There’s a reason Shaunti Feldhahn’s books have sold so many copies.
Millions of copies, I tell you.
Two of her books in particular — For Women Only and For Men Only — are spot on in helping men and women understand each other. She updated her latest editions in 2013. (Her husband is a co-author on For Men Only. Don’t want to rob him of the props he deserves).
If I had to make a “required reading” list for anyone getting married, I would put these books on the list.
(No one has ever asked me to make a list, but now I’m thinking I just might whip up such a list in my spare time.)
I always recommend both the man and the woman each read BOTH books.
They are packed with insights and research-based stats that afterward will leave you thinking, “Well, that explains a lot.”
More importantly, these books can help couples slash the miscommunication that wreaks havoc in so many relationships.
No shocker to all you married folks out there, but miscommunication is a nemesis of authentic intimacy (sexual and otherwise).
Obviously, I am a big fan of anything that is going to help married folks better understand each other (and have better sex).
Shaunti was kind enough to give me a set of the books to give away.
If you want a shot at getting the set, do this:
1. Comment on this post by Wednesday, May 21, 9 p.m. CENTRAL. Tell me what you think it means to a marriage if the two people in it better understand each other.
2. You can use an anonymous name in your comment, but I need your real email address. It won’t publish for the world to see, but if I have to notify you that you’ve won, I need to be able to reach you.
3. Be patient, as I moderate all comments. When you comment, it won’t show up right away, but that just means I need to go in and approve it (which I usually do in a reasonable amount of time).
I will draw randomly from the comments late Tuesday evening.
Oh, and please be generous with sharing this post, because that way more people will know about Shaunti’s books.
You never know when this sort of info will be the breakthrough many marriages desperately need.
A big thank you to Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn for being champions for healthy marriages.
37 thoughts on “Why Shaunti Feldhahn’s Books Should be Required Reading (Oh, and I’m Giving Some Copies Away)”
I came across your blog on pinterest a few months back. I have a crazy long story, but long story short, your blog has been a blessing of information.
When I received the email about these books, I had to smile. My Dr just got done telling me that I need to learn how to communicate with my husband. I’m always up to learning new things 🙂
I would love the opportunity of reading these books and learning more on how my husband and I can strengthen our marriage.
A better understanding of each other can only enhance the marriage as the two become more like one. Intimacy is enhanced the closer the couple gets to one another. Communication is key.
When the husband and wife truly understand each other, it takes the marriage to a deeper level of intimacy, trust, and love. If each spouse has a desire to know the other one better and strives to reach that, only good can come. I think this simple act could transform all marriages!
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply- S. Covey. Communication is simply an exchange of information, but understanding leads to intimacy- that strong sense of belonging. Without understanding or intimacy it is easy to be physically together yet feel all alone. This is how you can be married yet feel alone- lack of mutual understanding. Lord, help us not only hear, but understand.
It will be 2yrs in July that my husband and I will be married 🙂 I love that man! But boy he can drive me crazy at times, especially when I’m trying to share with him what I’m feeling but to his defense I’m sure he feels the same way….We fought over a Christmas tree! The season of Jesus, our first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. As ashamed as I am to admit that we fought over a tree and did not talk for a couple days….it was all do to lack of communication. His perception of things and mine were two totally different ones..of course we laugh about it now but I believe I struggle more with the communication issue then he does, he is very good about sitting down and talking but I’m opposite, I need my space
In my own marrital life, it is d love is accompanied with undastanding dat is why we think together, smile together, laugh together and every other thing is as good as handled single minded because we think towards any issue together and without any differeces all because we understand each other. P.S. I will love to receive my own copy of the book cos I am gladly looking forward to stregten the bond in our marrital life. Thanks and God bless
I believe one of the best reasons for a married couple to understand each other better is their being able to “walk in the others shoes”. When I am thinking about how my wife feels and thinks, I am not thinking of myself as much. Marriage – that is, a Godly marriage – is truly about putting the other person first and dying to self.
