still each day he depends on those trusty wheels to drive to his every desired location.

After a time of this, the day comes when he hops into his car, turns the key in the ignition and proceeds to drive down the road only to find his car is misfiring, spewing some smoke out the tail pipe, and in a word, driving like crap.

He gets out of the car and kicks it a few times in his frustration—damned car, what’s wrong with it! He has somewhere to go; he’s angry because this car is NOT properly meeting his need.

A woman is not so unlike a car. In order to run properly and not run “dry” she too needs proper maintenance.

From the book “His Needs Her Needs” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., I learned the following list of 5 needs, to which I’ve included my interpretation of each:

  1. “A woman needs affection”:  To which I say, affection is not groping; affection is loving touch. She needs and longs for non-sexual hugs and kisses that say “I love you”–with no (sexual) strings attached. FYI: Sufficient amounts of that affection will lead to a loving desire that can be consummated in sexual activity when the timing is right.
  2. “A woman needs conversation”: She needs a man who cares about what she thinks and feels. She doesn’t need a man who pretends to “listen” while she talks hoping it will culminate in sex. She needs someone who is strive to understand and  to care about what she has to say. As a side note: it’s reported many extramarital affairs come about upon a woman meeting a man who shows an interest in her thoughts and feelings and engages with her in meaningful conversation. So, for men, developing this skill is really important to the health and wellbeing of  their significant relationship.
  3. “A woman needs Honesty and Openness”: The lack of these can be highly detrimental to a relationship. Feeling that you cannot fully trust your man to be completely honest and open can bring about a serious problem. It opens the doors for fear, distrust and suspicion. Dishonesty in a relationship makes so a partner never knows what to trust resulting in anything that appears suspicious can potentially inflame into full blown doubt and distrust.
  4. “A woman needs financial support”: I realize this could offend someone, but regardless, it suggests to be a fundamental truth. There may be exceptions, but my experience suggests a woman needs to feel her man is capable of taking care of her—even when she is capable of earning her own income.
  5. “A woman needs family commitment”: For me, time, energy, interest, love and loyalty of my husband to our family are very important, and cause me to feel closer to him.

While I in no way condone the aforementioned friend’s affair, I believe I recognize how it came about. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard of men who condemn the woman who cheated on them not seeing or understanding they played such a significant role in the breakdown of the relationship.

Affairs don’t “just happen”.