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For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women

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Finally—You Can Understand Her!

Complicated and impossible to understand? Do you love and want to please the woman in your life, but just can’t seem to figure her out? That was before For Men Only . Now at your fingertips is the tool that will unlock the secret to her mysterious ways. Through hundreds of interviews and the results of a scientific national survey of women, this book demonstrates that women are actually not random and that they really can be systematized and “mapped.” In fact, much to men’s delight, this book shows that women are actually quite easy to understand and please—as long as you know what it is they need. This simple map will guide you to loving your wife or girlfriend in the way she needs to be loved.

The bestselling author of For Women Only teams with her husband to offer men the key to unlocking the mysterious ways of women. Through Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn ’s national scientific survey and hundreds of interviews, For Men Only reveals what you can do today to improve your relationship. And believe it or not, as Jeff assures men, “It’s not splitting the atom.”

And for every guy who rarely reads a Quick-Start Guide Included!

“When we featured Shaunti’s book For Women Only on FamilyLife Today , the phone rang off the hook! When Shaunti and Jeff come back on our broadcast, I’m buying some more phones. This is fresh and relevant—good stuff for every marriage. Read it!”
-Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife

Story Behind the Book

“As I was writing For Women Only to help women understand the inner lives of men, over and over I heard that men wished there was a way to understand their wives, but they felt it was probably impossible. I heard from them, ‘You are writing this little slim volume about men, but if it was about understanding women, it would have to be the size of an encyclopedia! Women are random and complicated!’ These men were surprised and encouraged when I assured them that women are neither random nor complicated, and we can be understood. Men just want to love their wives well, and For Men Only will help them do that.”
—Shaunti Feldhahn

192 pages, Hardcover

First published April 3, 2006

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About the author

Shaunti Feldhahn

86 books304 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 490 reviews
Profile Image for Robin DeJarnett.
Author 3 books72 followers
April 28, 2010
If you read my review on Ms. Feldhahn's other book, 'For Women Only,' I think you won't be surprised that the same criticism applies here.

This book states up front that the authors' intent is to grossly generalize their findings, and they do. I was hoping for more than just a flip of what was in 'For Women Only' but there wasn't really any new information here - in fact it seemed to lack the depth of the first book.

The first book highlighted more specifics, like how men enjoyed it when their women 'played with them' - enjoyed the same diversions, like golf or even just watching sports together. I didn't see the opposite in FMO - what is it that women enjoy for their man to do with them?

There seemed (to me) to be an inordinate amount of time spent on a women's appearance (in each of the chapters), which I found shallow. Obviously, as a woman, I understand how important appearance is, but there's so much more to me than that. Men may be visual, but wasn't the point of this book to show them what they CAN'T see?

Both books also imply that any infidelity in a marriage will always involve the man and his lustful, wandering eye. Whether women are visual or not (and I know for a fact many are), they have their own escapes, be it through soap operas, romance novels or some other source. Neither book addresses the feminine side of lust or a man's reaction/interpretation of it.

There are tidbits to be gleaned, both for men and women, but as before, I recommend that couples look at this book together, and consider the lens used to write it.

Profile Image for Seth.
68 reviews10 followers
February 3, 2009
This book is helpful to understanding women. There are two clear ideas that I earned from this book that I haven't gained elsewhere.

1. Women's preoccupations can't just be laid to rest by arguing out their merit. They are like programs open on a computer. You can minimize them but they can't just go away until the anxiety is directly resolved. The little "x" can be closed only when resolved.

2. Women have just as strong a need to be "pursued romantically" as men have being "sexually desired". I started looking for ways to make my wife remain in a constant state of romance and it has made a huge difference on her quality of life.

That is why I am giving it so many stars. The quality of the writing and the insight of the author's were not close to impressive. They were kind of goofy and simplistic. Its a short book and doesn't address any particular deficiency. It is a very brief overview of what women need from men to feel love. The ideas that I gained were sufficient to recommend the book. Don't look for brilliant marriage guidance here, however, you might find a few ideas that could improve your marriage.
Profile Image for Brandon.
61 reviews1 follower
March 13, 2009
It's Ok (ish). Has a few interesting insights, and the statistics seem useful. You have to get over the writing though, it feels like it's written to the lowest common denominator among men. As if their working assumption is men are not capable of reading beyond the 3rd grade level. Meanwhile, the author keeps trying to convince us of his new found authority on the subject via his immersion into the world of women, and, well, it gets old. His authority is the research/statistics, which get don't as much attention or analysis as I would have liked.

The book has a really annoying feature of "highlighting" sentences pulled from the text but putting them in a large font. The problem is, the text will read something like (see p142): "That's an easy chip shot if I ever saw one." Then immediatly below, in a larger font with a geometric bullet "That's an easy chip shot if I ever saw one." Why? Reading through it is painful. Every couple of pages this strange quoting mechanism is used. I found it really annoying.

I walked away with a few discussion points I'll bring up with my wife, but overall was somewhat insulted by it's presentation and disappointed by its lack of depth.
Profile Image for Kristina (Kristina's Shelves).
1,128 reviews43 followers
August 31, 2018
I read For Women Only so I decided to read this as well. My issues with both books are the same. I think far too much time and emphasis was spent on physical appearance and sex. This book very much felt derogatory toward women at points. I definitely won't be recommending my husband read this, as majority of the book was not applicable to my views or feelings on the issues mentioned.
Profile Image for Chip Rodgers.
8 reviews
May 5, 2012
It's not that this book was bad per se. Almost everything in the book was already pretty obvious to me anyway, with the exception of a maybe two or three interesting insights and ways to articulate particular female concerns. It seems to me that the type of person who would go out of their way to read this book are the ones that don't need it, and the ones that DO need it are the ones that either wouldn't read it, or wouldn't actually practice the advice given, even if they DID read it.