Communication is vital to a healthy marriage. Been married 24 years but one area of communication in our marriage that is perplexing is about sex. I have researched our problems for years discretely. Bought many books for a better understanding, which is not received well at all. Why is it so difficult to do research on no sex drive or no desire to sexually please your mate? It took me years to find a book that nailed the problem. It should be the Bible for female sexual dysfunction! And get this, its no longer in print for political reasons. The book was written in 1958 by Dr. Marie Robinson “The Power of Sexual Surrender”. Unfortunately for me my wife is in denial that she has zero sexual interest and will not acknowledge the problem. Therefore, nothing will ever change.
I sure hope I win a couple more books, why should I have to pay to have my wife get upset with me.
I think it is important for spouses to understand each other better in order to help their communication. So often spouses try to communicate but really don’t hear each other. Through a better understanding of each other many arguments can be avoided and your marriage will be more satisfying.
When my wife and I better understand each other, we are more able to meet each other’s needs and understand our differences. We can see the world through each other’s eyes.
When two people in a marriage understand each other they can become that “one” that the Lord refers to. This doesn’t mean they will be without their problems or conflicts but they won’t let those difficult times draw them apart but rather draw them closer together. When a couple understands each other both of their needs are met and neither one feels like they are contributing more to the relationship than the other.
Communication can’t be emphasized enough, especially in a world where there are so many distractions that pull us away from true intimacy with our spouse. We owe it to our marriages and our children to be models of God centered love. Any tool that helps achieve this should be at the top of our priority list.
I just recently found your blog. I am a young wife and my husband and I will be coming up on our 2 year anniversary in June. I am thankful to have christian resources that discuss the “quiet” parts of marriage. My husband and I have been struggling with this our whole marriage. He has been dealing with a pornography addiction that finally was brought to light about February of last year. We have sought help and accountability, but he is still having a hard time being honest with me. Learning how both of us can communicate in a safe and honest way would be very beneficial for our marriage. Any resources we can gather are great!
No need to enter me, since I already have both books and have read them. I’m just piping in to say that they’re on my list of recommended reading as well! I’m also eager to read her recently released book about the state of marriage. Glad you’re highlighting these excellent resources!
When two people better understand each other, they can give to the other a greater kindness and consideration, empathy and understanding and love deeper.
For a couple to better understand each other, it means learning what the other person’s needs are and their ways of growing up so what their childhood years contributed to how they see the marriage relationship too.
I can tell that miscommunication is the number no. problem that lends itself to every single other issue that I struggle with in my marriage. When we are talking and on the same wave length, I wonder how I can allow myself and my marriage to fall to such sad and pitiful depths of despair because immediately, I throw those walls up and become a silent seething wife, much to my own desire to stop this long, engrained behavior. It is purely coincidence that it was just yesterday that I stumbled on this author and these very 2 books that I had previously never heard of. I would love, love, love to have a pair of them.
It means that you may avoid much of the pain and anguish that two people can inflict on each other in a nearly 34 year marriage because they don’t understand where the other one is coming from. It might also help a couple from sinking into the mire of refusal of emotional intimacy leading to refusal of sexual intimacy and vice versa to the point where ending the marriage might seem easier that the job of fixing it.
I think it’s important to that both people try to understand each other as best as possible. I’m sure I still leave my hubby scratching his head after nearly 18 years, but even if he doesn’t understand me and he is compassionate toward the situation and/or my feelings, it’s really important and says a lot of me. He never blows me off as rediculous (at least not to my face, but I’m sure there are many times he feels that way inside). As marriage continues, spouses should be able to understand each other more and more than they did in the early years, but just like anything, nothing happens overnight, including understanding your spouse.
Communication is everything in a marriage. If there is little or no communication you can not develop the bonds necessary to keep the marriage strong thru difficult times. When times are good it is easy to talk and interact with your spouse, to joke and laugh. But when times test you both you need to be able to speak your mind and offer your solutions or explain your problems. Then with good communication you can, together, solve the issues and go on with your lives.
