If you’ve been following our blog, especially over the past month, you’ve probably noticed we’ve written a lot about the heart. Not the physical, pumping organ inside your chest but more about how couples need to treat each other’s heart as a treasure that must be honored and protected. The heart is at the center of everything we feel, think, and desire deep down — and what condition it’s in determines the quality of every marriage. So what does every heart really desire?


“Our lives are shaped by the things we desire.” — Thomas Merton


In their book, The Seven Desires of Every Heart, Mark and Debra Laaser do a great job of answering: what does every heart really desire? We’ve listed those seven heart desires below, along with a few of our thoughts as an explanation.


  1. To be heard and understood — This means we want to be known, and a lot of it goes back to the blog we wrote on listening to your spouse’s heart when it’s talking to you. When couples get into conflict, they are focusing too much on behaviors than what is happening deep down. This leads to feelings of rejection, anger, resentment, and defensiveness. What does every heart really desire? To be truly heard and understood by our spouse.


  1. To be affirmed — Our heart desires words and actions that affirm our place in another person’s life. Saying things like, “I love you” are always great, but consider telling your spouse what amazing characteristics you see in them and how much you love this. For example: how they love the kids or your parents, how they get up every day and go to work, how they are great at saving money, and how creative they are.


  1. To be blessed — This sort of goes without saying, right? Everyone’s heart really desires good things in life. We want to feel blessed to have love, relationships, fortune, good health, etc. Our heart always wants to try and make things better, not just for ourselves but for those around us, too.

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  1. To be safe — The need and desire to feel emotionally safe is the key ingredient in the development of a closely connected marriage. When we don’t feel safe, our hearts and spirits feel disconnected and closed.


  1. To be touched — This includes anything from holding hands to hugs, a scalp massage, and even sex! Feeling the need for a human touch, especially from our spouse, is a real thing that hits us on a very deep, heart level.


  1. To be chosen — Behind every complaint is a deep, personal longing. Our heart desires the feeling of acceptance and that our significant other has chosen us. Granted, every person likes to receive affection and appreciation differently. Still, a few universal ways to show someone they’ve been chosen include prioritizing their needs or wants, creating quality time, telling them how important they are to your marriage, and expressing gratitude for what they’ve done.


  1. To be included — What does every heart really desire? To feel a sense of inclusion and to belong to something larger than us. So, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and seeking approval from those we truly love. Brune’ Brown said in her book, Braving the Wilderness, that not belonging in our families is one of our most dangerous hurts since it has the power to break our heart, spirit, and our sense of self-worth.


What does every heart really desire?

What we are saying when we talk about what every heart desires is that when our desires are not met or fulfilled, we have pain, loneliness, feel rejection, are frustrated, and even get angry. This causes us to act out behaviors that may be unhealthy or may have negative consequences. In other words, we “fight” to get our needs met. Conversely, when our heart’s desires are fulfilled, we enjoy better, more intimate relationships with God, ourselves, and others.


Understanding what our heart desires helps us connect with others. These desires are deep; we don’t necessarily understand them on a conscious level or where the source of the ache is. But we FEEL them and ache for them to be fulfilled.


Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!

Our heart is devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to communicate better in your marriage. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people.  Let your friends know that we are here by simply forwarding this email.

Did we leave anything out? What does your heart really desire? Do you know what your spouse’s heart really desires? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.