Complaint number two: The author apparently thinks women are incredibly weak and shallow. Especially based on the chapter titled, "Beauty."

My biggest praise for the book is that it made me like and love my wife A LOT more, realizing that she's nothing like the incredibly insecure females that the author describes in this book.
Profile Image for Anna.
5 reviews
August 28, 2020
NOTE: Long review. Small summary in the end.

The book's first paragraph states:
"Like some guys I know, you might be tempted to skip this introduction and jump right to the sex chapter. And if you’re chuckling right now, it probably means you already did."

Which I found funny because that's exactly what I did.

An important observation is made in the introduction:
"There are exceptions to every rule. Recognize that when I say “most women” appear to think a certain way, most does not mean all. We make generalizations out of necessity to be helpful in the widest number of circumstances. Inevitably there will be exceptions. Statistically, in fact, it is likely that some male readers will think in a way similar to their wives in one area or another. Everyone is an individual."

Indeed, when making generalizations, it's unlikely that all of them will be true for every person. With that said, I don't think that most women/people would sympathize with more than 1–2 of the chapters/points mentioned in the book.

Because of that, I feel that the book would do more harm than good to almost any man reading it who doesn't know many women, and would be more likely to make them think that women are fundamentally different from men (they aren't) than help them “understand” women (as if one could ever understand ~50% of the world's population in one go, just like that).

The way I see it, this book mostly perpetuates stereotypes.

I've collected a few quotes which I feel are particularly misleading or harmful and wrote my thoughts on them.


* Chapter 2

"Even if your relationship is great, your mate likely has a fundamental insecurity about your love—and when that insecurity is triggered, she may respond in ways that confuse or upset you until she feels reassured."

If one of the partners in a relationship feels insecure, they ought to say so. Insecurity is a serious matter, but it's not a gendered issue. Anyone can feel it.


* Chapter 3, the “female brain”

"I described what many women had told me: that their thought lives were like busy computers with multiple windows open and running all at once, unwanted pop-ups intruding all the time, and little ability to close out or ignore any of that mental or emotional activity until a more convenient time."

I don't doubt that some women think like that, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the “many women” who told the author so were cherry picked and represent just a fraction of the female population. Some men think like that too, and many women don't. Instead, this section presents that as a fact and a fundamental difference between the sexes, which it simply isn't.


* Chapter 4. Seemingly nreasonable behavior.

"• You think the restaurant is fine. Out of nowhere, she says you just don’t care anymore.
• You thought you had a great evening together. Out of nowhere—or so it seems to you—she puts on flannel pajamas and turns in for the night."

These are a couple of examples supposed to showcase situations where men think they women don't make sense or act irrationally. What they all have in common is the lack of communication. It's not about being female, it's about expecting their partner to read their mind. Some women do that, and some men do it too.

The author proceeds:

"Although we see the “Is anything wrong?” question as a thoughtful—and sufficient—way of finding out if there’s a problem, many women don’t see it that way."

Right before that, the author tells a short story where a wife got mad at her husband and refused to tell him why, saying “I'm fine” even though she clearly wasn't. Obviously, the husband found that unreasonable because he wasn't aware of doing anything wrong and got mad as well.

Turns out, the wife wanted to surprise him about something but he happened to find out about it before she had the chance to. So she got bummed out, which is understandable. She should have just told her husband the reason though.

The author makes it seem like it's a man's responsibility to find out what bothers his wife by pestering her about it, when in fact she should just say what bothers hers. There's no biological difference that renders women unable to do that.

"All too often, we think, there’s no rhyme or reason behind her reactions. Or if there is a reason, we’re sure we’ll never be able to understand it. Clearly, the only sensible thing is to throw up our hands and try to ignore the problem. We leave her alone until she calms down, hoping it will get better on its own."

Don't men ever find other men hard to understand? Sure they do. Yet they don't go proclaiming that “men are hard to understand” or “don't make sense.”

If a person can't understand another person of the same sex, the cause is understood to be that they are different people with different ways of expressing themselves.

Yet, if the two people are of different sexes, then the issue is blamed on innate differences between the sexes! I truly wonder why that is and why we can't just all see each other as people instead of stereotypes.


The Sex chapter opens like this: "This chapter will be the ultimate test of your manhood."

And that's probably the kind of person this book is aimed at: traditional, conservative, and utterly stereotypical men who think that their worth is measured by how much money they make and how much sex they have.

"We think male and female humans are the same creatures, only with different and nicely matching body parts. We assume we have the same sexual wiring. So when there seems to be a mismatch, we have no idea why."

I'll tell you why: because every person is different. Some people want more sex more than others. Some don't want sex when they're sad or have stressing situations going on in their lives. It has nothing to do with innate differences between men and women.

Thinking that “male and female humans are the same creatures” would be more accurate and beneficial. Instead, we insist on believing that they're not and socialize them differently, which in turn leads to actual differences in behavior, which are mostly learned.

"If you’re still thinking clearly, your brain likely has ground to a halt on an apparent impossibility: I can’t imagine finding my wife attractive, being in love with her, and not wanting to have sex with her often! So how can she be that way?
But remember, that’s guy thinking, and we’re trying to learn female thinking."

