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For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men

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In For Women Only, Evangelical Christian author, Shaunti Feldhahn reveals what every woman--single or married--needs to know. Based rigorous research with thousands of men, Shaunti delivers one revelation after another , including:
- Why your respect means more to him than your love.
- How he feels deep inside about his role as provider.
- What it means for a man to be so visually "wired."
- Why sex for him is primarily emotional, not physical.
- What he most wishes he could say to you.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published July 28, 2004

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About the author

Shaunti Feldhahn

77 books292 followers
Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher, best-selling author and popular speaker. Today, she applies her analytical skills to investigating eye-opening, life-changing truths about relationships, both at home and in the workplace. Her groundbreaking research-based books, such as For Women Only, have sold more than 2 million copies in 23 languages and are widely read in homes, counseling centers and corporations worldwide.

Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, is catalyzing a movement of kindness across the country and beyond. Dozens of prominent organizations and leaders are coming together to do The 30-Day Kindness Challenge, and encourage their followers to do the same.

Shaunti’s findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show and Focus on the Family, The New York Times and Cosmo. She (often with her husband, Jeff) speaks at 50 events a year around the world. Shaunti and her husband Jeff live in Atlanta with their teenage daughter and son, and two cats who think they are dogs.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,207 reviews
Profile Image for Zack.
36 reviews
Read
July 28, 2011
I realized it is harder than I thought to explain why a guy would be reading this book. I had to see what Shaunti Feldhahn was telling women all over the country about the inner lives of men. Overall, she is pretty accurate. There will always be exceptions when you are forced to make generalizations the way this book does. However, the things that are discussed in this book will hit home with most men. For example, the desire to be respected in public and private...the internal drive to provide for family...the value that is experienced when a man's significant other makes an effort to take care of her physical appearance...and (of course) that sex is essential to a healthy marriage. I like her emphasis on how men experience sensual thoughts on a regular basis but that they have a choice on whether to continue to dwell on them or not. A good quote is found on p.73 "I want my wife to know and understand my weaknesses, failures, shortcomings, and still want me. I need her to be my number one source of encouragement to become the man God created me to be." Very true! Thank God for supportive and caring wives...men need them!
Profile Image for Jesse.
434 reviews50 followers
August 12, 2016
If I could give this 0 stars or 0.5 stars, I would.

I regret buying this on an impressive level. I honestly feel lied to since I didn't know this book was so heavily endorsed by Jesus. Every excerpt I read from this book and even the product description online gave no hint as to the very Christian nature of this book.

Normally, I can deal with that but it constantly asked me to seek guidance from a God I'm not that close to. This book needs to do a better job of advertising its real nature online.

Another reason I really didn't like this book was that it felt like it was an updated version of the 1959 "Good Housewife Guide." So much of the advice felt antiquated or bias. I'm supposed to work hard to be thin and pretty for the man in my life and if I don't make an effort, it depresses him. Am I supposed to ignore the fact that most of the men I've dated have made little to no effort to look good for me?

I'm also supposed to respect him all the time. If he's overloaded and I ask him to do something around the house and he says "I'll get to it eventually" I have to respect his "eventually." If I get someone else to do it or nag him about it, I'm saying I don't trust him to do it. At what point does it become relevant that "eventually" becomes disrespectful to me?

This book also oversimplifies the point. It spent 30 pages on how men need respect and what women are supposed to do to give it to them. By page 15 of that section I wanted to shout, "I get it already. I'm not that slow." It was condescending

I'm sure the book had some real pearls of wisdom but they were few and far between and I was too busy wanting to rant at the book to notice them. I'm reading "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" at the same time as this. I honestly like it so much better.

I feel it has much less of a bias than this book. It works better to hear both sides rather than making it all about what the man wants. And unlike this book, it also doesn't assume the man you have is a prize to begin with (which is not always the case). I would not recommend this book to anyone who is not a Christian and very happy with their relationship.
Profile Image for Tim.
26 reviews
August 1, 2017
Avoid this veiled attempt to convince women that their man is helpless to his instincts and his success in life all depends on her. That its their (the wife's) responsibility to dress modestly so any man that might see them won't be forced to struggle with temptation. Also, after taking care of the kids (which was always relegated to the wife in this book) and everything else a woman has to do their man "needs" them to take care of themselves. And that whether or not a woman chooses to "take care of themselves" aka manage their weight is the woman telling their man that they (the man) are not worth the effort. "Men feel disregarded, disrespected, and hurt" when their wife doesn't take care of herself.

