Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'For Women Only' by Shaunti Feldhahn

I picked up this book because at this point I’m grasping at straws. I really wanted to find out what the deal was with successful relationships and why I can’t seem to make it work. (Okay, so I’m feeling sorry for myself, don’t we all sometimes?). The subtitle to it is: What you need to know about the inner lives of men. I am not sure what’s gotten into me that I actually decided I wanted to know anything about the inner lives of men. All kidding aside, Shaunti had a good purpose in mind. The book was written based on surveys among about a thousand men. Out of these surveys and interviews and informal conversations, some supposedly universal to men truths were discovered. I’ll get to those truths in a moment but let me first say that this book may work only in a fairly healthy relationship, where you and your husband are not on the brink of divorce and you simply notice that something might not be quite right and you desire to make your marriage/relationship work better. For Women Only is not a counseling manual for severe cases of abuse, cheating, major lapses in judgment and so forth. Most importantly, this book will work only if you make your husbands/partners read For Men Only so that you don’t create a situation where you are trying to do your darnedest to understand men, yet they give nothing in return and live their lives blissfully unaware of what your needs are.
Now, some points in For Women Only are valid, such as men need our respect more than they need love, that the burden to constantly provide for their families is weighing them down but is also ingrained in them or that they are romantic but don’t really know how to show it and we have to help them with that. Other points are quite infuriating and I still am having a hard time accepting them. The points I’m speaking of are that men are extremely visual and will pay attention to every attractive woman that walks by or is on TV and, worst of all, they probably will instantly feel the pull to imagine her naked. We as women just have to accept it and live with it because that doesn’t mean they are really cheating on us or not appreciating how we look. Men simply savor good looking women as a connoisseur might enjoy a piece of art. Well…I don’t know how this can help women enrich their relationships with their partners, but I cannot accept that the man I’m spending a nice stroll through town with really is thinking about having sex with that drop-dead gorgeous girl that just walked by and if he forces himself to not look at her, I should be eternally grateful to him for making an effort. I guess I’d just rather be single.
All and all, it is definitely not a book for me. Maybe I am just not ready to accept certain things without expecting some rewards. Ah well, call me selfish. But, like I said, if you feel that your relationship is quite all right and just needs a few improvements, then by all means you can reach out for this book and it might be just what you need.