Again, this point has nothing to do with “male” and “female thinking.” Despite being biologically “female,” I've also asked myself that same question—why wouldn't my (male) partner want to have sex with me, even though he finds me sexy and loves me?

Guess what! It's NOT about me. Sometimes people are just sad or preoccupied with completely unrelated matters and are not in the mood for sex. Yes, it happens to guys too! And yes, often girls want sex and get turned down by their guys. What a mind-blowing discovery! (Please note the sarcasm.) Just because some men don't experience that, that doesn't make it “female thinking.”

"Lower level of sexually assertive hormones = less craving for sex"

True. Again, not much to do with gender. A woman can be as affected by “sexually assertive hormones” (basically Testosterone) as the stereotypical man the author appears to have written the book for, despite having less of them.

"Your wife, though, is not like you. She is not sexually aroused simply by seeing you at your studly best. If you are looking particularly handsome or sexy, she will notice and she will find you attractive. But—get this—her body is still not lusting over your body. "

I don't like how this is presented as a fact. It's often the case that my body “lusts” over my partner's just because I happened to see him naked. Clearly, that's not the case for everyone and all the time. If my partner isn't in the mood, he doesn't get turned on by seeing my naked body—no matter how sexy I am.

This chapter makes men seem like brainless animals when it comes to sex, and women pure romantics who don't understand lust. To be clear, that's not the case.

"Although they might be enjoying the process, they may not be ‘finishing’ it. This is a difficult subject, and many women don’t want to talk about it because they don’t want to depress their husband or make him feel inadequate."

Here the author mentions the fact that some women don't orgasm when having sex with their parents (using euphemisms instead of just saying it, mind you) but doesn't proceed to offer any solutions or suggestions.
For anyone wondering, just ask your partner what they want in bed that they don't currently get. It really is that simple to improve your love life.

"On the survey, up to 70 percent of women said that simple helpfulness around the house would increase their interest—if only because they would have more energy"

I can see how someone who is burdened with doing all the housework by themselves (despite also working full-time) would be too tired and emotionally drained—and perhaps even resentful—to be in the mood for sex. Isn't that common sense?

Again, nothing to do with differences between men and women. If the man in a relationship had to do all the housework and work too, he'd probably not be in the mood for sex often either.

"When in Doubt, Ask Her
Just like the existence of this whole chapter, this particular to-do runs against the grain of my middle-class, midwestern, don’t-talk-about-sex reticence. While it may not be comfortable, you just need to ask your wife what she likes, what she doesn’t, and how to improve."

Finally, some sound advice! This is a no brainier in any kind of relationship with any person though, regardless of gender: when in doubt, ask.


Chapter 9

"«Daddy, watch!» she calls as she spins and the skirt does its thing. «Daddy, look at me! Do you think I’m pretty?»"

In this chapter, the author presents the idea that little girls being preoccupied with looking pretty is a projection of their somehow innate need to look pretty. And not at all the reflection of society's expectation of women.

His daughter didn't care about looking pretty because of her two X chromosomes, but simply because TV, magazines, and advertisements told her that she ought to care!

"Why is this chapter focusing so much on a woman’s looks? Shouldn’t we as a society be getting past that?
Well, here’s the thing: This isn’t really about a woman’s looks. It is about what a woman feels about herself and the fact that her man has a great ability to build her up or tear her down in that area.
[…] As it turns out, your wife’s continuing desire to feel beautiful—and to be beautiful for you—is a deeply rooted need that explains a lot of other behaviors that have baffled men for centuries. For example, have you ever wondered why, after trying on outfit after outfit, she gets frustrated and declares that she has nothing to wear?"

No, it's not a “deeply rooted need,” for heaven's sake! It's that the majority of people and media tell little girls, directly or indirectly, that they HAVE to care about their looks so much.

Humans have a need to fit in with their perceived group, so it's no wonder that girls often grow up to be self-conscious and care about their appearance more than most men. They were told that their “group” has to look pretty, while boys where told to be strong.

"[When] she asks, “Do these pants make me look fat?” […] what she really means is, “Tell me I’m not fat”?"

If she does, then she should learn to express herself. Don't present communication issues as gender differences.

"Remember, women already feel that they are in competition with every other beautiful woman"

I'm certain that some women (and men) feel that way, but definitely not women in general.

Regarding porn, here's what the author has to say:

"I think that when a man turns to porn, no matter how infrequently, it sends a clear message to his wife that she is inadequate. It says that no matter how she tries, she can’t satisfy him sexually.
[…] Unless a woman is naive about the power of porn or has become desensitized to it for other reasons, when her husband uses porn, it feels like cheating."
[…] We injure our wife when we look elsewhere for a thrill that we vowed to look for only in her. We break her trust. And we shatter our ability to reflect her beauty back to her."

If your wife's self-image is shattered whenever you find somebody else beautiful or sexy, that's her issue (not necessarily her fault though). The fact that other people are also beautiful, doesn't make one *less* beautiful or desirable. That's just not how this works. I'm sure that most men (and women) who watch porn don't do so because they think their partner is ugly and undesirable!


