040: Basic Needs for Healthy Relationships

Podcast Guest: Matt Townsend

040: Basic Needs for Healthy Relationships

Listen to the Show:

In this Episode

Dave and Liz talk with Dr. Matt Townsend on the Stronger Marriage Connection podcast today about how we can foster our basic needs in our relationships. Dr. Matt shares seven principles that we can use to increase our marriage connections: Safety, Trust, Appreciation, Respect, Validation, Encouragement, and Dedication. By adhering to each of these principles our needs as well as our partner’s needs can be met in healthy ways.

0:00 – Introduction: Who is Matt Townsend?
3:12 – What’s going on with marriages today?
4:50 – S.T.A.R.V.E.D: Safety
7:39 – T: Trust
9:02 – A: Appreciation
12:24 – R: Respect
14:20 – V: Validation
16:57 – E: Encouragement
20:33 – D: Dedication
23:00 – Matt’s keys for a stronger marriage connection
26:08 – Matt’s resources
27:40 – Matt’s takeaway: it’s not over ‘til it’s over and find the power in principles
29:49 – Liz’s takeaway: you have to be vulnerable to be known and loved
30:16 – Dave’s takeaway: To encourage is to truly see and understand another person

About Matt Townsend

Over the last few decades Matt has dedicated his life to the study of communication and interpersonal relationships. Matt worked as a lead presenter for the industry leader, Franklin Covey, for many years. About 20 years ago he founded the Townsend Relationship Center where he has been able to share his expertise on relationships, communication, anxiety and conflict resolution with thousands of clients ranging from individuals, married couples and parents, to large corporations such as CNN, Cox Communications, and Lockheed Martin.

Dr. Matt earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication, a second master's degree in Human Development, and a doctoral degree (PhD) in Human Development. He is a weekly contributor to KSL TV’s show “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker”. Matt's book, Starved Stuff: The 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships, is a popular pick among those searching for better relationship skills. He also has many online programs available on marriage, dealing with anxiety and parenting.

Matt is active in his church and community and enjoys swimming, playing tennis and spending time with his wife, Mardi of 32 years and his 6 children, 4 in-law children and 5 grandchildren.

Matt Townsend Links:

Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships
10 day marriage makeover

Insights and Invites


Matt: Count the given good.
Dave: Notice and be aware of the good your partner does.
Liz: Barbie dolls must be as important as the little girl is in order to really make her feel that we are encouraging her.


  • Encourage your partner’s dreams and aspirations.
  • If simply feeding your marriage is still not “filling you up”, get help so you don’t continue feeling starved.
  • While you might not be able to find power in power, you can find power in principles. Find ways to foster the S.T.A.R.V.E.D. principles in your marriage.

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