Author: Shaunti Feldhahn
Ok, so in all honesty, I must admit that I went into reading this book thinking that I already had an in-depth understanding of how men think and why they do some of the things they do. In my mind, the book was going to simply confirm what I already knew, right!? Not so much – in the end I realized that I actually had a basic understanding of only a few things and the book both filled in the gaps and, most importantly, gave me the true in-depth understanding that I thought I already had. So with that being said, let’s explore some of those insights.
First, let me begin with saying that the author Shaunti Feldhahn did an excellent job with the overall structure, layout and presentation of the book. She opens the book with an explanation of the source of the material presented: spoken and written interviews and surveys with over one thousand men, with 40% being conducted by two professional expert survey teams. So the results and conclusion displayed in the book are directly from the mouths of heterosexual single men, unmarried men in relationships, and married men between the ages 21-75 of various ethnicities with both Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. For me personally, that was a sufficient sampling of men to accept the conclusions presented as general truths about the inner lives of men.
The author defines “seven revelations” and one essential surprise relating to some of the key elements of the inner workings of men:
1. Men would rather feel alone and unloved versus inadequate and disrespected. In fact, they equate disrespect from the women in their lives with being unloved by those women. “In a relationship conflict, crying is often a woman’s response to feeling unloved, and anger is often a man’s response to feeling disrespected.”
2. On the surface, men portray the appearance of confidence (having it all together and under control), which is a façade for the humiliatingly feelings of insecurities and uncertainties that they don’t want others to know. And, to counter those feelings, they need affirmations both publicly and privately from the women in their lives. “When a man is affirmed, he can conquer the world. When he’s not, he is sapped of his confidence and even his feeling of manhood. And believe me, he will, consciously or unconsciously, seek out places where he receives affirmations.”
3. Generally, most men feel that financially providing for the family and household is their responsibility regardless of whether the women financially contribute or not. “It is a burden that presses heavily on them and won’t let up…providing is a primary way to say, I love you.”
4. The man’s want/desire for more sex is a crisis that impacts both the man and the relationship. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just a physical act, but it is emotional for them as well as it is for us. “Making love with you assures him that you find him desirable, salves a deep sense of loneliness, and gives him the strength and well-being necessary to face the world with confidence.”
5. Men are instinctively wired to respond to other eye-catching women and it has very little to do with their feelings or views of the women in their lives. “Even happily married men are instinctively pulled to visually ‘consume’ attractive women, and these images can be just as alluring whether they are live or recollected.”
6. Men want romance just as much as we do, however they view romance differently and/or are insecure about their ability to meet our expectations. Therefore, at times we don’t recognize their attempts at romance (i.e. playing golf with them) or they sometimes choose to avoid it for fear of failure. “Most men feel that they are secret romantics who – like most of us – don’t experience nearly as much intimacy in their primary love relationship as they like. Even more surprisingly, this desire is (in a way) quite a part from sexual intimacy.”
7. How we carry and take care of ourselves is important to men. And check this out, in the realm of physical attractiveness it is not so much about dress size, but more about our willingness and desire to look good, feel energetic and have confidence in our appearance. So with that being said—big girls can be and exude sexiness also… “He doesn’t need you to be a size 3, but he does need you to make the effort to take care of yourself for him – and he’ll willingly help you… ‘I just want to see that my wife cares enough about me to make an effort’ as stated by one of the men surveyed.”
8. ADDED BONUS: The last question presented to the men surveyed was “What is the one thing that you wish your wife/significant other knew, but you feel you can’t explain to her or tell her?” The answer, which surprised the author, and even me (the true romantic), was simply – “I Love You.” Now, how sweet is that?
Now, please note that I have not done the book any justice here. Of the points outlined, the author goes into much more detail. As I stated at the beginning, the book truly enhanced my view of how men think in general. I understand that the results do not apply to all men – but if nothing else, it gave me insight to how men interpret our interactions with them. I even begin testing the results on the men in my life and those I came in contact with. So far, to date, their responses have been hitting the nail on the head – therefore I’m convinced that there just may be something this. For more information and to obtain a copy of this and other books by author Shaunti Feldhahn, visit her website at www.shaunti.com.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the author?