The book could do more harm than good because it mostly perpetuates stereotypes. Its target readers appear to be traditional and completely stereotypical men who are brainless animals when it comes to sex. The author claims that “male and female humans are not the same creatures” and blames communication issues on innate differences instead of bad communication skills.
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,215 reviews60 followers
November 29, 2008
I'm a woman, and I read "For Women Only" first. In fact, I read that book several times, started to apply it, told my boyfriend about it, and then asked him if he'd like to read "For Men Only." He happily agreed. I first read the book (constantly thinking, "You mean, men don't know that!?!") while I also marked how I would have answered the survey questions. My boyfriend has now read this book several times and 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.

Update: Men (and women!), please don't think you're an expert on your mate just because you read this book several times. It's a great book, but listen if someone tells you that a part doesn't strongly apply to them! Believe me, most women would love this, but I'm getting sick and tired of being told I'm so beautiful and rock my boyfriend's world. That was never an issue for me and hearing this two or three times every time we interact is making the words lose all meaning to me, but my boyfriend initially wouldn't stop because "it's in the book!"
Profile Image for Brent.
89 reviews11 followers
April 15, 2017

Read this for a marriage prep course at my fiancee's church, while she read (or listened to the audio version of...) "For Women Only".

Practical, wise, heartfelt... grounded in science and data (which I love) and Scripture (which I love even more), this book is a game-changer.

I've been doing the best I can, and I want to do better... I just didn't know how. A priceless gift. I love my fiancée and I want to be the best possible husband to her I can be...
Profile Image for Katie.
675 reviews7 followers
May 10, 2013
Meh. Only got halfway through before I gave up. Really focuses on the stereotypical woman and how she thinks. Again, couldn't relate whatsoever.
Profile Image for Fuad Alsultan.
32 reviews
September 28, 2014

This is going to be a complete review of the book on a chapter by chapter basis. This book helped a lot to understand my woman. I have never though about women this way before, i guess I should have considered reading such book before. Though, I would not think other books would put it the same way this one did. I am just glad I had the chance to read it.

Chapter 1.
Interesting! I got hooked.

Chapter 2.
If you get together, the deal is never close. Insecurity follows women even after settling down. Unlike men who want to show their love by their actions, women need reassuring every time they have a conflict. As a man I need to increase her emotional bank account by continue doing the small stuff that made me win her heart at the beginning. When she is upset, I should not leave her to think alone, I should hug her and assure her all is going to be okay.

Chapter 3.
I can see it. Its too hard for a woman to just let go of hear fears and worries, because they are attached to her emotions. Worries will go away when the bad feelings are gone, as men we need to help our women by resolving these emotional issues not by telling them "just don't worry or forget about it". Telling my women such thing, will either make the problem stick or circulate. Listen to your woman's concerns, give her all your ears, hug her, suggest an action for her worries, or take one.

Chapter 4.
When you see or feel something is wrong between you and your women, ask her what's wrong? Don't accept " I am fine" as an answer, but be persistent and assume she is upset b/c of something you did or you did not do. Speak to her, tell her that you might did something wrong and ask her to help you to understand her. If the issue is not your actions, assume its an emotional issues, give her your ears and listen carefully. The third reason she could be upset about is her circumstances, take your time to understand her. Lastly, it could be just hormones, be there for her. An important note to remember is that women don't speak about their issues from the first time b/c we "men" trained them not to. We usually get angry or defensive when they answer our question the first time we ask.

Chapter 5.
Financial security is not more important than emotional one. Most women prefer low income job and more time with their husbands more than high income and low parent and husband time. She wants to feel 1) You are close to her; do small silly stuff like the stuff you used to do before marrying her, ex. Sending text message in the middle of the day and buying her flowers or surprise her with what she loves. 2) She wants to feel that she is a priority, spend more time with her, let her feel she is before everything. 3) She wants to see more commitment to her, ex. help her around the house. 4) She wants to see you making effort to provide financial stability for the family.

Chapter 6.
The power of effective listening. Your women speaks about an emotional difficulty, she just wants to share her feelings with her partner. She is not sharing to look for solutions. When she speaks, drop the 'I must fix it' attitude and and listen carefully to her feelings through her words, facial expressions, and body gestures. Try to understand her, repeat those feeling to her to assure her that you gave her your attention. Sharing her feelings with you, and you understanding those feelings is more important to her than the problem itself.

Chapter 7.
This chapter is on the sexual relationship between you and her, and how her "NO" to sex does not mean it is because of you. Understand that she could be tired from all day long, and her sexual drive is less than you. She may not want to have sex with you, but she will enjoy it as much as you when she is in the action. Her sexual desire rise not as sharply as yours, so take your time with her. Your appearance and look does not make her hot, she needs to feel the closeness between you two beyond the bedroom. Be close to her at all time. Try to start talking about sex early before jumping into it, to prepare her emotionally, like whisper to her that you want to have sweets when you get home while having dinner at the restaurant. Tell her you are excited and cannot wait.

Chapter 8.
The little girl still lives inside her. She needs constant complements on how beautiful and stunning she is. As in chapter 2, she needs to hear from you that she is beautiful, never assume she knows and does not need to hear it. Tell her how magnificent she looks, be specific when complementing her. If she asks about how beautiful she looks, don't answer just fine. Notice her dress when she spends time in front of the mirror, tell her what you like about her style.

Chapter 9. (The conclusion)
I should always remember that I am her HERO.
Profile Image for Chelsea Rivas.
20 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2018
There is some decent advice in this book, but you'll have to mine for it through the insultingly chummy delivery, Old Sport.