"When you take care of yourself I (the man) feel like you care about me" "My wife is trying to slim down right now and it makes me feel like a million bucks" "A woman's appearance is an important part of happiness in a marriage" These statements from men put forth as truth for men everywhere only contributes to the self esteem issues, objectivization of women, and the pervasive body image issues faced in American society today. But worst of all the author says not to discuss appearance issues with your husband. Here's what they say to take as "truly how men think" they say: "Jeff's Rule: if you are not realistically happy with your overall appearance and fitness level assume he's not either. Don't make him tell you that both for your sake and the sake of your future together." WHAT?!?!

The premise of this book is what really goes on internally with men that women should know. All of which is based on polls and surveys, but fails to mention their sample size or other important research constraints to guarantee their information actually represents the whole of men.

But the chapter on sex (women should give their men sex when he "needs" or his confidence is affected in all aspects of his life) and the final chapter on women taking care of themselves (see above) only add to a mindset where women are sexual objects for men's enjoyment, men are helpless to their biology, and if a wife doesn't do these things her husband will be miserable and it's all her fault. "There are a lot of men out there who are mediocre because their wives will not support them and bring them to greatness."

Don't bother.
Profile Image for Carly.
8 reviews78 followers
July 9, 2007
In a way, I suppose this really is a good book, but not for me. It was given to me at my wedding shower by a person who probably should have known better (my own sister!). This book is just an extremely dumbed-down version of His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley. Having read that book, reading For Women Only was a waste of thirty minutes. Feldhahn's book is somewhat helped by a collection of survey results, which tell us exactly the same things that Harley's book does. Feldhahn's advice, however, is not very helpful ("Pray"). Her writing style is simultaneously annoying & boring. It's a little strange that Dr. Harley, a marriage counselor, is a better writer than Ms. Feldhahn. But then it should be obvious that a marriage counselor would write a better book on relationships than the author of The Veritas Conflict (which is apparently about the evils of humanism and a college education). One great(!) thing about this book is that it doesn't deny human nature. Christian wives are famous for expecting impossible things from their husbands. This book reminds them that, no matter what their husbands believe in, they still have the sex drive of a Neanderthal. Feldhahn does, however, like to blame that sex drive on the evils of American society, which is somewhat counterproductive considering that humans create society, not the other way around. Still, this book is a step in the right direction. (But if you're thinking about reading this, please read His Needs, Her Needs instead.)
Profile Image for Robyn Vergillo.
9 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2014
Basically, I'm supposed be a nun in public to help other men stay true to their wives, and a sex kitten in private. If he does something romantic I'm to reward him with sex, and understand that his needs for sex far outweighs my needs or obligations for anything that is not him.

Listening to the survey questions, I felt that they were very leading and then Feldhahn presented the percentages to support the message she wanted to relay. I also feel that she targeted her survey audience, and a survey of only a few thousand individuals leads to a lot of generalities about half our population!

In the end, I guess I'm just really embarrassed that Feldhahn put together such backwards thinking information. And embarrassed that I spent the time listening to it.
Profile Image for Letitia.
1,030 reviews83 followers
May 8, 2011
Well-intentioned, but a little obvious, I would re-title this work "Traditional Gender Roles for Dummies." Many of the "surprising" revelations might be of real use to women who have little experience talking on a deeply relational level to men, and who want to affirm their men in traditional ways. I found that many of the things that were generalized about men were actually true of me, and many things that were supposedly unknown were just re-phrasings of pretty well established gender identities. What I took away from this book: talk to YOUR partner, and find out what THEY are like, then love them accordingly. Don't rely on surveys and hearsay unless you really are clueless about the fact that society has pressured men to be providers or play a role of competent supermen. This book is only useful in the sense that it clearly articulates societal assumptions about gender.
Profile Image for Tara Wagner.
12 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2021
I'm writing this 1-star review not because I want to slander the author but because the contents regarding sexuality and gender roles were concerning to me. I'm addressing my concerns and hope they serve as a *warning* for future readers.

A Man's Ego
This concept is presented in various ways throughout the book and the message is that a man's ego is a frail piece of bone china that can shatter at the slightest touch. The warning to women is this: don't shatter it! There is an example in the book that encourages wives to withhold giving their husband directions so he can "figure it out on his own" even if it means getting lost.

If a man's ego isn't affirmed and he doesn't feel respect, he will "seek out places where he receives affirmation." I couldn't help but feel like the author is threatening women that if he doesn't feel affirmed, he will cheat and it's your fault. She also uses this language to describe the main reasons why men turn to pornography in marriage.

A wife's motivation to respect and affirm her husband shouldn't be based in fear and instead should come from a desire to please God and because she genuinely loves her husband. The book's entire premise is not based in scripture. I'm just offended *for* the guys that women are being taught that they're so fragile.

*rant continues*

A Man's Sex Drive
Apparently it's just insatiable and the way she described it truly scared the sh*t out of me. Here's a quote from a guy who sees a beautiful women in Home Depot. "For the next half hour, I'm keenly aware that she's in there somewhere. I'm ashamed to say that, more than once, I've gone looking down the aisles, hoping to catch a glimpse." OKAY CREEPER. She also goes into weird details about her very young son being sexually attracted to Victoria Secret models.

