Tuesday, March 27, 2012

55 Books in a Year: Book #11 For Men Only: A Straightforward Map to the Inner Lives of Women

I'd like to premise this book review by first saying this book, For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn isn't quite as cheesy as I thought it was going to be, although there are parts that are so obnoxiously cheesetastic that my husband and I laughed a little at the absurdity.

I was reading an article the other day and it said that married people don't talk enough about the wonderfulness that is marriage. And, I thought to myself that I totally fall into that category my husband can make me angry as hell (frankly, I'm angry with him right now...and, he's in the other room playing the guitar...probably, um, angry at me too!), but I love him, I also like him and I like him to know all of that. I do think that marriage is work, though, and I think that those who don't make it look like work are working at that, but it doesn't mean the work can't be fun!

The Story
I wanted us to have something for Valentine's Day that we both could benefit from...don't get me wrong I wanted flowers and dinner too, but I wanted our presents to have meaning. I remembered a girl from work reading these books with her fiance and thought they would be a good idea for us.

Some plusses

  • If your husband is like mine...you can still read this book all the way and he can use the Quick Start Guide which is included in the book and has 6 key components (Reassurance, Emotions, Security, Listening, Sex and Beauty) and where to find them throughout the book.
  • This book talks about the fact that the biggest problem with marriage is communication and then it shares ideas about how to fix this. I like that those ideas aren't incredibly secular, nor are they dirty.
  • If you buy the two books together (For Couples Only) they also come with this handy-dandy guide, which includes "12 Tips to Get Great Results from For Couples Only" my favorite being the one where you switch books (which is what we did, if you're wondering why I read this book clearly labeled for men) and answer the questions and mark it up et cetera and then you get to read your book with your partners comments.
  • It works for either marrieds or seriously thinking about getting marrieds.
Some not so plusses
  • I'm just going to say this and hope that no one gets offended, because it is steeped in good Christian living, it can be a bit old-fashioned...ok, it can be a lot old fashioned. For instance, Chapter 7 is titled The Girl in the Mirror and is sub-titled "What the little girl inside your woman is dying to hear from you--and how to guard your answer well." What does she want to hear? That her spouse finds her 'beautiful' and that her husband 'only has eyes for her'. Barf. And, while the chapter does end with some wonderful advice about the words 'fine' and 'no'...all I could keep thinking was I am not a pet.
  • I hear the For Women Only book is hokier...I wouldn't know because, well, my husband hasn't finished it yet!

I really liked reading this book and marking it up. I liked learning what I feel makes a relationship and what I think makes it work and I like that my husband not gets to see what I think...that's so much easier than trying to talk about feelings. I'm not sure I'll feel the same way reading the next book with marks that aren't mine, but I will work at making that work. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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