As part of his "good ol' boys" delivery, more than once co-author Jeff Feldhahn used dehumanizing language when referring to both men and women, which was off-putting and unnecessary. My husband is a human being, not a "cromagnon". I am a human being, not an "alien".

Furthermore, throughout the book Feldhahn insists that each husband needs to reassure his wife that she is beautiful. I disagree. It is MUCH more important that each husband reassure his wife that she is loved and valued for her brain and her heart...not what her face looks like or what size jeans she wears. Of course it is lovely to be complimented, but it is so much more important to be valued for who I am, not what I look like.

My main concern with this book, however, is Feldhahn's discomfort in discussing women's bodies. He is clearly uncomfortable using words such as "menstrual cycle", "menstruation", or even "cycle" or "period." He instead refers to it as "her circumstances" and "er...um...her situation" (in the audiobook version he literally says, "er...um...her situation" with the intonation that you're "in" on his private little joke). He writes that sometimes one of his male friends asks his wife, "Am I talking to my sweet wife Lori, or Helga the crazed mutant?"

'Helga the crazed mutant'? Seriously? I don't think Lori truly finds this funny (as he claims in the book). I think it's more likely that Lori does a courtesy laugh to avoid having a difficult conversation with her husband because either 1) She knows she doesn't appreciate what he said but isn't sure herself WHY it doesn't sit well with her, or 2) She knows he won't understand why she can't just "take a joke".

It does a tremendous disservice to men and women for this stereotype of "crazed mutant" to be perpetuated. Yes, a woman's menstrual cycle can cause hormonal changes that translate to behavior changes. But she does not transform into a 'crazed mutant'. She is still the 'sweet wife' she has always been. If my husband was experiencing a hormonal imbalance (or a recurring cycle of hormonal imbalances), I would never refer to him as a 'crazed mutant'. It's insulting and dehumanizing, and is therefore devoid of empathy...the exact opposite of what he could and should reasonably expect from a loving spouse.

For someone in a position of authority, whose goal is for men to follow his advice and/or example, it's tragic that Feldhahn--claiming 'delicacy'--squandered the opportunity to set a better example in this regard. With just a few differences in wording, he could've shown men that it is right and proper to use correct terminology instead of euphemisms. He could've challenged men to be respectful and continue to grant humanity where it is due. He could've helped men understand that the uterine functions are not to be feared, tip-toed around, or insulted under the guise of joking.

Later in the book he does the same thing when addressing orgasm. Again, for someone who claims to be an authority, he missed a tremendous opportunity to educate, demystify, and call upon men to grant their wives even the most basic dignity.

"For Women Only" was written under the assumption that its audience is intelligent and thoughtful women. "For Men Only" was written under the assumption that its audience is 'dudes' and 'bros', not intelligent or thoughtful men.
Profile Image for Heather.
590 reviews1 follower
October 16, 2016
I really was enjoying this book. I was even sharing insights with my husband and teenage son. But then got to a part in ch 4 "It's Not About You, It's the Hormones". I started the section with, yes it is true that during times during my period, when I'm menstruating, I'm easy to be irritated and super sensitive physically and emotionally. The author talks about how decisions of the woman is effected by her hormone changes. The advice about dealing with your wife when she is "Helga the Horrible" during her "Situation Days" is to gentle talk to her. SRLY!!!!

The author takes a moment to say that the first edition didn't include a section about the time of the month. This book didn't talk about it either, in any intellectual way.
His wise male friend's advice, "ask her if he is talking to his sweet wife Lori or Helga the crazed mutant?"
Profile Image for Janette.
221 reviews
October 24, 2020
I did not actually finish reading this because it ticked me off so much. All of the advice seemed--to me--geared towards pandering to and excusing bad behavior, rather than actually dealing with valid issues. Total rubbish.
June 20, 2022
I must be your most typical woman, because this book made me teary eyed at points cause I felt so seen. Definitely think it gives an accurate depiction of most women’s desires and thought process in a relationship. Now to convince Nick to read it!! Very excited to check out For Women Only next and could see myself referring back to both books in the future.
Profile Image for Alen Piralić.
85 reviews62 followers
September 18, 2020
Hm, hm, hm, joj, joj, joj ... Pokvariti tako dobru temu ... Ne znam što bih rekao. Ženska publika bolje da ne čita ovaj moj osvrt jer će uslijediti lančano kostriješenje sa tendencijom ka eskalaciji i spaljivanju mene na lomači, ili, u najmanju ruku, kamenovanju ...

Dakle. Nekakav bračni par. Amerikanci, protestanti (ovo ''protestanti'' je jako važno, vjerujete, možda čak ključno). Ono što najprije iritira je činjenica da je - sada vidim tek da je, dok ovo pišem, gore u potpisu samo supruga - ovoj knjizi autor muškarac I njegova žena, a knjizi ''Samo za žene: kako zapravo funkcioniraju muškarci'' je autor samo žena (Shaunti). Trn u oku broj jedan. Kao, ona sama može napisati knjigu o muškarcima za žene, ali on sam je ipak preretardiran da sam napiše knjigu o ženama za muškarce. Ili mu je možda radila cenzuru pa su zato žene i ispale divni i krasni anđeli, tko zna.