Modesty
Okay, here's probably the most dangerous part of the book. Dressing modestly out of respect for men is a concept I can agree with (because I'll do anything as a believer to not cause another believer to stumble) but BLAMING women for men's lustful thoughts is quite another thing. There are parts of the book that say men *can* control whether or not they're going to dwell on an image of a woman that isn't their wife YET they blame women when they dress immodestly which automatically tempts a man to think lustfully. She uses a phrase like, "we may not understand what we are doing to the men around us" regarding immodest dressing. She goes on later, "You're cluttering up a good husband's mind and tempting him to dishonor his wife" as she admonishes a woman who doesn't dress modestly.

I won't go on about the shaming regarding weight and make-up and hygiene. The moral of the story is: women should desire all these things not because they want to please a man but because they have a self-worth rooted in Christ. "Slut shaming" girls into dressing modestly without explaining WHY we dress modestly (which isn't primarily for men) is one of the WORST messages of purity culture!

Please please don't read this book. Writing this review was an odd form of therapy and I admire you for getting through the whole thing.
Profile Image for Melinda.
Author 10 books50 followers
June 27, 2021
What you need to know about the inner lives of men conditioned by their upbringing to allow for only two emotional outlets--lust and anger--thus contributing to rape culture. This book is such a horrid validation of the idea that women need to tiptoe around men's fragile egos and subvert their own autonomy. I was shocked to find that this book had been published in the 21st century. I'm so glad the book fell into my hands by accident and that I did not spend hard-earned money on it. I would so hate to have contributed to those who perpetuate this mindset.
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,141 reviews56 followers
November 29, 2008
I read "For Women Only" very carefully several times. It takes things we've all heard before (like men need respect, sex, etc.) and really gets at the heart of what that means...more so than any other book I've read on the subject so far. I was a bit surprised by some of the things I read, but I carefully started applying what I learned in my relationship with my boyfriend.

I read "For Men Only" and marked how I would have answered the survey questions and underlined a few remarks that were especially true for me. I was constantly thinking, "You mean, men don't know that!?!" I think I now understand men even better after having read this second book because reading both books really brings out the differences between men and women. I gave the marked book to my boyfriend and left it up to him about whether or not to read it or discuss it. He told me he has now read this book several times, and I've certainly noticed that he has started to apply it!

He says he loves how I treat him (using information from "For Women Only") and I'm in bliss right now from his efforts to apply what he learned in "For Men Only." I've read other books on similar subjects, but none really get to the heart of the issues like these two little books.
Profile Image for capture stories.
108 reviews64 followers
November 23, 2021
The double emotions of blatant and maddening at the first half of “ 𝙁𝙤𝙧 𝙒𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣 𝙊𝙣𝙡𝙮: 𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙐𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙀𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣: 𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙉𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙆𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝘼𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙄𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙧 𝙇𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙈𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙮 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞 𝙁𝙚𝙡𝙙𝙝𝙖𝙝𝙣” leading to many “Ah!”, “Oh!” What?” moments.

Liking the updated version of this book that speaks with sincerity, honesty, and kindness for men and women equally. There is something to learn between lines and chapters, and I’m glad I ended up with “Oh, I see.” at closing. I guess I’m leaving the book with a brand new perspective for better or worse?
For better, I hope.
Profile Image for Melissa.
533 reviews2 followers
December 13, 2013
This is filled with generalities about guys - and excuses for why they do the things they do and what WE SHOULD DO to make their lives better. No thanks. I thought the survey she based her work off of was taken by 21-28 year olds, but almost all stories went back to her married life or the feedback from her second survey, taken by married, churchgoers. I am religious, but I don't think every annoying guy trait can be fixed by praying for them, so I'm not convinced by her solutions. Maybe I should read the women's version to see how accurate those generalities seem...
1 review
April 5, 2015
This book needs to come with a **TRIGGER WARNING**
Do not read this book if you are a person recovering from domestic violence. In fact I would recommend that you do not read this book at all…regardless of who you are.
The advice given is very damaging. If you do read it, read it: critically, to gain some insight into Christian influences on society or for a laugh.

There are many aspects in this book which I find a little disconcerting. Yes, it is good that Ms Faldhahn has gone to the effort of asking males about their perceptions. However it is a shame that much of the erroneous thinking that the men displayed are never questioned or challenged.
There seems to be some questionable assumptions in the advice that Faldhahn gives. As others have spoken about some of these assumptions in their reviews I will only touch on a few points here.

