Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: For Women Only

An Extremely Useful Tool to Understanding Men

     My husband and I were away on a vacation with my family and stopped inside a Christian bookstore. We love to browse the book aisles, since we both love to read. We were on a mission to pick out a book for me and he decided he’d help me choose one. One by one he started picking up books until he stopped. He was focused on one book only and would not put it down for awhile.  It was For Women Only (what you need to know about the inner lives of men) by Shaunti Feldhahn. I was curious-what did he think about it? 

I asked him and he said immediately, “You should get this one!” 

Really? I thought. So, I asked him, “Why?”

He bluntly stated, “You need to read this.”

I said, “Okay.” I trust my husband’s judgment and we headed to the cash register.

Best For:  Any woman who wants to know what the universal needs of men are, women that want to be good wives to their husbands, women that want to prepare themselves for marriage & know ahead of time what their husband will need

photo source: istockphoto
Overview:   This book reveals the responses of men to questions regarding their needs. Although it is written by Shaunti, she is simply communicating what men would say to their wives if they could. She did a study of “Four hundred men across the country, ranging in age from twenty-one to seventy-five, answered two dozen questions about their lives and about how they think what they feel, and what they need.”  After this survey Feldhahn did a “more informal follow-up survey of another four hundred anonymous men-this time, specifically churchgoers-to ask a few additional questions (and some of the same ones).” Then, she did one Decision Analyst survey and said, “Amazingly, across all these surveys there were very few differences.”

Seven needs of men Shaunti Feldhahn discusses are:

                                                1.       “Men need respect”
                                                     2.       “Men are insecure”
                                                      3.       “Men are providers”
                                                        4.       “Men want more sex”
                                                5.       “Men are visual”
                                                                  6.       “Men are unromantic clods”
                                                                      7.       “Men care about appearance”

Few Quotes:
“A man might think of it like this: If she doesn’t trust me in something as small as finding my way along a road, why would she trust me in something important, like being a good breadwinner or a good father? If she doesn’t respect me in this small thing, she probably doesn’t really respect me at all.

One man said, “If a man’s wife is supportive and believes in him, he can conquer the world-or at least his little corner of it. He will do better at work, at home, everywhere. By contrast, very few men can do well at work or at home if their wives make them feel inadequate.”

“For your husband, sex is more than just a physical need. Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating with you. It is just as wounding to him, just as much a legitimate grievance-and just as dangerous to your marriage.”

“Since men are so visual, seeing us make the effort to look good makes them feel loved and cared for. It matters to them in the same way it matter to us when we notice our husbands making an effort to do things that make us feel loved-especially when they are things that are difficult or don’t come naturally.”

My Thoughts:   I think Shaunti did an excellent job revealing the needs of men. I was really enticed to read the book based on the fact that it was compiled with the answers of men, of all types of backgrounds. Even more so, because my husband told me to read it (ie. things he wishes he could tell me). It proved to me that there are basic needs that my husband has, simply due to the way God designed him to be.
     I especially love the chapter on the five needs a man has in regards to respect. Her points on this need are insightful and helpful. I should probably write them down and put it on my nightstand, so I can read it everyday.
     A little side note, I think her list of suggestions for women whose husbands struggle with lust is incomplete. Although it is a small part of the book, I feel it's worth mentioning.
     I love how Shaunti ends the book with such sweet, encouraging words from husbands that share how they really love their wives. The number one thing men wanted to tell their wife was, "I want her to know how much I love her."

     I walked away from this book feeling very selfish. How many times do I think about what I want and need versus my husband’s wants and needs? Do I even know what they are for him personally?  It made me think that if I want a happy, fulfilling marriage, I cannot live for myself and have the right to the title “wife” or “Mrs. ____.” Reading this book challenged me to know and meet the needs of my husband. It's what God has called me to do.

     In regards to meeting his need for respect, I confess that I tried to go on a "No Control Date" once. It's when I went on a date and tried not to say anything controlling-ie."turn here" when he's driving, nor "we have to go", or "do we have to stop and get money to pay the babysitter?". I didn't tell him I was doing this. I just did it, and failed. I couldn't go through a whole date without saying something that that was probably communicating disrespect to him. I realized I needed to work on this area. Great lesson and we had a good laugh later when I told him about it. But, I have to say that I have attempted to appeal to his visual need and he unexpectedly complimented me one day. My paraphrase--He told me that he could tell I was trying and that it meant a lot to him. Yes, I was surprised. It works! I've learned my "trying" to meet his needs really does say "I love you!" to my husband.

      All said and done, I’m thankful my husband suggested this book to me. I gained wisdom to help me reach my goal…to be the best wife possible for him. Shaunti summed it all up when she said, “The more we understand the men in our lives, the better we can support and love them in the way they need to be loved.”


  1. Sounds like a book I need to read!I am currently reading Love and Respect with my husband, and my eyes are being opened. I too didn't realize how selfish I've been at times. It's an everyday conscience effort to put his needs first and try to show respect in the way he needs.
    I've never heard of this book, thanks for putting it out there!

    1. Thanks, Alecia! Yes, I heard Love and Respect is a great book, as well. It's definitely one I want to read.

  2. Thanks for sharing this book...I think it's important to remember that even the small things make a big difference to our husbands.

    (Visiting from followinghisleadtoday.com -- thanks for your comment today!)

    1. Very true! Thanks for stopping by Tracy :)

  3. Great review! I know its easy for me to sometimes get caught up in my own needs and forget my husbands. This book sounds like a good reminder. I'll have to look for it the next trip to the book store. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

    1. Thanks, Cathy! I'd love to hear what you think about it :)

  4. I read this one, loved it, and passed it along :)


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