Occasionally, you read something that sets you back on your heels. That’s how I felt reading For Women Only. The author gathered this research information while writing an entirely different book, The Lights of Tenth Street.
I started reading the book out of curiosity based on a recommendation by someone I admire. Frankly, I thought, “I understand my husband pretty well and appreciate the differences between us.” Well, I have much to learn about how my man thinks.
One thing we can all agree on is that men and women are very different, and not just physically. We are different in how we
- Process information.
- Express our emotions.
- Interpret situations.
- Approach parenting.
- Express romance.
In our current culture, men are mocked and emasculated way too often. It’s my personal pet peeve. Since the feminist movement began, the notion that men and women should become more alike permeates our culture. Yet, the beauty of the two sexes is found in our differences. If we will allow it, our differences bring a strength to our marriage that is otherwise grossly lacking.
Here are three things that jumped out at me:
My husband craves respect more than love.
This isn’t just a popular phrase. It is literally what drives my man. He needs unconditional respect even when he doesn’t meet my expectations as much as I need unconditional love even when I’m not lovable. When I speak about him with respect at home and in front of others, he believes he can succeed. Did you catch that? My respect fuels his ability to succeed. As Feldhahn says, “If a man’s wife believes in him, he can conquer the world—or at least his little corner of it.” My words literally can build up my husband or quickly destroy him.
But, he’s afraid he can’t do it quite to my expectations. He’s risking humiliation to romance me which is very uncomfortable for him. Here’s an example: think of the fun and different things you did together while dating. He wants to continue to do fun things with you. As one man surveyed said, “Romance is all about escaping—escaping with the person you love and discovering to one’s monumental delight that she too wants to escape—with me!” What does your man love to do? If he asks you to join him, you will romance your man. And, yes, sex is part of the romantic times. “Make yourself the kind of friend and love he constantly wants to pursue,” says Feldhahn.
My husband is visual.
Right now, you’re saying, “no duh!” and probably rolling your eyes. But this is something that is hard-wired in him. He sees a beautiful woman walk by and it registers. Just like this for you: Don’t read these words. No. I said not to read them. You read them, didn’t you? You couldn’t help it. It’s the same for our men. In our culture, our men are subjected to sexual images at an alarming rate. They struggle to avoid them. They have a “visual Rolodex,” as Feldhahn says, that can be called up at any moment—literally—whether they want to see those images or not. How do we help our men? Pray for him. And then pray for yourself to understand and help him. Ask: “Do I love my husband for who he is or for what I want him to be?” You can help him greatly by allowing him to be honest with you about his struggle to capture his thoughts, something you work on as well, without condemning him for his honesty. I know this struggle well. It is a big portion of my book, Choosing a Way Out. Some ways I learned to help my husband was to not watch certain shows on television, to check out movies before we watched them (Nudity? No thanks), to thank him when I see him look the other way while walking down a street (he saw the woman in the tight dress, I didn’t), and to be modest in the way I dress and teach my daughter to dress modestly.
There’s much more in this insightful book which is based on solid research. If you struggle to understand why your man does things the way he does, read For Women Only.
Ladies, we can truly love our husbands according to their uniqueness. We can be thankful for our men being men, and not like our best girlfriend. I love learning something new about him. I love when he surprises me with something he knows is important to me. And I love doing the same for him.
Pick up a copy of this important book and read it. Let me know what you think.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.