The Secrets of Happily Married Women: How to Get More Out of Your Relationship by Doing Less Hardcover – Jan 9 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Haltzman's promise of stress-free marital bliss is attractive, but his advice grates, recalling the worst sort of paternalistic misogyny. After explaining that men's worst communication habits are the result of genetics, Haltzman goes on to say that men need to be nurtured, require acknowledgement for their efforts and only get married for sex. So much for wives "doing less"! Once readers recover from their shock, they'll begin to notice that whether Haltzman is focusing on arguing efficiently, spicing up your sex life or learning to recognize nonverbal expressions of love and remorse, the lesson is the same: a wife should always love and accept her husband for who he is and always has been, even after the initial throes of romantic love fade away. That core is sound, but it's hard to say who Haltzman treats less kindly on the way there: men, who are described as intractably difficult, or women, who are told to put up with them anyway.
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As Haltzman (psychiatry & human behavior, Brown Univ.; The Secrets of Happily Married Men) knows-he’s been married for 20 years-the idea of shaping one’s marriage without it seeming like another job appeals to most women. Together with DiGeronimo (Raising Baby Green), he here proposes that men are hardwired to please women and that if a knowledgeable wife tailors her message to the way her husband can hear it, she will enjoy a deeper connection and achieve happiness without compromise. In a manner somewhat similar to John Gray’s in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the authors advise married female readers to speak in shorter sentences, directly ask for what they want, and take charge of their own spiritual and intellectual need. Well done and recommended to update marital self-help sections.-Deborah Bigelow, Director, Leonia P.L., NJ (Library Journal, January 2008)
“…this delightful...humorous and entertaining book is a must- read for savvy brides-to-be.” (Ladies First, Spring 2008)See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
A better investment would also be to buy these books instead:
"For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men" by Shaunti Feldhahn
"For Better Or For Best: Understand Your Man" by Gary Smalley
"Connecting with your Husband" by Gary Smalley
"The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman
I have fewer of these moments now, not that they happen less often but because I've accepted it is about him and I do not take it so personally.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
These two books have changed our lives for the better. I can't believe all the years we have wasted and how easy the remedy is. We now "get it". We still argue, but its different.I understand where he is coming from now, my interpretation of what he is saying and doing is different. The books have turned it around for us.
The Secrets of Happily Married Women explains what men need and how women can supply it. It also explains what men want to give their wives and how we can graciously receive it. Every couple should read this book.
I must say there are some points that might be a bit tough for some women to read (goes against the grain of feminists). Give it a chance and see the goal is not to put you in a subservient role, but rather a role that makes your spouse feel loved by you. You will in turn feel that same love and appreciation from your spouse. It is a win, win.
I hope this book does for many other couples what it has done for my mine. I am so grateful.
I took this book on vacation with me figuring that I would read snippets when I had a chance. Once I started reading I found it difficult to put it down. I'm the kind of person that treasures books and almost never writes in them. My copy of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" is covered in underlines, stars, and circles. Each marks a passage I think is must reading for my wife so that she could understand where I'm coming from. Also marked are discussion points for us to set expectations in our relationship.
There are 7 Secrets that Dr. Haltzman wants to share with women. After a brief introduction where he explains how he came to write the book, each secret is shared in its own chapter.
Secret 1: Know Your Husband
Dr. Haltzman explains the nature, needs, and challenges that men have in relationships.
secret 2: Nurture His Needs -- and Yours
Dr. Haltzman shares a revised serenity prayer "God grant me the serenity to accept the aspects of my husband's nature that I cannot change, but encouraged to direct his instincts in ways that will be mutually gratifying, and the wisdom to better understand who he really is." The "Do less" lesson at the end of this chapter is priceless.
secret 3: Fight Better
Conflict is a part of every marriage. Just because he doesn't fight the way that you do doesn't mean that he is wrong, it just means that he fights differently. Men and women physically react differently to conflict. Men are hardwired and then trained to find answers through logical analysis, women are more likely to be in touch with their immediate emotional reaction that pushes her to focus on her feelings and focused less on objective evidence. Typical areas of conflict for couples revolve around childcare, housework, money, parenting, and last, but not least sex.
