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Saturday, August 14, 2010
I’ve been meaning for some time to start reviewing some of the many marriage books in my library. I’m going to start with two of my favorites. Today I’m going to review “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn. Monday, as is fitting for Man-up Monday, I’ll be reviewing “For Men Only.”

First published in July, 2004, this little book (and it is literally a little book, at about 5 x 8 inches and ~180 pages) is the one that started the whole series of similarly titled “For XYZ Only” books. Despite the titles, my wife and I actually read both these books together, and I would suggest you try it that way too. That gave us an opportunity to turn to one another and ask, as we did repeatedly, “Do you really think that?”

The objective of “For Women Only” is to give women insight into the inner workings of a man’s mind, with a primary target being to help married women understand their husbands. The conclusions she draws are spot on and are derived from the attributes common to men in her extensive professional survey of both Christian and non-Christian men. But because men’s minds are nowhere near universal, it’s very helpful to have the survey finding quoted directly in the book. Understanding the array of responses to the survey allows wives to see if their husbands are “normal” or if they are statistical outliers.

So what are the key findings of the book?
  1. Respect and honor means more to a husband than love and affection.
  2. Men try to appear to be in control, but inside they are often insecure and hide their feeling and fears of inadequacy and failure.
  3. Despite the prevalence of two earner families, men feel burdened and driven by the need to provide for their families. This goes hand in hand with the fears described  in number 2.
  4. The need for sex in men is as big a need as communication and relational connection in for women (97% of men rated sex as very or somewhat important). Lack of sex hurts husbands as much as the silent treatment hurts a woman. More than just wanting the physical act, he also wants to feel desired.
  5. We all know that men are visual, but did you realize that they keep a visual rolodex of images in their minds and that they cannot help but be visually compelled.
  6. Men also want romance and non-sexual intimacy, but many feel inadequate for the task. Importantly, as is different from women, for men romance without sex is incomplete.
  7. When a wife makes an effort to take care of herself and pays attention to her appearance it blesses her husband. He wants her to feel good about herself and confident in her appearance.
  8. In answer to the question of what one thing do you want your spouse to know, the number one response was, “I wish she knew how much I love her.”

Of course, there’s lots more excellent background, explanation and caveats in the book, but hopefully this gives you the flavor.

I highly recommend this book and the companion “For Men Only” that I’ll be reviewing on Monday. You can order it from Amazon by clicking on link. (As of this writing I don’t receive any compensation either from Amazon or the publishers of this book.)

Have you read it?  What did you think?  Do any of the conclusions above strike a chord with you or run in oppition to your thinking?


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