For Women Only

For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
by Shaunti Feldhahn
The result of extensive surveys, this books teaches wives about the thoughts and concerns of their husbands.
Appropriate for adults
My Library

Reading a book about marriage every so often is a good way for me to focus some attention on my preeminent relationship. I have a fabulous husband who outdid himself by reading the companion volume "For Men Only" before I even began mine. He's fast like that. ;)

For me this book was an amiable mix of the familiar, the challenging, and even the thoroughly perplexing. The author, a woman, takes it upon herself to open the male mind to women; she's done extensive research and shares lots of quotes and personal accounts from her interaction with these mysterious creatures. It's a small book and a quick read but it is the immediacy it gains from the quotes that really packs a punch. The quotes are so personal, so soul-baring that I occasionally found myself embarrassed, not from the subject matter, but from feeling as if I was invading another's privacy.

The accuracy of the insights as well as the possibility of making such generalizations is hard to fathom. That uncertainty leaves me a bit undecided about this book. I must say that I love that she shares survey results so you can see that thought 75% of men think "x" there is still another 25% thinking "y." That reminder that these ideas are just generalizations was valuable to me. But at this point I think I'll have to live with these ideas, sneak in a few clandestine conversations with my husband and implement a few suggestions before I can come to a firm conclusion. In the meantime I'll share extensive quotes, so this post can serve as my notes going forward.


"The only time a guy's guard is completely down is with the woman he loves. So she can pierce his heart like no one else."

"As one man advised, "Don't say 'I'm sorry I made you feel XYZ.' Men don't want to be told how they are feeling! And honestly, sometimes we don't even know how we're feeling so it's better to let us process it for a while." Instead the men recommended saying something like, "I'm sorry I did that -- that was disrespectful.""

"Not surprisingly, men said they judge themselves -- and feel that others judge them -- based on the happiness and respect of their wives."I was telling one man how surprised I was at how intense guys are about being the provider. "Maybe you should see this as the flip side of how we think about sex," he offered. "About sex , men are pretty utilitarian and women are emotional. About money, work, or providing, women are utilitarian but men get emotional!""
(this quote is very illustrative in terms of the way men view providing, but doesn't represent the books take on men and sex)

"A man really does feel isolated, even with his wife. But in making love, there is one other person in this world that you can be completely vulnerable with and be totally accepted and nonjudged. It is a solace that goes very deep into the heart of a man." (quoted by the author)

"Do we love the men in our lives for who they are, or for who we want them to be?"

"Make yourself the kind of friend and lover he constantly wants to pursue."
(from the idea that pursuit is at the heart of romance)

(on the topic that men care as much or more about the effort that their wives put into caring for their physical appearance as the outcome)
"If your husband truly puts effort and thought into a romantic event, do you really mind if it's not perfect? If it's your birthday and you come home from work to find that he has gotten friends to watch the kids, the house has been cleaned, and he has slaved over a meal, are you really going to care if the veal piccata is overdone? Of course not. You'll feel love and cared for."

"Men really do have an unspoken longing to be able to say or show 'I love you' but they rarely feel successful at accomplishing it."

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