secret 4: Talk Less
Happy couples recognize and accept the differences between male and female communication styles. The wives, especially, let go of the idea that he could be a better communicator if he wanted to. Certain biological differences suggest that he can't! Just because men aren't talking doesn't mean they aren't communicating. Pay much more attention to what we're doing than what we're saying and you're much more likely to see your husband telling you he loves you.
secret 5: Have Lots of Sex
For your husband, having sex makes him feel loved and makes him love you. It is a vitally important part of his marriage and for many men is the glue that makes the marriage stick. Don't expect your sex life to be like the idealized or traumatized version you see on TV. Work together to set your own mutual sexpectations and your sex life will improve.
secret 6: Take Charge of Your Own Happiness
Happily married women know the truth behind the Abraham Lincoln quote "people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." It may sound simple but when you choose happiness, your spouse is happy too.
secret 7: Heal Thyself
Put in place these 4 attributes of happy women:
1. Be surrounded by friends
2. Be physically active
3. Be involved in life
4. Be open to spirituality
An epilogue follows the 7 secrets entitled "When mom is happy, everybody's happy" to wrap up "The Secrets of Happily Married Women." I want to close with this quote from the book:
"Remember that your husband is hardwired and socialized to please you, and that you have the power to make him a better, nicer, more selfless, more giving man. As you know his nature, and start to work with, rather than against it, notice how your husband has become more respectful of you and is more likely to honor the differences between you. See how he begins to show an appreciation of your womanly perceptions, charms, and insights. See how all these positive consequences solidify your place at your husband's side."
I highly recommend "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" to improve your marriage today!
Kevin Decker, Marriage Coach and host of The Inside Romance Success show.
Cracking the Communication Code: The Secret to Speaking Your Mate's Language
How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex
Who's Pushing Your Buttons?
The Love Dare
~The Rebecca Review
I'm disappointed because this book is based on stereotypes...that women do the housework and want their man to help more, and that men always want sex and the woman doesn't always want sex. Let's just say that I can't relate to these topics because that just isn't the way it is in my house. The first chapter talks about getting to know your man, and goes through 7 traits that apply to "men." I found that only a few of them applied to my husband. The author DOES say that not all men apply to all of the traits.
I don't know--I just feel that unless if you have a very sterotypical marriage with stereptypical gender roles and stereptypical problems, this book isn't that much help.
It was SOME help...I understand that basic concepts of rewarding good behavior, not nagging, showing appreciation, not taking for granted, and all of that and I agree with it.
But I was hoping for more help, and this just wasn't much help for me.
Much of current therapy is married (no pun here) to one of a few approaches. Some are deeply theory bound; for example, your family upbringing is the root of everything. Others are either overly sentimental (reframing your experiences as terrible traumas that have left you wounded) or indulgent (you give too much and now it is your time!). I am stereotyping of course. Some of these therapies can be very helpful but they can also lock you into a belief system that gets you nowhere.
The value of Scott's work is that he started out with a very practical question: how do good marriages work. He began to see many couples, delved into the current research (ad nauseum some of us may have thought) and stayed doggedly focused on pragmatics. "Why do these people have a good marriage and these others don't?" was the point of years of feverish activity. He even started a website to hear what anyone who is married, happily or otherwise, had to say on the topic.
The results of this work are the twin books "The Secrets of Happily Married Men" and now "The Secrets of Happily Married Women." In them Scott remains intellectual, humorous and above all practical in his advice. Scott's formula is one worth paying attention to in all aspects of self-improvement: know who you are, go with your strengths and work on your weaknesses. I practice psychopharmacology but see many people in marital distress. My strong advice to my patients is to do the marital therapy before or concurrent with individual therapy as once the damage reaches a critical point of resentment there is no turning back. The twin "Secrets" books are important tool that couples now have to save and improve their marriages.
Mark D. Rego, M.D.
Lecturer is Psychiatry,
Yale University School of Medicine