I'm not usually a big fan of the whole "this book will answer all your questions about the opposite sex" premise, but...moreThis book is little, but mighty.
I'm not usually a big fan of the whole "this book will answer all your questions about the opposite sex" premise, but this particular book came highly recommended by a good friend so I put my skepticism aside and gave it a go.
I can't promise it will do the same for you, but I can tell you that Shaunti Feldhahn did a FANTASTIC job of helping me understand my fiancé better. The title promises a revealing peek into the "inner lives" of men and the book does not disappoint.
The chapters discuss things like why men have such a deep desire to be respected, why sex is so important to a healthy marriage and how a man's success in the workplace impacts how competent he feel at home as a husband/father. Most of the ideas presented in the book aren't new (ie: men will likely desire sex more often than their wife will ... REALLY? Who knew?! Haha) but the author backs things up with well-conducted research, provides clear statistical information and, best of all, uses snippets of her conversations with real husbands to illustrate each concept. In doing so, she takes things that many women already "know" about men and helps us actually understand it and make sense of it.
I found this book to be a wonderful asset in our pre-marital communication. Often, I'd read something and turn to my fiancé and ask "is this true?? Do you really feel that way?" Then we'd end up discussing it in detail, even digressing to areas the book hadn't touched on, and he helped me understand how the idea applied to him and our relationship specifically. If you're going to read this book and try to actively apply it to your relationship, then I'd highly recommend discussing its content with your man as you go along. By necessity, the author makes a lot of generalizations and while the information she's presenting likely applies to most men it might not apply to yours. If you take the book's ideas and information as guidelines for conversation starters with your man, not as absolute, definite fact, I think you'll get way more out of it.
Many of the other reviewers here have commented that this book is like a "dumbed down" version of His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley Jr. I haven't read that one yet, so who knows ... my opinion of For Women Only may change once I do. For now, I say this book is an EXCELLENT resource for any woman in a serious relationship. I'll be giving a copy to each and every one of my girlfriends who becomes engaged. :) (less)
2.5 stars for Not Your Parents' Marriage. It was okay; a quick read with a few nuggets of wisdom, but nothing substantially life-changing.
The premise...more2.5 stars for Not Your Parents' Marriage. It was okay; a quick read with a few nuggets of wisdom, but nothing substantially life-changing.
The premise of Not Your Parents' Marriage is that every newlywed brings to their marriage expectations and preconceived ideas about gender roles, child-rearing, financial management, communication, etc. These assumptions are largely shaped by our upbringing - more specifically, by our parents' marriage and the example they set for us.
Throughout the book, the authors strive to remind readers that every marriage is unique and the relationship you share with your spouse is not going to be the same as the relationship your parents share. The description on the book jacket says that the goal of the book is to help readers "honor what God has done in the past" while simultaneously recognizing that "many of the practicalities that worked for previous generations are a poor fit" for relationships today.
I was excited to read this book as part of our pre-marital counseling prep. Unfortunately, though the book did raise some good points and sparked some good conversation, it wasn't nearly as helpful as I hoped it would be. The chapter on finding your place in the extended family, for example, encourages readers to actively pursue a good relationship with their in-laws ... but aside from the suggestion that you pick up the phone and chat with your in-laws yourself rather than immediately handing the phone over to your spouse to answer, there wasn't much in terms of practical advice on how to accomplish this.
They emphasize the danger of falling into the habit of communicating with your in-laws through your spouse, but they don't take into consideration situations like mine where my in-laws and I don't speak the same language. Potential cultural differences, language barriers, religious differences, etc are never addressed or even mentioned.
Which brings me to my next point: the authors write with an assumption that both husband and wife come from tight-knit, nuclear Christian families. They assume both spouses have good relationships with their parents and are subconsciously trying to "mimic" their parents' marriage. Readers who come from families where there is a history of divorce, or who grew up in a single-parent home, or who (for whatever reason) don't have a close relationship with their parents will likely find much of the book's content to be irrelevant. It is definitely written with a very specific audience in mind.
I think couples who come from similar backgrounds and who both have great relationships with their parents/families will get the most out of Not Your Parents' Marriage ... luckily, for the rest of us, there are many other great marriage books out there. (less)