“Your love is not enough men need respect.” But so do women.
I doubt that the pain of disrespect is any greater for a man than it is for a woman.
Men need respect and women need love has more to do with social conditioning rather than anything hard wired in the brain. And we need to dispense with this “men need respect and women need love” idea and realise that respect is essential to all human interactions.
Faldhahn states that if given the choice men would rather be alone and unloved rather than seen as inadequate and disrespected. Women on the other hand would rather be seen as inadequate and disrespected rather than alone and unloved.
This idea can set up dangerous ethical standards as in the woman who says “he may have hit/emotionally abused me (disrespect) but a least he loves me”. She will never leave the abusive relationship if she believes that love is more important than her own respect and adequacy.
It also creates damaging ideology if it is believed that women value love over respect. The father who says “I may have sexually molested my daughter but at least I love and provide for her”. Or an emotionally neglected girl who is told that it may not seem like it but her parents really do love her. As though this explains away the abusive disrespectful behaviour her parents have towards her.

Some of her examples in regards to respect left me a little baffled and alarmed.
“My wife says things about me in public which she considers teasing but I consider torture.”
“Even good natured teasing can sometimes be humiliating to men not to mention more pointed jabs.”
OMG is she serious, who says and does this? I am a little dismayed that someone (especially a spouse) would treat her significant other with such contempt.
I can only surmise that a wife ridiculing her husband in front of others may have more to do with her having a personality disorder. This does not excuse the behaviour by any means and guaranteed she is not only ridiculing the husband in order to humiliate him but would also be finding ways to humiliate others (both female and male).

“Many of us (women) wonder why our men, who normally have such a great sense of humour, get so upset by a little public joking at their expense.”
NO! Getting upset at being made fun of in public is normal. Ridiculing people for laughs particularly someone whom you say you love and respect is just wrong!

The Imposter Syndrome
“Men often feel like imposters and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered.”
The imposter syndrome was first coined in “The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women:
Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” by Pauline Rose Clance & Suzanne Imes 1978. I don’t know if you want me to cite this, it is online if you want to look it up.
There is no doubt that this effects a wide range of people not just women. Clance and Imes do state that they had mixed reactions from men however that the intensity seems to be much greater in women than in men. That is not to say that men don’t experience it.

“A man’s tendency is to think of life as a competition and a battle. He can energetically go and duke it out…if he can come home to someone who supports him unconditionally. “
This is a very capitalistic notion. This “imposter syndrome”, this “my wife must look good to make me look good”, isn’t about love and marriage, this is about his status. These men engage in the ‘wide boy’ fantasy of gambling and hustling as demonstrated in another comment “If the other man doesn’t know you, well it is a sign of weakness. The other man is thinking: if this man’s wife does not respect him he is nothing, I will run him over the next time we do a deal together.” Females are now expected to be a party to this male competition.

Men say it emotionally bothers them when a wife does not take care of herself (such as gaining weight, eating sweets, dressing poorly) and Faldhahn says that this has nothing to do with pride. However rather than being concerned with his wife’s emotional/psychological health men say it bothers them because it makes them (the husband) look bad. In other words he is more concerned about his ego then her health (eg if she is suffering from anxiety or depression), so much for grace and humility.
I am all for the “the body is a temple” idea of good health. But this should be done for her health not for his status.

Admittedly I did get something out of reading this book, Christianity’s influence on gender roles in society, capitalistic ideology and how it affects marriages, how women are seen as a commodity etc. However what I did get out of it was not what the author had intended.
30 reviews
February 4, 2016
How do you rate a book if you thought the information was very good but couldn't stand the delivery method? This was our book club book this month. I'd checked it out from the library and set it aside after giving it the once-over. Its format feels reminiscent of a teen magazine with short pages, simple words, "cute" graphics, and quotes highlighted in a large font. The author refers to your significant other as "your man" and positions herself as your older-but-wiser girlfriend. All of this was so off-putting to me that I honestly might not have cracked it again, but my husband looked through it and ominously declared, "Women disregard these ideas at their peril."

Bryan does not commonly throw out oracular utterances regarding my book choices, so I decided I'd have to read it, after all. I did, and I believe I came out on the other end missing a few IQ points, perhaps, but understanding more about men than I had before. I believe many of the things she writes can apply to women, too, but I can't disregard its special relevance, because it sparked a really reflective conversation between "my man" and me.
Profile Image for Deb.
359 reviews13 followers
August 4, 2017
This book reminded me of books that my parents brought back after attending one of the many Christian seminars that were touted to strengthen their marriage. I found it repulsive and belittling. The author was both flippant and silly. It seemed to me that her advice and observations were plain common sense.
Profile Image for Jeanne.
153 reviews13 followers
September 14, 2009
When I entered to win this in the FirstReads contest, I didn't realize it was a Christian book. Not that I have anything against Christians (being one myself), but I often don't agree with the fundamentalist/born-again point of view. And there was definitely a "serve your husband" undercurrent to this book.