I have not learned to communicate well with my husband. I haven’t learned how to express my feelings or opinions to him. Not in ways to make him understand or even try to understand. He will say it will be done his way and more often than not I will go along with him and not fight or argue my point or my concerns. I need to learn how to express my side and not cave into what he wants all the time. When it comes to fight or flight, I flee. I need to learn how to stand up for myself without causing a fight or misunderstanding. Perhaps these books would help me with that. I can not afford counseling and my library doesn’t offer a good selection of helpful books at this time. I thank you so much for your columns and information. I have learned some things that I try to apply to my life. And some have helped me. Have helped me learn to be calm in certain situations and to understand why some things are happening the way they are. And why my husband does some of the things he does. You have helped ease my mind a bit and made me realize that some of the things my husband does are just things guys do. I have heard men say that women are a mystery to them but the same can be said of men. I am still learning new things about my husband, he is truly a mystery to me still. Even though I feel I know him so well, he is a deep well of mystery and I am no where near the bottom of finding out new things about him. Marriage is like education, you never learn everything, you are always finding out new things and you need to be open to gaining that new knowledge because it keeps life interesting.
I am always on a quest to find something to better my relationship with my husband. I think that good communication in a marriage is so important and we forget sometimes that we don’t all communicate in the same way. That is how hurt feelings, anger and feelings of he/she just doesn’t get me come about.
When a husband and wife have a better understanding of each other things go more smoothly. Oftentimes conflict occurs in marriage because of a miscommunication or misunderstanding. Looking back on our married life (just over a year and a half), I realize that the area we’ve most grown in is that of sexual intimacy. This growth came through communication. Sharing likes/dislikes and ensuring that each partner is truly understanding what the other is trying to convey has helped us to achieve mutual satisfaction. So in summary, a marital relationship will grow if the partners continue to pursue a better understanding of each other.
Thanks for this opportunity!
When my hubby understand a little more about each other, it makes us more patient and loving. The more I know about him, the more grace I seem to be able to give him – ie I don’t just assume the worst)
A better understanding of your spouse means you’ll recognize that what s/he said may not have been what you heard.
Getting married for the 1st time in my mid-40’s & my husband being divorced, we both came into our marriage with our own communication quirks. Six yrs into the marriage, we still flounder…we think so differently! Continuing to strive, grow, love & show grace keeps us talking!
The better we understand one another; the better we will be able to show the sacrificial love that God intended for marriage.
I own and have read both books. Since then (several months ago) I have continued to struggle with the information about men’s visual nature and the permanent file of mental images. What this means for me is that regardless of the time and energy I invest in my appearance, regardless of the quality and/or quantity of sex in our relationship, my husband will always be attracted to other women. In other words, I will never be enough. I am inadequate, worse yet, I am irrelevant. The most effective response I have found is to invest my energy elsewhere. Why put effort into something that can never be achieved?
Reba: if your argument is valid, then so is mine. Women are more relational, conversational, more “feelings oriented. Men aren’t. So no matter how hard I try, or how well, I will never be able to meet these conversational/relational/feelings needs like my wife has like another woman could.
So I am inadequate in this. Worse yet, I’m irrelevant, because I can never do this like a woman can. I will never be able to meet that need. Therefore, the most effective response I have is to invest my energy elsewhere. Why put effort into something that can never be achieved?
Why? BECAUSE I’M SUPPOSED TO. Not only that, I am COMMANDED to by the Jesus I love and believe in.
Irregardless of how I “feel” about it. Or how I don’t “want” to, or how it interfers with “my life”. Or even how I feel about her “failings”.
So I do. I put aside my “feelings”, my “wants”, and my “desires”, and really really try. I set aside time for talking. Time for being together without the kids. For interacting about what is going on with her life, with our life. About anything. And I don’t wait for her to start or come to me – I initiate. To generate that intimate connection that goes beyond the physical.
I fail sometimes, but then again, sometimes I succeed. More importantly, my wife sees me trying, and knows that I do. Am I like her sister, mom, or girlfriends who’s she’s been close to for decades before she knew me, and decades after she did? No – like I said, I am a man, and there are just some things I can’t do or understand. But I sure as heck can try to my utmost, and at the very least, be there to listen.
When spouses understand each other they can communicate more effectively. Good communication is key to a strong relationship.
@John Thanks for your candid comments and the reminder about why we are to show love to our spouses in ways that are meaningful to them. For the record, I have and will continue to make sex a priority in our marriage because it matters so much to my husband. He reports that all areas of his life are 100% improved since my attitude change a little over a year ago.