Ovaj osvrt će ipak biti krnji jer ga pišem nekih 7 dana nakon čitanja, a nemam uz sebe više knjigu. Ne jer sam se bojao da ću se zapaliti, nego jer sam ju bacio natrag u kištru i otputovao u grad gdje radim. No. Da nastavim. Sadržaj je skroz dobro koncipiran. Tekst je pitak, jednostavan, razumljiv, prošaran onim meni jadnim i nekako usiljen, neprirodnim američkim humorom i težnjom za zbližavanjem sa čitateljem i širom publikom - znate, kao ono kad u onom idiotskom showu ''Dr. Oz'' ili u američkim reklamama svi budu puni razumijevanja, sretni, osmjehuju se, život može biti tako lagodan, svi smo uredni, čisti i lijepo odjeveni, usvajamo nova znanja i pravila ponašanja, rastemo i napredujemo, bla bla bla, povraća mi se. No, nije tekst TAKO baš sad iritantan, ali da steknete dojam. Čak je bio podosta zanimljiv. Ali može se sve to napisati na barem duplo manje stranica, ako ne i na trećini (šteta papira i amazonske prašume). Još one njegove usporedbe i metafore srednja žalost ... No dobro, ajde, sada malo pretjerujem. Ajmo dalje.

Ono što možda najviše smeta, barem mene, je ta njegova, odnosno njihova naivna ili baš debilno slijepa protestantska pristranost, zbog koje ispada da svaki brak može biti idealan, samo ako, eto, činite to i to. To je najgore u svemu što je oko ovih knjiga loše (samo za žene nisam pročitao, još). Svaka žena će biti vjerna, ili bi barem bila kada muškarac ne bi radio to i to, svaka žena želi djecu, svaka žena je prava domaćica bla bla bla. Idiotarije, hrpa idiotarija.
Onda sljedeće, način na koji objašnjava žensku psihologiju, sa minimalno pozivanja na njihovu neurobiologiju i naše sociološke, uvjetovane ili barem iznormirane različitosti je kriminalan. Po njemu ispada da su žene toliko pune strpljenja i razumijevanja, i ne samo to, nego da su uvijek pametnije od muškaraca, jer, eto, one vladaju i emocijama, što mi, tobože, uopće ne razumijemo, jer smo, eto, sa mudima u gaćama pa nam je to totalno stran i nepoznat teren kojim nikad nećemo ni ovladati i zato je najbolje da se uvijek predamo i pokorimo ... Molim ?!? Ukratko, on kaže ovako: ''Naljutio si (ili povrijedio) ženu time što si učinio to i to. Krivo činiš zato i zato (ona to percipira tako i tako jer to tako i tako zapravo izgleda pa kod nje pobuđuje te i te osjećaje) i sada to trebaš ispraviti tako da učiniš to i to i tako da i ubuduće to činiš i ona će to odmah primijetiti i odmah će se sve popraviti i ona će te beskrajno voljeti bla bla bla ... Užas. Koja amaterska razina analiziranja i donošenja nekakvih zaključaka i savjeta o muško-ženskim odnosima. Pa bolje pročitati neki roman ili dramu. Jane Austin ili Milan Begović. Meni je to koma. I kako uvijek okreće vodu na njihov mlin, to mi je zaprepaštujuće. Što me dovodi do treće ili četvrte ili pete stvari, ali probat ću odvojiti. Ono što također izrazito smeta je što se ženski osjećaji, njihova razmišljanja i ponašanje, pa ni postupci, uopće ne dovode u pitanje. Ispada da su uvijek u pravu. Dakle, ništa od tih osjećaja, postupaka i ponašanja ne može biti posljedica toga što su mnoge žene ponekad izrazito sebične, licemjerne, vođene oportunizmom, nedosljedne, nezrele, neodgovorne, ohole, zavidne, zle i tako dalje, nego uvijek je to zbog ''osjećaja''. Pa dvije žene u istoj situaciji ne moraju reagirati isto, ča nee ? Ponizna i ohola žena neće reagirati isto. Razumna i zrela žena i infantilna i razmažena, osjetljiva žena neće reagirati isto. Da unaprijed presretnem tendenciozne komentare, ne aboliram ničime muškarce. Ali govorim o ženama trenutno. Eto, to mi je jako glupo. Ne treba dovoditi u pitanje nečiju subjektivnost. Ma nemoj. Ako na poslu nekome ukažeš na nešto, razuman čovjek će uvidjeti što govoriš i prihvatit će to, a ohola osoba će se uvrijediti i htjet će ti napakostiti za osvetu. Tako je i među muškarcima i ženama, izolirano i ispremiješano. Još onda ti hvalospjevi ženama, kako su one sposobne ne znam koliko ''prozora'' imati otvorenima u svojim glavama, a mi, jadni muškaci, smo eto, takva psihosocijalna i intelektualna slijepa crijeva da se možemo samo češati po glavama i bijelo gledati ... Podilazi jako, previše, uopće mi se to nije svidjelo.

Ima tu i nekih dobrih savjeta, da se razumijemo. Da ne treba sve što žena govori u negativnom kontekstu shvatiti kao kritiku, jer puno puta samo želi reći što misli i kako se osjeća, a bez da pritom i kritizira muškarca (ajde, može proći), kao i to da žene treba znati slušati, odnosno razumjeti, a ne im odmah zatvarati usta nudeći rješenja i prigovarati zašto to spominju. Ali da će žena to uvijek cijeniti i nagraditi ... Ma dajte. Koliko muškarci ne cijene to što žene za njih rade, bome toliko ni žene ne cijene što muškarci za njih rade. Pogotovo u ovo doba masovnog hiper udvaranja kada možeš samo tako promijeniti partnera. Žena puno lakše, naravno. Ali to smo mi muški krivi.