Wives are advised to change their points of view and actions to accommodate their husbands. I will be reading the "For Women Only" companion book that came with it next, and it will be interesting to see how much men are advised to change to accommodate women.

The information itself, while useful, was overly simplified, dumbed-down, and over-explained. Halfway through the book, only two points had been made: Men Need Respect, and Men Need Sex. Newsflash! I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know, but the chapter on respect did open my eyes a bit more and offered some pretty key insights into why my marriage failed. But the author doesn't answer the question that was on my mind: What do you do when your husband hasn't earned your respect?
Profile Image for Pamela.
24 reviews
November 4, 2017
Offense. I’m most appalled at the high rating that was given to this book, especially by women. The surveys this book is based on have very biased questions. The false responsibility placed on women is destructive to relationship and the perpetuation of female objectification lacks maturity. I believe this book to be far from having the Biblical grounding many other reviewers purported.
Author 12 books26 followers
November 16, 2012
This is supposed to be a Christian book but it's applicable to men in general and not just Christian men. I, as a traditional Muslim woman, found this surprisingly insightful in terms of explaining specific Islamic commandments directed at husbands/wives. The author unwittingly explained the logic behind the Islamic stance on marital relations and the standard for public conduct.

Th book covers 7 facts about men, which are outlined in the sample and thus my sharing them here, does not qualify as a spoiler review. The author goes into detail about WHY that particular fact is part of male wiring and how profoundly it affects a man.

1. Men need respect and appreciation. This perfectly explains Prophet Muhammad's saying that women would make a majority in hell because they are unappreciative towards their husbands.

2. Men seem to be in control but they doubt themselves and need our support. This an extension of point # 1

3. Men feel the need to provide and this makes them tick. This explains why the Qur'an unconditionally places the burden of "providing" upon the husband, no matter what the wife's financial standing.

4. Intimacy is crucial for a man. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told women to make this their top priority, come what may.

5. Men can't control themselves and they simply have to look at women (and later fantasize). This explains why the Qur'an commands men to lower their gaze and women to cover themselves in loose fitting clothes.

6. Men want romance but they need appreciation. An extension of point #1

7. Married women must make an effort to stay thin and look presentable. Prophet Muhammad told women to dress up for their husbands and even told traveling husbands to give advance notice to wives, lest they turn up at home and see them in a shabby state. The Prophet also stressed on eating less and staying fit.

Amazing!!!

PS: I downloaded the audiobook and found the narrator's voice a tad irritating at times when it got too soothing.
Profile Image for Dan.
2 reviews3 followers
Read
March 22, 2008
My wife asked me to read this book this morning and tell me if it is truth. I picked it up to get the gist of it and an hour and a half later I finished the book.

I think it is a good book for couples that have been married for a while to read and discuss. Not sure I would give it to a newly married couple. I liked the book but do not think all things in the book are normative to all men. Good book good read.

Profile Image for carolyn radach.
8 reviews9 followers
January 22, 2009
It's about the things that men wish we new about them, and how they really feel about us (as women), but more specifically their wives. Now as most of you out there may know, I am not a wife, yet (I still hold out hope), however, when I read books like this it's always with that expectation in mind, and more specifically, because I am an observer of people, I usually draw on past experiences and behavior that I have witnessed in order to understand why I do the things that I do, and feel the way that I feel about certain things. It's a short read, only 9 chapters (if I had more time I could have probably finished it in a day, but then again I don't know if I would have gotten all that I did out of it), and those 9 chapters are chock full of things that most women don't know.

For better, or worse, I have been in the company of men for a good part of my life. They were always my closest friends growing up, I'm close with my Dad, I have 4 brothers (I am the only girl), and I was in the Navy for 5 years, so a lot of the information I had already been told, and was there for not new to me. What was new to me, and never dispensed in my direction, was HOW important some of these things are to men and how some of those aspects have affected my own life and the company I have kept with men.

The 9 chapters include the following:

1. Lightbulb On!,How I Woke Up to What I Didn’t Know About Men
2. Your Love Is Not Enough, Why Your Respect Means More to Him than Even Your Affection
3. The Performance of a Lifetime, Why Your Mr. Smooth Looks So Impressive but Feels Like an Impostor
4. The Loneliest Burden, How His Need to Provide Weighs Your Man Down, and Why He
Likes It That Way
5. Sex Changes Everything, Why Sex Unlocks a Man’s Emotions (Guess Who Holds the Key?)
6. Keeper of the Visual Rolodex, Why It’s So Natural for Him to Look and So Hard to Forget What He’s Seen
7. Chocolate, Flowers, Bait Fishing, Why the Reluctant Clod You Know Really Does Want Romance
8. The Truth About the Way You Look, Why What’s on the Outside Matters to Him on the Inside
9. Words for Your Heart, What Your Man Most Wishes You Knew About Him