My struggle stems from feeling that our sexual intimacy has been violated by all the images in his mind. Something meant to be exclusively for us includes countless other women. I feel exposed and degraded, and therefore need to find other avenues to feel valued, because it certainly isn’t happening via sex.
This is unrelated, but I’m not sure where else online to ask.
My husband and I have only recently tried to use condoms and were disappointed to learn that they greatly decrease his enjoyment of sex. Are there ways you have found to get around this? I understand that some are manufactured with special features to alleviate this problem, but perhaps you had other ideas.
Thanks for your time and blog!
I think understanding each other is crucial for a healthy marriage. Recently, I have been working in my own marriage to see things from my husbands perspective instead of assuming that my thoughts, feelings, ways of doing things, etc are always right. I can already see a difference but I still have a long way to go!
I think that good communication in marriage is important because if we never took the time to talk to our spouse, to understand how they feel or what the think about certain subjects or things going on, then we would just assume we know how they feel or think, and we all know that old saying about assuming. Too many times in my own marriage my husband and I have had bad communication and from there things just went in a downward spiral, when if we (mostly myself) had just come out and told each other what we were really feeling/thinking, things could have been resolved a whole lot faster and easily. I’m still working on my end of the communication deal with my husband. My progress has been slow, but I’m getting there.
I think that when the two people in a marriage better understand each other it makes things easier. When I understand how my husband deals with things it makes it easier for me to correctly anticipate reactions to things, instead of living in fear that I will do something that makes it worse.
Another reason the books should be required reading prior to marriage is that some of the information might cause us to choose to remain single. Knowing I will never be enough for my husband because of the way he is designed will always be a source of sadness for me. It’s like a knife in my side that, despite months of counseling and effort, will NOT budge.
Oh, I know I am in the minority on here, but right now I. am. so. so. so. mad. at. my. husband. We have been married 27 years this October, and I was in the bathtub this morning and I go to grab my new, expensive shampoo for my very sparse, limp hair. I couldn’t find it, and then I look back towards my husband’s shower and it was in there! He took it! He took my soap last week, leaving me with none. Before you womp on me, I have to tell you I have survived cancer twice–once Stage 2 breast cancer, then AML (Acute Myloid Leukemia) during which I went into a coma and lost the baby I was carrying and almost died. An infectious disease doc told me “we had you on every antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and for some reason, just a day or two before you were going to die your body just kicked back in.” I believe it was the Lord Jesus Christ; my family had people in 5 or 6 states praying for me. I had to learn to walk again and to write my name. I lost the baby and my husband said I frowned when he told me. That was my second miscarriage. Then they found ONE person out of 4.8 million people on the transplant list. ONE person! So, I received the transplant on 4-12-03 and they said I did so well I could make the medical books. Then we went to adopt a baby. That is a whole book in itself, but I flew over to Vietnam to pick up our daughter in July, 2007. I had trouble walking holding my little 11 lb. baby girl and carrying her across the street. In Spring, 2008, we found out the diagnosis: Bronchiolitis Obliterans. It is a disease of graft vs. host disease where your new marrow recognizes it is not in the right body and attacks your soft tissues. It attacked my lungs, and I now have 30% capacity. A lung transplant is the last resort. I have lived with this reduced capacity for 6 years. I was hospitalized for a week in 2010 coughing up blood, then rebounded to climb the sand dunes in Western Michigan. I love my daughter and my husband very much, but a simple task such as hauling yourself out of the bathtub to get new soap (which I did) and get the shampoo (which I did), but this time not cheerfully, and. I. am. soooo. tired. of. this.
We could sure use those books! Or, at least I could. I have changed my attitude I had for many years,….I guess I want him to notice the difference. And he doesn’t.
But he’s soooo busy. Busy working from morning til late at night. And, I am really missing him. He is such a good guy,….now I feel bad for venting! But at least it’ll give others something to appreciate in their spouses!!
I bought both of her books: For Women Only, and For Men Only. I intended for my wife and I to read them together as a way to fix our broken marriage. She just got offended and refused to read them. She said that I was just accusing her of being the problem and wanting to change her. I tried to explain that I got us both a book so we could work together on improving both of us but I couldn’t make her understand. I’m the bad guy and I always will be.