Još da završim sa idiotarijama koje možete pronaći, a prezentira ih se kao neke tobožnje znanstvene rezultate, Bože sačuvaj. Izradili bi, dakle, valjda taj nesretni bračni par, anketu koju bi nekoliko stotina, možda desetaka, a možda tisuća žena ispunilo. Tipa: ''da vaš muškarac učini to, koliko bi vama to značilo i bi li pozitivno utjecalo na odnos'' i sad one odgovaraju. I za svako pitanje ispada da mi, eto, uporno i dosljedno činimo upravo krivo, a žene bi s nama, prokletnicima, u suprotnom slučaju, dakle kada BISMO tako činili, bile toliko sretnije i to bi toliko značilo za naše odnose i veze i brakove ... Molim vas. To što netko kaže DA BI to toliko i toliko značilo i promijenilo to i to NE ZNAČI da bi se tako i ponašao. Ispada da je tako jednostavno imati sretne odnose, veze i brakove, ali smo mi, muškarci, eto, jednostavno preglupi da to shvatimo. Naravno da sve krivo radimo. Moramo se kajati od rođenja do smrti i ispravljati sve što su generacije muškaraca ikada krivo učinile. Nešto kao što je to sa Nijemcima. Toliko teoretiziranja, baš debilno i jadno.

Bio sam možda malo preotrovan. Ali jako me ljuti kada se nešto ovako važno toliko izbanalizira. Ne kažem da nema korisnih i zanimljivih stvari u knjizi. Ali način na koji je isprezentirano, i ta zamka da toliko toga krivo zapravo čovjek o ženama shvati, vjerujući da su to toliko istinski dobronamjerna, pametna, zrela i nepogrješiva bića, to kvari sve. Treba čitati oprezno. Meni bilo bljutavo. Dvije zvjezdice za trud. Inače, kulja kao kuća ...
Profile Image for Lisa Manske.
122 reviews6 followers
May 5, 2021
Very stereotypical advice. More gender-role thinking. As a woman who definitely would choose respect over love (if I had to choose-- in truth, I don't think that marital love can exist without respect) hardly any of this book applied to me and my marriage. Any insight my husband got from this book came from our discussions about how the author's conclusions don't apply to me. So, like anything, don't take it too seriously if it doesn't apply to you. And please don't try to change yourself based on this author's books. She is quick to say she didn't mean what she actually did write but she does imply, often, that we should change to please our partner. We should GROW to be better people, not conform.

Also, any graduate student could have a field day pulling apart the author's survey questions. Her conclusions are highly suspect when you look at how the questions and multiple choice answers were worded. Maybe I'll use this book in my classes to show how not to write a survey.

You can get far better marriage advice from any of Gottman's books.
Profile Image for J. Alfred.
1,608 reviews28 followers
February 20, 2012
About halfway through this book (roughly half an hour into reading this book) I started thinking that it was a very well intentioned, pretty well reseached and weirdly poorly written text-- and I stand by that to some extent. ("Weirdly poorly written": it was clearly within the authors' power to write more impressively/ smoothly, but they decided that it was better to take a totally unsophisticated stance-- there was the textual equivalent of a lot of winking and elbow-nudging going on in here, and it comes off as too 'familiar' in the old sense, or 'chummy' in the new.)
However, the end of the book was well done, and brave, as well ("we simply need a zero-tolerance policy on porn"). Some parts, too, did in fact help me understand the beautiful mystery that is my wife a little bit better. So it accomplished its purpose, and for that I am grateful (though I think it may have been better served to be edited and reissued as a twenty-page pamphlet).
Profile Image for JZ.
679 reviews89 followers
January 30, 2019
The redeeming fact in this book is that women's minds are like computers with a lot of windows open. We have to be. We have the kids. Jeez. The analogy about the lighter is the perfect example. Men don't see consequences. Great generalization? Not the only one in the book. Taken from questionaires that were simplistic, from the examples given.

The rest of the generalizations are not news. This must be good for people who have little to no experience with working, living, and talking together with the opposite sex. Might be a good text for high schoolers if they removed the religious stuff.
Profile Image for Konrad Holden.
25 reviews
February 21, 2019
There is one major flaw with this book.

Over the majority of the book, men are presented as the goofy sitcom husband who doesn’t understand how women work. He is the unsophisticated and simple-minded dork who sits reading the newspaper and spilling coffee on himself, making marital blunder after marital blunder (some of which is very true). He’s a nice guy, but a simpleton. If only he knew the better way.

I don’t think the author meant to come off that way.

But I think this book does not emphasize enough the fact that many men may know what they ought to do, but are unwilling to do it or think about how to do it. Maybe it is just me, but men need tail-kicking. And of the little tail-kicking in this book, it is all indirect tail-kicking.

That being said, I constantly found myself constantly pausing and thinking, “Huh, so that’s why that happened last week. And that’s where I went wrong.” There are lots of epiphanies to be had.

