I read three books on men and marriage in the last 2 weeks. It’s kind of hard not to compare them to each other. I’m one of these women that will read everything and anything on marriage because I want mine to be better. I am not satisfied with where we’re at in our marriage and I don’t think any person ever is. It’s always growing, always changing and always challenging.
That’s why this title intrigued me. Who doesn’t want the marriage of their dreams? The tag line on the front cover says ” A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Her Man” which piqued my curiosity too! However, I had just finished reading What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You which I thought was the most concise, complete commentary on men I had ever read. Certainly there isn’t more, is there?
From the publisher’s website, here is a quick bio on Rick Johnson:
Rick Johnson is a bestselling author of That’s My Son; That’s My Teenage Son; That’s My Girl; Better Dads, Stronger Sons; and Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half. He is the founder of Better Dads and is a sought-after speaker.
The synopsis of the book(as written on the back cover) :
The marriage of your dreams may be closer than you think
It may surprise you to find that men are fairly simple creatures with fairly simple needs. Understanding and responding to his needs is a positive step that can help him realize and fulfillyour needs. And when both of you meet each other’s needs, your marriage becomes stronger–and a lot more fun.
Relationship expert (and fairly simple creature himself) Rick Johnson gives you an open and honest look inside a man’s world. With candor, humor, and insight, Rick shows you how to understand your man, including
- his need for respect and admiration
- his sexual desires
- his communication style
- his work
- his emotions
- his relationship with the “other woman” in his life (his mother)
With Rick’s help, you’ll learn how best to use your considerable influence in his life to have a satisfying and exciting relationship that lasts a lifetime.
First of all, I will say that there were sections and passages of this book that I felt were redundant and repetitive. The point is made and it’s clear and then the author re-states it and re-words it~but it’s still the same point. I found that to happen periodically throughout the book and I figured it might detract from the message. But honestly, the first couple chapters had my attention. Why? Because they jumped into the topic of a man and his relationship with his own mother and his mother-in-law as telling indicators of how he may or may not treat his wife. I found them fascinating. Perhaps because my husband’s relationship with his own mother is somewhat of a mystery to me and yet this was extremely enlightening. For the first two chapters alone, this book is worth the read and worth buying. I think we often underplay how our husbands were raised and how they view their own mother.
“A wise(and healthy) mother realizes that a wife supplanting her role as the most important woman in her son’s life is the natural course of life, and she allows her son to go without clinging to that queen bee status she has held in his life since birth. A mother who won’t willingly relinquish this role frequently resorts to emotional manipulation to control him. She attempts to subtly undermine or sabotage his relationship~all very innocently of course.” ~p.27
The other thing that makes this book stand out is that Rick Johnson uses years of counseling and speaking experiences where he has gathered common questions that women ask. This is actually the foundation of the book and what moves it along. The questions run the gamut from childhood abuse to pornographic use to adulterous affairs to spiritual leadership. Women have questions and we want answers. The author does a great job in pointedly answering these questions and it is a valuable resource.
This book, is kind of like an encyclopedia for women about those things that bug us and threaten our marriages and our relationships with our husbands.
I would recommend this first to mothers of sons(if only just for the first 2 chapters) and then for women planning on getting married soon, those who have been married for a short time and are confused about what is going on and for women who have been married for many years. Even if you think you’ve got your husband figured out, it never hurts to have an outside viewpoint of the influences on our men. And there are many.