So I won't give a synopsis of what I thought about all the chapters, but chapters 2, 4, 7, and 8 resonated for me the most. Mostly because of the general lack of respect that I've seen women give to men, and all of those chapters set a tone for how we, as women choose to, and can show our respect to men. Reading it I could see how a great many things that my Dad did for me, like teaching me to play golf or how to understand football, and to enjoy fishing and camping, could be looked at as attempts to cultivate a sense of what men like to take part in so that I can share in those things with my future husband, and not just demand the typical "girly" type dates (although those will be nice too). But I truly do like to do those things and that sense of play, that chapter 7 talks about will be very important. As a matter of fact I know that it already is for me because any boyfriend that I've ever had, hasn't lasted very long if he didn't want to do anything. I love my Dad very much and I'm so glad that he is who he is, and has helped to make me into the person that I am today.

Anyway, I could continue to go on with my opinions on the topics of the book, however the bottom line is that I definitely recommend this book for all women no matter what their station is married, or single, or even if they just want to know a little bit more about what makes people, men in this instance, tick. True we'll never fully know or be able to understand them, but it's nice to at least break away a little of the barrier that exists between the sexes.
Profile Image for Aimee.
341 reviews15 followers
November 22, 2020
This book didn't resonate with me at all. I read this as part of my monthly book club. I can not stress this enough this book has outdated views and belongs in the past.

Furthermore, I think this book could do actual real harm to Christian women living in abusive relationships. Many of the things highlighted as "this is how men think" are toxic and should be allowed to die as we grow together as a society. Why should we accept major character flaws and change ourselves to fit their crappy behaviour.

Ladies, I have been married for 18 years and I can assure you that not all men think and feel like how they are portrayed in this book. It is very old school Christian. I have nothing against Christians, at all, but I also don't believe that the crappy behaviour of our partners is a woman's responsibility to fix. For example, low self esteem can be helped by a loving supporting partner BUT it is not their responsibility to mitigate or fix. The person has to do the work themselves. So from my perspective, by doing a lot of the things suggested would be enabling their low self esteem and perpetuating the cycle.

I truly believe that this author would have benefited from speaking to men outside of her narrow community and to people who understand human behaviour. It would also have been helpful to maybe seek the guidance of an expert in abusive and dangerous behaviour. Maybe she would have learned that many of the things included in her book hold women and men down and prevent them from growing as individuals.

I hope if you read it you get more out of it than me.
159 reviews8 followers
June 19, 2021
There are no abusive men in this book. They just don't exist.

Instead, it assures us, that even if our partners get angry at us over little things, treat us like sex objects, don't listen to our needs or take on responsibility, they still love us very much.

In fact, their anger and horniness are their God-given design.

In order to function, men apparently need unconditional respect, you being proud of him regardless of how he performs and they need sex because otherwise they will become depressed when you say no.

Trigger warning for people with eating disorders.

But really, do not read this book and kick your partner to the curb if they exhibit any of the behaviors this book claims are normal.
Profile Image for Stephanie Villegas.
Author 2 books6 followers
January 15, 2018
There was a lot of really insightful information in this book, but the writing itself took what could have been a much better book and twisted it into something shallow. In the hands of a more capable writer, it may have been a great book (unfortunately, that's not the case). Rather than being about how to help build up your man, most of it came off as how to accommodate insecurity and emotional immaturity in our partners (not in charity, but in total submission).

Some have criticized this book for preaching strict gender roles (husband leads, woman follows) and while that is true, since I believe in that kind of thing, I found that to be far less problematic than the underlying theme that men are emotionally weak and it is the job of a good wife to stroke his ego whether that be consenting to more sex (even when she doesn't want to), putting up with men walking out on them in an argument, not offering to help with directions (lest you hurt his feelings), giving him latitude to check out other women, or keeping her body in pristine conditoin to be visually pleasing to others... if I could sum this book up in a few key ideas it would that whenever possible, women ought to avoid conflict and defer EVERYTHING to their husbands' every whim and fancy, AND that men have fragile egos and it's our job to coddle them.

The surveys were twisted to suggest a stronger percentage than actually existed in order to make their point- 66% say Very Important, 31% Somewhat ... they then confidently conclude that 97% say such and such (even though a third of the people answered reluctantly).

My fiance says the book for men is much less shallow and apparently he's enjoying it quite a bit. Perhaps they must be read together because from what I can see, this book basically preaches to women our way of relating to the world is invalid and we ought to change ourselves entirely (inside and out) to accommodate the men in our lives. I read other reviews that said the same and thought they were bitter or "progressive" / Feminist minded individuals ... well, I'm none of those and I still found it problematic. I guess it's supposed to be non-denominational but several parts were in sharp contradiction to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marital love so CATHOLICS BEWARE.