The conclusion chapter is wonderful. Made me think about my wife in the best sort of way.
Profile Image for Christel.
77 reviews1 follower
April 18, 2012
I received some teasing from male friends when they found out I was reading this book, but I make no apologies! This was a great read for anyone--male or female--in a relationship. I first read its counterpart, "For Women Only," which was also incredibly insightful. The fact that these books offer a view into the differences between men and women from a biblical Christian worldview makes them tender, truthful, and encouraging. Here's what I shared with one friend while reading "For Men Only":

As I'm reading, since it's written from a male perspective to men, I'm gaining insight even though the book is about women. I'm seeing these things that seem perfectly normal and obvious to me being explained in excruciating detail as if they are mysteries to men...and that's because they generally are! It's eye-opening for me to read this and think, "That isn't obvious to men? That's something they need to be told?" I think it's helping me to understand just how different men and women are.
Profile Image for Michael Foley.
80 reviews
November 1, 2011
Hopefully this book does not "Blow Your Mind", because if it does, you probably didn't know jack squat about women whatsoever. HOWEVER, this book did open my eyes to a few gems of wisdom and give me a big boost of motivation to be a better husband.

His analogy of our minds like a computer desktop was especially profound to me. Stating that men tend to handle tasks/feelings one window at a time, and close the window before moving on to the next thing. Women have several windows open at once, all getting slivers of attention simultaneously(yikes!). I had heard dozens of analogies before, and I knew the concept. But sometimes the right analogy comes along and it sticks.

Great quote: "How a woman feels about the problem, IS the problem." simple and wise. And the opposite of how I think.

It is well worth reading, and worth reading every 2 years or so for a shot in the arm.
Profile Image for Skylar Burris.
Author 20 books230 followers
April 17, 2009
I read this just to make sure my husband was getting reliable information when he read it...with very few exceptions, I definitely think he did get good information. I think any young Christian couple who gets married should be given a copy of these For Men Only / For Women Only books in premarital counseling and should re-read them every 2-3 years. (The book is from a Christian perspective, but the Christian element is not over-the-top; it would be useful for many non-Christian readers too.) The books are very short, direct, easy-to-follow, and quick to read. It is a bit dumbed down in writing style, but the practical worth compensates for that.
Profile Image for Joel Arnold.
66 reviews19 followers
July 6, 2012
Definitely entertaining, fairly often helpful, and occasionally convicting. Ironically, my wife read it to me while we were traveling. Even more ironically, I would actually recommend reading it together since the main benefit for us was that it prompted discussion. This book was definitely intended for a casual audience, so he puts in plenty of entertainment. But overall, I wouldn't say it was a waste of time - it was better than some other marriage books I've read.
Profile Image for Gabriel pineiro.
10 reviews
April 7, 2023
This book slapped the sh*t out of me. According to this book I am an “embedded man” one who is indoctrinated by worldly perceptions of women and how they are.

I thought I was a good husband and after reading this book I found out that there will always be opportunities to be better.

This insight was incredibly helpful: “With their particular brain wiring, a woman is more likely than a man to be hit with unresolved concerns from something that happened last night, last month, or ten years ago. It might seem that she's choosing to dwell on something that's better left alone even choosing to irrationally rehash or return to a matter that he thought was closed. But for her it's not irrational. In fact, since this is the way she's wired, it would be irrational for her not to address something that has circled back around” 🤯

Another point that was fascinating to learn was, as a man I thought providing materialistic, measurable things was good enough. I thought I was doing my job and taking care of needs. This book helped me understand that women are emotional beings. They care way more about feeling a connection, being connected to, and sharing a connection more than all the money in the bank account.

It’s too late for me 🥲 but if you want to beef up the connection with your girlfriend/wife and understand why that’s important, then just freaking read the book already 😁
Profile Image for Brenda.
352 reviews
November 28, 2017
I chose this as a "book targeted at the other gender" for Tim Challies' 2017 reading challenge. I listened to a Christianaudio version that was available on Hoopla. The book was read by Jeff Feldhahn, who co-authored. (I always enjoy audio books that are read by the author.) It is a short book - under 3.5 hours' listening time.

I think the points made by the author are pretty much spot on for explaining how most women think and why we react as we do, and I found myself nodding in agreement many times. Men who have done other reading about relationships may think "duh", but I would say this is a great place to start for men who haven't done other reading or whose fathers weren't good role models. The authors say up front that this book isn't for marriages that are in crisis, and I would agree with that.
Profile Image for Jonathan.
25 reviews
September 12, 2019
Wonderfully written for us plain average men who just want to love and serve our wives in a better way while not always knowing how to do that exactly. Some stuff was straightforward and some stuff was completely mind-blowing, and I recommend this for men who are struggling to communicate or understand their woman. Together with prayer and bible study, this book is a great resource and tool to help relationships and marriage flourish and thrive as God meant it to initially.
9 reviews
February 20, 2021
Easy to read with some great insights. Humorous but based off of real studies of how most men and women communicate. Good reminders and helpful steps to take to aid in communication and understanding your wife/SO. Nothing it in seems groundbreaking or even like new information, but having it presented in this format and from the perspective of a husband and a wife is helpful and immediately applicable.
Profile Image for Brianna Bowen.
55 reviews
September 15, 2021
Such a good read, definitely opens men’s eyes into the majority of a woman’s brain and why we think the way we think. I love that the authors didn’t make women seem like “too complex of creatures” or “impossible to please beings” like I feel so often were referred to as. We have a different way of thinking! That doesn’t make us wrong or right; it just makes us different and I thought the authors did an amazing job with laying this out!!
Profile Image for BookishandBliss April.
30 reviews4 followers
July 14, 2019
I read this, not just to see what my husband would be reading, but we decided to trade these books and make notes in them for the other about what was important directly to us. We highlighted, wrote, and enjoyed both of our copies. Now it is my turn to read For Women Only but definitely enjoyed this one!
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