Here’s your guide to making those words a reality in your marriage.
What do women want? This question has stumped the greatest male minds for centuries. Of course, if you’re married, a much better question is, “What does your wife want?”
As Darrin and Amie Patrick reveal in this profoundly practical and transformational book, God designed your wife to want—to need—to be loved. And that design is an invitation for you to love her deeply, intentionally and passionately.
Practicing ten powerful actions—including listening, pursuing, and serving—will transform you into your wife’s lifelong champion and have her nominating you for the Husband Hall of Fame.
The Dude’s Guide to Marriage is for guys who want to grow, who want clear steps to improving their marriage. It’s for men who want a marriage that thrives rather than just survives.
Grab this guide, and get ready to be a better husband by becoming a better man.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darrin Patrick is the lead pastor of The Journey and the vice president of Acts 29, a global church-planting network. He also serves as the chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals. Patrick is the author of The Dude's Guide to Manhood and Church Planter and co-author of Replant and For the City. He and his family live in St. Louis, Missouri.
MY THOUGHTS: This book is written from a Christian perspective, and has sound psychological advice in it as well. As a counselor myself, I agree with the tips in this book. I give it a 5 stars. My detailed critique of each chapter is below.
The first is LISTEN and (accurately) describes how most men don’t really listen to women the way women need and want to be listened to. I like the statement “If you think having a wife who talks too much is the worst thing, just wait until she stops.” How true! As a woman, I can definitely identify with this statement. Women talk to connect. When we stop wanting to talk, that’s when something is wrong, when we don’t feel safe and connected. Really good material! The author gives what to me as a counselor is basic and well known communication and active listening tips, but to the average layman, is probably much needed advice. True listening (and connecting) is not done often enough in relationships.
Chapter 2 follows the communication theme and discusses TALK. Men tend to not want to share their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams with their wife. The author makes this statement: “Men don’t talk to their wives because they don’t understand what is going on with themselves.” Again, how true! From a counselor’s perspective, what he is talking about here is what we call emotional identification. You have to know what you are feeling and why before you can communicate this to someone else. Women are often better at identifying and expressing these things than men are. Men are often taught as boys not to get in touch with their emotions, so when their wives ask them to do this, they don’t know how.
Chapter 3 is FIGHT. Let’s face it, the question is not IF a couple is going to fight. It’s WHEN. You can learn to fight constructively or destructively. This chapter helps you understand things like your personality differences, how your family of origin handled conflict, and not to see each other as enemies.
Chapter 4 is about GROWTH, and the different ways we grow individually and as a couple over time.
Chapter 5 is about the husband being a PROVIDER. I will admit, I was skeptical when I saw the title, but I like the way the author handled his point. Of course in a traditional marriage, and especially from a Christian point of view, men are seen as the primary financial provider. Modern families are not always like this, and in fact, many wives earn more than their husbands. The author points out (and I agree) that even though women have achieved more in the way of equality in the workplace and it is not seen by everyone as the place for a women being in the home, the fact is that even though couples think they do a good job of equally sharing the workload and raising children, women still usually carry the brunt of this load. Therefore, many working women feel doubly burdened by having a career and still doing most of the work of caring for the children and the housework. If a woman earns more than her husband and is still doing the majority of the work with the children and house work, she will feel doubly burdened by her load and will become resentful. I cannot argue with this statement. To put it in my own words, we want a partner and an equal – not another child!
Chapter 6 is REST. It discusses the need to actually slow down, rest, not be so stressed out and overworked, and to get away from life’s demands and have peace within your soul. Get away from the TV, cell phone, computer, and electronics that always keep your mind on other things, and take the time to truly focus on resting your mind and soul. Meditate. Pray. Renew your spirit. This is also a good time to focus on your relationship. Without the distractions, you can share your most intimate moments with your spouse. Stay late in bed and cuddle and talk. Get intimate. Stop everything and focus on each other. This is so important, and I will be the first to admit that I don’t do this often enough.
Chapter 7 is titled SERVE. If you are familiar with the popular book “The Five Love Languages” then you are already familiar with this chapter. This is discussing the ways you can serve your wife (this author’s word) but really it is guiding husbands to find her “love language” and act in ways that show her she is loved. Everyone’s will be different, and if you do not connect to hers, she will feel unloved and unappreciated.
Chapter 8 is SUBMIT. Remember, this book is specifically talking to husbands, but this goes for both partners. Men might have a harder time submitting to their spouse, though. What this means is, when there are things that she does better than you, ways that she helps you be a better man – rather than get an attitude or try to act like you know more than she does, submit to your spouse in these areas. I could give many examples, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that if you have a partner that is strong where you are weak, you complement each other very well, let her take the lead in those areas in which she is stronger. Maybe she handles the money better than you do, or has a particular gift or skill in another area. Maybe she is the main breadwinner. You can submit by allowing her to take the spotlight in these areas that she shines and by boosting her self-esteem and making her feel appreciated. It takes a strong man to do this. A weaker man will try to put her down and belittle her in order to make himself feel better. This isn’t helping your marriage if you do that. You do not have to be better than your wife in everything, or put her in a role or position beneath you. No way.
Chapter 9 is PURSUE. To my, self-explanatory, yet everybody stops doing it after they get married! If you pursued her in the marriage the way you did before you got married, there would never be divorce. Don’t stop the romance.
Chapter 10 is WORSHIP. This chapter discusses how we should worship the Lord, but discusses how we often worship ourselves and hold a egocentric view of the world, thinking that our view is everyone’s view when in fact it is not.
Each chapter has 5 discussion questions at the end. I was quite impressed with this book and would highly recommend it.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own and are given honestly.