A few years ago my (now ex-) girlfriend left a book at my apartment. She wanted me to read it, even though its title was For Women Only
. I was intrigued, but I never got around to reading the 180-page book until recently. Having finally finished it, I have to say that the book was spot-on
Written by a Christian wife, For Women Only
is a book that attempts to delve into the minds of men using personally gathered survey and interview data. It's written so that wives can better understand how their husbands see their worlds, think about their wives, and conceptualize their marital relationships. I wanted to read the book to see it from the other side: Does the author get it right? Does the book capture the madness that engulfs a man's mind?
The book covers several broad topics that concern marriages, but my interest was with three specific, underrated themes that the author spells out:
This is one of the major points that comes up time and time again in the book. Men want respect. Men want to feel valued, honored. Men see respect as an essential component to a healthy, loving relationship. Essentially, the author argues that love is respect and respect is love. In a way I tend to agree with her. In the past when I felt disrespected, I felt as though my value as a boyfriend--and as a man--was compromised. I didn't feel loved. I felt belittled, insecure, and doubtful. Appreciation and respect go a long way in love.
2. Physical Appearances:
In short, the author argues that women should attempt to maintain their appearances for their men. Wearing makeup, doing her hair, avoiding eating a chocolate doughnut every morning for breakfast--women should make an effort to look good. It's not necessarily about keeping off the pounds, but instead about showing that women care enough about their men to try
to look good for them. She gives multiple reasons for this advice: men will feel more appreciated when women try to look better for them; men will be less tempted to eyeball other women; and men will feel exclusively desired by their women. To women this advice must sound horrible and facetious, but I cannot help but agree with it. (In my defense, I would guess that her other book, "For Men Only
," would argue something similar for men. This road goes both ways.) The importance of physical attraction cannot be underscored enough. Neither men nor women should stop trying to (occasionally) doll up for their partners after the honeymoon period ends. Relationships take work, and this is just one more part of it.
3. The Unsaid Truth:
The book ends by revealing the number one thought that goes through a husband's mind--one thing that all husbands want their wives to know above all else: that they love their wives more than they know how to express. Men tend to have a harder time expressing and demonstrating their love for women, but deep down men know how much they love their partners. It's so true.
Overall, it was a great book. There's a lot of good advice to be found in there--even for me, a man who is passionately eager to try harder to demonstrate how much he loves his future wife. Do you ever worry that you can't relay your feelings properly to your SO?