To be fair, the book does have some great bits of advice sprinkled throughout. The chapters on men's desires for respect were very decent. I didn't agree with the conclusions drawn, but the surveys were also nice to read. Most of the "good" parts were kind of obvious (like not nagging), but I can see where this might be a good reminder for some.

I'm glad I got the book because it provided me and future-hubby with lots of talking points as we took it into consideration with the Theological teachings of our own religion. But ... the book itself was not that great. We felt a good portion of the For Women Only book didn't apply to me and my man so I really didn't get as much out of it as I had hoped. If you're looking for a better pre-marriage book we both highly recommend the writings of John Paul II and "Three to Get Married" by Fulton Sheen.
Profile Image for Crista.
15 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2021
Someone asked me to write a review what I thought of this book. I attempt to rise to the challenge.
I actually read this book a few years ago, probably when I was around 18. The advice this book gave me was similar to the popular evangelistic, gender difference, purity books coming out then, with a big emphasis on love vs respect, visual men vs, well, prone to be whiny manipulative little wives. I apologize if that sounds sarcastic.
Of course, the material was internalized by hundreds of young Christian women who really wanted to learn about being a “godly wife.” And men.
Further research of the effects of these beliefs is starting to come out now. Larger-scale surveys are being done to test the validity of the previous ones.
She based this book mainly off of one research question. Would men rather be disrespected and inadequate or unloved and alone? It was the one question that her all male subject group had a difficult time answering because to them, it meant the same thing.
Interestingly enough in the larger studies, both men and women answer the question in the same way, it means the same thing. Both want to be loved and respected. Another side note on these surveys is that both men and women can be visually oriented, and women can also have a “mental Rolodex” of past images.
Emerson Eggerich got much of his info for his book love and respect on this question from Shaunti’s survey and only a few verses out of the Bible.
It became a highly recommended and very popular book. While it’s been swallowed and spit out over again in conferences and men’s retreats and lady’s Bible studies, how many people have challenged this “research”? Most of us read books to learn, if you’re like me, so looking at more sources may not have crossed our minds.
I’ll stop there and leave the rest for you to do your own reading and research from these books.

I pulled this book of my shelf a few weeks ago, and read some of the main “revelations” women were told about their men to my husband. He was disturbed that women are taught that this is normal. This book is true if you are talking about individuals who are sex-addicts, narcissists, conservative authoritarians, or have attachment complexes... probably then yes you’re right, men think that way.
If you have a godly, kind, experienced and wise believer like my husband is, this book is, cue deep breath of relief and joy, not the full truth! There are more sexually-free men who don’t fall in for who they’re told they are, who demonstrate a Christlike leadership, not the sexist lustful pervs that purity culture books can make them seem like.
Profile Image for Tonya.
1,122 reviews
January 30, 2013
Tons of statistics, lots of polls taken. Very informative.

But I would caution the author when writing "grounded in biblical hope" to MAKE sure you have the book FIRMLY grounded in the Bible. I searched and searched for some mention of what GOD thinks about all of this. Man can think all they want. And to a certain extent, all these polls and what men think, are so helpful to us women. BUT be very careful when you say you are grounded in the Bible, and then not really mention it!

I really found a lot of interesting. What we as women really miss out on, is well it is their problem if they can't keep them eyes to themselves and not think things they shouldn't. We, as women of God, should help by being modest. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

Most of the things Shaunti mentions you will want to smack your head and say, duh I should have thought of that! If you are trying to be a daughter of God, and have a better relationship with your other half, then this book will certainly help. However, grab your Bible and do some research too. I also recommmend John Piper's This Momentary Marriage. BEST book ever!
Profile Image for Deanna.
21 reviews
October 10, 2021
I read this book while I was engaged to my (now) husband. At the time, the information seemed groundbreaking and different from other marriage books I had been recommended, but truthfully, it is no different from the others. It only continues pushing the stereotypes about men and women. Forgetting and disregarding the advice and “facts” from this book was the best thing for my marriage (ten happy years!).

Stepping way back from the books years later, I see how damaging the teachings of this book are. Not everything is horrible, of course, but telling a woman that her husband needs respect and she wants love? False. They need both love AND respect.

Hey, and women also want their husbands staying fit and dressing well. Stop putting the physical aspect only on women.

