For Women Only: Full Review

8 things you need to know about men

General Description

Copyright 2004. For Women Only: What you need to know about the inner lives of men comes from the authors research for a character in a novel.  Her research led to insights about men that transformed her understanding and led to some powerful findings.  Shaunti Feldhahn is a public speaker, social researcher, and author.  This is an important book in an age where gender is under attack.  Society has been sending a message about how wrong a man is in the way he operates in relationships.  This book tells women what they need to understand men.

Understanding Your Man

Men have been saying we are easy to understand and easy to live with.  We are basic, simple, and consistent.  Women have not believed us or have been unwilling to accept that men and women are different.  This is a message that runs counter intuitive to our present gender crazed culture.  For Women Only found 8 revealing truths that make it possible to understand men.

  1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected
  2. Men often feel insecure and afraid their inadequacies will be exposed
  3. Men tackle issues by pulling away to think so they are clear to talk about it later
  4. Men feel a burden to provide and protect at the deepest level of their being
  5. Men experience being desired sexually as a sense of well-being and confidence in all areas of life
  6. Men are visual and feel pulled toward live and recollected images of women
  7. Men are romantic but hesitate to act because of fear of rejection
  8. Men will take on significant cost or inconvenience in order to support spouse and their self care

Main Points

These “findings” about men are not about women.  There is no statement here about women.  However, if you are a married woman and you want to stay that way it is in your best interest to understand men.  Understanding your man may vary slightly but this research shows that the vast majority of men hold true to these basic needs.  What gives him meaning, how does he crack under pressure, what are his inner struggles, what fears does he battle daily, and what drives him to personal sacrifice?  Knowing these things will lead you to understand men.

Men withdraw from anything or anyone that makes them feel inadequate, shameful, or disrespected.  These things are painful.  Men will avoid pain of this type.  They will withdraw, quit, stop making an effort, and cover up to hide their pain.

Think BiG

“97% of men said getting enough sex wasn’t by itself, enough- they wanted to feel wanted.”  When was the last time a nationally representative sample produced a 97% agreement?  That is an incredible statement about what is true for men.  Men are saying they need to know you want them.  They want to be desired for who they are.  The best way to tell them is to stop talking and take action.  They want their spouse to approach sex like they are expected to approach talking.  Women know that the relationship will die without talking.  Men know the relationship will die if their wife doesn’t want them sexually.  It’s that important.

If your spouse controlled the very basic things you need to survive do you believe he/she would supply you with an abundance of what you need?

In an atmosphere where your spouse doesn’t believe you need what you need, they will lack the appropriate level of concern and motivation to give you what you need.  Without the understanding of the life threatening nature of things, you will experience a lot of anxiety and fear that they might forget to keep you alive.  The experience of too few resources can stunt your growth, causing developmental disorders, and lead to death.

Develop an abundance mentality.  You have the ability to give your husband what no other women can.  The world is a disrespectful and hard place.  It makes strong men feel insecure, inadequate, afraid, and unwanted.  Men need a safe relationship to soothe these anxieties and they choose marriage.  In marriage, you can calm his fears and encourage his drive to protect and provide in this crazy world.

Provide an abundance of the things he needs.

Personal Leadership Application

When you understand someone you are in a better position to be helpful, encouraging, and connected.  “Spend your energy helping him…instead of fighting him.”  This book and several others we are reading this year do a great job of illustrating how to make your marriage a success.  As a married woman, you need to understand these 8 points about your man.  You will understand why he does what he does and learn to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He may not be so deserving of your confusion or contempt.

Personal Experience

It was interesting as a man reading a book for women about men.  I became aware of my own identity in ways that I have never been able to so clearly express.  Several times I had a “yea, that’s what it is” moment.  These insights naturally led to conversations with my wife.  I imagine that if my wife were reading the book it would be even more powerful in creating conversations.

This book is on a very narrow topic so it is unlike the other books in the Top 10 Marriage Books Reviewed.  Because of it’s focus, I would recommend it to married women who think their man is a mystery.

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