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Monday, August 16, 2010
Bonus! Today is both Man Up Monday and a RRR book review. If you missed my review of “For Women Only” you can click back now and check it out.

As a follow up to the hugely successful book “For Women Only,” came the logical counterpart, “For Men Only,” published two years later, in April 2006.

Much of what I wrote in my previous post about “For Women Only” applies similarly to the men’s version. For example, this book’s insightful conclusions are also based on a scientifically conducted survey and hundreds of in-person interviews, and there are plenty of quotes from these interviews. Shaunti’s husband Jeff is actually the principle writer for this book, though they are both credited as authors.

Knowing that husbands may not actually read the instructions provided, they supply a separate summary “Quick Start Guide.” Think of it as kind of a pocket map to the female mind. But trust me, you’ll want to actually read the book, which is built around the notion that we husbands need to dig beyond our surface level understanding of our wives. In doing so, the book challenges many of our assumptions by looking into the underlying reasons our wives think and act the way they do.

Here is a quick summary of the books key points:
  1. Wives have a need for continual reassurance of your love. Their insecurities are not founded in logic but emotion, and we often unwittingly aggravate these feelings by actions such as withdrawal and silence, even if not ill-intentioned. She needs constant reassurance, even in times of conflict.
  2. Feeling loved requires being pursued and romanced. Their need to feel pursued doesn’t stop after engagement and marriage. This need is analogous to a man’s need to feel desired by his wife.
  3. Women are mental multitaskers. Using the analogy of a computer screen, they have many windows open and running at the same time, with unwanted pop-ups (driven by negative experiences or emotions) happening frequently. Time and talking are usually required to close the windows.
  4. Women place a much higher value on emotional security than financial security. That’s why she can see your job as a threat rather than as a source of security. Her most important currency is love, affection and intimacy – way above money.
  5. She wants you to listen, not fix it, especially if it an emotional problem. She wants to focus on her feelings, not the problem, and don’t try to talk her out of her feelings.
  6. Just because wives aren’t wired for the same level of sexual desire as men doesn’t mean they don’t want to want sex. It does mean, however, that she won’t be as likely to initiate sex and will be more easily distracted away from sex and sexual thoughts. Paving the way for more sex means giving her the time, attention and affection she needs, (without the expectation of a sexual payoff).
  7. She longs to know you find her attractive. Every day, show your delight in her, in frequent and specific ways, and don’t let her blow off your compliments. Be vigilant and persistent.
  8. In the free-form response section of the survey, the one thing women most wanted their husbands to know: “You are my hero.”
Truthfully, I didn’t find this book quite as easy to digest as “For Women Only.” I suppose that’s natural for two reasons. First, as a guy, understanding a book about the way guys think wasn't a huge stretch. Second, women are inherently more complex creatures that us men (my opinion).

In conclusion, I definitely recommend the book “For Men Only.” Click for the Amazon link (no I don't get compensated). It provides some surprising insights into the inner workings of your wife’s mind. Buy it, but please don’t just read the Quick Start Guide and think you’ve got it. This is one instruction manual you’ll be glad you actually read.

If you’ve read the book or have a comment about any of the conclusions above, please comment below.


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