I donated this book but probably should have just thrown it away.
Profile Image for Mel.
58 reviews28 followers
June 26, 2012


Read this book as part of a marriage enrichment small group. I did not relate to the "woman" side of this at all! And I wasn't the only one who felt this way. This stereotyped the roles of men and women assuming all women and all men think and feel how society in its tradition would have them think or feel in their prespective sexes. It was a waste of time to read. Extremely disappointing, it's insulting to read a book by an author young in experience and knowledge about how real life works, real marriage works, and authors just assume to know how the readers feel when they don't have a clue.
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books352 followers
August 15, 2017
Very enlightening. For Women Only answers questions, clears things up, displays surprising realities, and just makes it all around easier to understand the men in your life! I feel like I've learned a lot, and reading this book has made me desire to show more respect/love/honor to men in the way they understand.

I've read For Young Women Only twice, but this one was even more helpful, I think.

I highly, highly recommend. Looking forward to reading more by Shaunti Feldhahn soon! (Maybe even the updated version of this particular book!)
Profile Image for Rani H..
26 reviews4 followers
October 30, 2021
i didn't enjoy reading this. there's something really 90s about the style.
also, my husband couldn't relate to a lot of the stereotypes she wrote about, so i felt guilty for nothing. example: when i don't wear makeup and workout and try to look pretty, Husband is going to really care & do anything to help you stay trim and glam. i felt really shamed because i usually look like a slob. and Anthony was like ??? (he could care less).

i don't know. i just really didn't like the cheesy writing & it didn't feel like it fit our marriage.

Profile Image for Amanda Tero.
Author 24 books522 followers
December 6, 2022
Several of my friends and sisters have read this one and I’d listened to a few podcasts by the author, so felt familiar with the content.

I do not recommend it for young Christian women without guidance, considering the subject matter.

For me, I appreciated reading it as a single probably because I’m a bit of a nerd and appreciate learning how God designed our minds and bodies to work in general.

I can see where in a marriage relationship it would be wisest for the husband and wife to read both books together and discuss them, because there are a lot of generalizations that may or may not be applicable to all men (and the author clearly admits this).

Overall, I feel this has given me a better understanding of men to where I can better show respect and support to the platonic men in my life.
Profile Image for Nicole Elliott.
12 reviews4 followers
May 5, 2013
When I got married I wanted so much to be a godly and great wife to my hubby! What I didn’t realize was that sometimes my female brain with its ways of thinking and showing my love to him and his male brain and the way it is wired meant that sometimes there were things that I was doing, or not doing, that were causing problems I didn’t even realize were there!

Thankfully through several different women giving me books and recommending blogs I caught on early on into our marriage (probably 2 1/2 years) that there were several areas that needed work! I am so thankful that I was able to be enlightened to these things early on–and wish I had known sooner!!!! So now for every bridal shower that I attend my gift is three books: For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn; A Good Girls Guide to Great Sex by Shelia Wray Gregoire; and Created to Be His Helpmeet. I include a letter with the books explaining why and how each has shaped and changed my marriage for the better.

I first read For Women Only a few years after it was released in . A friend had actually given my Mom a copy and I read through it during one of my trips back home as we were talking about marriage and marriage books. There were so many “light bulb” moments I had from it! I went back home (I was on the trip home by myself) and after a few days my hubby remarked “I guess I should send you back home alone more often, you always come back more awesome than ever–what on earth is going on??!!” (it happens that a previous trip back home was when I was first introduced to Created To Be His Helpmeet as well–both me and my hubby are super thankful to the ladies back home, haha).

So when I saw that For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men was coming out I couldn’t wait to get a copy of it! As I re-read it I was struck again by many of the things that made me have “lightbulbs” the first time, and had other things make me go, “Oh!” that didn’t the first time-as with every marriage your husbands needs and your situation in life are constantly changing.

I loved the all-new chapter “The Thinker” One thing that has always baffled me to no end–and frustrated my husband to no end–is when we get into an in-depth discussion, especially when we have a difference of opinion, and I thoroughly and (in my mind) efficiently put forth my case and he just sits there and says nothing and when I really press him he says something along the lines of “I can’t explain it right now but that’s not what I think should/want to happen.” This chapter made several light bulbs go off as to this whole dynamic and why it does *not* work–and what I can begin to do instead!

One chapter that really made a huge difference the first time I read this book was the one on the importance of staying fit/taking care of the way you look. After we first got married I (unknowingly) put on about 30 pounds (if you’ve followed my slim and trim quest you already know about this). I read this book right around the time that I had realized that I had gone up so much in weight and it really smacked me at how unhappy Bob probably was about it but, like all good hubbies, he had never said a word! Sure enough now that I’m actively working out and trying my best to take care of the way I look, even post-two kids, he’s (very gingerly, when I brought it up) mentioned how hard that was on him!

This book really is everything your husband wishes you knew about him–but would die before telling you himself, or simply doesn’t “get” that you don’t “get”! As I said–this is one of only three books I’d call absolutely MUST HAVE marriage books! It’s a short, easy read but wow, what an amazing little book it is!
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