Find out What Your Man is Really Thinking- For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men
If you are a woman and either live with a man or have to work with one, you should definitely add For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn to your short list of recommended reading. This book is a life changing eye opener. I suspect that few people, after reading this book, would likely dispute that it falls in the all-time top five of relationship books (along with the author's companion book For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women).
I am always looking for new books to write hub articles on, and remembering that I had read this book a few years ago and recalling how outstandingly beneficial it was, I thought I might as well write a review of it for the benefit of others. Of course, as I reviewed it to remind myself what it was about, I realized how much of it I had forgotten. So I actually read it again. It’s actually an easy read—it’s a small book with only 188 pages.
First off, you need to know that the author is a Christian writer, but, although she does sprinkle some Bible scripture references throughout, the book is completely practical and not preachy in the least.
The author conducted a survey consisting of spoken and written interviews with over 1000 men of all ages, from all walks of life, both married and single, religious and nonreligious’ about various issues in male and female relationships and about what goes on in the male head pertaining to these issues.
She was not only completely surprised by the results but she was totally surprised to find out that the men she interviewed assumed that women already knew these things about men. In other words, she discovered that there is so much that women don’t know about men and which men don’t know they don’t know. This makes it inevitable that serious conflict will develop.
She discovered that although women do have some general or surface understanding about how men think, their understanding does not go far enough to understanding how these things work out in practice or in reality.
Each chapter discusses one of seven revelations. The chart below outlines these seven revelations.
Her Surface Understanding
What That Means in Practice
Men need respect
Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected
Men are insecure
Despite their "in control" exteriors, men often feel like imposters and worry that their inadequacies will be discovered.
Men are providers
Even if the woman personally made enough income to support the family's lifestyle, it would make no difference to the mental burden he feels to provide.
Men want more sex
A wife's sexual desire for her husband profoundly affects his sense of well-being and confidence in all areas of his life.
Mean are visual
Even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women.
Men are unromantic clods
Actually, most men enjoy romance (sometimes in different ways) and want to be romantic--but they hesitate because they doubt they can succeed.
Men care about appearance
Women don't need to be a size 3, but her man does need to see her making the effort to take care of herself--and he will take on significant cost or inconvenience in order to support her in this way.
Pertaining to the first issue about needing respect, the author found that three out of four men would rather feel unloved than disrespected. She also learned that women often do not realize when they are treating their husbands in a way that makes them feel disrespected.
In addition, women usually think it is okay for them to cry when they are emotionally upset, but they do not think it is acceptable for their man to show anger. But the fact is that crying is often a women’s response to feeling unloved, whereas anger is often the man’s natural response to being disrespected.
How can women show respect for her man? According to the author’s survey results, the number one thing the women can do is not to make a habit of questioning his knowledge, opinions, decisions and judgment.
The second important thing a women can do to respect her man is to show some confidence in his abilities. Realize that if they don’t know how to do something, they often see it as a welcome challenge to try to figure it out. Ladies, don’t always try to help him or tell him how to do it. This explains why men often do not want to ask for directions when they appear to be lost. Sometimes we as women have to force ourselves to trust him in these areas when we aren’t feeling it.
The third way to show respect is in the way we communicate with them. This includes not nagging or continually reminding them to do something.
The fourth respect marker is how we treat them in public. The men interviewed that it was extremely painful when their wives criticize them, put them down or questions their judgment in front of others. Even good-natured teasing is torture because as one of the men said, “The male ego is the most fragile thing on the planet.”
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The next thing the author discusses is men's insecurities. The author’s survey found that two out of three men tended to feel inadequate and incompetent in most everything they attempt. Even at work, many of the men surveyed said they constantly felt fear of failure and this is why they tend to work long hours. The women can remedy this by choosing to affirm him and avoid tearing him down. If men do not get affirmation at home, they will naturally look for it somewhere else whether it be at work, in a leisure activity or in another woman. By showing her husband she wants him sexually, this will go a long way toward building his self-confidence.
Next, men need to feel like good providers no matter how much money their wives make. Men may even think they are showing love to their families by working long hours because they will be able to provide more of the things their wives and kids want.
As far as sex goes, it is very important for men’s emotional needs, not just their physical needs. And getting enough sex wasn’t the only important thing. Feeling like their wives want them sexually is just as important. If she is only “going through the motions” out of a sense of duty, he will not be satisfied.
Fulfilling sex makes a men feel loved and desired and gives him confidence. Anytime his wife refuses him it makes him feel rejected and can actually cause him to be depressed. Woman need to make sex a priority in the marriage if she wants to make her man happy.
Shaunti Feldhahn's books
Now for some explanation about his “visualness.” Any woman with a good figure is an “eye magnet” to most men. Even if he quickly looks away, that quick glance becomes a stored image in his mental rolodex that can pop into his mind at any time without warning and without him wanting it to. This is a complete shock to many women because women don’t usually have any problem with mental sexual imagery. When the interviewees were asked how often sensual images popped into their minds, most of the men said “all the time” even if they don’t want them to.
Of course, men do have the choice whether to keep them there or not. And women need to realize that it does not mean there is something wrong with them as women and it does not impact his feelings for his wife. Women can help their men in this area by praying for them and being understanding.
If wives remember the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, it will help them be more supportive. When men are feeling either one of these conditions, they are going to find it harder to resist temptation. Both parties need to communicate with openness and honesty about this in their relationship.
The sixth revelation is about men wanting romance. Men often want romance but aren’t sure how to go about doing it or they fear their efforts will be rebuffed. The women can help by not criticizing his efforts and encouraging his efforts instead. They also need to realize that romance to a man definitely includes sex.
The last issue discussed by the author is the matter of the woman’s appearance. Men don’t expect their women to have a movie star appearance but they do expect them to make a concerted effort in this area. Even if she is beautiful and has a great figure, if she dresses sloppily, it is a turn-off. When a women takes care of her physical appearance, it makes a man feel loved and just knowing that you are making an effort at it can actually turn him on.
Finally, in the last chapter, the author discovered that most men have deep feelings of love for their wives that they simply have difficulty communicating it effectively.
Of course, men also have considerable responsibility toward making the relationship work. You can get Shaunti Feldhahn’s companion book For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women for him to read. An even better idea: both of you can read both books together (they are fairly short books) and have discussions about them. Then watch your relationship be transformed from “so-so” to “sensational”!