I’m fairly certain that this is the first ‘marriage-improvement’ book I have ever read, and I didn’t read it because I felt like my marriage needs improving. I DID read it because I was lured by the book description- and this one line in particular: “If you really want to know what’s stored up in your husband’s heart, read this book.” Sounded tempting, particularly because my extremely calm, analytical, and very open husband doesn’t seem to know what’s in his own heart much of the time.
“What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You” made for an interesting read, at the very least. I know that is a bland statement, so I’ll clarify: whether you’re in a thriving, happy marriage, or you’re struggling to make it work, this book will encourage, challenge, and to a lesser degree equip you to be the spouse your husband needs you to be. Here are a few things I loved about the book:
- People’s reaction when I left the book lying around my desk at work, or on the table at lunch break. I got a kick out of people’s awkward interest, and it was a great conversation starter.
- I really appreciated Murrow’s treatment of the topic of modern man in a society that has changed drastically in a short period of time. Every woman needs to read that chapter (3) and come to a greater appreciation of why so many men (even steady, mature, hard-working guys) often seem adrift in today’s society.
- Murrow’s explanation for the dearth of men in the modern church was excellent and eye-opening. I’ve spent years in ministry and wondered at the phenomenon of churches and missions overflowing with women, but I had never heard the theory that the modern church setting is just the wrong environment for most men to flourish in. My husband and I had great discussions about this and are looking forward to talking about it with others in our church leadership.
- I loved Murrow’s bluntness. He really challenges his readers to deal with reality. Yep, your husband has eyes and he notices attractive women. And yes, your husband really appreciates it when you take care of yourself. Maybe you wonder why your husband is silent when you ask what he thinks about things; Murrow theorizes that women have punished their husbands for honest responses so many times in the past that they quickly learned silence was better than honesty. You can take a test to see if you’re shutting your husband down (pg. 129). I went over it with my husband, to see how he thought I did, and it led to yet another great conversation and good growth between us. That test, and the following chapters on freeing your husband’s body, soul, and spirit really drive home the point; if you are going to get the most out of this book, you not only have to be willing to handle the truth about what guys really think, you have to be honest with yourself about what you really think and do as well.
Some things I didn’t love:
- The first two chapters contained good information, but written in the ‘voice’ of ‘Protector’ and ‘Provider’ the tone was inane.
- With all due respect to the veracity of the idea that its inbuilt in man to provide the food while women prepare it, lets be real – not all women are going to be domestic divas who can prepare amazing meals after coming home from a long day of work. A little help in the kitchen may in fact make the meal a bit more palatable. Thanks for the advice- but I think when it comes to food prep, this is one every couple will have to work out on their own.
- Respect. Absolutely agree that this is a man’s fundamental need and it’s foundational to a healthy marriage. No question that God tells women to respect their husbands. I see then, how Murrow can challenge women to respect their husbands regardless of the kind of men they are. I see it, but I am not so convinced it can or should be given to a “bad” or “cruel” husband. I have two problems with that in fact; the first is that respect is attached to merit. It is a cause and effect thing, you can’t just produce a feeling of respect for someone; it is intrinsically, even viscerally tied to your perception of the person. Can God give you the grace and strength to do it, yes, but I’m not sure it’s always possible or even wise. That leads to my second problem, if you tell the wife of a cruel or abusive husband that she needs to respect her husband more to improve her marriage, you doom her to greater abuses.
Those critiques aside, “What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You” is a well-written book. It is certain to be thought-provoking, and fodder for great discussion and growth in your marriage.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.