I pretty much jump at a chance to better understand my husband and boys. "I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Women's Guide into a Man's Brain" by Mike Bechtle is just such a book. I have dog-eared this book!
|image via Revell|
When we are frustrated with our husbands (and all of this applies to our sons, too), we need to take a three-step process:
"1. Determine what, exactly, he is doing that frustrates you.
2. Ask yourself if it is something that is just part of his being a man (such as the way he process information). If so, don't try to change it. Learn to accept the reality of it, and decide how to capitalize on it.
3. If not, is it something that he has simply developed as a pattern, habit, or behavior (such as the way he withdraws from conflict)? Then it's negotiable. It won't change by pointing it out as a problem. Change comes through influence and trust. When a man feels that he's in a safe relationship that has meaning to him, he'll be more inclined to work on the behaviors that are so challenging to you."
How many disagreements or times of annoyance could be avoided if I just would merely go through that checklist? I can think of many times of homework frustration alone!!!
One other gem that really struck me. How many of you feel like the romance has been let out of your relationship since getting married? There's a reason for this! Basically, men are goal-oriented which is part of their desire to conquer. "The problem is that most men are better at conquering than they are at maintaining. Once they've won a woman's heart, they've achieved their objection. Inside their brain, they've accomplished their mission and it's time for the next challenge. That doesn't mean he loves her any less; it means that he won't naturally be as focused on courting as he was before...it doesn't mean she has to give up on him improving. Maintaining a relationship is out of his comfort zone, and he hasn't had much practice. In most cases, he really wants to be a good partner and give his woman what he needs. Since it's new, it will take intentional effort."
Sorry, I can't help but pass on this information. It's so good! The top fourteen needs of men:
"1. We want you to communicate directly.
2. We love your emotions when you express them well.
3. We want you to be independent.
4. Treat us with kindness...The more value something has, the more we treat it with care.
5. We respond to praise (SO TRUE)
6. We don't want to cheat on you.
7. We want you to be playful.
8. We need passion.
9. We think and feel deeply.
10. We need your respect and admiration.
11. We need your companionship.
12. We need encouragement.
13. We need you to flirt with you.
14. We need appreciation."
I could go on and on with wonderful bits from this book! I won't say I'm an expert or that I will fully comprehend or use what I've learned. I'm a woman, after all, and I have much too much information in my head to remember all of it and I multi-task terribly and forget my manners. But hopefully, something from all these scoured pages and flapped corners will stick in my brain and I'll be better for it.
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others' opinions may differ from mine?